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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Waymo vs. Uber: 8 Things I Learned from Anthony Levandowski Taking the Fifth

Waymo vs. Uber: 8 Things I Learned from Anthony Levandowski Taking the Fifth
In February, Google’s self-driving car spin-out Waymo accused Anthony Levandowski of stealing 14,000 confidential files about the laser-ranging lidars developed while he was working there and taking them to Uber. On Friday 14 April, the engineer sat down in the San Francisco office of Waymo’s lawyers to face six hours of hard questioning. When asked what his current responsibilities were at Uber, Levandowski took the 5th, citing his right under the U.S. Constitution’s Fifth…
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Cellulo Introduces Classrooms to Tangible Learning With Robots

Cellulo Introduces Classrooms to Tangible Learning With Robots
Most of the educational robots that we hear about are designed to teach kids how to code. This is good and important and a thing we are in favor of, but robots are also useful in classroom settings even when they’re not teaching programming or computer science principles directly. EPFL’s Cellulo Project is exploring how small, inexpensive robots can leverage autonomy and interactivity to help kids learn with their hands. Cellulo robots are designed from the start to be …
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Controlling Robot Swarms With Augmented Reality

Controlling Robot Swarms With Augmented Reality
While robots are getting increasingly more capable and autonomous, they may still require our help to carry out tasks in real-world environments. That’s why robotics researchers continue to look for new ways to allow human operators to control robots without extensive training. At New York University, Jared Alan Frank has turned to augmented reality (AR) to develop a robot control interface that runs on a conventional smartphone or tablet. The system uses the device’s camer…
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Video Friday: RoboCup, Drone Magic, and NotBot Is Pedro

Video Friday: RoboCup, Drone Magic, and NotBot Is Pedro
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!): RoboBusiness Europe – April 20-21, 2017 – Delft, Netherlands RoboGames 2017 – April 21-23, 2017 – Pleasanton, Calif., USA ICARSC – April 26-30, 2017 – Coimbra, Portugal AUVSI Xponential – May 8-11, 2017 – Dallas, Texas, USA AA…
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Why Georgia Tech Built a Tarzan Robot That Swings Around on Wires

Why Georgia Tech Built a Tarzan Robot That Swings Around on Wires
Generally, the term “aerial robot” is synonymous with “drone,” but there are lots of other ways for robots to avoid spending time on the ground. One of the most creative that we’ve seen recently comes from Georgia Tech Professor Jonathan Rogers, who has been working on a sloth-inspired aerial robot named Tarzan. The machine is designed to swing around on overhead wires strung above fields to monitor growing crops. And one day, it may swing around electrical wires in cities, …
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Facebook Aims to Remake Telecom With Millimeter Waves and Tether-tennas

Facebook Aims to Remake Telecom With Millimeter Waves and Tether-tennas
A world of millimeter-wave networks, laid out by computer, crisscrossing cities and into the stratosphere, where cell phone towers can be easily replaced by tethered autonomous copters—that’s the telecommunications infrastructure of the future. So says Facebook’s Yael Maguire, head of the company’s Connectivity Lab. Speaking at Facebook’s F8 developer conference in San Jose today, Maguire said that Facebook is aiming to bring down the cost of connecting by an order of magni…
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Whose Drone Was That Anyway?

Whose Drone Was That Anyway?
Photo: Saverio Blasi/Getty Images In late 2015, mandatory drone registration went into effect in the United States. Since then, anyone who wants to fly a drone (or model aircraft) weighing over 0.55 pound (0.25 kilogram) must register with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to receive a unique identification number. This number needs to be placed on the drone, but there is no requirement for the tiny aircraft to broadcast signals to allow for remote identification. That might chan…
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Algorithm Aims to Predict Bickering Among Couples

Algorithm Aims to Predict Bickering Among Couples
Smartphone apps could eventually predict arguments among couples and help nip them in the bud before they blow up. For the first time outside the lab, artificial intelligence has helped researchers begin looking for patterns in couples’ language and physiological signs that could help predict conflicts in a relationships. Most of conflict-monitoring experiments with real-life couples have previously taken place in the controlled settings of psychology labs. Researchers wi…
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U.S. Marines Testing Disposable Delivery Drones

U.S. Marines Testing Disposable Delivery Drones
Getting supplies delivered to troops in remote areas is a big part of what the U.S. military does in terms of logistics. In many cases, it’s too dangerous to send an airplane or helicopter, so the military is always looking for new ways of carrying out such resupply missions.  Earlier this month at the Sea Air Space 2017 trade show in National Harbor, Md., we saw a new concept for remote resupply that the U.S. Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory has been testing. The TACAD …
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Robot Ray Swims Using High-Voltage Artificial Muscles

Robot Ray Swims Using High-Voltage Artificial Muscles
This robotic ray, developed at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China, is propelled by soft flapping wings made of dielectric elastomers, which bend when electricity is applied to them. Dielectric elastomers respond very quickly with relatively large motions, but they require very high voltages (on the order of 10 kilovolts) to get them to work. Traditionally, dielectric elastomers are covered in insulation, but for this aquatic application the researchers instead just subme…
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