tech and geek stuff
Disney and Hanson Robotics are bringing your favorite characters to life
Speaking at technology conference TechXLR8 in London, Dr. David Hanson, founder and CEO of Hanson Robotics has announced that it has partnered with Disney to bring artificially intelligent robots of it's...
Google's robotics business bought by Japanese firm
The Japanese telecommunications and internet corporation has agreed to purchase the makers of the "Big Dog" robot from Alphabet for an undisclosed sum.Also acquired in the deal is a lesser known Alphabet...
Self-doubting robots could integrate more easily into society
There are a lot of robots in the world. Mostly they live in factories, but they're increasingly making their way into everyday life - and there are some big decisions on the horizon about how we'll safeguard...
Robot dog has an artificial woof that sounds like the real thing
Barks better than it bitesMiRoBy Matt ReynoldsROBOTIC canine companions are getting an upgrade. Artificially generated barks that match a robot dog’s physical characteristics can stop it falling into...
Cozmo: The palm-sized robot that’s like having a real-life Wall-E on your desk
If you’ve ever wished to have your own R2-D2, Johnny-5 or Wall-E, your wish has been granted. Well, almost – Cozmo may not be quite as smart as the big-screen robostars, but he (she? It?) is just about...
Robots will be more useful if they are made to lack confidence
Don’t get too cocky nowJason Lee/ReutersBy Matt ReynoldsConfidence in your abilities is usually a good thing – as long as you can recognise when it’s time to ask for help. As we build ever smarter software,...
Bill Gates wants to tax robots, but the EU says, 'no way, no way'
"The aim of taxation is not just (to) collect revenues … But to increase salaries of teachers and police. Taxes are also to have some influence over some processes. I fully agree that we have to tax bad...
Anyone can create a robot with this simple design tool
Making a robot is hard. Don't take my word for it, take the word of Stelian Coros, assistant professor of robotics at Carnegie Mellon University. "The process of creating new robotic systems today is...
Waltzing robot teaches beginners how to dance like a pro
Do the robot boogieSystem Robotics LaboratoryBy Edd GentGot no one to dance with? Not to worry – you might soon be gliding through the moves, thanks to a robotic instructor designed to teach humans how...
Elon Musk's AI project is making humans teach robots through VR in a breakthrough moment
The second neural network known as the imitation network then takes over. Its job is to mimic the task that the human was doing in VR. "Imitation allows humans to learn new behaviors rapidly. We would...
3-D-printed, soft, four legged robot can walk on sand and stone
Engineers have developed the first soft robot that is capable of walking on rough surfaces, such as sand and pebbles. The 3-D-printed, four-legged robot can climb over obstacles and walk on different terrains....
Would you let a robot perform your eye surgery? One just passed clinical trials
The idea of having your eyes operated on is a pretty terrifying proposal at the best of times, but throw robot surgeons into the mix and it suddenly feels very James Bond. But robot optical surgery is...
Does Hollywood give robots a bad rep?
They have been an obsession of Ridley Scott's career, with Ash the android in the original Alien and, most famously, Blade Runner."How can you not be interested in AI?" the British director told Sky News."AI...
Parasitic robot controls turtle it’s riding by giving it snacks
Following in the tracks of turtlesJason Edwards/GettyBy Timothy RevellIn preparation for becoming humanity’s overlords, robots have started controlling turtles. By first getting the reptiles to associate...
Robot inspector helps check bridges for dangerous defects
Safe pair (or pairs) of wheelsUniversity of NevadaBy Alice KleinWhen the I-35W bridge over the Mississippi river in Minnesota collapsed in 2007, killing 13 people, it was because of defects in steel plates...
Robot Takes Sick Child to Class
Think back to grade school. If you were sick, you stayed home. If you had a serious illness, you'd miss weeks, or even months of classes. Technology could change all this, with a robot attending school...
Technology: Robot Fighting Invasive Species
In many parts of the world invasive species contribute to destruction of local ecosystems, already threatened by climate change. One of the most pervasive is the lionfish, a voracious predator from Asia...
China is a gold mine for innovation, says head of Chinese robot firm
China holds excellent opportunities for entrepreneurship and innovation, according to Yu Zhichen, CEO of Turing Robot, a firm looking to make it big in artificial intelligence. "I've been to the U.S.,...
Robot volleyball machine helps Japan team practise attacks
Hands up if you’re a robotsupported in part by the High Performance Support Project, Japan Sports AgencyBy Timothy RevellTo perfect their attacks, some of Japan’s top volleyball players are training against...
Squishy robotic manta ray flaps its wings to spy in the ocean
A natural source of inspirationCultura/REX/ShutterstockBy Alice KleinIt’s a drone of the deep. A soft-bodied robot that swims like a manta ray has been engineered to spy on underwater creatures without...
Retiring with robots? Older folks to get high-tech help
This is part of CNET’s “Tech Enabled” series about the role technology plays in helping the disability community.When you think about growing old together with somebody, that person probably isn’t made...
'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...
Cramer: This market is scared of Amazon, and it's fighting back
In a market that has plenty to worry about, whether it be the Senate health care bill, retail's demise, or impending deflation, Jim Cramer says it is preoccupied by one thing only: Amazon. "I think the...
Amazon aims to charge $2.8 million for NFL ad packages: Sources
For each game, Amazon can sell 10 30-second spots, one of the sources said. The spots run on the live-stream while local ads air on network TV. Under the terms Amazon is offering, buyers also get to run...
We now have a closer look at how Alexa will look on the Echo Show screen
Thanks to an Amazon developers kit, we now have a good idea how Alexa will look on its new smart speaker/screen the Echo Show.The developer kit has been released so that developers can start programming...
Amazon Fire 7 (2017)
We’ve built up some pretty straightforward expectations for a new Amazon Fire 7 tablet. Each iteration is going to be a solid but basic mini tablet that acts as a 7-inch window onto the sprawling Amazon...
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