robots

Engineers test a powered ‘ankle exoskeleton’ to make running easier

Sponsored Links Stanford Ankle exoskeletons could help you run longer and faster and even serve as a new mode of transportation, according to a team of Stanford University engineers. The engineers tested a motorized exoskeleton rig that attaches around the ankle and foot and found that it made running 15 percent easier. They explained that …

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The terrible, fantastic life of AbleGamers COO Steven Spohn

Sponsored Links When Twitch streamer DrDisrespect won the Trending Gamer prize at the 2017 Game Awards, there was a tiny riot on Twitter. There’s always a buzz of hashtag activity after a winner is announced as people congratulate or disagree with the pick, but this time around, there was a small yet clear consensus: Steven …

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Robot learns to set the dinner table by watching humans

Sponsored Links Christine Daniloff, MIT To date, teaching a robot to perform a task has usually involved either direct coding, trial-and-error tests or handholding the machine. Soon, though, you might just have to perform that task like you would any other day. MIT scientists have developed a system, Planning with Uncertain Specifications (PUnS), that helps …

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Westworld season 3: I can show you the world (and then murder you)

Enlarge / Oh Jesse. You are about to have to go through some things here. HBO This is a spoiler-free impression of the first half of Westworld‘s third season, which premieres March 15. This piece contains no spoilers for season three beyond what’s been shown in teasers and trailers. This piece contains heavy spoilers for …

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Google algorithm lets robots teach themselves to walk

Sponsored Links Google Robotics There’s no question that robots will play an increasingly central role in our lives in the future, but to get to a stage where they can be genuinely useful there are still a number of challenges to be overcome — including navigation without human intervention. Yes, we’re at a stage where …

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NASA wants students’ help designing tech for the Moon and Mars

Sponsored Links Jude Guidry/NASA NASA is enlisting whatever help it can get to make sure its crewed Moon and Mars missions go smoothly, and that might include help from schools. The agency is running a new round of its Moon to Mars Exploration Systems and Habitation Academic Innovation Challenge (M2M X-Hab if you want a …

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Alphabet quits work on its energy-generating kites

Sponsored Links Makani Alphabet’s years-long involvement with energy-making kites is no more. The Google parent is ending its work on Makani’s wind power technology, with X’s Moonshot lead Astro Teller warning that the path to a viable business was “much longer and riskier” than expected. Alphabet liked Makani’s environmental focus, but felt that it was …

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Adam Savage turned Spot the robodog into a creepy rickshaw driver

Sponsored Links Adam Savage’s Tested Boston Dynamics has long touted robotic dog Spot’s ability to help out in disaster situations and to take on jobs too hazardous for humans, but what practical applications does it have for the average Joe? Beyond scuttling around your house like a Lovecraftian nightmare, that is. Well, as ex-Mythbusters host …

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Drone network provides early warnings for natural disasters

Sponsored Links Queen’s University Belfast Drones might soon deliver a heads-up when natural disasters are about to strike. Researchers have developed a communication system that uses a drone network to provide early warnings for disasters. The challenge wasn’t so much the drone-to-drone communication as the battery life. Where a typical hobbyist drone rarely lasts more …

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Bird-inspired wings could help small drones fly four times longer

Sponsored Links Breuer Lab/Brown University Small drones seldom last more than half an hour in the air due to their inefficiency. They frequently have short, thick wings that help them survive wind gusts, but are terrible for range. However, scientists might have a way to make drones last: borrow another cue from nature. Researchers at …

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