| Cult of Mac

This could be the ‘social companion robot’ you didn’t know you needed


Enabot's slogan for the Ebo Air and Ebo SE robots is
Enabot's slogan for the Ebo Air and Ebo SE robots is "always together."
Photo: Enabot

Talk of artificially intelligent personal robots may make some people think of Terminator and “the rise of the machines,” but relax, there’s likely plenty of time before they take over. All nervous kidding aside, in the meantime, companies like Enabot are putting out affordable robots with practical uses. The company launched one on Tuesday.

Following a successful Kickstarter campaign, the company released its Ebo Air “social companion robot.” The little rolling orb is designed to keep the home safe and loved ones entertained and connected, from pets to kids to grandparents, the company said.

Stay sanitary with a Roomba for bacteria [Deals]


This robot uses UVC-light and ultrasonic waves to kill 99.9% of bacteria, germs and viruses.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Did you know that ultraviolet light can kill germs? It can, and that’s good news, because it means there are better ways of sanitizing your home than constantly spraying and wiping it down with chemicals. With this tool, keeping a sanitary space is as simple as powering up a little Roomba-style robot.

Apple Camp now taking reservations for summer fun


Apple Camp
This summer camp will teach you to create music, video stories and control robots the Apple way.
Photo: Apple

Sign-ups began today for Apple Camp, a free three-day summer program for kids at Apple Stores across the globe.

The camps, designed to expose kids to the many ways to get creative with Apple products, run July 9 through 27. Reservations tend to fill up fast.

Swift Playgrounds adds new robots for budding coders


Swift Playgrounds
Dive into coding with Swift Playgrounds.
Photo: Apple

Swift Playgrounds, Apple’s code-learning app aimed at youngsters, got a huge update today with the biggest new set of features sent the app came out in 2016.

With the Swift Playgrounds 2.0 update, coders get access to a host of new robots, as well as the ability to subscribe to third-party level creators so you can find and download new levels faster.

Catch the weird, wonderful and wacky gadgets of CES 2018, on The CultCast


This ping pong machine is part cyborg, part Forrest Gump.
Photo: Engadget

This week, on a jam-packed, tech-tastic episode of The CultCast: We’ll tell you the weirdest, wackiest and most wonderful products revealed at CES 2018, the world’s craziest consumer electronics show. We’ve dug deep to bring you some strange ones!

Our thanks to Casper for supporting this episode. Learn why Casper makes the internet’s favorite mattress, and save $50 off your order at casper.com/cultcast.

Watch a robot perfectly fit an iPhone screen protector


Air bubbles? There's a bot for that!
Photo: ITMedia

Virtually everyone’s had the experience of trying to affix an adhesive screen protector to their new iPhone, only to screw up and put it on at a jaunty angle, or with unwanted air bubbles showing on the surface.

Fortunately, Kawasaki has created a dual-arm manufacturing robot, called “duAro,” that’s able to do the job better than we could ever hope to.

Check out the weirdly hypnotic video below to see the robot in action.

Robotic assistant makes you glad Siri is just a voice


Nadine robotic assistant
Robotic assistant Nadine has the kind of face we can imagine only half-covering a soulless, plastic endoskeleton after the explosion failed to kill her.
Photo: Nanyang Technical University

Anyone who’s been wringing their hands in anticipation of the day we’ll each have a physical, robotic assistant to schedule our days and keep us company should be careful what they wish for because the future is here, and it is creepy.

“Nadine” comes from scientists at Nanyang Technical University in Singapore, and its face looks very similar to its creator’s, Professor Nadia Thalmann. But its terrifying, pruny hands come from somewhere else, like the nightmares we had when we were eight and watched director David Cronenberg’s version of The Fly even though our parents specifically told us not to.

You can see Nadine in action in the video below.

Robo-dog Santa sleigh will haunt your Christmas


Ho, ho, horrifying?
Ho, ho, horrifying?
Photo: Boston Dynamics/YouTube

Robots are cool, but there are some things visionary engineers in the robotics field should not mess with – like eight tiny reindeer.

Boston Dynamics put their famous robotic dogs through another test – harnessing three Spot bots to a sleigh, pulling a waving Santa-like figure (not the real Santa, but a real person dressed as Mrs. Claus). The Google-owned company posted a video on YouTube of the prancing robo dogs, apparently showing the world once again that even the job of Rudolph can be replaced by a robot.