Hitchbot, the hitchhiking robot, won't be arriving in San Francisco as planned at the end of its cross-country journey. The machine was vandalized and destroyed in Philadelphia just a couple weeks after beginning the trip.
There was a time when people actually thought it was safe to pick up hitchhikers and would totally give them a lift without a second thought. These days, possibly due to horror movies like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Hitcher, thumbing a ride is painted as a prime way to get yourself killed. However, a robot doesn't have to worry about such a violent fate. The Hitchbot in Canada recently completed its month-long journey hitching from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Victoria, British Columbia tra
Autonomous cars are piloting their way into the wide philosophical sea of ethics. Right now the autonomous cars are unaware of this because the driver's will always comes first, but when we start getting cars that can overrule commands or choose a particular ethical outcome either without or in spite of driver input, we'll have a lot of decisions to make. Which means we have a lot of decisions to start considering right now.
Next time you take your Audi in for service, watch to see if a little white stand is following your mechanic around. It's not some new measurement tool for your car; it's a actually a robot being controlled remotely to improve vehicle service. While bots playing a role in building cars is nothing new, the company is taking things a step further in the US by introducing Audi Robotic Telepresence to assist dealer technicians in repairing the brand's vehicles. The droids are already being used in a
Honda's ASIMO robot is moving into its teenage years, having originally been introduced in 2000, and like all teens, it's still learning. The bot has received regular incremental upgrades over that time, and the latest version will premiere on LIVE with Kelly and Michael on Tuesday, April 15.
Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo has two robocops on patrol. Well, they are technically stationary, but they're still keeping pedestrians in the country's capital safer. The city of about 10 million people suffers from choking traffic, and the eight-foot-tall, aluminum and steel robots are installed at two, high-traffic intersections to regulate traffic flow.
Back in 2003, former Ford executive William Santana Li and former police officer Stacey Dean founded Carbon Motors, a company that designed a purpose-built diesel police car that recently filed for bankruptcy. But they're at it again, this time with a new company and a new invention that looks eerily similar to R2D2: a robotic security guard.
Autonomous car programs from the likes of Audi, Toyota and Google have been a popular topic lately. While the technology currently exists for self-driving cars, we are likely years away from seeing them publicly available, due to a complex combination of safety, legal and infrastructure concerns.
In a video released earlier this week by Boston Dynamics--the robotics company behind BigDog--a humanoid robot named Petman is seen performing a wide range of motion exercises while wearing a Hazmat suit and gas mask. As you can see in the video below, Petman's movements are unnervingly human-like.
It isn't that uncommon for people to pick up second jobs during the holidays to help relieve some of the financial stress, but apparently our automaton friends feel the fiscal pinch this time of year, too. A handful of General Motors assembly line robots are picking up some extra shifts at Santa's workshop this year wrapping presents.
Robots are here to stay, and all signs point to there being more "everyday" mechanized friends that will specialize in doing different things for different people. In addition to its work on the Partner Robot, Toyota is developing a Human Support Robot (HSR) to assist the elderly at home. The cylindrical, 70-pound HSR can be controlled by voice, just like children and grandchildren, and will perform the tasks that children and grandchildren are most handy for, such as picking things up, retrievi
People who know me say that if it weren't for Autoblog, I'd probably be running a site called Mowerblog. I'm unusual in that lawn mowing, to me, is a form of relaxation, a hobby like knitting or racquetball is for someone else. As such, I try to buy the best equipment, and that means there's a Honda mower in my garage.
So how's this for a way to celebrate National Robotics Week? Ford has dug up some photos and press releases from the late 1960s featuring "Freddie Ford," a quasi-robot made out of auto parts that entertained crowds on the auto show circuit.