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The Freaky Artificial Muscles on this Human Skeleton Are the Future of Robotics

Using pneumatic pistons and servos to power robots makes them fast and strong, but also bulky and extremely heavy. No one is going to mistake ATLAS for a real human being. To eventually create humanoid-looking robots like the Terminator we need to mechanically replicate every part of the human anatomy—starting with…

Your Self-Driving Car Will Be Programmed to Kill You—Deal With It

A recent survey shows that people want self-driving cars to be programmed to minimize casualties during a crash, even if it causes the death of the rider. Trouble is, the same survey shows that people don’t actually want to ride in cars that are programmed this way. That’s obviously a problem—and we’re going to have…

The Internet Helped Design a New Female Transformer, and it Didn't Turn Out Awful

Over a year ago, Hasbro reached out to Transformers fans for help designing a new addition to its Combiners line, which features smaller bots merging to become one giant formidable opponent. As with any endeavor involving the internet there was the potential for it go very bad. But the results, the first female…

Disneyland Is Testing New Interactive Droids That Will Roam Its Expanded Star Wars Lands

If you thought Disney’s only reason for buying Lucasfilm was to make more Star Wars movies, you’re way off. The company is also currently in the process of converting parts of Disneyland and Walt Disney World into sprawling Star Wars-themed lands, and it’s already testing some of the new characters it’s designed to…

I Wish I Could Wake Up to Robots Getting Me Ready in the Morning Like This

The toughest thing about getting up in the morning (other than getting up in the morning) is realizing all the things you have to do to make yourself decent to society. I’m not talking about just brushing your teeth, shaving, or showering. I’m talking about having to open your eyes and walk around and move your arms…

BB-8 Would Sound Incredibly Annoying if He Ran on Windows XP

The Star Wars sound effects team does a brilliant job at breathing life into droids like BB-8 and R2-D2 using nothing but bloops and beeps. But what if BB-8 ran an operating system created by Microsoft? As Brian Elder discovered, BB-8 would be far less adorable and much more annoying if he spoke using Windows XP’s…

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Disney's New Telepresence Robot Is So Precise it Can Be Used to Thread a Needle

The easiest way to make a robot as dexterous and capable as a human being is to simply let a human control it. That’s how Disney Research’s new telepresence robot works, but with improved hydraulics on board, it’s now capable of duplicating a human’s motions with remarkable precision—to the point where it can even be…

MIT Wants You to Swallow This Origami Robot Pill to Retrieve Other Crap You've Swallowed

According to MIT, Americans swallow over 3,500 button-sized batteries every year. Say what? But instead of educating the public about not swallowing random crap, researchers at the school want people to swallow a new folding origami robot they’ve developed that’s designed to retrieve foreign objects, among other tasks.

Johnny Five, Our One True Robot Hero, Might Soon Be an Official Lego Set

Twenty-two years before WALL·E’s sermon about over-consumption hit theaters, an even better movie robot had already saved the day. Every child of the ‘80s wanted Short Circuit’s Johnny Five as their best friend, and now that we’re all grown up, that might actually come true with a little help from Lego.