After an hour and a half spent wandering through the dauntingly huge SXSW Trade Show in the Austin Convention Center, we were very nearly ready to call it quits and go collapse into a heaping pile of pulled pork somewhere — but then we rounded a corner and came face-to-face with a Japanese Read More
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
Really intense Black Eyed Pea Will.i.am is starting a brand new tech venture, maybe as a companion piece to the robotic Napster-equipped glorified Furby he pitched in July. This one is a comic book called Wizards & Robots. Pretty sure the only thing this guy likes more than robots is Auto-Tune. Read More
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
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
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
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
The Huffington Post and YouGov collaborated on a very important poll of 1,000 U.S. adults meant to measure the attitudes of Americans towards robots. The results are pretty typical, except for one thing: turns out Americans aren’t really that into doing robots (or they’re lying).
Come on guys, live a little. Read More