Lyft gets approval to test self-driving cars on public roads in California

 Lyft is the latest company to be added to the ever-growing list of those permitted to test their self-driving technology on California state public roads. The California Department of Motor Vehicles added Lyft to the list recently (via Axios), following Lyft’s foundation of a self-driving technology development center earlier this year, and its announcement that it would work on both its… Read More

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You can virtually inhabit Toyota’s new humanoid robot

 Toyota has a new, third-generation humanoid robot bears the charming name “T-HR3” and is designed to be a helpful and safe assistant to humans. It also features a so-called “master maneuvering systems,” which is essentially a VR-powered remote operating platform that a human can use to have the T-HR3 mirror its movements. Yes, kind of like a jaeger from kaiju movie… Read More

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Roomba gets IFTTT functionality

 iRobot’s been talking a lot about its plans to make the Roomba an essential part of the connected home. The process has been a bit slow going — the company added WiFi connectivity in 2015 and Alexa functionality this year — but it’s getting there, slowly but surely. Today, the world’s best selling robotic vacuum takes another important step with the addition of… Read More

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Uber orders 24,000 Volvo XC90s for driverless fleet

 Uber has entered into an agreement with carmaker Volvo to purchase 24,000 of its XC90 SUVs between 2019 and 2021 to form a fleet of autonomous vehicles, according to Bloomberg News. The XC90 is the base of Uber’s latest-generation self-driving test car, which features sensors and autonomous driving computing capability installed by Uber after purchase on the XC90 vehicle. The deal is said… Read More

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Boston Dynamics’ Atlas robot is a parkour master

 Parkour! That’s what we should all be devoting our combined robotics expertise towards. There’s no nobler human pursuit, so of course we should create a robot that can master the so-called ‘sport of kings.’ And yes, that is the true sport of kings. Boston Dynamics has shown off its new version of SpotMini, a robot dog that’s slightly less intimating cased in its… Read More

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MegaBots says it will shut down if it can’t reach its next crowdfunding goal

 It took a while, but last month the latest iteration of MegaBots’ giant fighting robot finally did battle with a 6.5-ton machine from Japan’s Suidobashi Heavy Industry. The battle was really a precursor for what the Bay Area robotics company has been planning all along: a robotic fighting league. Unsurprisingly, it’s going to take another crowdfunding campaign to get there. Read More

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The AR-powered fighting MekaMon robot goes on sale at Apple Stores

 After selling out of its initial run of 500, U.K.-based Reach Robotics scored a $7.5 million funding round to help it produce a more consumer-ready version of its battling robotics platform. Turns out VCs weren’t the only ones paying close attention to the company’s product: Apple has also been watching the company’s growth with keen interest. Read More

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For the next six hours you can guide a robot through a web of miniature Reddit-themed escape rooms

 Something weird is about to happen on Reddit. Starting at 10 a.m. PT on Tuesday, an AI-powered robot the size of a computer mouse will star in a live event that’s part reality show, part interactive puzzle and all an homage to the internet’s premier repository of dank memes. Read More

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Meet Boston Dynamics’ streamlined SpotMini

 Boston Dynamics hasn’t talked much since it changed hands from Google’s ailing robotics wing to the deep pockets of Soft Bank, but the cutting edge robotics firm happily gave the world a sneak peek of what it’s been working on in the meantime. The company posted a 24 second teaser trailer showcasing a sleek new version of its latest offering, the electric-powered… Read More

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Robin goes all in on robotic lawn care and focuses on franchising

 Robin, which pitched a combined “Uber for lawn care” and robotic-lawnmower-as-a-service at Disrupt SF’s Startup Battlefield last year, is making some big changes. It quietly sold the first part to Porch earlier this year, and is now focused on expanding the robot service nationwide via a franchising plan. (And they’re going to be on Shark Tank.) Read More

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Meet European bootcamp Rockstart’s first AI cohort

 Back in April the Netherlands-based Rockstart bootcamp announced it was adding an AI track. It’s now named the first batch of startups in the inaugural six-month program, with teams hailing from as far afield as India, Singapore, South Africa and the US. Read More

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Waymo now testing its self-driving cars on public roads with no one at the wheel

 Waymo recently hosted a number of journalists at its private Castle testing compound, and treated us to rides with no safety driver behind the wheel – now, the former Google self-driving car company is going farther still, however, launching public road tests of its autonomous Chrysler Pacifica minivans with no safety driver on board. The tests aren’t limited to one or two… Read More

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Waymo’s first product will be its own on-demand ride hailing service

 Waymo is firming up some of its plans around its initial go-to-market strategy for its autonomous driving technology. The company has talked about a number of potential applications of self-driving that it might explore in terms of future products, including last mile transit in partnership with cities, consumer vehicle autonomy and even trucking, but at Web Summit today, Waymo CEO John… Read More

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Quantifying the driverless startup boom

 For driverless car startups, raising capital seems to happen on autopilot. Investors and acquirers have put billions into the space over the past couple of years in the race for early-mover advantage. They’ve shown no desire to hit the brakes lately either, as indicated by a spate of recent deals. Read More

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Sony reboots Aibo with AI and extra kawaii

 The rumors had it right: Sony is rebooting its robot dog, Aibo, announcing a new four-legged companion AI-powered bot incoming with the same brand name but more rounded corners and visible facial features for extra kawaii, including a pair of expressive, puppy-dog eyes. Read More

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