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Robots


— Home Entertainment

Lights, camera, action: A closer look at the Keecker entertainment computer

By - July 15, 2014 20 Pictures
Back in January, French startup Keecker made a bit of a CES splash with a cute and curvy home entertainment computer capable of moving around on its own or as instructed by an app-based remote, and transforming any wall, door or ceiling into a huge projected screen. Gizmag dropped in on the company's Paris home at the weekend for a chat with CEO and Founder Pierre Lebeau, and a one-on-one with the multi-talented Keecker prototype. Read More
— Robotics

Teaching robots to play Angry Birds helps children's rehabilitation

By - July 11, 2014 4 Pictures
If Angry Birds is known for anything, it's an ability to keep youthful eyes glued to the screen for extended periods of time. But a new study conducted at Georgia Tech has shown that teaching a robot how to play the video game keeps kids slinging those wingless birds through the air for even longer, a finding that could help in the rehabilitation of cognitive and motor-skill disabilities. Read More
— Robotics

Changing instructions to make robot joints more energy efficient

By - July 7, 2014
Getting robots to carry out repetitive tasks precisely and untiringly is relatively easy. Getting them to do it in the most efficient way possible is another thing entirely. Unai Ugalde-Olea, lecturer in the Department of Electronics Technology of the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country is working on a new way of controlling robot joints that promises energy savings of up to 40 percent by changing the way the robot handles instructions. Read More
— Military

Autonomous vehicles to join the US Army

By - July 4, 2014 3 Pictures
Over the next quarter of a century, the US Pentagon sees robots becoming more and more a part of military life with robot warplanes, submersibles, and infantry vehicles taking their place on the battlefields of the future. It may conjure up a very flashy vision of Transformer-like killing machines, but the US Army sees the first robots as autonomous vehicles used in the more prosaic task of delivering groceries and other supplies. Read More
— Robotics

"Ladybird" autonomous robot to help out down on the farm

By - July 2, 2014
Ladybirds are happily welcomed by gardeners into their yards, knowing that they will consume the most prolific plant pests like white flies, mites, and aphids. Imagine, then, how useful an autonomous, solar-powered, intelligent robotic ladybird could be on a farm. Enter the University of Sydney’s "Ladybird," not actually an eater of insect pests, but a robot capable of conducting mobile farm reconnaissance, mapping, classification, and detection of problems for a variety of different crops. Read More
— Robotics

Robots help create ultra-thin wooden exhibition hall

By - June 30, 2014 9 Pictures
The Landesgartenschau Exhibition Hall in Stuttgart, Germany, is claimed to be the first building to have its core structure made entirely from interlocking timber sections created by robots. Made up of over 240 individual segments of beech plywood created using a robotic fabrication method, the 17 meter (55 ft) tall, 245 square meter (2,637 sq ft) structure required just 12 cubic meters (424 cubic feet) of timber to construct. Read More
— Robotics

Crowdsourcing could help robots learn new tasks faster

By - June 29, 2014 3 Pictures
If robots are going to work alongside humans, the machines are going to need to swallow their pride and learn to ask for help. At least, that’s the thinking of computer scientists at the University of Washington (UW), who are working on ways for robots to crowdsource their problems when learning new tasks. If successful, this approach points the way toward future robots that are capable of asking for assistance to speed up their learning when it comes to figuring out how to carry out household tasks. Read More
— Robotics

Lifelike robots start work at Tokyo museum

By - June 26, 2014 12 Pictures
Recent advances in robotics have included machines that can learn by having folks talk to them, or droids capable of reading human emotion. Most still look pretty much like motorized mannequins or variations on the Johnny 5 theme, though. Even advanced humanoid bots like Honda's ASIMO would stand out as distinctly non-human in a police line-up. Such things certainly can't be said of the lifelike (some might even say positively creepy) creations of Osaka University professor Hiroshi Ishiguro. Two of his latest androids have now joined the staff of Tokyo's Miraikan National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, and will act as announcer and science guide for visitors to a new permanent exhibition. Read More
— Robotics

"Tell me Dave" robot learns simply by people talking to it

By - June 24, 2014 2 Pictures
Many robots today are able to follow verbal instructions. However, the robot first has to be programmed with software code that allows it to respond to those instructions in some predetermined way, and that software must be added to every time the robot's task list is enhanced. Wouldn’t it be easier if we could just avoid all that messy fiddling about with software and talk to a machine as we would a human and explain what we wanted it to do? Researchers at Cornell University thought so, that’s why they designed and built a learning robot as part of their "Tell me Dave" project. Read More
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