robots

Anyone who has ever owned a dog – or any pet, for that matter – can tell you how difficult that last day is.

And so it must have been for the owners of 114 Sony Aibo robotic dogs whose beloved pets were given a Buddhist send-off last week at a ceremony at Japan's 450-year-old Kofukuji Temple.

NSU University School robotics
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

The NSU University School’s Robotics team is headed to the Vex World Championship this week, where they will face robots from 35 countries.  

During one of the last team practices before leaving Tuesday for the competition in Louisville,  the robotics students showed off what the two bots they are bringing to the event can do.

Scientific advancement: It's all in the wiggle.

The wheels of a tall, metal cart squeak as Chris Beatty, 26, pulls it through a maze of aisles inside a cosmetics warehouse in Burlington, N.J.

A hand-held scanner helps Beatty find specific items, such as face cream or lipstick — to be sorted, packed and shipped to online customers. In his industry, this is called picking.

Asked if a robot could do his job, Beatty responds with a long pause. "That's a tough one," he says eventually, "but I don't think a robot could do this."

Then he got an idea, an awful idea. The Grinch got a wonderful, awful idea.

I know just what to do, the Grinch laughed in his throat. All it will take is a few keystrokes.

But of course he didn't actually muse. Because the Grinch in this case is a bot. It's automatic. It doesn't snooze.

Online scammers with an arsenal of cyberbots are stealing Christmas by buying up the most popular toys of the season and selling them for a hefty markup on third-party sites such as Amazon and eBay.

Every day, we are inching closer to some kind of artificial intelligence.

At this point, it isn't so important whether we're talking about truly self-conscious machines or not. Advances in big data, machine learning and robotics are all poised to give us a world in which computers are effectively intelligent in terms of how we deal with them.

Should you be scared by this proposition? Based on a lecture I just attended, my answer is: "absolutely, but not in the usual 'robot overlords' kind of way."

In 2009, food writer Emma Christensen began brewing beer at home. She quickly grew to love each stage of the hours-long process, much of which is spent tending to a crock of boiling wort, or unfermented beer, and adding hops every few minutes. Over the course of making more than a hundred batches, she has become skilled at the art of turning barley, water, hops and yeast into beer.

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

What do you get when you combine 20 miniature movie sets, three-dozen puppets, a string quartet, three turntables and five video cameras?

Next month, there's a world chess championship match in New York City, and the two competitors, the assembled grandmasters, the budding chess prodigies, the older chess fans — everyone paying attention — will know this indisputable fact: A computer could win the match hands down.

Researchers are developing a system to teach robots how to feel pain.

South Florida Students Make Their Robots Compete

Mar 2, 2015
Lisann Ramos

This past weekend 51 student teams from high schools across Florida and the country competed in the South Florida FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition at the Fort Lauderdale Convention Center.

To the left of the convention center are tents lined up and full of students trying to get their robots ready for competition, each robot wearing its team shirt as well as some capes, masks and wigs. All in the name of team spirit.

Lisann Ramos

Florida has been putting an emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math education. And with STEM, comes tests -- and competitions.

The South Florida Regional FIRST Robotics Competition is happening through Saturday at the Fort Lauderdale Convention Center. FIRST is an acronym -- For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. 

Real-Life RoboCop Makes Debut At FIU

Feb 13, 2014
Lisann Ramos

The Discovery Lab at Florida International University in Miami demonstrated a prototype for its own version of RoboCop on Wednesday morning. The robot is designed to allow disabled police and military personnel to serve as patrol officers.

They call the model TeleBot because it combines telepresence and robotics. This particular TeleBot’s name is Hutch.

Construction on Hutch began in 2012 when Dr. Jong-Hoon Kim, the director of Discovery Lab at FIU, received a donation from Lieutenant Jeremy Robins of the U.S. Navy.

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