Shh! This Robot Uses Your Noise As Its Disguise

robotThe Human Advantage going into the unavoidable future war with the robots is well on its way to extinction, thanks to all those silly humans who call themselves scientists that are just building a bravado-soaked house of cards, where one-upsmanship will act as the catalyst in our inevitable downfall. Oh, dammit, while I was loudly doomsaying, a swarm of robots got in here and murdered everyone else.

I’ve lowered my voice to a monotonous whisper for the rest of the story, since Australians Matthew Dunbabin and Ashley Tews, of the CSIRO Autonomous Systems Laboratory in Brisbane, have created a robot that functions mostly by using sound detection to assure its actions go unheard. The as-yet-unnamed four-wheeled robot is fitted with a camera, laser scanner, laptop, and a sound pressure meter. And when these powers combine, you have Solid Snake-bot that uses sounds and background noise to cover its tracks, predicting how long and how often the sounds will occur, and sneaking around when it knows it won’t be heard.

If you’re in a silent room having a cell phone conversation with your mother, and you have pissed off the Robot Army enough that they’re sending someone to “take care of” you, that robot can foresee your side of the conversation by guessing the frequency and length of your responses, and only creeps up behind your back during those times. The robot also knows its own noises, and can gauge how they change as it goes faster or slower, and when turning around corners. It can tell how its sound is perceived from 150 ft. away, and adjusts itself accordingly. The laser scanner allows it to find and utilize shadows or other quality vantage points as it advances upon its prey. So quit hogging the conversation the next time you talk to your mother, let her get a word out or two every now and then.

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Bionic Robot Makes Steve Austin Look Like The $6,000 Man

Advancements in robotics, artificial anatomy, and genetics are putting human beings on perilous ground, and we will soon live in a world that takes evolution into its own lab-created hands. Is this an impassioned plea for change? Nope. My advice is only, “Love the one you’re with, assuming the one you’re with is a robot, because robots will inherit the earth.” That’s all.

For a BBC 4 documentary entitled How to Build a Bionic Man, airing on February 7th, social psychologist Dr. Bertoit Meyer is presenting Rex, a six-foot-tall man made completely from artificial and bionic limbs and organs. Rex, which stands for “robotic exoskeleton,” was built by U.K. roboticists Richard Walker and Matthew Godden, who sourced the state-of-the-art body parts from England, Australia, and all over the U.S. The final tally for costs came out to around $1,000,000. I wonder if they got the money out of a bionic piggy bank.


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A Robot With A Chainsaw Makes Furniture, Not Murder

The amount of common sense that tells a person not to stick a group of spiders in the path of an Enlargement Ray is the same amount that should keep that person from giving a robot a chainsaw. Luckily for all of mankind, this robot appears to be geared towards carpentry instead of creating a planetary massacre. For now.

German designers Tom Pawlofsky and Tibor Weissmahr, both of the Karisruhe University of Arts and Design, gave a robot a chainsaw and told it to make furniture. Specifically, Pawlofsky designed the nameless robot to perform its chainsaw wielding with precise accuracy, while the pair conceived the look and process of creating the finished product, which comes out to be a couple of stools, called 7Xstool, and a nice little table or two. Made from real wood, right in front of your eyes, with only sawdust left behind. Check out the robot in action, and try not to be bothered by the ominousness of it not having a name.

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This Robot Will Clean Your Windows Before Taking Over The World

I don’t need an infomercial’s incessant problem-listing to know that cleaning windows can be a son of a bitch. Depending on the height and location, some windows are just begging to be left as grimy portals that are lucky to get a hose spray every now and again. I don’t understand who needs to see in or out of that part of the attic anyway.

Taking away the toil and sweat of what used to be normal window-washing is the Winbot 7, which will use its “Don’t Call It a Vertical Roomba” technology to wash your windows while you divert your attention to other things. (Like possibly waiting for the Winbot 7 to finish one window so you can manually lift it and place it on the next window.) The device sticks to the window using a dual-suction system while it maps its way between your window panes. The actual cleaning is accomplished with a wet pad wiping up the endless amount of fingerprints, while a squeegee pushes aside excess moisture so a cloth can wipe the glass dry, leaving it spotlessly clean.

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Robot Roaches Inspire Robots Of My Nightmares

Let me get this out of the way right up top. Bugs don’t scare me. As in, “I may shriek if one lands on me, but I’m chasing after it to the death.” On the other hand, bugs freak me out, because they look like that, all buggy and not according to human anatomy and all.

Which brings me to the VelociRoACH, the University of California, Berkeley’s 10-cm-long millirobot, which mimics the rapid leg motions of a real cockroach in order to attain speeds that make it, when adjusted for size, one of the fastest robots in the world. It weighs 30 grams and has legs that hit the ground about 15 times a second, during which time it has already traveled 2.7 meters.

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This Robotic Spider Dress Will Almost Certainly Kill Us All

As you might expect from our masthead, we like robots here at GFR. But even our love for the most adorable and harmless robots is tempered by the weary certainty that they will eventually rise up and turn us all into livestock. A scary prospect in and of itself, but that much more terrifying now that the horror below is a thing. I give you the robotic spider dress. No, seriously, take it, I don’t want it.

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