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A delivery robot that doubles as personal sidekick

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

The first cargo-carrying robot marketed directly to consumers is now on sale just in time for the holiday season. Its makers believe it's the future, but with a $3,250 price tag, who is ready to ditch their second car for this two-wheeled rover?

Save £100 with this deal on the Vector robot by Anki


Listen up because robot sidekicks are now a reality. We aren't quite to the point where we can command our robot friends to complete all our housework while we sit back and relax, but we've made the first steps. Aware and reactive, Vector by Anki is so much more than just a home robot. Vector uses a HD camera to see the world, meaning it can identify people, see and remember faces, and navigate around without bumping into things. Oh and it can also hear.


AAAI Conferences

Creating reasonable AI for sidekicks in games has proven to be a difficult challenge synthetizing player modelling and cooperative planning, both being problems hard by themselves. In this paper, we experiment with designing around these problems: we propose a cooperative puzzle-platformer game that was designed to look similarly to the mainstream of the genre, but to allow for an easy implementation of a quality sidekick AI, letting us test player reactions to the AI. The game was designed so that it is easy for the AI to find optimal solutions while the problem is relatively hard for a human player. We gathered survey responses from players who played the game online (N 28). While the AI sidekick was reported as likeable and helpful, players still reported greater enjoyment of the game when they were allowed to control the sidekick themselves. These findings indicate that the AI itself is not the only obstacle to truly enjoyable gameplay with an AI sidekick.

This journal may be the habit-changer you need


Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission. Are you the type of person who sets twenty alarms in the morning and then snoozes through all of them? When you wake up, do you lay in bed and scroll mindlessly through Facebook for half an hour? Maybe you just need some inspiration. The makers of the Morning Sidekick Journal have you covered.

Elgato's control pad is a livestreaming sidekick


Just like the extra buttons dedicated to MMO macros on the gaming keyboards of yore, the Stream Deck's buttons are aimed to give users quick access to things nested deep in program files. The keys are shortcuts to suit your streaming style, whether that's firing up Twitter, starting/stopping a stream on Twitch, changing volume levels or dropping in a GIF. Finally, the keys themselves are essentially tiny LCD screens that can hold custom icons. Because who doesn't want to drop in their favorite ridiculous thumbnail into their tiny keypad?