This Robot Will Sail for Months on the Lookout for a Tsunami

This Robot Will Sail for Months on the Lookout for a Tsunami

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An oceangoing robot that watches for tsunamis may be just the thing to save lives when disaster is on its way. That’s the vision Japanese researchers are about to carry out around the new volcanic island of Nishinoshima. Since it emerged from the waves in 2013, the island has erupted […]

Socially Sensitive AI Software Coaches Call-Center Workers

Socially Sensitive AI Software Coaches Call-Center Workers

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Next time you call customer support, the person on the other end of the line may be getting a little help from emotionally intelligent AI software. Some call-center workers are now receiving real-time coaching from software that analyzes their speech and the nature of their dialogue interactions with customers. As […]

Robotic Grocers Have Learned How to Handle Your Vegetables

Robotic Grocers Have Learned How to Handle Your Vegetables

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A robot that can pick up bags of fruit or individual vegetables may get us a step closer to fully automated grocery stores and warehouses. Robots can put together cars just fine, but less ordered tasks still leave them stumbling. Recent advances have allowed robots to pick up hard objects in […]

An AI Poker Bot Has Whipped the Pros

An AI Poker Bot Has Whipped the Pros

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Humans have been bested by a computer in yet another game once considered too difficult for artificial intelligence to master. Over the past three weeks, an AI poker bot called Libratus has played thousands of games of heads-up, no-limit Texas hold’em against a cadre of top professional players at Rivers […]

Boston Dynamics Has a New “Nightmare-Inducing” Robot

Boston Dynamics Has a New “Nightmare-Inducing” Robot

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Say hello to Handle, the latest robot to be developed by the Google-owned Boston Dynamics. But unlike its siblings, Handle doesn’t walk: it rolls. Gizmodo reports that the robot was shown to investors at a presentation given by Boston Dynamics founder Marc Raibert. While it hasn’t been officially announced by […]

Botnets Could Meet Their Match in Robot Hackers

Botnets Could Meet Their Match in Robot Hackers

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Last summer the Pentagon staged a contest in Las Vegas in which high-powered computers spent 12 hours trying to hack one another in pursuit of a $2 million purse. Now Mayhem, the software that won, is beginning to put its hacking skills to work in the real world. Mayhem was […]

These Paper Drones Are Built for One-Way Missions

These Paper Drones Are Built for One-Way Missions

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Not many people would sign up for a one-way mission—thank goodness there are now drones to do the job for us. Under a grant from DARPA, San Francisco-based Otherlab has built prototype drones out of cardboard that are designed to airdrop things like medicine, batteries, and communication devices into dangerous […]

This Robot Will Carry Your Stuff and Follow You Around

This Robot Will Carry Your Stuff and Follow You Around

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Inside an industrial building in Somerville, Massachusetts, I’m watching a robot follow someone around like an eager puppy. The light-blue robot, called Gita, is almost spherical, with two wheels about the size of those you’d find on a mountain bike. A nearby laptop shows the world as perceived by the […]

FedEx Bets on Automation as It Prepares to Fend Off Uber and Amazon

FedEx Bets on Automation as It Prepares to Fend Off Uber and Amazon

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When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight, your FedEx package might someday be delivered by a robot. Rob Carter, FedEx’s chief information officer, says the shipping giant is considering small vehicles that could drive around neighborhoods and make deliveries without human drivers. Carter is responsible for setting the […]

Rethink’s Sawyer Robot Just Got a Whole Lot Smarter

Rethink’s Sawyer Robot Just Got a Whole Lot Smarter

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Rethink Robotics, pioneers in the field of collaborative industrial robotics, has made a massive upgrade to its Sawyer robots. Designed to help non-experts program routines that instruct the robot how to carry out complex tasks, the new Intera 5 software could help the company realize the potential of factory robots that are […]