Would you like fries with that, puny human?
Don't laugh, it is a question you might be hearing more of in the near future as more and more industries mull over replacing their workstaff with robots. And it isn't in the far future either. It's already happening.
Every time I walk into a Walmart or a Wegmans I see automated registers. I use them too. Gear Live recently looked at how the modern consumer would prefer to use an app rather than speaking with sales representatives. And a San Francisco company (Momentum Machines) invented an automated burger maker.
According to an Oxford University study, there is a 92 percent chance that fast food jobs will be done by machines within two decades.
When I head news like this, I start preparing my bug-out-bag because robots and apocalypse seem to fit together all to often. But it isn't as grim as it could be if you ask the folks over at CNN. According to them, mechanization of services will only knock a maximum of 10 percent off the workforce.
Wait, 10 percent? Isn't that about one and a half times the current unemployment number? As in the current recession?
Maybe we should have learned something from Terminator. I'll rest easy knowing I have a few decades until a drone with a sorting algorithm can perform field reporting.
Here is a detailed inside look of how the famed all-electric battery powered Tesla Model S car is made. It's an automotive robot car manufacturing plant literally straight out of the future. Check out the video!
A Roomba for your barbecue grill. That's what the Grillbot is, and it sounds like something that many could use. Sure, it's just about the end of winter now, but those summer months are coming, and we'd bet there are plenty of crusty grills out there. the Grillbot promises to do the work for you, using its wire brushes to get everything shining again. The grill cleaning robot features push button operation, three motors with replaceable grill brushes, LCD display, timer, and alarm. You can get the Grillbot in orange, blue, red, or black beginning this June, selling for $69.95, or $99.95 for the premium model. Check out a video of how it all works after the break, if you don't mind ridiculous music.
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Neil Harbisson was born with achromatopsia, which means he can't see colors. He lives in a world of black and white. Not satisfied with having to remember that the sky is blue, or that lemons are yellow, he teamed up with Adam Montandon to develop a brain implant that they call the Eyeborg, which turns colors into sounds. In 2010, the Cyborg Foundation was born--an organization to help humans become cyborgs. Check out the fascinating details in the video after the jump, and be on the lookout for other projects from the Cyborg Foundation, including the Earborg (turns sounds into colors,) and the Speedbord (detects movement through earrings that vibrate.)
Fourteen years ago, Furby was the hot holiday sensation, and now in 2012, Hasbro has brought it back with a modern update that's good enough to be featured in our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide. Changes include LED eyes, capacitive touch sensors, and an app that lets you control it remotely. Kids will love them, but so will tinkerers--the original Furby was super-hackable, which hobbyists love. You can pick up the new Furby for $60.
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The Roomba 790 is the latest autonomous vaccuum cleaner from the folks at iRobot, and it's the first that you can control remotely. Yep, the 790 includes a wireless remote control that you can use to direct the Roomba towards any problem areas. The device itself has touch controls, a method to schedule automatic cleanings, and has great battery life. It isn't cheap, though. You can get the Rooma 790 now for $699.99.
Read More | iRobot
We give you a look at three different types of HexBugs in this episode. HexBugs are robotic creatures, similar to insects, that crawl around. Batteries are included, so you just open them up and turn them on, and as you can see, they will start crawling around right away. The HexBug Inchworm is radio-controlled, while the HexBug Original and HexBug Nano are simply battery powered and kind of do their own thing once you turn them on. Aside from the insect robots themselves, you can also purchase different environments for the HexBugs to move around in, which looks especially cool when dealing with the Nano version. If you're interested, you can find HexBugs at RadioShack, and can also purchase HexBugs on Amazon.
Coming in at three feet four inches and 330 pounds, it’s Robonaut 2, NASA’s humanoid robot. Six months after it was first delivered to the International Space Station by Space Shuttle Discovery, the robot has been powered on for the first time.
Robonaut 2, or R2, tweeted the progress of its first test from the @AstroRobonaut feed, operated by NASA’s Joe Bibby, a multimedia specialist working out of Houston’s Johnson Space Center, where R2's ground support is located.
“My power cable is plugged in and my status LEDs on my power backpack are on,” Robonaut tweeted Monday morning.
The world’s first operation and anesthesia done by an all robot team was conducted at Canada’s McGill University Health Centre. The operation being one of extreme delicateness, a prostatectomy, was handled by two robots: DaVinci, a surgical robot, and McSleepy, an anesthetic robot. Both of whom were controlled by a team of surgeons from a workstation with 3D HD video control.
The robots allowed the team of surgeons to work with a precision not capable of by humans alone, allowing for a more precise and safe operation. The surgical team is planning to use this project to test more all-robotic surgery and anesthesia routines on more patients in different surgical situations. We are assured that the robots will not replace the doctors, but will only augment the surgical team to perform to their highest capabilities.
Read More | TG Daily
What you see here is a video from the Robo-One humanoid robot competition in Japan, with a real-life transformer. The Omnizero.9, designed by Takeshi Maeda at Vstone, is a 3.5 foot tall, 55 pound . As you can see from the above video, it can transform into a rolling vehicle, and can even hold a person’s weight on their shoulders. We’ve got another video of the robot after the jump, where you can watch it beat down another robot. 3.5 foot tall, 55 pound robot beating up another robot. That’s one bad Deceptacon.