Category Archives: Robotics

Disney experiments look to make kid-robot interactions more natural

 Sooner or later, our children will be raised by robots, so it’s natural that Disney, purveyor of both robots and child-related goods, would want to get ahead of that trend. A trio of studies from its Research division aim at understanding and improving how kids converse with and otherwise interact with robots and other reasonably smart machines. Read More

Anki’s Cozmo gets a free update aimed at helping kids learn to code

 You can’t throw a rock without hitting a coding toy these days. In just the last couple of weeks both Apple and Sony have announced new initiatives, and now Overdrive-maker Anki is getting in on the action with Code Lab, a simple and free programming language designed to teach kids to code with its Pixar-inspired robot, Cozmo. The move is no-brainer on Anki’s part. The hardware… Read More

Razer makes virtual currency push with $20M investment in Asian payment firm

 Razer has invested close to $20 million into Malaysia-based online payment firm MOL Global as part of a push to establish its virtual currency for gamers in Asia. The deal sees Razer subsidiary ZV-Midas buy equity from existing backers MOL Investment and Hotel Resort Enterprise in a deal that values the MOL Global business at around the $100 million mark. Gaming company Razer, which made… Read More

HEBI is trying to make building custom robots as easy as playing with LEGO

 The X-Series Actuator doesn’t look like much. Actually, if I’m being honest, it kind of looks like a red metal scotch tape dispenser with ribbed sides and a couple of ethernet ports. The product is scattered all over HEBI’s one-room Pittsburgh office in various states of disarray. The palm-sized metal component is the startup’s primary product — its entire reason… Read More

RE2 tapped by U.S. Air Force to build robot pilots to fly traditional aircraft

 Autonomous flight systems and aircraft are already in testing by the U.S. Air Force and other defense agencies, and now RE2 Robotics has been picked by the USAF to build a retrofit robot pilot that can easily take the controls of traditional, human-piloted aircraft and convert them to autonomous airplanes. RE2 will get funding from the Air Force to make this happen, and the program will… Read More

HuMoTech’s robotic feet make it easier to test drive a bunch of different prosthetics

 There are white boards lining the walls covered in complex formulas and earlier iterations of the company’s robotic leg are scattered in pieces on and underneath tables. You can practically chart the company’s half-decade of development with a quick look around the room, from Caputo’s 2010 PhD work on robotic feet to its first product offerings: a pair of devices designed to… Read More

TC Sessions: Robotics to feature talks from Rod Brooks, DARPA and MIT CSAIL

 The agenda for TC Sessions: Robotics just keeps getting more irresistible. We are happy to announce that Rod Brooks, co-founder of Rethink Robotics and iRobot, will join us on stage at TechCrunch’s first ever robotics show, July 17 at MIT’s Kresge auditorium. Brooks is a former director of MIT’s CSAIL program as well as an author and prognosticator on the future of robots.… Read More

Sphero spinoff Misty Robotics gets $11.5 million to create a mainstream robot for the home

 Hardware startup Misty Robotics has a daunting task ahead of it. The Boulder-based company is working on a robot aimed at mainstream consumers for employment in the home and office. But Misty certainly has a solid foundation, as a spinoff of robotic toy maker Sphero, coupled with an $11.5 million Series A led by Venrock and Foundry Group. The new company employs about half a dozen former… Read More

RE2 is making bomb-defusing robots as intuitive to control as your own hands

 Within a few minutes, I’ve got one hand grasped gingerly on the zipper. The other is holding the bag’s handle in place. I unzip it slowly, as if performing surgery. There’s none of the pressure of a real life battlefield, but the potential humiliation of having to start all over again in front of the film crew is enough motivation to it right this time.  RE2… Read More

More robots! Announcing three demos for TC Sessions: Robotics at MIT on July 17

 There are so many great robotics projects underway that it’s hard to pick the best to appear at TC Sessions: Robotics, which is coming to MIT’s Kresge Auditorium on July 17. The agenda is full with lots of robots accompanying their creators on panel sessions and 1:1s. But that’s not enough. There event will also feature three straight-up demos, and today we’re pleased… Read More