Rolling, hopping robots explore Earthly analogs of distant planets

Before we send any planet-trotting robot to explore the landscape of Mars or Venus, we need to test it here on Earth. Two such robotic platforms being developed for future missions are undergoing testing at European Space Agency facilities: one that rolls, and one that hops. The rolling one is actually on the books to […]

Robotic Exoskeleton company Roam raises a $12 million Series A

Bay Area-based robotic exoskeleton company Roam announced this morning that it has secured a $12 million series A. The round, led by Yamaha Motors, with investments from Boost VC, Heuristics Capital Partners, Menlo Ventures, R7 Partners, Spero Ventures, Valor Equity Partners and Venture Investment Associates, brings the company’s total funding up to around $15 million. […]

Mars Lander InSight sends the first of many selfies after a successful touchdown

Last night’s 10 minutes of terror as the InSight Mars Lander descended to the Martian surface at 12,300 MPH were a nail-biter for sure, but now the robotic science platform is safe and sound — and has sent pics back to prove it. The first thing it sent was a couple pictures of its surroundings: […]

That night, a forest flew: DroneSeed is planting trees from the air

Wildfires are consuming our forests and grasslands faster than we can replace them. It’s a vicious cycle of destruction and inadequate restoration rooted, so to speak, in decades of neglect of the institutions and technologies needed to keep these environments healthy. DroneSeed is a Seattle-based startup that aims to combat this growing problem with a […]

China’s Geek+ raises $150M to build robots for warehouses and logistics

One of the most immediate — and already live — applications for robotics and artificial intelligence in general has been in using unmanned robots in warehouses and other environments, where they replace humans in repetitive jobs such as sorting and moving objects from A to B. Now, Beijing-based robotics startup Geek Plus (aka Geek+) says […]

Affetto is the wild-boy-head robot of your nightmares

[embedded content] Affetto is a robot that can smile at you while it pierces your soul with its endless, dead state. Created by researchers at Osaka University, this crazy baby-head robot can mimic human emotions by scrunching up its nose, smiling and even closing its eyes and frowning. Put it all together and you get […]

Google is closing its Schaft robotics unit after failing to find a buyer

Sad news for anyone into giant robots: Google parent Alphabet is closing down Schaft, its secretive unit that develops bipedal robots aimed at helping out in disaster efforts and generally looking badass. The news was first reported by Nikkei, but Alphabet confirmed to TechCrunch that the business will be shuttered. It said it is helping staff find […]

The Da Vinci Drawmaton is a blast from the Renaissance

Robert Sabuda makes mechanical books – pop up books with mechanical features that make them move and change while you read them – and he’s made it to the top of the New York Times best seller list multiple times. Now he’s taking on a new challenge: rebuilding and selling a version of Leonardo da […]

Burgerbot startup Creator hires inventor of Boston Dynamics’ Big Dog

Disney Imagineering animatronics wizard Dr. Martin Buehler is a legend in the robotics world. His work leading development of the galloping Big Dog quadruped at Boston Dynamics both inspired and terrified a new generation of makers. But after playing in the worlds of fantasy and science fiction that consumers can’t buy, Buehler has been poached […]

TWIICE One Exoskeleton furthers the promise of robotic mobility aids

Few things in the world of technology can really ever be said to be “done,” and certainly exoskeletons are not among their number. They exist, but they are all works in progress, expensive, heavy, and limited. So it’s great to see this team working continuously on their TWIICE robotic wearable, improving it immensely with the […]