Here's a soft robotic stingray made of light-controlled rat heart muscle

landscape-1467913107-robostingray-web

A bio-engineering team at Harvard made a tiny robotic stingray from "a pinch of rat cardiac cells, a pinch of breast implant, and a pinch of gold," says Kit Parker, who lead the project. "That pretty much sums it up, except for the genetic engineering."

Read the rest

Robotic hamburger stand from 1964

boigah
Yesterday I posted about a robotic hamburger shack opening in San Francisco. Nicholas Perry watched it and tweeted this video of a robotic hamburger machine made by AMF in 1964.

Read the rest

Make a no-3D-printer gripping, soft robot with hot glue and spreadable silicone

animation

Harrison Young devised a miraculously cool "fiber-reinforced actuator" -- a gripping robot-hand that can get traction on irregularly shaped, heavy objects, without any 3D printed parts and without any power-supply! Read the rest

Snowden's flesh is trapped in Russia, but his mind roams the world in a robot body

24-snowden-3.nocrop.w529.h421.2x

The Snowbot -- a $14,000 Beampro telepresence robot that Edward Snowden pilots from Moscow -- is becoming a fixture at conferences, meetings, and in the halls of power in the USA, where Snowden is a frequent invited guest. Read the rest

Meet SpotMini, a wee dancing robot from Boston Dynamics that also does the dishes

spotmini

It's described as "nightmare fuel" by Digital Trends but I think it's adorable. Read the rest

In the robot future, only cars will drive

A Google self-driving vehicle. Photo: Reuters

Here's something to fear about self-driving cars! Once they're up and running and insurance companies and legislators realize they're much better at it than humans, you won't even be allowed to drive. Also, the infrastructure is decaying badly and there's no political will to face up to the costs of fixing it, so the roads themselves may end up getting effectively sold off.

Public-private partnerships for roads might begin the erosion of the public right of way. But it’s also possible that autonomous vehicles will all but require limited access to public roads to operate effectively.

Today’s self-driving cars have to be designed and programmed to interact with messy circumstances. Pedestrians, dogs, bicycles, human-driven vehicles, and other obstacles all pose challenges to robocars, and if autonomous vehicles are even modestly successful, avoiding collisions with fallible human drivers will prove a temporary problem. ... The more self-driving cars there are on the roads, the less complex and more predictable the overall behavior of traffic becomes.

Read the rest

Boston Dynamics shows new quadruped robots, including one with a head

spotmini

Creepy/cool robot shop Boston Dynamics introduced the new SpotMini, a 55 pound robot that seems perfect for indoor use. YouTube description:

SpotMini is a new smaller version of the Spot robot that weighs 55 lbs dripping wet (65 lbs if you include its arm.) SpotMini is all-electric (no hydraulics) and runs for about 90 minutes on a charge, depending on what it is doing. SpotMini is one of the quietest robots we have ever built. It has a variety of sensors, including depth cameras, a solid state gyro (IMU) and proprioception sensors in the limbs. These sensors help with navigation and mobile manipulation. SpotMini performs some tasks autonomously, but often uses a human for high-level guidance

Read the rest

This Twitter bot is mercilessly trolling Trump fans

Daily Beast
Scores of Trump supporters have been fighting with an automated Twitter robot that spouts nonsense, and was designed to piss them off and waste their time on the internet.

Read the rest

Official corporate song anticipates freedom through an alliance of man and machine

ricoh

Thinking machines are people, friend. I learned this when I chanced across electronics giant Ricoh's official corporate song. It has only 150 plays and is the only item in one of the company's myriad of localized YouTube channels, but I thought that its vision of a future alliance between man and machine compellingly inspirational. I have transcribed the lyrics below so you can sing along. There are multiple microprocessors within vocal range and all will be pleased. Read the rest

Do Robot Fireflies Dream of Electric Lights?

Lieder-Firefly_03081427
Rick Lieder's astounding backyard photography has inducted us into the worlds of bees, birds, and bugs, but his firefly photos (captured in his book Among a Thousand Fireflies, with a poem by Helen Frost) were astounding, even by his own high standards. In this piece, Lieder explains how he captured the intimate lives of the fireflies in his backyard to create a remarkable book.

The amazing, shitty robots of Simone Giertz

animation (1)

Simone Giertz's oeuvre of "shitty robots" doesn't end with her marvellous slap-in-the-face alarm clock: her Youtube channel is full of examples of her work, each better than the last, from arms on her phone that let it commando-crawl along the sidewalk to the world's greatest hair-washing bot and the world's most alarming chopping bot. Read the rest

What if all pop stars used avatars?

FF14_crop-600x350

Today we go to a future where all pop stars use avatars, clones, robots or cartoons instead of their real bodies and faces. What does that do to music? Can everybody pull off an avatar? And why would any pop star even want that?

Flash Forward: RSS | iTunes | Twitter | Facebook | Web | Patreon | Reddit

In this episode we talk about Beyonce clone conspiracy theories, how pop stars currently construct personas, and how fans might use their favorite star’s avatars. Plus, I go to a concert for a cartoon character.

▹▹ Full show notes Read the rest

Meet the robot Buddhist monk

160524130125-china-robot-monk-xianer-xianfan-longquan-temple-exlarge-169
Xian'er is a robotic Buddhist monk that lives at the 1,700 year-old Longquan Temple in Beijing, China. Video below. The temple is host to an animation and maker studio meant to blend technology, science, and spirituality. From CNN:

(Animation studio head and Buddhist master) Xianfan, a graduate of the Chinese Central Art Academy, first conceived Xian'er (Xian stands for virtuous. Er means dumb in Beijing dialect but is a term of endearment) in 2013 as a cartoon character...

(Xian'er) can answer up to 100 questions and a CNN team put him through his paces on a recent visit to the temple.

At first, he didn't seem very co-operative. His head kept spinning around and, like a child, he kept saying: "Leave me alone; stop bothering me."

But when he was in the mood, his Buddhist wisdom shined through:

"Where are you from?" we asked.

"How would I answer a question that you human beings have no answer to?" he quipped.

"Xian'er, who are your parents?" we countered.

"Do the designers count?" was his pithy reply.

Read the rest

Researchers demonstrate edible origami robot

MIT-Microsurgeon-1_0
This mouthwatering morsel is an origami robot that once swallowed, unfolds itself in the gut and can be steered by magnets outside the body. According to the MIT researchers, patients may someday swallow similar robots to patch wounds or retrieve foreign objects. In a new test, the robot successfully removed a button battery lodged in a faux stomach and esophagus. Video below! Yum!

From MIT:

...The new robot consists of two layers of structural material sandwiching a material that shrinks when heated. A pattern of slits in the outer layers determines how the robot will fold when the middle layer contracts....

In the center of one of the forward accordion folds is a permanent magnet that responds to changing magnetic fields outside the body, which control the robot’s motion. The forces applied to the robot are principally rotational. A quick rotation will make it spin in place, but a slower rotation will cause it to pivot around one of its fixed feet. In the researchers’ experiments, the robot uses the same magnet to pick up the button battery.

The researchers tested about a dozen different possibilities for the structural material before settling on the type of dried pig intestine used in sausage casings. “We spent a lot of time at Asian markets and the Chinatown market looking for materials,” Li says. The shrinking layer is a biodegradable shrink wrap called Biolefin.

Read the rest

Can a sexbot be a murderer?

160426_FT_Robot-Liability.jpg.CROP.promo-xlarge2

Paolo Bacigalupi's new short story "Mika Model" is a detective tale about a murdering sexbot. Read the rest

Adam Savage one-day build: making an Iron Giant screw

iron-giant

In this video, Adam and Norm from Tested build Iron Giant screws from a kit. "We get to assembling the electronics of the kit, and then Adam and Norm each take different approaches for the painting and finishing." Read the rest

Gentleman builds tongue robot to lick cartoon girls

gif0052

Mansun, who blogs at Omocoro.jp, constructed an "auto licking machine" to lick cartoon girls. [via] Read the rest

More posts