All items tagged with "robots"

Meet the robot that will assemble your future iPhones – and everything else

Legos and pre-school toys today, your iPhone tomorrow.

Legos and pre-school toys today, your iPhone tomorrow.

UC Berkley researchers have hit a major milestone in the creation of usable AI. They’ve created a new set of algorithms that will allow robots to learn through trial and error — much like humans learn new tasks.

With this kind of educated automaton, there’s nothing they won’t be able to do. Think of mechanical beings assembling your next iPhone, building skyscrapers, or exploring Mars.

Is this where we see the first inklings of the robot apocalypse?

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This is what new Star Wars droid BB-8 would look like in space gray

What if Jony Ive designed BB-8? Photo: Martin Hajek

What if Jony Ive designed BB-8? Photo: Martin Hajek

With its roly-poly looks and infectious personality, new droid BB-8 looks primed to be a real scene-stealer when Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters at the end of the year.

And now we know what the ballsy little bot would look like if Jony Ive replaced its orange-and-white color scheme with something a little more subtle.

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Once-famous robot lives quietly away from limelight

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

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

America’s oldest surviving robot no longer smokes cigarettes.

Once-famous robot lives quietly away from limelightLong lines of people no longer wait to see him, topless women haven’t danced around him in years and his legs have been broken since that amusement park gig.

But Elektro is home now, his head reunited with his body, cared for by a man named Scott Schaut, who is so fiercely protective that museum requests to borrow the gold robot usually end with him replying “over my dead body.”

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See crazy Japanese robot stuff tomatoes in runner’s mouth

The Tomatan robot feeds runners tomatoes. Photo: Kagome Co.

The Tomatan robot feeds runners tomatoes. Photo: Kagome Co.

Energy gels are so 2014. When it comes to winning races, modern marathon runners need a robot that straps to their back and force-feeds them tomatoes.

Luckily, Japan has already delivered this technological wonder. Wait till you see it in action!

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Google’s 160-pound robot dog will scare the bejesus out of you

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Google-owned robotics firm Boston Dynamics is no stranger to creating robotic beasts that can do freakish feats, but their latest robotic quadruped — a 160-pound doglike machine named Spot — takes the crazy factor to an all new level with a smaller, nimbler, more-kickable form factor.

To be perfectly honest, Spot scares the hell out of me. When Elon Musk warned about the possibility of humans becoming slaves to AI, this is what I imagined — legions of weird-looking robots that can go anywhere to hunt you down and put you in your place. Spot doesn’t feature any futuristic weapons to punish his human masters, but the cybernetic canine has some serious skills when it comes to exploring difficult terrain and balancing.

If you don’t think the robot threat is real, here are six GIFs of Spot in action that might change your mind:

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Foxconn CEO unimpressed by his iPhone-building robot army

The Rumor: Foxconn is enlisting an army of robots to help assemble the iPhone 6. The Verdict: The robo-revolution is here. To speed up iPhone assembly, Foxconn has created 10,000 ‘Foxbots’ that can assemble around 30,000 iPhones each. Robots have been used to help automate the assembly process for years, but this is the biggest investment Foxconn has made yet, with each Foxbot costing around $20,000 - $25,000 a piece.

Photo: 20th Century Fox

It looks like Apple manufacturer Foxconn may not be entirely ready to displace its human workforce in favor of robots just yet.

According to a new report coming out of the Taiwanese media, Foxconn’s CEO Terry Gou is disappointed by the company’s current generation of so-called “Foxbots,” which supposedly fell short of expectations in terms of both proficiency and flexibility.

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Gritty Automata trailer makes the robot uprising seem inevitable

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Gabe Ibañez directs and Antonio Banderas stars in this gritty, realistic near-future sci-fi flick, Automata.

The premise is that, in 2004, robots have found a way to circumvent built-in Protocols against harming human beings or self-altering their own physical form.

The award-winning film looks to be a fantastic take on the robots-gone-wild sub-genre, and it’s got Javier Bardem (No Country For Old Men) as a rogue killer robot and Melanie Griffith as a scheming politician; what’s not to like?

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Foxconn’s army of robots will only ‘support’ humans… for now

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Yesterday, we reported that Foxconn CEO Terry Gou had promised shareholders that the Chinese iPhone manufacturer was ready to deploy an army of 10,000 robots to help build the iPhone 6.

But while that report seems accurate, don’t expect these so-called Foxbots to completely replace humans on the assembly line. As it turns out, the iPhone 6 is going to require way too much finesse to assemble for a mere robot to do it all.

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Foxconn is ready to release an army of robots to build the iPhone 6

iRobot_G_08

For years now, Foxconn has been expressing its interest in replacing its workers with robots, raising the possibility that future iPhones could be built with machines. In fact, in December of 2012, Foxconn quietly began testing a program to replace human workers with iPhone-building robots.

But now, it appears that Foxconn is hitting the accelerator on the program. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has just told shareholders that they will be deploying some 10,000 “Foxbots” to start building iPhones soon.

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12 things we hope get funded on Kickstarter

As warmer weather hits even San Francisco, we’re pooling our beer money for a robot bartender. And some wasabi-flavored toothpicks. Our ever-expanding crew could use some of these modular Modos bookshelves and stools, too. There are so many things on Kickstarter that we want — jeans, maps, comic books — that we’re sharing our wish list with you.

Even cranky futurist Jaron Lanier supports Kickstarter — it “turns consumers into a priori funders of innovation” and we’re pretty sure that translates into robotic cocktails for everyone.