Pesco on the softer side of robots

Over at Businessweek, I wrote a feature about soft robots, from inflatable robot arms to an exoskeleton worn like a jacket. Read the rest

Music video: "Every Movie Robot"

"Every Movie Robot Supercut," Song A Day #2057 by Jonathan Mann. Read the rest

Self-folding origami robot crawls around

MIT and Harvard researchers developed a laser-cut robot that when powered up folds itself into a 3D shape and walks away. Read the rest

Telerobotic baseball fans

Korea's Hanwha Eagles baseball team have installed rows of telerobot "fans" in the stadium that are controlled by remote spectators. (Thanks, Chris Arkenberg!) Read the rest

Japan eyes 2020 robo-Olympics

"In 2020 I would like to gather all of the world's robots and aim to hold an Olympics where they compete in technical skills," said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last week. This is where it begins, meatsacks. Read the rest

Connect Four Robot

MIT student Patrick McCabe made a version of the classic game Connect Four where you play against a robot! (via Laughing Squid) Read the rest

MIT researchers give us the finger (two of them)

MIT engineers have developed a pair of robotic fingers that are worn around your wrist to enhance your own grasp.The fingers are controlled by your own fingers via a new control algorithm.

"We could make this into a watch or a bracelet where the fingers pop up, and when the job is done, they come back into the watch," says researcher Harry Asada. "Wearable robots are a way to bring the robot closer to our daily life." Read the rest

Animatronic face-ripping Undead Ted horror-toy

The 700th Undead Ted horror-toy was a face-removing, talking animatronic that sold for £420 on Ebay. I love that it can do more than one line; I like to think of it as the reincarnation of good ole Teddy Ruxpin. (via IO9) Read the rest

Liz McGrath's customized toy robot

The inimitable Liz McGrath created "Minerva," a recycled toy robot, for the "World's Greatest ONE of ONE Custom Toy Show" curated by KMNDZ opening tonight at the dA Center for the Arts in Pomona, California. Read the rest

Snowdenbot performs tele-diagnosis and offers aid to reporter who had first epileptic seizure

Edward Snowden routinely hangs around at the New York ACLU offices by means of a BEAM telepresence robot, through which he can meet with journalists for "face-to-face" interviews. During a recent interview with Julia Prosinger from Der Tagesspeiggel, Prosinger had her first-ever epileptic seizure, brought on by the flickering screen where he appeared. Read the rest

Kickstarting Kibo: robot-blocks for kids 4-7

Jenise sez, "When I worked for a robotics company, I complained bitterly about the lack of robotic toys for my daughter to my boss, Mitch Rosenberg. Yesterday, he sent me an email with the answer to my problem: KIBO, a robot kit specifically designed for kids age 4-7. Mitch partnered with Marina Umaschi Bers, co-creator of Scratch Jr., to found KinderLab Robotics, Inc., and they're trying to produce the toy I dreamed of for my daughter."

Looks amazing, but it ain't cheap: $219 minimum to get the actual blocks, $349 for the full set. Read the rest

Plastic robots that self-assemble when cooked

MIT researchers have demonstrated a kind of Shrinky Dink robot, laser-cut 2-D plastic forms that when baked fold themselves up into 3-D robotic components, including electrical circuits and "muscles." Read the rest

Domo Arigato Restaurant Roboto!

Chris Arkenberg visits an establishment where pop culture and history merge into a light show of singular magnificence.

Design as parameterization: brute-forcing the manufacturing/ design problem-space

Here's something exciting: Autodesk's new computer-aided design software lets the designer specify the parameters of a solid (its volume, dimensions, physical strength, even the tools to be used in its manufacture and the amount of waste permissible in the process) and the software iterates through millions of potential designs that fit. The designer's job becomes tweaking the parameters and choosing from among the brute-forced problem-space of her object, rather than designing it from scratch. Read the rest

La Gigantesca Grua-Robot

I like the person looking through the window in the robot's face. (Via Arcane Images) Read the rest

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