New York’s resident robot-loving VC firm has made its third investment–though this one is a bit of a different bet than the last two, RobotAppStore (the name is pretty self-explanatory) and Double Robotics (which allows you to put your iPad on wheels, for the truly dedicated FaceTimer). Grishin Robotics has plowed an undisclosed amount of money into Bolt, a Boston-based hardware accelerator. Read More
Look out, Hollywood screenwriters: the robots are coming for your jobs, too.
Cleverbot is an artificial intelligence robot that Internet users can converse with and, more frequently, troll until it says funny stuff. But one filmmaker, Chris Wilson, saw the creative potential in Cleverbot and decided to co-write a short film with it. It might just be the first movie written by a machine. Read More
In the future, robots will do everything from completing menial tasks to giving us longevity orgasms, but we haven’t quite gotten to the point where we can trust them as lovers. Instead, humanoid robots have become the new test subjects, allowing scientists and researchers to study how certain outside factors might influence the human body.
When Betabeat first met Russian tycoon Dmitry Grishin in June, the CEO of Mail.ru was arguing that personal robotics companies needed to put the same emphasis on customers and user experience as their consumer Internet counterparts.
Today, Grishin Robotics, his New York City-based venture capital firm, has made an investment that could mean a step in that direction: $250,000 in funding for RobotAppStore, which bills itself as the first-ever marketplace for apps that “extend the functionality of any types of robot–from Roomba vacuum cleaners and NAO humanoids to the AR.Drone quadcopter and Sphero (the robotic ball).” Read More
Watching this this robot walk a tightrope strung across a Japanese office to a soundtrack of disproportionately thrilling techno is probably the most exciting thing you’ll do today. (Hey, it’s a Tuesday. Take what you can get.) From the country that brought you not just Neon Genesis Evangelion, but the entire subgenre of anime devoted to giant robots: Read More
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
If you’ve spent a significant amount of time on the Internet, you’ve undoubtedly encountered the phenomenon of @Horse_ebooks, a Twitter spam bot that has managed to escape being shuttered by the microblogging service due in part to its weird and wildly popular form of poetry. The bot mines websites for snippets of text and tweets them a few times a day. As Gawker wrote in their oddly compelling investigation of the Russian programmer behind @Horse_ebooks, “The feed’s strangely poetic stream has been embraced like a life-preserver by internet users drowning in a sea of painfully literal SEO headlines and hack Twitter comedians.”
Of course, @Horse_ebooks is not the first bot to scrape texts and present its findings packaged in an entertaining and eerily human way. Before Twitter and before @Horse_ebooks there was Mark V. Shaney, a program that was so good at feigning humanity that it managed to confuse and rile Usenet group users for years. Read More
If your cell phone is a robot that is coming to destroy you, meet this robot, which is coming to shame you at a classic hand game. The janken robot, developed at the Ishikawa Owu Laboratory in Japan, can not only play you in rock-paper-scissors, but it will beat you. 100 percent of the time. It’s programmed that way! Read More
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