Search results for: robotics

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These Two Chappie TV Spots Emphasize The Softer Side Of Robotics

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South African director Neill Blomkamp is back with his follow up to 2013’s Elysium, which left many audiences flat, with the robot-centric actioner Chappie. The studio dropped a slick new poster over the weekend, and now, with less than a month to go until the March 6 release date, Sony Pictures Entertainment is back with two brand new TV spots.

This first video emphasizes the true gentle nature of the title character. You see the tender side of Chappie, he’s scared, nervous, kind, open, and all together childlike. That’s the approach they’re taking towards artificial intelligence, portraying him as what is essentially a wide-eyed child seeing the world for the first time. This provides the opportunity to show the sense of wonder as he experiences life.

On the other hand, you also see the less than enthusiast reaction some have to his presence and the intolerance he meets. New things are terrifying to most people, and when they see something different, something they don’t yet comprehend, their initial reaction is all too often to lash out violently, like tossing a Molotov cocktail at a robot that just wants to hang out and be awesome.

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World’s First Start-Up Competition For Robotics Is Taking Entries

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robot launch 2014Have you ever been engaged in some dull or repetitive task and thought, “I’d love a robot to do this for me?” If so, you might be able to make your vision a reality. The world’s first start-up competition for robotics is underway, and is accepting entries until March 30.

Robot Launch 2014 is looking for ideas for robot start-ups. They want business models, prototypes, and just plain old great ideas. If you’re wondering what exactly constitutes a robot start-up, their definition is pretty broad. We could be talking about some kind of conventional robot, an appliance, some other connected device, a sensor, an actuator, artificial intelligence — you get the picture.

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DARPA’s Robotics Challenge Narrows The Field To Eight Finalists

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SCHAFT robotDARPA’s Robotics Challenge, where teams compete to design and develop disaster response robots,
kicked off in June, with the software-based Virtual Robotics Challenge. For this first phase, teams create software and ran it on a robotic simulation. The challenge has now moved from virtual to physical, and the trials have just wrapped up, leaving a field of eight finalists that will compete in the Grand Challenge next year. In case you were wondering, the winner walks away with $2 million in prize money.

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DARPA Robotics Challenges Use Revolutionary Robot Software

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Oh, DARPA. You’re the best when it comes to ground-breaking new robot stuff!

DARPA’s Robotics Challenge (DRC) was designed to motivate teams to develop disaster-mitigation and recovery robots — a particularly important development given recent concern about robots doing just the opposite.

Effective disaster response robots require not only the hardware that allows them to maneuver in thorny situations, but also the software that allows them to communicate with human operators, manipulate tools, and navigate and interact with their surroundings. In the DRC’s first event, the Virtual Robotics Challenge (VRC), which took place from Jun 17-21, 2013, teams designed and applied their software to a simulated robot. The VRC’s cloud-based competition tested teams’ abilities to guide the simulated robot through a series of challenging tasks, including driving a utility vehicle, maintaining balance and control while navigating difficult terrain, and attaching and turning on a fire hose.

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A Young Isaac Asimov Explains The Laws Of Robotics

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Even if you’ve never heard them called by name, or even have no idea who Isaac Asimov was, I guarantee you’ve seen some version of his Three Laws of Robotics, whether in film or TV or games or literature. The Three Laws form a common backbone of programming that is designed to keep robots from killing all humans. Of course, it seems people or ‘bots are always finding ways to skirt around the Three Laws, which has made for some great stories over the years.

Here’s a great little gem from the untraveled corners of the interwebs: a young Isaac Asimov explaining the Three Laws. Take it away, Isaac.

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Watch Chappie Learn To Be A Real Gangster In This Funny Clip

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“Chappie, if you want to be in the gang you have to be cool, like daddy.” Those are the first words you hear in this new clip for Neill Blomkamp’s upcoming robot drama Chappie. When you think of a combination of South African street gangsters and artificially intelligent automatons, you don’t necessarily think of a strong familial connection, but the more we see from the film, the more it looks like that’s what we get. You also learn important lessons, like that real gangsters use throwing stars.

In the film, a couple of hoods—played by zef duo Die Antwoord—steal a law enforcement robot in the hopes of using it to further their criminal enterprise, only they get much more than they bargained for. This particular former-robo-cop is a new breed, thanks to Dev Patel’s Deon character, a robot that has the ability to think for itself. An innocent, child-like presence, Chappie (played by frequent Blomkamp collaborator Sharlto Copley) bonds with his pseudo parents—Ninja, who you see in this clip, and Yolandi Vi$$er, who you only hear on the soundtrack.