the robots are coming

Man Vs. Machine: Ping Pong Pro To Face Off Against Super Powerful Robot

WHO WILL WIN? (YouTube)

In a few weeks, man will face off in an epic battle against machine — in a game of ping pong. 

At the beginning of March, robot manufacturing company KUKA Robotics will open its first plant in Shanghai, China. To celebrate, KUKA has recruited ping pong pro Timo Boll to challenge the company’s fastest robot to a table tennis battle royale, which will ultimately determine whether humans or robots will win the race for world domination. Just kidding. It’ll probably just show that KUKA’s “Agilus” is a really freaking fast-moving and powerful robot. Read More

The Singularity is Nigh

Go Ahead and Trash that Router You Taped to a Roomba Because Tiny WiFi-Conducting Robots Exist Now

(Screengrab: YouTube)

If a wireless router that just chills under the TV set in the living room is too boring and predictable for you, you’re in luck: a PhD student at Michigan State University is developing a tiny running, jumping robot that has wireless communication abilities.

The so-called “tailbot” prototype “can jump like a frog and maneuver like Read More

the robots are coming

Humans See Other Humans in Everything So Try Not to Fall in Love With Your Connected Fridge

For instance. (Rotten Tomatoes)

Humans are relentless in our tendency to anthropomorphize, which explains everything from our love of Internet cat photos to the stubborn persistence of the Roomba. But this video, picked up by Boing Boing, demonstrates just how far our species of weirdos will go to make friends.

Researchers at the University of Calgary put volunteers in a room with a wooden stick rigged so it’d move around randomly. It had no face or display and made no sounds. And yet, people sitting in the room consistently interacted with it as though it were animate. “I don’t want to fight you,” insisted one bro in a polo. “No, I don’t want to fight you, robot!” Read More

ILY Japan

Everything in Japan Is a Girlfriend Except for Actual Girlfriends

(Photo: Trendhunter.com)

Are there any flesh and blood female human beings in the country of Japan that serve as actual girlfriends? There must be, but they certainly aren’t getting much facetime on the Internet. Everywhere we turn, it seems, something inanimate is being manufactured, uploaded to the Internet with breathless excitement and automatically labeled a “girlfriend.”

Here, take a stroll with us as we meet the girlfriends of Japan. Read More

the robots are coming

There’s Now a ‘Campaign to Stop Killer Robots,’ Just in Case

SHIT! (screencap, annotated by us)

Does the prospect of Skynet keep you awake at night? Well, now there’s something you can do to fight your fears, besides chucking your Sarah Connor Chronicles DVDs. The BBC reports that yesterday, the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots officially launched in London.

The group is exactly what it sounds like. Founded by reps from nine different NGOs, including the Human Rights Watch, International Committee for Robot Arms Control and Nobel Women’s Initiative, the campaign wants a “pre-emptive and comprehensive ban” on fully autonomous weapons. Read More