DT Daily: Free smartphones from Burger King, robot brain trust, Coolest Cooler tops Kickstarter

Today on DT Daily: Shopping for cell phones at Burger King, a knowledge base for robots, and the Coolest Cooler goes over the top on Kickstarter.

Burger King is in a bit of hot water with some people over their buyout of Canadian chain Tim Hortons, which could allow them to relocate their headquarters in Canada and maybe cut their U.S. tax rate. But the really big news? They’re giving away smart phones!

That’s right – just go to the BK website, and you can pick out a shiny new phone from LG, Samsung, Motorola, HTC and some other phone makers. The site then redirects you to Amazon.com. Pick a 2-year service plan, enter the code “freephone” at checkout and you’re good to go. Don’t want a service plan? Well, then the phones aren’t “free” of course. Burger King also wants you to install their app, but that’s optional.

Want fries with that phone? Yep, you can also sign up for a free phone at Burger King locations – for a limited time of course.

Someday, we’ll all have robots in our homes to cook our food, clean the dishes and walk Boscoe. But how exactly will robots learn how to make a tasty meal and not break all the dishes? By using Robo Brain, a repository of knowledge and instructions any robot can access in the cloud.

The Robo Brain project, already underway by four universities, looks to teach robots how to better function in our complex world. Much as Neo could instantly learn Kung Fu from a download in The Matrix, robots can learn to do your laundry or make great coffee almost instantly from a Robo Brain download. Content will be crowd-sourced and made robot-friendly, according to Robo Brains creators.

Let’s just hope they remember to include instructions on opening pod bay doors…

And here’s an update on a project we’ve been following for nearly a year. Portland inventor Ryan Grepper’s Coolest Cooler project failed on Kickstarter the first time around. Now, it’s broken the all-time fundraising record for the site.

With three days to go, the Coolest Cooler topped $10,260,000 on Tuesday – and it’s still climbing. Grepper was looking to raise just $50,000, but when the final numbers come in, he’s going to need all that cash to build nearly 50 thousand coolers for his nearly 50 thousand backers! What makes his cooler the Coolest? A built-in blender, waterproof sound system, charging port, tie-downs, cutting board, knife, bottle opener and much, much more.

Congratulations, Ryan, we can’t wait to see what you come up with next – after you deliver all those coolers, of course.

Your host today is Caleb Denison.

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