Apple’s new Swiss lab will help start the robot uprising

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Elektro, a robot built by Westinghouse in 1937, was a star at the World's Fair in 1939-40. Photo: Courtesy of Scott Schaut/Mansfield Memorial Museum
Apple is hiring robotics researchers.
Photo: Scott Schaut/Mansfield Memorial Museum

Apple is reportedly on a hiring spree for robotics and computer vision researchers to work at a supposed new R&D lab in Switzerland.

According to a new report, Apple has already hired around ten postdoc and doctoral students from ETH Zurich, a science, technology, engineering and math university in Zürich.

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Apple supplier now employs 40,000 robots to do its bidding

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It'll still be a while before Foxconn's factories are totally automated, however.
Photo: 20th Century Fox

Apple supplier Foxconn has installed a massive 40,000 robots for handling manufacturing jobs at a number of its factories in China, claims a new report.

The industrial robots — named “Foxbots” — are currently being rolled out at factories in Zhengzhou, Kunshan, Jiashanm and a “tablet plant” in Chengdu, where Apple is known to produce iPads. Foxconn’s future robot production is expected to hit around 10,000 units per year.

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Boston Dynamics’ freaky new robot can clean your kitchen

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This robot is a total neat freak.
This robot is a total neat freak.
Photo: Boston Dynamics

Alphabet-owned Boston Dynamics robots are ready to invade your kitchen.

The company unveiled its newest robot, SpotMini, an all-electric version of its Spot robot. Taking some design cues from its bigger sibling that weighs 160 lbs, SpotMini is a simplified model that is smaller and lighter, allowing it to roam your house with more dexterity than Boston Dynamics’ previous bots.

It’s a total neat freak and can clean your house, too, thanks to an elongated neck extension:

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iPhone maker replaces half its factory workers with robots

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Tim Cook greeting Foxconn workers in China. Photo: Apple
Tim Cook meeting with (human) Foxconn workers.
Photo: Apple

Apple manufacturer Foxconn has been talking about investing in robots for years now, but apparently it’s finally done it — replacing more than half of the employees at one of its factories with machines.

“The Foxconn factory has reduced its employee strength from 110,000 to 50,000, thanks to the introduction of robots,” said a government official, adding that “it has tasted success in reduction of labour costs” and that more companies are now likely to follow suit.

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Liam can’t recycle every iPhone, even with 29 arms

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Apple's new robot, Liam, is a recycling machine, but so are we...
Photo: Apple/YouTube

Liam, Apple’s robot that deconstructs iPhones to mine the valuable resources inside them, is certainly cool — but he’s still not the recycling machine we deserve (or need).

Just like any Apple product, Liam was designed to work well. But how much good does the robot, which took three years to develop and build, actually do?

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A savvy Apple fan has sent a robot to queue for her iPhone 6s

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It certainly beats sitting out in the cold.
Photo: Atomic 212

People are already camping out for the iPhone 6s, but one smart would-be customer from Australia has decided to dodge the queues — by sending a robot on her behalf.

Lucy Kelly dispatched the robot — a remote-controlled tablet attached to a Segway — to wait in line at the flagship Apple Store in Sydney, where the iPhone 6s will go on sale ahead of the rest of the world. It gives her the ability to join in the fun of waiting alongside eager Apple fans, without the negative part of standing around for hours in the cold.

Now why didn’t we think of that?

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Carrot Weather’s sassy forecasts storm onto Mac

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The "Maker" of sassy robot Carrot brought the Weather app to the Mac and updated the iOS app with new goodies.
Photo: George Tinari/Cult of Mac

The sassy robot that got its start on iOS has started taking over the Mac too. Carrot Weather launched in the Mac App Store today complete with tons of features and even more snarky comments about the conditions. The self-proclaimed “weather robot with a personality” has plenty to offer.

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This robot leaps hurdles like a Terminator horse

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Sarah Connor won't get away so easily next time.
Photo: MIT

Okay, so it’s not really Apple news, but — honestly — who could complain about a robot cheetah on a Friday afternoon?

Given Google’s disappointing lack of killer robots at its oddly boring I/O keynote yesterday, MIT has fortunately stepped up to the plate by unleashing a new video of its metallic quadruped autonomously leaping hurdles like some kind of horse Terminator.

Check out the video below. Then start running.

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Girl turns boring LEGO juice bar into awesome robot

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Would you like extra protein powder in that smoothie? Well, WOULD YOU?! Photo: fickle/Imgur
Would you like extra protein powder in that smoothie? Well, WOULD YOU?! Photo: fickle/Imgur

There was a time when LEGO brick sets were anything but prescriptive. You’d be lucky to get a wheel or axle part, or maybe even a door or window piece in your giant set of loose bricks.

These days, of course, LEGO typically means putting together a complicated model that just doesn’t need glue (though you can certainly use it to make things permanent).

Imgur user “fickle” put up this photoset showing what a couple of enterprising young women did with their toy juice bar, from the LEGO Friends set.

“It was supposed to be a juice bar,” they wrote on the photo sharing service, (but) “a set of ED-209-inspired power armor is far better!

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Watch This Chinese Robot Beat Flappy Bird Once And For All [Video]

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We’ve seen a few great Flappy Bird machines before, but nothing as incredible as this robot that flawlessly plays Flappy Bird using a web cam, a robotic arm made from an old hard drive, and the tip of a stylus.

It was created by two Chinese developers, Liu Yang and Shi Xuekun, who live in China’s Shaanxi province. According to the duo, it took four days to create the robot, which is probably 3.99 days more than Dong Nguyen originally spent programming the game himself.

Now can it beat Flapthulhu?

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