Tag Archives: robotics

Startup Unveils Not Scary COVID Nasal Swab Robot

The Verge reports: If you’ve been tested for COVID-19 then you’ve probably experienced the unpleasantness of a nasal swab. Someone takes a long-handled cotton swab and sticks it up your nose — way up your nose — until it reaches the back of the mucus-cave that is your nasal cavity. Upon arrival they give the swab a good twirl to …

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Scary Robot Dogs Now On Sale To Public For $75,000

The Associated Press reports: You can now buy one of those unnerving animal-like robots you might have seen on YouTube — so long as you don’t plan to use it to harm or intimidate anyone. Boston Dynamics on Tuesday started selling its four-legged Spot robots online for just under $75,000 each. The agile robots can walk, climb stairs and open …

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Major League Baseball Monitors Test Of Robot Umpires

Axios reports: An electronic radar system called TrackMan will soon be calling balls and strikes in the Atlantic League, an independent East Coast league that has emerged as MLB’s testing ground for new rules and equipment initiatives. In a simple test to make sure that TrackMan data could be successfully transmitted and understood, home plate umpires were fitted with earpieces …

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Russian Media Falls For Man In Robot Suit [VIDEO]

The Guardian reports: A “hi-tech robot” shown on Russian state television has turned out to be a man in a suit. Russia-24 praised the ersatz android during coverage of a youth forum dedicated to robotics, boasting that “Robot Boris has already learned to dance and he’s not that bad”. But sharp-eyed bloggers were dubious. The Russian website TJournal listed questions …

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GENEVA: Vatican Calls For UN Ban On “Killer Robots”

The Catholic Crux reports: Fully automated and autonomous lethal weapons systems must be banned now before they become a reality in tomorrow’s wars, a Vatican representative said. The development of robotic weapons or “killer robots” will provide “the capacity of altering irreversibly the nature of warfare, becoming more detached from human agency, putting in question the humanity of our societies,” …

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Parking App Deploys Robot To Hold Your Space

Axios reports: Here’s a potential time-saver this Black Friday: a smartphone app that will deploy a robot to hold a parking space for you at the mall. MyPark is a Miami-based parking reservation service that deploys mobile space blockers to hold spots for customers willing to pay a few dollars for the convenience. The app triggers a pop-up rectangle that …

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Azerbaijan Grants World’s First Visa For Robot [VIDEO]

Fortune reports: The AI humanoid ‘Sophia’ has been making a worldwide tour on behalf of her creator, Hanson Robotics of Hong Kong, and made an unexpected stop to the Caucasus this week. The Caucasus stop meant granting the world’s first ever visa granted to a robot, a process that took just two minutes thanks to some smart technology. Sophia’s visit …

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Today In Creepy Twerking Robot Security Dogs [VIDEO]

Engadget reports: If what you need today is a dog robot twerking to “Uptown Funk,” well then you’re in luck. Boston Dynamics’ SpotMini robot is featured in a new video intended to show off its mobility, and it certainly does that as the robot dog steps, gyrates and dances in time with music. The SpotMini goes on sale sometime in …

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Houston City Council Bans “Sex Robot Brothel” [VIDEO]

The Houston Chronicle reports: Houston City Council on Wednesday updated its rules on sexually oriented businesses, instituting changes that could bar plans for a store that allows customers to try out sex dolls on the premises from opening near the Galleria. Toronto-based KinkySdollS had planned to open a Houston branch where it would sell “adult love dolls” constructed of synthetic …

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US And Russia Block UN Talks On Killer Robots

Politico reports: The United States and Russia were among a small number of countries that blocked the U.N. from moving toward talks on whether to ban so-called killer robots. During a week of meetings in Geneva, which ended in the early hours of Saturday, a group at the United Nations’ Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) discussed whether to take negotiations …

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STUDY: When Robots Beg For Their Lives

The Verge reports: In the study, published in the open access journal PLOS One, 89 volunteers were recruited to complete a pair of tasks with the help of Nao, a small humanoid robot. The participants were told that the tasks (which involved answering a series of either / or questions, like “Do you prefer pasta or pizza?”; and organizing a …

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Robot Security Dogs To Go On Sale Next Year [VIDEO]

The New York Daily News reports: A robotics company known for its widely shared videos of nimble, legged robots opening doors or walking through rough terrain is preparing to sell some after more than a quarter century of research. Boston Dynamics CEO Marc Raibert said Friday that his company plans to begin selling the dog-like SpotMini robot next year, likely …

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Today In Creepy Robots [VIDEO]

The Verge reports: We’ve seen Boston Dynamics robots open doors before, but this egress is different. Outfitted with an articulating arm and clamp similar to the one it used to wash dishes in the original video, we see the new SpotMini locate, recognize, and deftly operate a door handle, and then hold the door to let its arm-less sibling march …

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Robot Trump Debuts At Disney World [VIDEO]

The New York Times reports: President Trump has finally arrived at Walt Disney World. And, yes, he speaks. After a delay that prompted online conspiracy theories, the most common one being that Disney was trying to silence Mr. Trump, Disney World unveiled an audio-animatronic robot in his life-size likeness on Monday as part of its famed Hall of Presidents exhibit. …

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Today In Creepy Robots [VIDEO]

Phys.org reports: It was a spooky sight: two lifelike disembodied robot torsos discussing the pros and cons of humans in front of a nervously tittering audience in Hong Kong Wednesday. Artificial intelligence is the dominant theme at this year’s sprawling RISE tech conference at the city’s harbourfront convention centre, but the live robot exchange took the AI debate to another …

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BRITAIN: Google Funds Robot Journalism Launch

The Guardian reports: Robots will help a national news agency to create up to 30,000 local news stories a month, with the help of human journalists and funded by a Google grant. The Press Association has won a €706,000 (£621,000) grant to run a news service with computers writing localised news stories. The national news agency, which supplies copy to …

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Disney Closes Hall Of Presidents To Add Robot Trump

Via Mediaite: On Monday morning, CNN’s Jake Tapper tweeted a photo from Walt Disney World in Orlando. The Hall of Presidents show starts with a film presentation before revealing animatronic versions of every president. Speeches are delivered by the representations of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and the then-current President of the United States, Barack Obama. The Obama robot was added …

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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Channels Ellen Ripley [VIDEO]

Get away from her, Amazon! Via Gizmodo: What would you do if you were a billionaire? Elon Musk is trying to get to Mars. Peter Thiel wants to live forever. And Jeff Bezos, well, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos apparently wants to rule the world in a gigantic robot. At least that’s the impression you might get from the photos and …

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Today In Creepy Robots [VIDEO]

Holy crap. Wait for it to jump. From the clip description: Handle is a research robot that stands 6.5 ft tall, travels at 9 mph and jumps 4​ ​feet vertically. ​It uses electric power to operate both electric and hydraulic actuators, with a range of about 15 miles on one battery charge. ​​​Handle uses many of the same dynamics, balance …

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Bill Gates Calls For Robotics Tax To Offset Jobs Lost To Automation And Fund Other Types Of Employment

Yes, really. Quartz reports: Robots are taking human jobs. But Bill Gates believes that governments should tax companies’ use of them, as a way to at least temporarily slow the spread of automation and to fund other types of employment. It’s a striking position from the world’s richest man and a self-described techno-optimist who co-founded Microsoft, one of the leading …

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