Category: Technology

Software-based virtual robots help businesses add efficiency

Since the 1960s, robots have been used to automate tedious manufacturing tasks, but they have largely stayed out of the backrooms of white collar businesses. However, U.K.-based Blue Prism Ltd. is working to change that — if you expand your definition of “robots” to include software-based helpers. Blue Prism’s founders call what their product does

New system aims to make robot mind control simple

It sounds funny to say it, but mind control is nothing new in the world of robotics. Researchers have been working on brain-controlled prosthetics for years, and lately we’ve been starting to see some impressive results. However, Dean Aslam, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Michigan State University and IEEE Senior Member, has

New single-board computer built specifically for DIY robots

A lot of cool robots have been built using Raspberry Pi, the credit card-sized computer that was originally developed to help teach computer science. But Raspberry Pi wasn’t built specifically for making robots, and according to two former software/mechanical engineers from Carnegie Mellon University, that means it’s not as robot-friendly as it could be. Their

Intel introduces new computer the size, shape of an SD card

Raspberry Pi has proven the value of a credit-card sized computer to both the robotics and maker communities, and now Intel is going even smaller with its latest offering, an SD card-sized computer with built-in wireless capabilities. At CES this week, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich unveiled the Edison, a new Quark-based computer housed in an

Follow-me robot Budgee gets its own Kickstarter campaign

Start-up company Five Elements Robotics yesterday launched a Kickstarter campaign for its flagship product, the Budgee follow-me robot. The robot, which was first shown at the RoboBusiness conference in October, is designed to improve the shopping experience for consumers by following them around and carrying their things, up to 50 pounds. It’s kind of a

AUVSI president reacts to Amazon’s UAS delivery service

Last night on “60 Minutes,” Amazon founder Jeff Bezos shared his vision for a future where unmanned octocopters deliver the company’s packages — a notion he admitted “looks like science fiction” but which he said could be a reality in as little as four or five years. That bold prediction caught the attention of both the

“Smart lock” company raises $8M in Series A funding round

The Internet of Things, which is helping bring robotics and various related technologies to the masses, is increasingly entering our homes. After last week’s announcement of a substantial infusion of capital at start-up SmartThings, the latest example comes from home automation company August, which today reported $8 million in Series A funding. The company’s flagship

“Smart Home” consortium working for open standard

The “smart home” industry is booming these days, attracting interest and investment from companies with their feet in every corner of the tech sector. Healthy as that accelerating competition is for innovation, however, it raises a corollary concern over the proliferation of proprietary systems that can’t communicate. Even as more and more groups are trumpeting

Nao gets more conversational with technology from Nuance

Aldebaran Robotics and Nuance Communications reported this week that Aldebaran’s Nao robot will integrate new voice capabilities from Nuance that will allow it to have more natural conversations with humans. Massachusetts-based Nuance sells the popular Dragon speech recognition software and was recently revealed to be behind Apple’s Siri digital assistant. Nao has integrated voice recognition

Small, flying robot cleaners win Electrolux Design Lab contest

The 11th Annual Electrolux Design Lab competition produced some pretty neat concepts this year, and after narrowing the field to eight last month, we have a winner. And the award goes to … “Mab,” an automated cleaning system concept that attracted quite a bit of attention over the summer. Mab envisions hundreds of flying mini-robots