This Japanese trashbot is custom-built with a fairly complex-looking control board, power system and operating code. Three wheels at the base have 360 degrees of motion, so the robot can spin in any direction.
The trashcan bot syncs to a Kinect mounted to the wall, which monitors the environment. It knows exactly where to roll and when to stop so it can catch whatever you throw at it.
All eyes will be on the new Mars rover Curiosity when it lands in just over two weeks, but lest we forget, NASA’s indefatigable Mars rover Opportunity is still rolling along, too. The rover has driven about 22 miles, which prompted some Olympic-minded NASA people to realize the rover is nearing marathon distance. It will be the first interplanetary marathon.
Earlier this year, a Russian media mogul named Dmitry Itskov formally announced his intention to disembody our conscious minds and upload them to a hologram--an avatar--by 2045. In other words he outlined a plan to achieve immortality, removing the human mind from the physical constraints presented by the biological human body. He was serious. And now, in a letter to the members of the Forbes World's Billionaire's List, he's offering up that immortality to the world's 1,266 richest people.
Last time PopSci checked in on Singapore-based Lovotics, roboticists there were trying to create an interface for human-robot love by imbuing robots with all the biological and emotional nuances that characterize human relationships.
The "uncanny valley" principle--the idea that when robots (or politicians) look human but not quite realistic enough, it makes real humans terribly uncomfortable--is a persistent problem for roboticists pursuing realistic humanoid robots. But research also shows that the uncanny valley effect can be somewhat mitigated by making the robotic more attractive and lifelike.
Back in February Congress directed the Federal Aviation Administration to fast-track the integration of unmanned aerial systems into the U.S. national airspace, but it didn't tell the FAA how exactly to do this. To fly unmanned drones in shared airspace with conventional manned aircraft (or with other drones) is dangerous without a means for planes to know where other aircraft--manned and unmanned--are. Termed "sense and avoid" (or "see and avoid") this technology is a key but difficult piece of our drone-enabled future, and the Army just took some huge steps toward making it a reality.
Getting a robot to walk is doable. Getting it to walk exactly like a human? Not so easy. But now we're getting there, with researchers from the University of Arizona unveiling a first-of-its-kind set of biologically accurate robot legs.
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have figured out how to thwart the weather when you're behind the wheel by looking straight through the rain drops or snow that create that white-out effect when headlights meet heavy precipitation at night.
So much for best two out of three. A robotic hand developed by engineers at the University of Tokyo will take you at rock-paper-scissors three out of three times. Then it will do it again, for as long as you car to challenge. Thus far, it hasn’t lost a game.