tech and geek stuff
'Socially intelligent' robots with a human touch
One, called Pepper, can hug, dance, and give people high-fives. It has been developed as a customer services robot to help in shopping centres. It will greet shoppers and guide them to wherever they want...
Jeff Bezos looks a little too happy piloting a giant robot
Add this one to the growing pile of evidence that the world is slowly transitioning into a sci-fi dystopia: a billionaire entrepreneur with a side-line building space rockets has been showing off piloting...
Robot eavesdrops on men and women to see how much they talk
Time to put your thinking hat onAlice ÖbergBy Timothy RevellWho would you get to observe differences in how men, women and children interact? A robot in a fur-lined hat, of course. Experiments using a...
A robot followed me around New York to carry my stuff
When I first met Gita the robot, it was a bit banged up. An accident in Central Park a day prior left a small jagged hole in its plastic frame, and only one wheel was lighting up as it should.Two hours...
Telepresence Robot Patched after Rapid7 Discloses IoT Security Risks
The Double Robotics Telepresence Robot was found to have three different vulnerabilities that could have exposed users to risk, two of the issues have already been patched. Once again, the security risks...
Classic bot-programming game Robo Rally has not aged well
Enlarge / The game comes with some of the thinnest cardboard we've ever seen.Owen Duffy reader comments 2 Share this story Welcome to Ars Cardboard, our weekend look at tabletop games! Check out our complete...
Robot that shows pain could teach doctors to recognise it better
It’s not always this easy to spot emotionWestend61/GettyBy Timothy RevellCan you recognise when someone is unwell just by studying their face? Understanding expressions can help doctors improve their...
Humans control robots with their minds by watching for mistakes
Human, am I making a mistake?Yamaguchi Haruyoshi/GettyBy Matt ReynoldsTry again robot, you’re doing it wrong. A brain-computer interface lets people correct robots’ mistakes using the power of their thoughts....
That cool robot may be a security risk
The report identifies security flaws in a number of robots, including NAO and Pepper home robots made by SoftBank Robotics; and manufacturing robots from Universal Robots and Rethink Robotics, two makers...
Robot companion’s can-do attitude rubs off on children
“You worked hard and succeeded!” says Tega the robot companionPersonal Robots Group/MITBy Timothy RevellArtificial intelligence has a new job: setting a good example for your kids. It seems that children’s...
Tech CEOs back call for basic income as AI job losses threaten industry backlash
Standing is also a co-founder of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN), a non-governmental organisation that promotes the policy. He is currently advising Y Combinator, a large U.S. start-up accelerator,...
Bad news from Japan's wrecked Fukushima nuclear reactor
TOKYO — Robot probes sent to one of Japan’s wrecked Fukushima nuclear reactors have suggested worse-than-anticipated challenges for the plant’s ongoing cleanup.The plant’s operator Tokyo Electric Power...
How do you build a robot army?
EnlargeJeff J Mitchell/Getty Images reader comments 3 Share this story Depictions of the future in books and film are usually influenced by what’s going on at the time, reflecting social malaise, impending...
'Nightmare inducing' robot picks itself up
Around four minutes into the footage, the new generation of robot - dubbed Handle - can be seen spinning around, jumping over an obstacle and dropping off a kerb all while maintaining its balance.It was...
Bat-inspired robot swoops and dives like the real thing
Ramezani, Chung, Hutchinson, Sci. Robot. 2, eaal2505 (2017)By Matt Reynolds It swoops, flaps and dives just like the animals it was designed to mimic. Inspired by the flexibility and agility of bats and...
Leaked video shows new ‘nightmare-inducing’ wheeled robot from Boston Dynamics
Boston Dynamics is best known for its bipedal and quadrupedal robots, but it turns out the company has also been experimenting with some radical new tech: the wheel. The company's new wheeled, upright...
Mini robots will slice open human eyes in revolutionary surgery
Forget vacuuming the engineered wood flooring of the super rich or cuddling old ladies in Japan, there's a new and exciting job available for the robots of the world; eye surgery. Surgeons are testing...
MEPs have called for comprehensive robot rules ahead of the AI revolution
In a new report, members of the European Parliament have made it clear they think it’s essential that we establish comprehensive rules around artificial intelligence and robots in preparation for a “new...
Home robot to nudge older people to stay social and active
How about a spot of fresh air?Intuition RoboticsBy Victoria TurkA ROBOT companion for older people aims to promote activity and tackle loneliness by nudging them to take part in digital and physical activities....
At CES 2017, you have to ask: What makes a robot a robot?
Tall, small, dancing, singing, cleaning, sassy, silly, cute and scary -- CES 2017 was awash with robots.While there are the obvious entries like the humanoid “Pepper,” exhibits at the colossal electronics...
Entirely soft 'Octobot' robot may be the future of home helpers
A team of university researchers have created what they call the world's first completely "soft" and self-contained robot -- one that operates without pistons, wires, pincer fingers or a plasma sphere...
Insane, must-have gadgets you’ll want today
LG’s new TV is thinner than an iPhone. IN JUNE 1967, 200 exhibitors and 17,500 attendees packed into the Hilton and Americana hotels in New York for the very first Consumer Electronics Show. From that...
This CES 2017 robot can be controlled by one hand
Earlier at CES, we saw the Lego Boost announced — a kit that lets you build and control Lego robots. Ziro is a similar kit, by the company ZeroUI, but it lets you build robots out of any material and control...
Research Scientist Trains Robot to Read Human Social Cues
There is a very unusual-looking student wandering around the campus of Stanford University in California's Silicon Valley. The "student" is a robot, and it is at the university to learn social skills so...
US Scientist Trains Robot to Learn to Be More Human
There is a student on the campus of Stanford University in California’s Silicon Valley that is getting lots of attention. The student is a robot named Jackrabbot, after the jackrabbit, a relative of the...
LG’s robot assistant is straight out of Wall-E, but you probably don't need it
In an era when everywhere you turn another tech company is making a smart home assistant, LG has its own solution, and it comes in the form of a friendly looking little robot. The Hub Robot, as it's called,...
LG is bringing its own version of the Amazon Echo to CES
With the biggest technology show on the calendar just days away, LG has been teasing more details about what we can expect to see from the South Korean company at CES 2017 - and it sounds like it's going...
Norway wants to fill the International Space Station with snakebots
Astronauts on the International Space Station might soon be getting help from a swarm of snakebots, if Norwegian engineers get their way.Scientists at SINTEF, an industrial and technical research organisation...
New robot has a human touch
Most robots achieve grasping and tactile sensing through motorized means, which can be excessively bulky and rigid. Scientists have now devised a way for a soft robot to feel its surroundings internally,...
Wall-jumping robot is most vertically agile ever built
Roboticists have designed a small robot that can leap into the air and then spring off a wall, or perform multiple vertical jumps in a row, resulting in the highest robotic vertical jumping agility ever...
Watch this robot DJ spin the decks with DJ Yoda
This week in the list of new stuff that robots can do: pumping out the tunes. DJ Yoda was joined by a YuMi robot while he was spinning the discs at the Ford Fiesta launch party."I've collaborated before...
Just Eat delivers its first takeaway via robot courier
Before the robots rise up and put us under their command, they'll be busy delivering hot takeaway food to our doorsteps: online ordering service Just Eat has announced its first live robot delivery has...
Students face off in World Robot Olympiad
NEW DELHI -- Whizzing around a green felt table chasing a soccer ball beaming infrared light, the boxy robot shoots — and scores — and wins its Taiwanese teenage creators first prize at this year’s student...
Robot sex act to be offered with your latte at Swiss café
A Swiss café offering robot sex services to accompany your hot drink wants to open in Geneva by the end of the year. Owner Bradley Charvet, who runs the Swiss escort service Facegirl, had originally planned...
Researchers Develop a Robot to Tackle Mundane Farm Tasks
Spraying chemicals, monitoring and harvesting crops are all labor and time-intensive tasks for farmers. Now researchers are developing a robot that can tackle some of those jobs by using radio frequency...
Robot graffiti artist is the Banksy of the mechanical world
Banksy, you've got competition. Researchers from Goldsmiths University of London's Department of Computing, alongside the Idiap Research Institute in Martigny, Switzerland, have developed Baxter, a robot...
This robot tutor detects the 'emotional state' of its pupils
Teachers, watch out - your jobs could be next in line for the inevitable robot takeover. Spanish AI researchers have developed software that can take a pupil's emotional state into account when teaching...
This robot knows the gentle caress of a human touch
A soft stroke of the upper arm. A nudge under the table. A punch in the face. There are many ways that humans communicate complex emotions with a simple touch. But robots have always been mostly oblivious...
Robot Folds Your Laundry for You
A lot of us think doing the laundry is a real chore. We will likely get help in the future from robots. Already, a laundry-folding robot has been developed that knows how to neatly fold different kinds...
Robert Downey Jr has offered to work for Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg as his robot butler
Other suggestions surfaced among the more than 36,000 comments including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Samuel L. Jackson and Morgan Freeman. AI has been a big focus for technology companies with software such...
From adult toys to lovers: Would you have sex with a robot?
Sexbots and the futureWould you have sex with a robot? No? How about if that robot was indistinguishable from a human being? Worse? Better? Could you fall in love with an Android? The concept of sex with...
At the bleeding edge of AI: Quantum grocery picking and transfer learning
EnlargeGoogle reader comments 13 Share this story Don’t laugh, but there may come a time when quantum computers are sorting out your grocery deliveries, and if Paul Clarke, CTO of the online food store...
Toyota's tiny robot sells for under $400; talks, but can't drive
TOKYO -- The new robot from Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp. can’t do much but chatter in a high-pitched voice.The 39,800-yen ($390), 10-centimeter (4-inch) -tall, doll-like Kirobo Mini - whose name...
Toyota mini robot aims to combat loneliness
The Kirobo Mini may even have a role as a baby substitute in Japan, where falling birth rates have left many women childless.The doe-eyed robot is just four inches tall, speaks in a high-pitched baby...
Mini dog robot can bounce, open doors and even climb fences
Loyal robo-petGhost RoboticBy David HamblingFancy a robot pet? Minitaur is designed to be an affordable and practical quadruped robot. Not only can it cross obstacle-strewn terrain impassable to wheeled...
Watch Pepper the robot learn how to catch a ball in a cup
Robots aren't always so dextrous. They spend a lot of time falling over. Getting them to perform agility tasks that come naturally to humans can be hard to code, but they're easy to demonstrate. That's...
Uber’s Southeast Asia rival Grab in Singapore robot taxi deal
Grab, the biggest ride-hailing company in Southeast Asia, is now offering on-demand robot taxi rides in Singapore through a partnership with NuTonomy of Cambridge, Mass. NuTonomy, a 50-person startup...
When art and technology pull each other to bits
Drones take to the skies in a display at the Ars Electronica festival in Linz, AustriaMartin HieslmairIn a disused mail sorting office in Linz, Austria, an industrial robot twice my height has got hold...
After standoff, LA cops’ bomb disposal robot snatches man’s shotgun
EnlargeLA Sheriff's Department reader comments 27 Share this story Further ReadingDallas deployment of robot bomb to kill suspect is “without precedent”It was just before dawn on September 9 in Lancaster,...
Cute Robot Provides Customer Service
A cute humanoid-looking robot is making its way into the droid customer service market. One day, the robot known as Sanbot could be a hotel concierge or classroom teacher. VOA’s Deborah Block has more...
The threat of robot guards is not enough to stop people stealing
Behave or we will roll very slowly after youKnightscope/WennBy Aviva RutkinWould you do what a robot told you to do? If people stealing food right under the eyes of a bot is anything to go by, RoboCop...
Cattle Herding Robot Takes Over a Dog’s Job
Dogs, helicopters and cowboys on horses herd cattle, and now a robot can help with the roundup. Called SwagBot, the ungainly looking prototype has four metal legs with rubber wheels, topped with a rectangular...
Octobot is the ‘new era’ of robotics
This image shows the octobot, an entirely soft, autonomous robot. Picture: Ryan Truby, Michael Wehner, and Lori Sanders, Harvard University via AP THE latest revolutionary robot isn’t the metallic, costly...
See what this squishy octopus-inspired robot can do
WASHINGTON -- The latest revolutionary robot isn’t the metallic, costly machine you’d expect: It’s squishy like Silly Putty, wireless, battery-less and made for pennies by a 3D printer.Meet Octobot. It...
Meet Octobot, a Robot That's a Real Softie, and Cheap
The latest revolutionary robot isn't the metallic, costly machine you'd expect: It's squishy like Silly Putty, wireless, battery-less and made for pennies by a 3-D printer. Meet Octobot. It looks like...
We lie to robots to spare their nonexistent feelings
Having robots in our lives is an inevitability. We already have artificially intelligent voice assistants on our phones like Cortana, Siri and Google Now. But how will we interact with robots when they...
Behold the octobot—a fully autonomous, soft-bodied robot
Enlarge / The octobot, with some of its reaction system highlighted in color.Ryan Truby, Michael Wehner, and Lori Sanders, Harvard University. reader comments 12 Share this story While the current generation...
Robot chores: the droids are coming for your job, and no one's safe
It's Judgement Day for your jobBad news for taxi drivers: Ford, Uber and Google are working on self-driving vehicles that could render the traditional cabbie redundant within a few years. But transport...
Meet Sophia, the human-like robot that wants to be your friend and ‘destroy humans’
Would you trust a human-like robot to teach your children? Or perhaps to serve you in the health care system?That’s the goal of Hanson Robotics, an American company that creates robots “capable of building...
Yes, a n00b like Angela could pull off what happened on Mr. Robot last week
NBCUniversalWarning: This piece contains minor spoilers for the most recent episode of Mr. Robot (S2E6) reader comments 5 Share this story Last week on Mr. Robot, the intrepid hackers of fsociety went...
Samsung to release new phone after Note 7 woes
The firm will launch the Galaxy S8 at events in New York and London, according to reports.Industry insiders say it will come in two sizes and will feature a larger screen.Samsung will be hoping the S8...
New diversity report shows 85% of Uber’s tech workforce is male
Uber reader comments 3 Share this story Further ReadingSlack Engineering Director: Google should do “blind assessments” for hiringFor the first time, Uber released diversity figures for its employees—which...
Elon Musk's Latest Target: Brain-computer Interfaces
Tech billionaire Elon Musk is announcing a new venture called Neuralink focused on linking brains to computers. The company plans to develop brain implants that can treat neural disorders — and that may...
Legal threats and disgruntled clients: Inside ‘Uber for private jets’
Tim Martz made his fortune in broadcast radio, but even as a wealthy man, the price of chartering a private jet always stung a bit. So when Martz joined JetSmarter in February 2015, the service seemed...
I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its component fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers. That is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark