This robot scientist has conducted 100,000 experiments in a year

Science is exciting in theory, but it can also be dreadfully dull. Some experiments require hundreds or thousands of repetitions or trials — an excellent opportunity to automate. That’s just what MIT scientists have done, creating a robot that performs a certain experiment, observes the results, and plans a follow-up… and has now done so […]

This robot relies on human reflexes to keep its balance

As much as we’d like to think that we’re entering an era of autonomous robots, they’re actually still pretty helpless. To keep them from falling down all the time, a human’s fast reflexes could be the solution. But the human has to feel what the robot is feeling — and that’s just what these researchers […]

Ekasbo’s Matebot may be the cutest cat robot yet created

If Shrek saw Matebot, no amount of sad-eyes could win him back to Puss in Boots’ side. Created by Shenzhen-based robotics company Ekasbo, Matebot looks like a black and white cartoon cat and responds to your touch by wiggling its ears, changing the expression in its big LED eyes and tilting its head. Built with […]

This robot learns its two-handed moves from human dexterity

If robots are really to help us out around the house or care for our injured and elderly, they’re going to want two hands… at least. But using two hands is harder than we make it look — so this robotic control system learns from humans before attempting to do the same. The idea behind […]

Why is Facebook doing robotics research?

It’s a bit strange to hear that the world’s leading social network is pursuing research in robotics rather than, say, making search useful, but Facebook is a big organization with many competing priorities. And while these robots aren’t directly going to affect your Facebook experience, what the company learns from them could be impactful in […]

Kiwi’s food delivery bots are rolling out to 12 more colleges

If you’re a student at UC Berkeley, the diminutive rolling robots from Kiwi are probably a familiar sight by now, trundling along with a burrito inside to deliver to a dorm or apartment building. Now students at a dozen more campuses will be able to join this great, lazy future of robotic delivery as Kiwi […]

Digging into key takeaways from our 2019 Robotics + AI Sessions event

Extra Crunch offers members the opportunity to tune into conference calls led and moderated by the TechCrunch writers you read every day. This week, TechCrunch’s Brian Heater and Lucas Matney shared their key takeaways from our Robotics + AI Sessions event at UC Berkeley last week. The event was filled with panels, demos and intimate […]

FarmWise turns to Roush to build autonomous vegetable weeders

FarmWise wants robots to do the dirty part of farming: weeding. With that thought, the San Francisco-based startup enlisted the help of Michigan-based manufacturing and automotive company Roush to build prototypes of the self-driving robots. An early prototype is pictured above. Financial details of the collaboration were not released. The idea is these autonomous weeders […]

This robotics museum in Korea will construct itself (in theory)

The planned Robot Science Museum in Seoul will have a humdinger of a first exhibition: its own robotic construction. It’s very much a publicity stunt, though a fun one — but who knows? Perhaps robots putting buildings together won’t be so uncommon in the next few years, in which case Korea will just be an […]

Robots learn to grab and scramble with new levels of agility

Robots are amazing things, but outside of their specific domains they are incredibly limited. So flexibility — not physical, but mental — is a constant area of research. A trio of new robotic setups demonstrate ways they can evolve to accommodate novel situations: using both “hands,” getting up after a fall, and understanding visual instructions […]