Boing Boing 

Video of Flimmer, the US Navy's new drone that flies and swims

"Common across the services, autonomous vehicles are being seen as an effective projection of force, both above and below the water’s surface," according to the US Naval Research Laboratory.

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New Google robot named Atlas is obviously drunk

Atlas, who stars in the Google video above, is an “agile, anthropomorphic robot” created by Boston Dynamics, the Google-owned robotics firm that gained internet viral video elite status for youtubes of its robot cheetah and BigDog. Atlas recently experienced walking in the woods for the first time. Check it out.

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WATCH: Why Japan already embraces our android future

VPRO backlight looks at the current state of androids in Japan, including an interesting segment on geminoids, or robot twins made in the likeness of a human counterpart:

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WATCH: crazy cute jerboas and the hopping robot they inspired

Jerboas, tiny desert rodents that move like kangaroos, are notoriously hard to film. BBC Earth was able to film a jerboa's escape from a fox, and its unique shape has now inspired a robot:

Jerboas use their long tails to transfer energy to their legs, allowing them to hop many times their body length. It turns out the hair on the bottoms of their their feet also serves a number of purposes, including insulation, traction, and stealth on the sand.

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Watch: Tiny floating robot can jump from water's surface

Researchers led by Je-Sung Koh created a biomimetic robot that floats using surface tension and can jump from the surface of water like a water strider insect.

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Watch the solar-powered flight of this robotic raven

The University of Maryland Robotics Center's new Robo Raven III V4 soars on larger flapping wings that "have flexible solar cells giving the vehicle an extra 10 Watts of power. This allows this robotic bird to fly longer and recharge outdoors."

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WATCH: Our robot overlords will excel at ping-pong

This ad from Omron Automation & Safety intends to make advanced automation seem fun, but the execution makes it seem like your future will depend on whether you win your sudden death table tennis match with a robotic version of the Aliens xenomorph.

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Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking call for ban on “autonomous weapons”

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Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, and hundreds of artificial intelligence researchers and experts have signed a letter calling for a worldwide ban on “autonomous weapons.”

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3D printing blends rigid and soft to improve robot performance

Harvard's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences released an interesting demo of blending rigid and soft materials during 3D printing to create hybrid robots with enhanced performance for tasks like jumping and landing.

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Non-metal robot performs prostate surgery inside MRI

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Researchers are developing a robot made from plastic and ceramic motors that can perform surgery on a patient inside a magnetic resonance imaging machine where metal is a no-no.

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Robotic dog pants, dribbles warm saliva, and tries to bite you

Here's some fun: "Place hand in dog's cage and hold it there for as long as you dare. Dog pants, dribbles warm saliva and other disgusting things." It's a coin-operated amusement built by Tim Hunkin, and you can see a customer trying it out in this video.

Tim Hunkin is a brilliant cartoonist, inventor, and TV show host. He wrote some great articles for me at Make magazine and I'm always happy to learn about anything he creates. In this video, we get to see Test Your Nerve and some of the other one-of-a-kind coin-operated machines Tim has built for his new-ish mechanical amusement arcade in London.

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Some of the machine's at Tim's arcade:

  • MONEY LAUNDERING: Pick up cash from the gutter and deposit it in the city without the regulators spotting
  • MICROBREAK: Sit in the chair and travel on holiday, moved by the magic carpet.
  • ALIEN PROBE: Investigate the captive alien BUT try not to annoy it.
  • DIVORCE: Race to separate, then see the results.
  • PET OR MEAT: Spin the arrow and see where it lands. Then view what happens to the lamb in detail.
  • AUTOFRISK: Stand in position and let the rubber gloves give you a thorough frisk.
  • MY-NUKE: Use the remote manipulator arm to open the fuel box and load the fuel pellets into the reactor.
  • INSTANT WEIGHTLOSS: Watch weightfree nutrients prepared especially for you and then watch yourself lose weight in the mirror.
  • EXPRESSIVE PHOTOBOOTH: Sit inside and the booth activates mechanisms to provoke a wide range of expressions while taking the photos.

WATCH: Bricklaying robot ushers in semi-automated masonry

Construction Robotics developed this bricklaying robot SAM (Semi-Automated Mason) after addressing two key challenges: mortar application and onsite variables that can hinder precision.

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Researchers developing tiny robots to travel through body and fire projectiles

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Researchers demonstrated an early proof-of-concept system in which tiny robots inside your body, controlled by an MRI machine, could self-assemble into a Gauss gun and fire projectiles to clear blockages or deliver drugs. Video below.

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WATCH: Adding a cockroach shell improves microbot mobility

The fields of bioinspiration and biomimetics look at animal evolution to improve machine function. Chen Li at UC Berkeley's Poly-PEDAL Lab found that an oval cockroach shell atop a small robot helps it squeeze through tight spaces more easily.

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Deal: Arduino Robotic Vehicle Kit

Meet Cherokey 4WD, a versatile mobile platform compatible with most microcontrollers, and the heart and soul of your robotic vehicle. By assembling the included hardware and tuning the software, you will construct a rapid, rugged, outdoor-friendly truck controlled by an iOS app on your phone. Learn to install sensors on the robot to trigger specific movements and actions, and take your newfound Arduino expertise onto limitless future projects.

  • Enjoy high-quality micro-speed motors
  • Drive your truck on rough terrain w/ its durable & solid aluminum body
  • Expand upon the highly versatile modular design
  • Easily control w/ your iOS device
  • Write your own code to take advantage of its ultrasonic sensor, BLE-ready microcontroller, IR sensor & LEDs
  • Start your project immediately without the need for an additional motor driver or wireless shield
  • Use for educational purposes, robot competitions, home automation protyping or research projects

Incredible tiny tentacles for microrobots

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This is microrobotic tentacle grabbing an ant. Iowa State University engineers developed the spiraling microrobotic pneumatic tentacles, just 8 millimeters long and less than a hundredth of an inch wide, as a delicate gripper for tiny medical robots that could manipulate tissue or even blood vessels inside our bodies.

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