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Jotun HullSkater Cleaning Robot

Things in the water tend to get algae, barnacles, mussels, etc… growing on them. With boats, this biofouling is a problem because it makes ships less efficient. A less efficient boat goes slower, uses more fuel, and expels more exhaust. Not good.

Additionally, some of these hitchhiking organisms end up traveling with the boat to non-native areas where they cause other issues.

Enter Jotun, a Norwegian company, who collaborated with a Swedish company, Semcon, to develop the HullSkater robot. The HullSkater is designed to work with a proprietary silyl acrylate-based hull coating. Once a ship has this coating the hull scrubbing robot can get to work using its four magnetized wheels. Each wheel has its own motor.

The craziest part of this robot is that it isn’t autonomous or ship controlled – instead, it is controlled remotely by Jotun staff. The remote staff use the HullSkater’s three cameras and four spotlights.

Video of the HullSkater in action after the break. (more…)

blowfish-a3-weapon-drone

Imagine that, China selling anything to make a buck. In this case, China is selling fully autonomous weaponized drones to the Middle East. These drones, including the Blowfish A3, are capable of conducting swarm style lethal-attacks on targets.

These drones are made by Zhuhai Ziyan of Guangdong, check them out in the video after the break. (more…)

Too far away from April Fools to be a joke and way to elaborate. This yard robot autonomously patrols the yard looking for dog poop piles to scoop up. About time!

This cool robot is from Beetl Robotics and looks like a little green and white tractor. The Beetl Poop Robot uses computer vision and sensors to locate poop in your yard, hovers over the top and deploys its jaws and shears to scoop the poop. Pretty cool stuff. Video of the poop-bot after the break. (more…)

Bosstown Dynamics Robot Fights Back

You have likely seen the Boston Dynamics robotic videos on the interwebs. They are getting better at performing all kinds of tasks. There are videos of them being kicked while walking to show off their stability and adaptability. Pretty amazing stuff.

Well, it was only a matter of time before another spoof video made its way online. This one is dubbed Bosstown Dynamics and shows a robot fighting back. Video after the break. (more…)

Remember the 2006 Sony Aibo Robotic Dog? Yeah, me either. Well, Sony has doubled down on this cute little robot dog and released an all-new version today. The AIBO Robotic Dog will set you back $2,899 and it comes with three years of Sony’s AI Cloud service. This service is necessary for the robotic dog to tune its AI with Sony’s servers. Another set of microphones and cameras enters the home. Certainly seems like the gadgets these days with cameras and microphones are on the rise. I will let you ponder that one. ...

Reconfigurable Wheel Track

The smart kids at Carnegie Mellon Universities National Robotics Engineering Center (CMU NREC) have reinvented the wheel. They totally went agains the grain and made a circular wheel that can convert to a triangular track. Video of this crazy shape-shifting tire after the break. (more…)

Google Assistant Making Phone Calls

This video from Google’s I/O 2018 developer conference shows off how far the AI voice assistant has come. The AI piece is impressive and works well in these samples, but I am more impressed with the realistic voice and speak disfluencies. Have a listen after the break and prepare to have your mind blown. (more…)

Trailer Valet RVR Airstream

Imagine never having to back up your RV trailer (or any trailer up to 9,000-pounds for that matter) again. Some people make quick work of it while others can’t back a trailer to save their lives. The Trailer Valet RVR makes backing trailers a snap. This robotic tank track RV parking machine is basically a remote control tank with a ball-hitch for your trailers. It has four planetary gear motors, caterpillar treads, 360-degrees of motion, and can traverse most surfaces. More picture sand video after the break. (more…)

Toyota CUE Basketball Shooting Robot 1

When not making cars the engineers at Toyota like to play with robotics. The latest robot to come out of the Toyota Engineering Society is a humanoid robot that has one function, sinking free throw shots on basketball court. The robot is named CUE and it uses artificial intelligence to learn from real players. Video of this basketball shooting robot after the break.

Toyota CUE Basketball Shooting Robot 2

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Watch out DJI, there is a new kid on the block. The new kid is Skydio and their autonomous flying camera is the R1 ($2,500). The Skydio R1 flies all by itself with no remote control. It is powered by an Nvidia Jetson AI chip, has 12 navigation cameras for obstacle avoidance, and a main 4k camera for tracking a target. the body is made of carbon fiber and aluminum. One of the best parts is that it is...