Pepper the robot can perform funerary rites, but it shouldn’t

Gadgets - Posted On:2017-08-22 20:30:03 Source: techcrunch

 It’s not really clear just what “humanoid” robots are actually for. I’ve seen them do all kinds of things, but almost none of them well; at our recent Robotics event in Boston, several leading experts in the field questioned their necessity. But we grew up with Data and Robby and Cylons, and so now we have Pepper. Performing funeral rites for cash-strapped people in Japan.

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MIT’s Robogami lets you build custom 3D-printable robots from standard, folding parts

Gadgets - Posted On:2017-08-22 18:45:02 Source: techcrunch

 Flat-pack furniture made Ikea a global powerhouse, and the same principles may help create a new generation of robots. Interactive Robogami is a project from MIT that lets users create ambulatory robots from a library of pieces that fold and fit together like origami.

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Nintendo adds PayPal support to the Nintendo Switch

Gadgets - Posted On:2017-08-22 12:30:02 Source: techcrunch

 Nintendo has added a new payment option for eShop purchases on the Nintendo Switch and on its website. Starting today, you can now link your Nintendo account to your PayPal account and pay for future purchases using your PayPal balance or any payment method already linked to your PayPal account. This update is only about the Switch. If you’re still using a WiiU or Nintendo 3DS,…

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Verizon throttles video for good with its not-so-unlimited plan

Gadgets - Posted On:2017-08-22 10:59:59 Source: techcrunch

 It turns out that providing unlimited data is quite expensive. Ars Technica spotted that Verizon is revamping its plans and now sells you two kinds of unlimited data — Go Unlimited and Beyond Unlimited. (Disclosure: Verizon owns Oath, which owns TechCrunch.) And the biggest change is probably that mobile video is now capped at a maximum resolution of 480p. You won’t be able to…

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New drone perches on walls like a robotic bird

Gadgets - Posted On:2017-08-22 09:14:59 Source: techcrunch

 The Multimodal Autonomous Drone (S-MAD) is a fixed-wing drone that has a few bird-like tricks up its sleeve. You can, for example, fly it like a glider through a room or open space, but when it approaches a flat surface the drone quickly changes configuration and lands flat with its little spiky teeth digging in to keep it from falling.

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Markforged announces two 3D printers that produce items as strong as steel

Gadgets - Posted On:2017-08-22 09:14:59 Source: techcrunch

 Markforged, a 3D printer manufacturer based in Boston, has just announced two new models — the X3 and the X5. Both of these printers are designed to create carbon fiber-infused objects using a standard filament printing system and both can produce items that can replace or are stronger than steel objects. Both printers have auto-leveling and scanning systems to ensure each printed object…

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Watch Microsoft’s Xbox One X Gamescom conference live right here

Gadgets - Posted On:2017-08-20 10:29:58 Source: techcrunch

 Microsoft is about to share the last details on the Xbox One X with a press conference ahead of the Gamescom in Cologne, Germany. You can watch it live right here at 12 PM on the West Coast, 3 PM on the East Coast, 8 PM in the U.K., 9 PM in Germany. The company already said on Twitter that we can expect to hear more details about pre-orders for the Xbox One X: #XboxOneX pre-order info is…

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These solar glass blocks would make great skylights for your solar roof

Gadgets - Posted On:2017-08-18 21:30:01 Source: techcrunch

 If you’re going to be decking your roof out with solar tiles, there’s a possibility that you may forgo what might be the best placement of a skylight in favor of more solar cell square footage. Luckily solar glass is fast becoming an option, and these clever glass blocks are the best option I’ve seen yet.

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This 3D-printed robotic arm is built for sign language

Gadgets - Posted On:2017-08-18 19:45:02 Source: techcrunch

 While we usually see robotics applied to industrial or research applications, there are plenty of ways they could help in everyday life as well: an autonomous guide for blind people, for instance, or a kitchen bot that helps disabled folks cook. Or — and this one is real — a robot arm that can perform rudimentary sign language.

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A Tesla owner shows his 97-year-old Grandpa a car from the future

Gadgets - Posted On:2017-08-18 18:45:02 Source: techcrunch

 Zac Carmi showed his 97-year-old grandfather his Tesla. His grandpa was pretty impressed. You can watch video of the adorable interaction below. In what could be some of the cutest footage of a lovable grandpa discovering the future ever, Carmi loads his grandpa into the car and accelerates. Grandpa, obviously, says that “you need a parachute” to drive this thing. Tech folks…

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Google Home now works with Spotify free accounts

Gadgets - Posted On:2017-08-18 14:45:02 Source: techcrunch

 For all the talk of how voice assistants could be the future of IoT or computing in general, the only consistently engaging use of home assistants like Echo or Google Home seems to be audio playback. Today, Google is making it a bit easier for the cheapos to get in on the action, as it’s beginning to roll out support for Spotify free accounts on its Home platform.

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Nintendo’s Splatoon 2 Switch bundle will be a Walmart exclusive

Gadgets - Posted On:2017-08-17 11:45:02 Source: techcrunch

 Want those snazzy neon green and pink Switch controllers you’ve been coveting? In the U.S. and Canada, you’ll have to head to Walmart to pick up the Splatoon 2 Switch console bundle – at least initially. The bundle, announced today by Nintendo, will include Neon Pink and Neon Green right and left Switch controllers, as well as Splatoon 2, the console and the dock, along with…

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Essential Phone now available to order, ships soon to pre-sale customers

Gadgets - Posted On:2017-08-17 09:59:58 Source: techcrunch

 The Essential Phone has arrived, a bit later than originally announced. The first smartphone from the new company founded by Android creator Andy Rubin is now available to order, via Essential’s own site, Best Buy, and Sprint. The phone is still listed as a pre-order in all three spots, with shipping information to be conveyed later, but this is the closest people have been able to get…

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Protecting 3D printers from cyberattacks could be as simple as listening carefully

Gadgets - Posted On:2017-08-16 19:00:01 Source: techcrunch

 As 3D printers grow smarter and continue to embed themselves in manufacturing and product creation processes, they are exposed to online malefactors just like every other device and network. Security researchers suggest a way to prevent hackers from sabotaging the outputs of 3D printers: listen very, very carefully.

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Ofo comes to the US, joining the bike-share fray in Seattle

Gadgets - Posted On:2017-08-16 16:30:03 Source: techcrunch

 Seattle seems like an unlikely venue for a duel between bike-sharing companies: it’s rainy, hilly, its residents can’t drive, and another bike-share program recently went belly-up publicly and ignominiously. But Ofo, one of several Chinese giants in the space, is the third company to launch in the city in a month. It’s the company’s first foray in the States.

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You can now make free phone calls with your Google Home

Gadgets - Posted On:2017-08-16 14:00:05 Source: techcrunch

 Remember back in May, when Google announced plans to let people make free phone calls through the Google Home? That feature is rolling out starting today (alas, only for folks in U.S./Canada). Say something like, “OK Google, call the nearest sandwich shop,” and it’ll connect the dots and help you get your grub. Or, if you give Google Home access to your contacts, you can…

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After rebranding to Puls and raising new cash, CellSavers wants to help set up your smart gadgets

Gadgets - Posted On:2017-08-15 12:30:02 Source: techcrunch

 CellSavers, the on-demand smartphone and tablet repair service, is rebranding its business to Puls and expanding its suite of services to include most smart devices in a home. The San Francisco-based company also rounded up $25 million in new financing to help support its new marketing push and services.

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DJI adds an offline mode to its drones for clients with ‘sensitive operations’

Gadgets - Posted On:2017-08-14 19:15:01 Source: techcrunch

 DJI is working on a “local data mode” for its apps that prevents any data from being sent or received from the internet. The feature will be welcomed by many, but it’s hard not to attribute the timing and urgency of the announcement to the recent ban of DJI gear by the U.S. Army over unspecified “cyber vulnerabilities.”

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Machine learning can tell if you’re wearing swap-meet Louie

Gadgets - Posted On:2017-08-11 17:30:01 Source: techcrunch

 A wise man once said “The hat mighta had a L V on the back but at the swap meet that ain’t jack,” and now researchers can ensure that the Louis Vuitton or Prada or Coach you bought is the real deal. The system, which essentially learns the difference between real and fake products over time, uses a small microscope connected to a phone. “The underlying principle of…

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Machine learning can tell if you’re wearing swap meet Louie

Gadgets - Posted On:2017-08-11 17:00:03 Source: techcrunch

 A wise man once said “The hat mighta had a L V on the back but at the swap meet that ain’t jack” and now researchers can ensure that the Louis Vuitton or Prada or Coach you bought is the real deal. The system, which essentially learns the difference between real and fake products over time, uses a small microscope connected to a phone. “The underlying principle of…

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