robots

Robot Unicorn Attack 2 review

As the sequel to a game that popularized the endless runner concept, Robot Unicorn Attack 2 adds new content while retaining the fast-paced and thoroughly engaging gameplay of the original. Although it features plenty of in-game items, you don't really have to spend a dime to enjoy it.

Pros

Intuitive, fast-paced gameplay: Robot Unicorn Attack 2 turns you into a speedy, robot-like unicorn that gallops through different worlds, jumping over precipices and dashing through stars, monsters, and other obstacles while collecting tokens and completing achievements that increase your rank and unlock customizations, new worlds, and even an online mode. … Read more

Musk, Zuckerberg, Kutcher invest in AI firm Vicarious

Three prominent figures in the technology world have invested serious cash into a company that's trying to make a major move in artificial intelligence.

Tesla chief Elon Musk, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, and actor and venture capitalist Ashton Kutcher have invested $40 million into Vicarious, a company that's studying the human brain's neocortex and attempting to translate its function to computer code, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

The neocortex is an essential element of being human, providing the functions that allow us to think, see, move, and much more. Speaking to the Journal in an … Read more

The 404 1,449: Where we run for the border (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Cloak app helps you dodge awkward run-ins with frenemies.

- Taco Bell taps techies with burner phones to market new breakfast menu.

- Robots are creeping their way into newsrooms.

- A new gadget designed to sanitize your public transportation trip.… Read more

Victor the trash-talking robot hates losing at Scrabble

Scrabble can bring out a healthy sense of competition among humans, but what about robots? The robotics department at Carnegie Mellon University created a robot named Victor who can play Scrabble, just not very well. But that doesn't stop him from blaming his opponents for his double-word-score shortcomings.

Victor has a head with an animated face complete with glasses, blond hair, and even a collegiate soul patch, but his fiberglass body lacks arms. He can move, look at the board, and talk to people. He sits at a table at the lounge in CMU's Gates computer science building waiting for a human to challenge him to a match. Just don't expect any friendly banter. … Read more

Cubli cube robot demonstrates incredible balance

Some robots do something useful, like ordnance disposal. Some robots do something artistic, like produce music. Some are more interactive. And some robots are just danged cool.

On that note, we've recently stumbled across Cubli, a little cube-shaped robot made by Gajan Mohanarajah, Ph.D. candidate and research assistant at ETH Zurich. Cubli isn't designed to build a wall or translate slime mold. Instead, it's based on a very simple idea: "Can we build a 15-centimeter-sided cube that can jump up, balance on its corner, and walk across our desk using off-the-shelf motors, batteries, and electronic components?"… Read more

Originally posted at Crave

By Michelle Starr

Crave Ep. 151: Neil Young's Pono dreams soon to come true

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Neil Young's PonoMusic service blew past its Kickstarter fundraising goal in one day. Are FLAC files the next wave in music? We also hear some jams from a cyborg drummer on Earth, and wake up to the sweet smells and sounds of the Bacon Alarm. Read more

Neato BotVac: A better bot from Neato?

Neato is expanding its robot vacuum offerings with a new "BotVac" series due in mid-April 2014. The initial launch will include four models: BotVac 70e, BotVac 75, BotVac 80, and BotVac 85 with prices ranging from $479.99 to $599.99. So, how do BotVacs differ from the $379.99 XV Essential, $429.99 XV-21, and $449.99 XV Signature Pro we've tested from Neato's existing product line-up?

One obvious difference is the color scheme. All of the XV line of bots have different finishes -- from the black and dark gray XV Signature Pro to … Read more

MIT's super-speedy robot fish makes flashy escape

Some robot fish we've seen wouldn't be able to escape a predator if their fins depended on it.

Enter the new fish-shaped "soft robot" developed by Andrew Marchese, a graduate student in MIT's Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. It can execute an escape maneuver called a "C-turn" in about 100 milliseconds, matching the speed of fish in the wild. Such swiftness is one of the things that most sets this robofish apart.

Soft robots are machines that have gushy exteriors and move around through the use of fluids or gases pumping … Read more

Transformer-like suit lets you lift 110 pounds -- with each hand

It lets you lift up to 220 pounds like you're lifting a baby. It has 22 different points of movement. And it makes you look a little like Optimus Prime. It's the "body extender" from Perceptual Robotics Laboratory in Italy. And it would make one hell of a Halloween costume.

The Percro engineers who invented the robotic exoskeleton say it's the most sophisticated wearable robot developed to date. They say it could be used to assist in disaster zones as wearers would be able to lift large pieces of rubble off people trapped by earthquake debris, though as of now, there's no word on when it will be available. The contraption lets wearers lift up to 110 pounds with each hand.

"It's a device that's able to track the complex movements of the human body, and also to amplify the force of the user," Fabio Selsedo from Percro told the BBC. … Read more

Google's Schmidt: Expect robots to roam among us

At least one prominent technology executive isn't concerned with robots becoming too smart and overtaking the world.

Speaking at the Oasis: The Montgomery Summit on Wednesday, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said that at some point in the future "robots will become omnipresent in our lives in a good way." Bloomberg, which was in attendance at the event, earlier reported on his comments.

Google has been investing heavily in robotics over the last few years, buying up a host of companies under the leadership of Android chief Andy Rubin. The search giant is reportedly focusing its efforts initially on manufacturing processes, … Read more