Struggling to keep on top of all the news about robotics? These essential blogs covering news about robotics make it easy.

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Robots Learn to Speak Body Language

Robots Learn to Speak Body Language
If your friend says she feels relaxed, but you see that her fists are clenched, you may doubt her sincerity. Robots, on the other hand, might take her word for it. Body language says a lot, but even with advances in computer vision and facial recognition technology, robots struggle to notice subtle body movement and can miss important social cues as a result.   Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University developed a body-tracking system that might help solve this problem. Cal…
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Professor Einstein Is a Fun, Wacky Robot That Loves to Talk About Science

Professor Einstein Is a Fun, Wacky Robot That Loves to Talk About Science
When I tell my daughters, ages 6 and 9, that I have a new robot to show them, they perk up. I then take Professor Einstein out of the box. “Ahhhh!” they both cry, wide-eyed. My wife walks into the room: “Ahhh!” Yep, Professor Einstein doesn’t look like your typical robot. This very expressive, very wacky robotic character is a creation of Hanson Robotics, which calls it “your personal genius.” Professor Einstein can chat about science, tell jokes, check on the …
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Robots for Kids: Designing Social Machines That Support Children's Learning

Robots for Kids: Designing Social Machines That Support Children
In this guest post, Jacqueline M. Kory Westlund, a researcher in the Personal Robots Group at the MIT Media Lab describes her projects and explorations to understand children’s relationships with social robots. “Hi, my name is Mox!” This story begins in 2013, in a preschool in Boston, where I hide, with laptop, headphones, and microphone, in a little kitchenette. Ethernet cables trail across the hall to the classroom, where 17 children eagerly await their turn to talk to a…
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AI Can Help Patients Recover Ability to Stand and Walk

AI Can Help Patients Recover Ability to Stand and Walk
Artificial intelligence software combined with a robotic harness could help spinal injury and stroke patients walk again. Clinical trials are underway. Rehabilitation programs for spinal cord injuries or strokes usually have patients walk on treadmills at a steady pace while harnesses support their weight to varying degrees. In the new study, researchers sought to develop a system that better mimicked the conditions that people might experience during everyday life, where t…
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How to Control Those Extra Robotic Limbs You've Always Wanted

How to Control Those Extra Robotic Limbs You
I am personally very excited to adopt a few extra robotic limbs, because I have a desperate need to improve my ski-boxing. Other people are probably interested in extra robotic limbs for less exciting reasons, like helping them do their jobs without getting injured. We’ve seen a bunch of research into this area recently, along with a variety of prototypes, and many of them seem like they have the potential to be useful and practical for ski-boxing and whatever else. The diff…
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THOR Transformer Drone Hovers and Cruises With No Compromises

THOR Transformer Drone Hovers and Cruises With No Compromises
Wings are great for crusing over long distances and carrying heavy loads, but they aren’t that great if your aircraft needs vertical agility. Rotors, on the other hand, are great for vertical agility, but they aren’t that great for long distances and heavy loads. Any aircraft that wants to fly efficiently can be designed for cruising or hovering, but not both. Lots and lots of people have tried to figure out a way of making some sort of compromise work. Mostly, this involve…
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Video Friday: Water Drones, Sad Robot, and Self-Driving in Duckie Town

Video Friday: Water Drones, Sad Robot, and Self-Driving in Duckie Town
Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers. We’ll also be posting a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next two months; here’s what we have so far (send us your events!): MARSS – July 17-21, 2017 – Montreal, Canada Summer School on Soft Manipulation – July 17-21, 2017 – Lake Chiemsee, Germany Living Machines Conference – July 25-28, 2017 – Stanford, Calif., USA RoboCup 2017 – July 27-31, 2017 – …
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AI Creates Fake Obama

AI Creates Fake Obama
Artificial intelligence software could generate highly realistic fake videos of former president Barack Obama using existing audio and video clips of him, a new study [PDF] finds. Such work could one day help generate digital models of a person for virtual reality or augmented reality applications, researchers say. Computer scientists at the University of Washington previously revealed they could generate digital doppelgängers of anyone by analyzing images of them coll…
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Iran's Newest Robot Is an Adorable Dancing Humanoid

Iran
Over the last several years, a team of roboticists at the University of Tehran has been working on increasingly large and complex life-size humanoids. For their latest project, however, the Iranian researchers decided to build something smaller—and cuter. Surena Mini is a knee-high robot with a sleek 3D-printed body, articulated limbs, and a round head with two camera-eyes. Twenty small servomotors power its arms, legs, and neck, allowing the little robot to walk, gesture, …
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How a One-Man Team from California Won NASA's Space Robotics Challenge

How a One-Man Team from California Won NASA
NASA’s Space Robotics Challenge (SRC) took place last month, full of virtual Valkyries wandering around a virtual Mars base trying to fix virtual stuff. Anyone was allowed to participate, and since the virtual nature of the competition means there was no need for big expensive robots that mostly didn’t fall over, anyone actually could (and did) participate. Of the 93 teams initially signed up to compete, NASA selected 20 finalist teams based on their performance completing s…
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