Cool Tech

No need to stare at a screen: Kickstarter robot teaches kids to code using cards

Currently raising funds on Kickstarter, Plobot is a coding robot that teaches kids as young as four the basics of programming and computational thinking using physical command cards.
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Cigarette-puffing robot simulates the effect of smoking on your lungs

Researchers working to discover more about how smoke impacts people’s health have developed an artificial human lung airway-on-a-chip and smoking robot to carry out more accurate tests.
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Robotic tutor detects emotional state of young students to better motivate them

A new research project involves a computerized tutor that’s capable of detecting emotional states in primary school-age kids -- and giving them appropriate encouragement to improve learning.
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Like a circus performer, SIMbot balances on a ball, and it only has 1 moving part

SIMbot is a tall, slender robot that moves around by balancing on a hollow iron ball that's a bit smaller than a bowling ball. Not only can it easily move in any direction, but it hints at some interesting use-cases with humans.
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Ghost Minitaur is a 4-legged, affordable robot that can traverse almost any terrain

A robotics startup has created a four-legged, direct-drive robot called the Ghost Minitaur that's capable of running and jumping on tough terrain, reorienting itself after falls, and even climbing fences.
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Friendly educational robot designed to help kids with autism

Robots could be used help kids diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to a new research project carried out jointly by a university and a robotics startup. Here's how it works.

Forget Asimov's Three Laws, the U.K. issues official ethics guidance on robots

Forget Isaac Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics -- the British Standards Institution, which is the U.K.’s national standards body, has just produced its first set of official ethical robot guidelines.
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Los Angeles police disarm an attempted murder suspect with a robot

An hours-long standoff in the Antelope Valley ended with police swiping a rifle from an attempted murder suspect using a remote-controlled robot, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.
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Processed Pies: Silicon Valley’s Zume Pizza ready to offer you dinner made by a robot

The pies from Zume Pizza are made by robots. It is the latest in a new trend within the food industry to increasingly depend upon software and hardware rather than human labor.
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Nemo-inspired drug-delivery robot is 100 times smaller than a grain of sand

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego have created a “nanofish” robot capable of carrying drugs to specific sites of the body. And it's even smaller than a red blood cell.

Neato’s new vacuum bots cut old prices but keep their sweet features

Neato just launched two new vacuum robots. Botvac D3 and Botvac D5 demonstrate a step forward for a company that has already won plenty of fans for its modernist bots and sophisticated navigation system.
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Luigi the robot ventures into the sewers so you don't have to

MIT's Underworlds project has resulted in Luigi, a sewer-diving robot, capable of acting as a smart, remote control sampling pole by venturing into manholes, controlled via iPhone app.