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This Killer Robot Isn’t Nearly As Intimidating Once You’ve Seen It Fall On Its Face

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If you read this site on a regular basis, there’s a decent chance that you’ve spent more time than most people preparing for the eventual robot takeover. Perhaps you stockpile canned food, weapons, and EMP devices in your secret underground bunker that you dug out yourself in your backyard so it doesn’t show up on any schematics that the machines could get their grubby alloy mitts on. Then again, you could be one of those turncoats who welcomes your new robotic overlords with open arms and sells out your own species. Either way, or something in the middle, it’s starting to look like our impending doom at the hands of our own artificially intelligent creations may be a bit farther off than some of us assumed. As proof we offer up this video of a killer robot’s evil plan being foiled that most unexpected of obstacles, random crap strewn about the floor.

A while back the world met Atlas, DARPA’s terrifying humanoid robot, and we all let out a collective groan of, “well, it’s been a nice run, humanity.” We assumed that this would track us all down and slaughter us wholesale in short order, or perhaps harvest random bits of nerve and tissue to further augment their own synthetic bodies. We may have jumped the gun on proclaiming our doom just a bit, as this new video shows that Atlas has one, minor weakness, an total inability to navigate anything other than smooth, flat surfaces.

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TEDx Talk Shows How Robots Can Make The World More Physically Accessible

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Henry Evans10 years ago, at the age of 40, Henry Evans suffered what many would consider their worst nightmare—a stroke that left him mute and paralyzed. After years of therapy, he was able to regain movement in his head and a single finger. This might not seem like much, but in a world of brain-machine interfaces and robot emissaries, that’s allEvans needed to be able to participate in life again.

After seeing a clip on TV about robots helping disabled people, Evans teamed up with Steve Cousins of Willow Garage and Charlie Kemp of the Healthcare Robotics Laboratory at Georgia Tech University to establish Robots for Humanity, a program that focuses on how to make the physical world accessible for people like Evans. One of the main aspects of the program involves a PR2 robot that acts as a surrogate so Evans can perform the tasks he thought he’d never be able to do for himself again, such as scratch an itch or do housework. It allowed him to perform tasks he wouldn’t have been able to do even if he were fully able-bodied, such as shave Charlie from across the country. With his robot emissary, he can do things like play soccer, or give a TEDx talk.

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Robots Run This Space-Themed Chinese Hotel

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Pengheng Space Capsules Hotel Okay, China. You win. A space-themed hotel is pretty badass, but staffing it with robots? Total genius.

Given that most of us can’t shell out $250,000 to buy a ticket to low-Earth orbit on a Virgin Galactic spacecraft, we can at least pretend to be in space for only $11 a night if we can get ourselves to Shenzhen, China.

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Rate Almost Human And Discuss It With Spoilers Here!

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dorianAlmost Human debuted tonight on Fox and dropped Karl Urban into a world filled with robots. So far, the show is focused entirely on the droids tasked with playing police officer, partnered up with human cops to police the grittier than ever, crime-ridden streets of a future 20-years from now. In the process though, it hints at robots doing other jobs in other walks of life, in this future world. The potential here seems limitless.

Episode 1 aired Sunday night. Episode 2 airs the following night, Monday November 18. It’s a one two punch.

For science fiction fans, on paper this show is a dream come true. But now that you’ve seen part one, where do you stand? We want to know. What do you think of Almost Human so far? Vote in our poll and sound off in the comments section here.

[yop_poll id=”32″ tr_id=”32″]

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Artificial Robot Heart Gets Its Power From Urine

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toilet stallsWe all know that urine does many things, from causing our bladders to ache profusely to powering up generators and cell phones. Though if you didn’t know that, realize these are specially created devices, and that you can’t just go peeing on every generator and cell phone that you see, despite the inherent hilarity involved. But do you guys know the one about the robot heart that efficiently runs off of human waste? Here, let me hum a few bars and get you in on it.

Scientists from the Bristol Robotics Laboratory in the U.K. have been working on the environmentally friendly EcoBot, a robot that fuels itself from the refuse of the world around it, including rotten fruit and vegetables, dead insects, sludge, and liquid excrement. The robot’s heart is the spotlight here. It eschews traditional mechanics to create a device more directly inspired by the processes of the human heart. The team, led by Peter Walters, published their paper in the journal IOP Science, which you can read here, if you want to pay for it.

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Japanese Robot Never Loses At Rock, Paper, Scissors

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Well, the human race is screwed. The long list of tasks that robots can perform better than humans has an addition, and it’s one that will affect countless decisions from now until the end of time: rock, paper, scissors.

The Ishikawa Oku Laboratory in Japan has developed a robot called Janken that is literally unbeatable at the game. But Janken has a dirty little secret — it’s actually a cheater. It’s not just sore losers who say so, either. Its makers admit that it has an unfair advantage in playing RPS — namely, that it has high-speed computer vision capable of detecting movements in the opponent’s hand and then formulating a winning move in response.