Watch amazing robots fall over at the DARPA Robotics Challenge! (And see the winner.)


They'll figure it out soon enough, and then what! THEN WHAT!

Meanwhile, South Korea's bipedal humanoid DRC-HUBOT (below), built by Team KAIST, won the US$2 million grand prize. Read the rest

John Henry the samurai racing a tireless killer robot

Yaskawa celebrated its 100th birthday by pitting one of its Motoman-MH24s against a samurai in a sword-swinging contest, proving once and for all that if you need to chop bamboo into small pieces without having to walk around, you need a robot, not a human. Read the rest

Watch robot shove heavy stuff around like a human


University of Tokyo researchers demonstrated how a robot could do “whole-body pushing manipulation with contact posture planning.” In less technical terms, shoving. (IEEE Spectrum)

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Watch this origami robot fold itself up, walk, swim, and dissolve


MIT researchers demonstrated a tiny origami robot that folds itself into shape and then walks and swims around propelled by magnetic fields below its operating surface. Read the rest

Watch a running cheetah robot jump an obstacle


MIT researchers built the first four-legged robot that can see an object as it's running and leap over it autonomously. Read the rest

Uber hired Carnegie Mellon robotics lab out from under it


Uber and the tech college announced a partnership earlier this year. Looks it was a trojan horse to identify and hire away Pittsburgh's top robotics experts to build its driverless cab fleet. [pic via The Verge] Read the rest

$10,000 robot leggings

In 2009, Balenciaga rolled out "Transformer" leggings: made to order, from non-precious metals, at $100,000 per. Read the rest

Robot will feed you tomatoes while you run

His name is the Tomatan, and he sits on your shoulders. The idea is that long distance runners will wear this little guy so they can consume, mid race, the anti-inflammatory nutrients in tomatoes. Read the rest

R2D2 handbags

These embroidered felt R2D2 handbags ($185, 17" high) are made to order in Moscow by Krukrustudio. (via Bonnie Burton) Read the rest

Meet Jeff: mockumentary/biopic about a giant, killer robot who plays himself

Meet Jeff is a Wired web-series that's a mockumentary about a robot actor called Jeff 1000 who has been given his own biopic, starring Summer Glau. Read the rest

Driving a legobot with a simulated worm nervous-system

More news from the Openworm project, whose Kickstarter I posted in April: they've sequenced the connectome of all 302 neurons in a C. Elegans worm, simulated them in software, and put them to work driving a Lego robot. Read the rest

The dirty secret of Google's self-driving cars

They've 700,000 miles, but mostly the same few thousand miles, over and over again -- because the cars only work if every single light, piece of street furniture, and other detail is mapped and verified by armies of human and computer analysts, and when anything changes, the mapping needs to be re-created. Read the rest

Weird SPAM-colored soft robot moves like a zombie hot dog


Harvard University released video of this unnerving soft robot that can move untethered through punishing conditions, including snow and fire, yet will remain resilient. It looks a bit like reanimated sliced SPAM in the time-lapse crawling footage, and like SPAM, it retains its shape even when its appendages are run over by a car. Read the rest

Micro-robots and programmable bees

National Geographic profiles Robert Wood, Harvard's maker of micro-robots inspired by nature, like these programmable bees. Read the rest

Barnacle robot to search ship hulls for contraband

MIT researchers demonstrated a barnacle-like underwater robot that can traverse a ship's hull to seek out secret compartments. Read the rest

Rubbery, crawling robot can traverse snow, fire

Harvard's Michael Tolley created the 65cm long, soft, pneumatic robot whose operating parameters allow it to run over -9'C terrain or walk through naked flames (for 20 seconds, at least). Read the rest

Trundling lidar-guided printerbot will find you and deliver your hardcopy

A Fuji-Xerox prototype printer-robot builds a model of the room and then drives itself to your desk to deliver your printouts, saving you the precious calories you'd waste, running around the office, trying to figure out which printer you sent your job to. Read the rest

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