Children and robots are our future—which is probably why Panasonic recently invested US$60 million in the world's first laundry-folding bot. Now that is something many would love to have in their home. From Japan-based Seven Dreamers, Laundroid uses image-recognition algorithms and tech to identify types of clothing, such as t-shirts, towels, and pants, fold each one appropriately, and sort them by item or family member. About the size of a refrigerator, the machine features a pull-out drawer at the bottom where users deposit crumpled-but-clean clothes. Laundroid currently takes up to 10 minutes to fold each piece of laundry. The appliance is managed via a smartphone app or built-in controls. The process isn't quick, and sometimes it's not perfectly neat, but it does save time and effort that can be spent on other things, like working, being with family and friends, or sleeping. "Laundroid is not another ordinary household electronic [device]," the company's website states. "It … [Read more...] about Panasonic Invests $60M in Laundry-Folding Robot
NASA is developing new robotic gears made from bulk metallic glass (BMG). The specially crafted alloy is built to withstand extreme cold, which is ideal for machines operating on icy planets or moons. While metal and glass are two fundamentally different elements, the secret to BMG, according to the agency, is in its atomic structure. Similar to how glassblowers manipulate matter to create vases and impress Renaissance Fair crowds, scientists melt then rapidly cool metals to trap their non-crystalline, "liquid" form. This creates what NASA says is "technically a glass," which—when produced in parts greater than 1 millimeter—is called "bulk" metallic glass. Similar components had first been developed in 1960 and have since been used in everything from cell phones to golf clubs, but "understanding how to design and implement them into structural hardware has proven elusive," according to Douglas Hofmann, Technologist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) in California, who is … [Read more...] about New Robotic Gears Will Help Robots Survive Extreme Cold in Space
With digital security becoming an increasingly important real world issue, it's no surprise the entertainment industry is trying to cash in. The latest in this trend of modern hacker thrillers is USA Network's Mr. Robot. This drama follows socially awkward security technician Elliot Alderson as he is inducted into a society of cyber vigilantes led by Mr. Robot, played by a scruffy Christian Slater. From rootkits to botnets, the show certainly throws a lot of security jargon at viewers, but is it really as smart as it thinks it is? Antivirus company Avast watched the Mr. Robot premiere this week and tried to answer that question. Monk To help check Mr. Robot's accuracy, Avast talked with its security expert Pedram Amini. You can read the full interview here as Amini analyzes several major plot points. Be warned, it's nothing but spoilers from here on out, so if you want to experience Mr. Robot fresh, you can watch the pilot, "eps1.0_hellofriend.mov," right now for free on USA's website. … [Read more...] about How Accurate Is Hacker Series ‘Mr. Robot’?
One Less Chore Vacuums have come a long way. You no longer have to suffer the indignity of dragging around an unwieldy plastic hose connected to a clumsy, wheeled canister the size of a Galapagos tortoise. In fact, you don't even need to get off of the couch. Though it still feels like a relatively new product category, there are several good robot vacuums available to help you dispose of dust, pet hair, and other debris in your home—without needing to lift a finger. Which is the right one for you? We've rounded up our highest-rated robot vacuums, and provided a few pointers to help you find just the bot you're looking for. Why Go Robo? Unlike more traditional canister or stick models, robot vacuums are autonomous and (for the most part) intelligent. The vacuums we've tested are equipped with lasers, motherboards, sensors, and even Wi-Fi to navigate around your home without the need for assistance. With a few exceptions, you barely have to interact with them at all. Most robot … [Read more...] about The Best Robot Vacuums of 2018
I'm inside UCLA's Bionics Lab and Yang Shen, a graduate student in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, is adjusting my upper limbs into EXO-UL8, an exoskeleton. Once all the straps are tied, he asks if I'm ready. I nod and tense my muscles. They engage with the wearable robotic system so I can go through therapy designed for patients recovering from a stroke. I move one of my hands into the indicated position on the screen in front of me, followed by the other one. The exoskeleton applies force to assist me with the task. The system is the brainchild of Dr. Jacob Rosen, Director of the Bionics Lab and professor of medical robotics in the department. We sat down after the test to discuss how this exoskeleton—and Raven, his other robotic systems—are transforming the worlds of medicine, and beyond. Here are edited and condensed excerpts from our conversation. Firstly, tell us the background of your research. How is your exoskeleton system part of this? … [Read more...] about This Scientist’s Robots Might One Day Perform Surgery in Space