the robots are coming

Teens Do Something Decent, Create Robotic Locker Opener for Disabled Classmate

(Photo: Flickr, JMR_Photography)

We were all ready to write off the youth of the species thanks to #followateen, and now DVice brings us a story about techie high schoolers that doesn’t evolve hazing, cyber bullies or trashy prom dresses. Will wonders never cease?

According to DVice, muscular dystrophy has left Nick Torrance, a student at Pinckney Community High School, wheelchair-bound. Luckily, two of his classmates won the 2012 SkillsUSA national robotics competition, and their coach told them to help him get his locker open easier.

And so:  Read More

The Machines

Raging Robots! SyFy Debuts Next-Generation Battle Bots Reality Show

FINISH HIM. (Photo: Entertainment Weekly)

Is there currently a hole in your late-night drunken cable schedule? Leave it to SyFy to oblige. Entertainment Weekly reports that in February, the channel will debut a program called–no joke–Robot Combat League. It is exactly what it sounds like: Big-ass robots in a boxing cage, slugging away at each other.

Something similar has been in the works for quite a while, it seems:

Read More

Pixar Perfect

Pixar-Crazed Programmer Builds His Own Wall-E

Mr. Senna, right, with his Wall-E. (Photo: Sennaswalle)

Mike Senna, the man responsible for creating a life-size R2D2, has again pored himself into the construction of a beloved movie character. And this one’s bound to tickle Pixar geeks: he made a working Wall-E!

A programmer by day and a hobbyist by night, the Orange County-based Mr. Senna spent two years painstakingly combing through Wall-E in order to build a life-size, functioning replica of the film’s titular character. Read More

Mr. Roboto

Prepare for a Future Where Our Robot Overlords Communicate In Dubstep

Just a crew of robots, kickin it. (Photo: screencap)

As you might have noticed, here at Betabeat we’ve put ourselves on Skynet watch. As part of our duties, we like to keep one eye firmly fixed on the rise of robots. So far, we’ve seen them making burritos, lifeguarding, even kicking your ass in rock, paper, scissors.

But what of the future? How will the robots talk amongst themselves? This video (created a 3D artist working under the name Fluxel Media) proposes a possibility more awful than we’d previously considered: Dubstep. Read More

Mr. Roboto

Russian Web Tycoon Launches $25 M. NYC Investment Fund for Personal Robots

Mr. Grishin, holding court at Dean & Deluca

Last week, Betabeat met 33-year-old Dmitry Grishin, the so-called “Russian Mark Zuckerberg,” to talk about robots. Or more specifically, to talk about the $25 million investment Mr. Grishin just made to launch Grishin Robotics, a global investment firm–based in New York City!–with the goal of bringing personal robots into every household in the world.

Mr. Grishin is the CEO of Mail.ru, one of the largest Internet companies in Russia, offering services like email, instant messaging, and social networking. After going public on the London Stock Exchange in 2010, Mail.ru currently has a market cap of $7 billion. Mail.ru also happens to have sold a hefty chunk of its Facebook stock in the company’s recent IPO, which might explain why Mr. Grishin decided the time was right to pursue his dream. “I have personal passion for robotics,” Mr. Grishin, a graduate of Moscow State Technical University’s Robotics and Complex Automation program. “I really believe this is a cool, cool area.”

As it happens, talking to Mr. Grishin was not our first conversation about the impending robot revolution in recent weeks. Read More