Robots


Uber CEO plays it safe in risk-loving Silicon Valley

Washington Post

SAN FRANCISCO - For nearly a year, Uber and Google parent Alphabet clashed over settling a lawsuit Alphabet filed against the ride-sharing company, according to two people familiar with the discussions. Uber chose to gamble for a victory in court rather than compromise, a choice that led to a high-s...


Uber and Google's Waymo reach surprise settlement in a lawsuit over self-driving technology

Washington Post

BREAKING: Uber and Google's Waymo reached a surprise settlement in a lawsuit over self-driving technology. Uber will give Waymo a small stake in the ride-sharing company in the settlement that was reached on the fifth day of a high-profile lawsuit between the two companies. Uber's CEO in a letter ex...


Snuggle robots and talking toilets: CES 2018's wildest gadgets

Washington Post

Are you ready to talk to your toilet? Those are just a few of the ideas we've seen at CES 2018, the annual consumer technology confab here at the Las Vegas Convention Center and other venues. Sure, there are tech titans here battling to control our computers, TVs and smart homes. But our favorite part is the thousands of other companies that gather to launch something new. While these ideas sometimes catch on, like fitness trackers and wireless ear buds, many go nowhere.


Boeing unveils a drone capable of landing on an aircraft carrier, as Navy competition heats up

Washington Post

Boeing recently offered a first glimpse of its newest military aircraft, a large, stingray-shaped drone it hopes will win an intense Navy competition to build an uncrewed aircraft capable of landing on an aircraft carrier. Drones have been a vital part of the Pentagon's arsenal for years, but the competition for a Navy carrier-based version that can refuel jet fighters in the midair would mark a significant advancement in the technology -- and become another sign how the military is increasingly integrating robots into the way it fights. In addition to Boeing, two of the Pentagon's top suppliers, General Atomics and Lockheed Martin, are also vying for a contract to build as many as 76 of the vehicles that would become operational in the mid 2020s. Bids are due Jan. 3, setting the stage for a high-stakes competition in 2018. Though the Navy has not yet released the value of the contract, an earlier incarnation of the effort--in which the drones would both serve as refueling aircraft and have attack capabilities -- would have been worth $3 billion through 2022.


why-darpa-and-nasa-are-building-robot-spacecraft-designed-to-act-like-service-stations-on-orbit

Washington Post

There's a graveyard in space littered with the corpses of dozens of dead satellites, a remote spot in the cosmos reserved to entomb spacecraft at the end of their lives. Even the most robust and expensive satellites eventually break down or run out of fuel, and must be retired to a remote parking orbit more than 22,000 miles away, safely out of the way of other satellites. There, the graveyard holds billions of dollars-worth of some of the most expensive hardware ever to leave the surface of the Earth -- including not just commercial communications satellites, but some of the Pentagon's most sensitive assets, used for spying, guiding bombs and warning against missile launches. Now, the Defense Advanced Projects Agency, NASA and others, are developing technologies that would extend the life of the critical infrastructure in space, preventing satellites from being shipped to the graveyard for years. If successful, the agencies would have fleets of robots with arms and cameras that could inspect, refuel and repair satellites keeping them operational well beyond their expected lifetimes.


Judge delays Waymo trial after Uber withholds alleged evidence

Washington Post

A federal judge on Tuesday delayed a high-profile trial between Uber and Waymo, the self-driving car unit of Alphabet, Google's parent company, saying that a new letter contradicted earlier statements made by the ride-hailing company. Waymo requested that the court push back the trial date to gather more information gleaned from the letter, which was only shared with the judge last week, and described Uber's alleged efforts to steal trade secrets from rivals. The letter was written by a lawyer for a former Uber employee, Richard Jacobs, who worked as a security analyst. Jacobs testified at Tuesday's hearing that Uber deliberately used messaging technology to avoid leaving a paper trail, including apps that automatically delete correspondence. He said that a special team at Uber was tasked with gathering code and trade secrets from competing businesses.


How the Pentagon is preparing for the coming drone wars

Washington Post

More than a decade after the improvised explosive device became the scourge of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pentagon is battling another relatively rudimentary device that threatens to wreak havoc on American troops: the drone. Largely a preoccupation of hobbyists and experimenting companies, the vehicles are beginning to become a menace on the battlefield, where their benign commercial capabilities have been transformed into lethal weapons and intelligence tools. Instead of delivering packages, some have been configured to drop explosives. Instead of inspecting telecommunications towers, others train their cameras to monitor troops and pick targets. Instead of spraying crops, they could spread toxic gas, commanders worry.


The most cutting-edge gifts for the techie in your life

Washington Post

They're probably the person in your life you go to help for all your technology needs. So how can you give something good to the tech-savvy person in your life? Here are some suggestions for gifts to delight those who are always looking at the hottest tech trends and products. As with all cutting-edge tech, this isn't for the faint of heart, both in terms of price and in willingness to try something new. You still won't find a headphone jack with the The iPhone X.


What would it take for you to hug a robot?

Washington Post

See what might be the next steps toward human acceptance of robots. See what might be the next steps toward human acceptance of robots.


These robots don't want your job. They want your love.

Washington Post

I hugged a bot and I liked it. As a tech columnist, I've tested all sorts of helpful robots: the kind that vacuum floors, deliver packages or even make martinis. But two arriving in homes now break new ground. They want to be our friends. "Hey, Geoffrey, it's you!" says Jibo, a robot with one giant blinking eye, when it recognizes my face.