The Drones Are Here, and They Brought Presents

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Does anyone love their work more than the folks who work on robots? As a nod to the holiday season (and a fun way to showboat) the team at Autonomous Systems Lab has taken a few of their creations and rigged up a veritable Santa’s workshop. In this video (via Make) a neatly wrapped package is passed from a “ballbot” to a drone to a quadruped styled to resemble a reindeer–all to the jazzy strains of “Jingle Bells.” Read More


Robotic Lifeguards Hit Beaches This Summer, in Further Evidence that Robots Are Stealing Our Jobs

EMILY. (Facebook)

New robotic buoys are being tested along the coasts of Oregon and Rhode Island—tested? what does that mean?—reports Digital Trends. The robots look like boat-shaped life vests, and they apparently can travel at 25 m.p.h. to reach struggling swimmers 12 times faster than your typical sunscreen-swathed lifeguard. The lifeguard is supposed to swim after the buoy, which the would-be drowner can cling to as he or she scans the horizon for sharks. In some models, the buoy drags along a rope that the lifeguard can use to pull the swimmer to shore—at least until they invent a robot to do that too.

The device, called the Emergency Integrated Lifesaving Lanyard or EMILY (yes boys, she has a Facebook page) is “similar to a jet-ski in design.” Also, “The company has also added a safety screen over the intake valve in order to avoid accidentally sucking hair into the device during operation.” Oh. Good.