Xpider is the world's smallest (and cutest) programmable robotic spider

When you think of a robotic spider, you probably don’t think cute and cuddly. Instead, your mind conjures up images of six-legged creepy-crawlies that swarm you as you sleep. Thankfully, the spider bot creators at Roboeve spent more time watching cartoons instead of science fiction when they created Xpider, the world’s smallest programmable robotic spider.

Inspired by the adorable cyclops character of Mike from Monsters Inc., the Xpider is a small, boxy robot that looks more like R2-D2 instead of the replicators of Stargate. The diminutive quadruped is palm-sized, measuring only 85mm tall and weighing only 150 grams. It has a camera for its single eye, allowing it to both see and respond to items in its environment. This camera also can send a video feed to a companion tablet or smartphone, providing a first-person view that lets the operator see what the robot sees.

Programmed using SmartNode software and powered by the Intel Edison and Intel Curie system on a chip, the Xpider is more than just a remote controlled robotic toy. The robot can see objects in it environment, deftly navigating around obstacles that might impede its movements. Xpider also supports facial recognition, identifying people’s faces, and responding accordingly. When placed on a desk, the Xpider dances when its operator approaches and sends out an alert when a stranger comes near.

The original Xpider took 8 months to develop and underwent several iterations before the team came up with the current design. It is a work in process with robot still in the early stages of development. The team is working to refine the design, transitioning the boxy “Xpider Fatty” robot to a more sphere-like design. The team hopes to generate funding for the production of this new Xpider in an upcoming Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign that’ll bring the adorable, little robot to the public. While you wait for the campaign to begin, you can check out the open source version of the Xpider on Instructables.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Tombot is the hyper-realistic dog robot that puts Spot to shame

Forget Boston Dynamics’ Spot! When it comes to robot dogs, the folks behind a new Kickstarter campaign have plans to stake their claim as makers of man’s (and woman’s) newest best friend.
Gaming

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Emerging Tech

Take a dip in the Lagoon Nebula in first image from SPECULOOS instrument

The European Southern Observatory has released the first image collected by their new SPECULOOS instrument, and it's a stunning portrait of the Lagoon Nebula, a swirling cloud of dust and gas where new stars are born.
Emerging Tech

Robot assistants from Toyota and Panasonic gear up for the Tokyo Olympics

Japan plans to use the 2020 Olympics to showcase a range of its advanced technologies. Toyota and Panasonic are already getting in on the act, recently unveiling several robotic designs that they intend to deploy at the event.
Emerging Tech

A.I.-generated text is supercharging fake news. This is how we fight back

A new A.I. tool is reportedly able to spot passages of text written by algorithm. Here's why similar systems might prove essential in a world of fake news created by smart machines.
Emerging Tech

Racing to catch a flight? Robot valet at French airport will park your car

Hate searching for parking at the airport when you need to catch a plane? Startup Stanley Robotics recently unveiled a new outdoor automated robotic valet system. Here's how it works.
Business

Bags with brains: Smart luggage and gadgets are making travel smoother

The bag you use to tote your stuff can affect the experience of any trip. In response, suitcases are wising up, and there are now options for smart luggage with scales, tracking, and more. Here are our favorite pieces.
Computing

At $99, Nvidia’s Jetson Nano minicomputer seeks to bring robotics to the masses

Nvidia announced a new A.I. computer, the Jetson Nano. This computer comes with an 128-core GPU that Nvidia claims can handle pretty much any A.I. framework you could imagine. At $99, it's an affordable way for A.I. newbies to get involved.
Computing

Nvidia’s A.I. Playground lets you edit photos, experience deep learning research

Nvidia is making it easier to access information on deep learning research. It has launched an online space with three demos for image editing, styling, as well as photorealistic image synthesis. 
Business

British Airways’ new Club Suite for business class comes with a door

British Airways is going after a bigger slice of the business class market with the imminent launch of the Club Suite. The plush seating option offers a more private space as well as an easier route to the bathroom.
Smart Home

Sony’s Aibo robot dog can now patrol your home for persons of interest

Sony released the all-new Aibo in the U.S. around nine months ago, and since then the robot dog has (hopefully) been melting owners' hearts with its cute looks and clever tricks. Now it has a new one up its sleeve.
Emerging Tech

Inflating smart pills could be a painless alternative to injections

Could an inflating pill containing hidden microneedles replace painful injections? The creators of the RaniPill robotic capsule think so — and they have the human trials to prove it.