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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EU Developing Robot Badgers for Underground Excavation

EU Developing Robot Badgers for Underground Excavation
These days, you can find capable and confident robots driving, flying, swimming, diving, out in space, and even boring through ice. What we haven’t seen a lot of are robots designed to dig underground. There have been a few self-burying robots that use digging to their advantage, but they’re not designed for underground locomotion. This is slightly strange, to be honest, considering how many animals make their living by digging tunnels, and also considering how often we huma…
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Anki Makes Programming Easy with Drag and Drop Coding

Anki Makes Programming Easy with Drag and Drop Coding
When Anki introduced Cozmo almost exactly one year ago, we started off with a bit of skepticism, and a feeling that Anki was going slightly overboard with the kinds of promises that it was making for this cute and capable little robot. What was more exciting to us was when Anki followed up a few weeks later with Cozmo’s software development kit, or SDK, allowing access to a variety of…
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Video Friday: Crashen Hoppers, Gimball Games, and a Fake Moon Landing

Video Friday: Crashen Hoppers, Gimball Games, and a Fake Moon Landing
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!): RobotCraft 2017 – July 3-3, 2017 – Coimbra, Portugal ICAR 2017 – July 10-12, 2017 – Hong Kong RSS 2017 – July 12-16, 2017 – Cambridge, Mass., USA MARSS – July 17-21, 2017 – Montreal, Canada Summer School on Soft Manipulation –…
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Salto-1P Is the Most Amazing Jumping Robot We've Ever Seen

Salto-1P Is the Most Amazing Jumping Robot We
Last December, Duncan Haldane (whose research on incredibly agile bioinspired robots we’ve featured extensively in the past) ended up on the cover of the inaugural issue of Science Robotics with his jumping robot, Salto. Salto had impressive vertical jumping agility, and was able to jump from the ground onto a vertical surface, and then use that surface to change its direction with a second jump. It was very cool to watch, but the jumping was open-loop and planar, meaning th…
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AI to Ensure Fewer UFOs

AI to Ensure Fewer UFOs
Photo: Black Sage Technologies Searching the Skies: Black Sage Technologies’ artificial-intelligence system spots flying objects and determines whether they’re a threat. Is it a bird? A plane? Or is it a remotely operated quadrotor conducting surveillance or preparing to drop a deadly payload? Human observers won’t have to guess—or keep their eyes glued to computer monitors—now that there’s superhuman artificial intelligence capable of distinguishing drones from those other…
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China’s Big Tech Advantage Is Speed, Not Cost

China’s Big Tech Advantage Is Speed, Not Cost
China’s not just a copycat economy anymore; it has turned into a high-speed innovator. So says Ben Joffe, general partner of HAX, a five-year-old hardware accelerator and investor. And the rest of the world had better watch out. We call what China is doing “Xiaomization,” because smart-phone giant Xiaomi’s high-speed commoditization of product categories is driving a lot of people out of business. Right now, he says, Xiaomi has invested in 77 companies—and four are unicorn…
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UC Berkeley Releases Massive Dex-Net 2.0 Dataset

UC Berkeley Releases Massive Dex-Net 2.0 Dataset
Picking things up is such a fundamental skill for robots, and robots have been picking up things for such a long time, that it’s sometimes difficult to understand how challenging grasping still is. Robots that are good at grasping things usually depend on high quality sensor data along with some amount of advance knowledge about the things that they’re going to be grasping. Where grasping gets really tricky is when you’re trying to design a system that can use standardized (…
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Anki's Code Lab Brings Sophisticated Graphical Programming to Cozmo Robot

Anki
When Anki introduced Cozmo almost exactly one year ago, we started off with a bit of skepticism, and a feeling that Anki was going slightly overboard with the kinds of promises that it was making for this cute and capable little robot. What was more exciting to us was when Anki followed up a few weeks later with Cozmo’s software development kit, or SDK, allowing access to a variety of very sophisticated features through relatively simple lines of code. Instead of having to …
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How I Built an AI to Sort 2 Tons of Lego Pieces

How I Built an AI to Sort 2 Tons of Lego Pieces
Photo: Zhong Zhenbin/Getty Images For many years as a child, I did nothing but play with Lego. Eventually I had children of my own, who had a nice Lego collection themselves, but nothing you’d need machinery to sort. That changed after a trip to Legoland in Denmark. I noticed adults at the park buying Lego in vast quantities, despite its high price. Even second-hand Lego isn’t cheap, sold as it is by the part on specialized websites, or by the boxed set and in bulk on eBay. I noticed …
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Video Friday: Self-Driving Potato, NASA at Mars, and Autonomous Sumo Robots

Video Friday: Self-Driving Potato, NASA at Mars, and Autonomous Sumo Robots
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!): Hamlyn Symposium on Medical Robotics – June 25-28, 2017 – London, England Autonomous Systems World – June 26-27, 2017 – Berlin, Germany RoboUniverse Seoul – June 28-30, 2017 – Seoul, Korea RobotCraft 2017 – July 3-3, 2017 – Coi…
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