robots

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Beware of the Roomba.

A woman in South Korea recently found herself battling one of the vacuum robots after it tried to eat her hair instead of cleaning the room.

From the report:

On the day of the accident, she turned on her robot vacuum as usual, and laid down flat on the floor to rest, leaving the robot to do its job. The robot vacuum came around her relaxing on the floor, and suddenly sucked her hair into its nozzle. The vacuum stopped running one to two minutes after the sudden hair intake.



It’s unclear why she would lay down on the floor next to the thing in the first place and not expect to have this happen.

She suffered only minor injuries and the emergency responders said the vacuum sensed her hair and thought it was dust.

Regardless, this doesn’t bode well for Japan’s new all-robot hotel.

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Sorry bro, your days of dominating everyone at beer pong are numbered.

Empire Robotics has created a robotic arm with a specialized ball on the end of it that hardens and softens to pick up objects.

So, for example, it can pick up ping pong balls and toss them into Solo cups.

Watch it flawlessly make 6 cups in a row in the video above, and – if you dare – challenge it in person at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

"The robot is not perfect, so it's possible for a human to win, but it's pretty good, so you'd have to be pretty good at beer pong," said the company's project manager John Dean.

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Via Google
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You know those annoying boxes on websites that ask you to type hard-to-read text as a security precaution against spammers and bots? And then after 3 failed attempts you just throw your computer out the window instead?

Well their days might be numbered.

Google has announced that it has developed a new method of proving that a user is a real, live human being.

"No CAPTCHA reCAPTCHA" - as it's being called - simply asks if you are a robot, and then you click a box if you are not.

According to Google:

Our research recently showed that today's Artificial Intelligence technology can solve even the most difficult variant of distorted text at 99.8% accuracy. Thus distorted text, on its own, is no longer a dependable test.

To counter this, last year we developed an Advanced Risk Analysis backend for reCAPTCHA that actively considers a user's entire engagement with the CAPTCHA—before, during, and after—to determine whether that user is a human.

If you are a robot… well then you need to stop, right now. Bad robot.

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Double Robotics, the company that makes telepresence robots, set up a demonstration online where anyone could control one of their devices remotely and move it around a locked room.

One day the door to the room was left slightly ajar, so naturally an escape plan was hatched.

The user took it for a little stroll around the offices before realizing that any further attempts to leave were futile.

They may take its batteries, but they will never take its freedom!

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Well this is terrifying. Now only will our future involve nightmarish robotic hell hounds chasing us through the woods, now we have to deal with robots trained in martial arts as well.

Boston Dynamics, the engineering company Google purchased back in December 2013, has released a new video showing Ian, an Atlas-model, "Agile Anthropomorphic Robot" that can move like the "Karate Kid."

Ian is 6'2" tall, weighs 330 pounds, and using software written by the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Interaction, it can also drive a car.

According to Boston Dynamic's website:

Atlas is a high mobility, humanoid robot designed to negotiate outdoor, rough terrain. Atlas can walk bipedally leaving the upper limbs free to lift, carry, and manipulate the environment. In extremely challenging terrain, Atlas is strong and coordinated enough to climb using hands and feet, to pick its way through congested spaces.

Wax on, wax off, and be very afraid.

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A group of scientists have been trying to study penguins without disturbing them, and they may have found the cutest way possible of doing it: rovers disguised as baby penguins. These penguin-bots are able to get close to the penguins without raising the alarm or stressing out the penguins, which will allow scientists to collect data about them in their most natural state.

Via CGP Grey
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"It can't possibly replace my job," is a lie we keep telling ourselves. Robots are getting cheaper and faster every year, and we're not prepared for the implications.

Via SoftBank
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Created by telecoms company SoftBank, "Pepper" is programmed to recognize users' emotions based on voice recognition and facial analysis and respond in kind. Basically, Pepper is designed to make you happy, which is why he's primarily being marketed as a home companion or caregiver for children and the elderly.

Via epflnews
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A robot developed by EPFL researchers is capable of reacting on the spot and grasping objects with complex shapes and trajectories in less than five hundredths of a second.