Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Robots

Gizmag's pick of the 10 coolest high tech toys

Christmas is just around the corner and the hunt for the best kids toys out there has never been more exciting. With iPhone-controlled toys, customizable robots and smart toys that aim to teach kids life skills while entertaining them, the latest breed of high-tech toys have a lot to offer. Even books and pens, augmented with a little technology can read to kids or coach them to write. If you're looking to surprise junior with toys that feature a delightful technological twist, Gizmag's top 10 coolest tech toys for kids should give you plenty of ideas.  Read More

The Factory-in-a-Day project aims to integrate robots into small and medium enterprise fac...

Industrial robots have proven useful in reducing production costs in large factories, with major enterprises enlisting their services to execute repetitive tasks. The Factory-in-a-Day project, which kicked off in October, aims to also make robotic technology beneficial to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), by developing adaptable robots that can be integrated with workplace systems within 24 hours.  Read More

Knightscope's Autonomous Data Machines are designed to help 'predict and prevent' local cr...

Silicon Valley startup Knightscope Inc. is developing an "Autonomous Data Machine" with the potential to perform the oftentimes monotonous task of keeping watch over property more cost effectively and comprehensively than a human security guard. The company today revealed it has already started securing beta customers for its first two models, the Knightscope K5 and K10.  Read More

One of the robotic creations possible with MOSS modular robot construction system

Colorado-based Modular Robotics has taken its Cubelets robotic building blocks to the next level with MOSS, a modular robot construction system that requires no coding or wiring skills on the part of the user. The kits are made up of various modules that communicate with each other via a single button contact and can be snapped together using magnets.  Read More

This artificial muscle-driven heart pumps human urine and will be used to power the Ecobot...

It's strange to wrap one's mind around the idea of human pee powered robots, but that's exactly what a group of UK researchers are attempting to create. Mimicking the human heart, their latest innovation is a heart pump with artificial muscles that aims to deliver human urine to their latest generation of Ecobots – a self-sustaining robot that runs on all manner of waste matter collected from its environment.  Read More

Boston Dynamics' Atlas humanoid robot is the focus for the second phase of DARPA's Robotic...

The goal of DARPA's multi-year Robotics Challenge is to develop robots capable of reducing the danger of rescue and relief to victims and first responders alike. Next month DARPA will pit rescue robots against a series of tasks that represent disaster scenarios.  Read More

The MHI-Super Giraffe can handle 15 degree slopes and works for 5 hours on a rechargeable ...

While the world watches anxiously as the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) begins its most dangerous operation yet in the ongoing clean-up of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, large Japanese corporations continue to design and build robots to help go where people cannot. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has built a new remote-controlled robot called the MHI-Super Giraffe, which has an extendable arm capable of reaching up to 8 m (26 ft), and borrows battery technology from Mitsubishi Motor's electric vehicles.  Read More

RTS Lab has successfully tested a prototype of its Pars aerial robot, a drone that flies o...

Earlier this year, RTS Lab unveiled its concept for Pars, an aerial robot that flies out over a large body of water to air-drop life preservers near drowning victims. Like many design concepts, we weren't sure if this life-saving drone would ever become a reality, but it seems the Iran-based company was recently able to fund a working prototype and even test its capabilities in open water. Based on these initial tests, it's possible that this flying, GPS-guided lifeguard could be out there saving lives sooner than you think.  Read More

From left: the 2011 NWR 002 prototype, the 2013 commercially-ready LIGHBOT and the prototy...

There is no better example of the rapid rate of product development than NSK's move into the area of robotics. At IREX 2011, NSK showed a prototype robot designed to safely guide the visually-impaired, with a footprint of 520 x 660 mm (20 x 26 in) and weight of 40 kg (88 lb). This week, just two years later, NSK showed two versions its Lighbot guide robot that represent a 75 percent weight reduction and an 83 percent footprint reduction. The ingenious right-or-left-hand-drive interface has been both replaced and improved, and all other aspects of the latest bots are equal to or better than the original.  Read More

REEM-C takes its first steps inside PAL Robotics' headquarters

The United Arab Emirates, known for its lavish building projects like the Burj Khalifa, is also financing an equally ambitious robot project. PAL Robotics, based in Barcelona, Spain, was contracted to build a robot that could stand next to the likes of Honda's ASIMO. Now, after nearly a decade, the company has unveiled its third generation humanoid robot.  Read More

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