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Chain Has New Employee— a Burger-Flipping Robot

Meet Flippy

(Newser) - Welcome to 2018: Robots are cooking hamburgers now. Fast-food chain CaliBurger is using a robot called Flippy at its Pasadena, Calif., location, KTLA reports. A human employee loads up the grill with raw burger patties, and Flippy uses thermal imaging, 3D and camera vision to detect the temperature and size... More »

After School Shootings, Russian Bots Hijacked Gun Debate

'The bots focus on anything that is divisive for Americans'

(Newser) - For Russia-linked Twitter accounts and bots linked to Russian propaganda campaigns, last week's horrific school shooting in Florida was just another opportunity to sow division among Americans, security researchers say. Within an hour of the shooting, hundreds of automated Twitter accounts with suspected Russian links began sending out tweets... More »

In This Cafe, Your Barista Is a Robot

Japan's Henna Cafe debuts Sawyer the robot to brew your coffee

(Newser) - Japan has a new cafe where customers can enjoy coffee brewed and served by a robot barista. The robot named Sawyer debuted this week at Henna Cafe in Tokyo's downtown business and shopping district of Shibuya. The shop's name in Japanese means "strange cafe," reports the... More »

'Suicidal Robot' Apparently Had Enough of DC Life

Nice knowing you, Steve

(Newser) - If you ever find yourself being chased by a mob of angry robots, find a set of stairs or, even better, a fountain. Less than a week after it was dispatched to an office building in Washington, DC, a Knightscope K5 security robot by the name of "Steve" tumbled... More »

'When the Robot Served Us Pizza We Felt Very Happy'

Robot waitress draws diners to Pakistani pizza joint

(Newser) - The owners of a pizza shop in Pakistan say business is booming now that they've introduced a robot waitress. Osama Jafri, the engineer who designed the 55-pound robot, says it can greet customers and carry pizzas to their tables. The AP reports the robot resembles a short, slender woman... More »

Robot Gets Revenge After Drunk Guy Picks Fight

Security droid sounded the alarm in Mountain View

(Newser) - A crime-fighting robot wasn't able to prevent a drunk guy from attacking it—but it did get the last laugh, er, whistle, according to police. Authorities say Jason Sylvain, 41, knocked down the 5-foot-tall, 300-pound Knightscope K5 security droid —which is equipped with a camera, per Ars Technica... More »

Here's How Much Robots Have Lowered Humans' Wages in US

A new study quantifies the impact of the robot uprising on the American worker

(Newser) - It turns out the robot uprising was a whole lot less The Terminator and a whole lot more Roger & Me. A study from economists at MIT and Boston University published this month by the National Bureau of Economic Research attempts to quantify the effects of industrial automation on American... More »

Number of US Occupations Automated Since 1950: 1

Pour one out for our lost elevator operators

(Newser) - While there's a lot of worry about robots replacing American workers, a paper by Harvard economist James Bessen found automation has made humans obsolete in just one job over the past 67 years. Of 270 occupations listed in the 1950 US Census, only elevator operator no longer exists due... More »

Robot Programmed to Avoid Humans Roams Californian Desert

ShyBot is part of an exhibit by an Italian artist

(Newser) - Finally, a robot for people who don't like parties, order all their meals online, and haven't made direct eye contact in 18 months. Motherboard reports an Italian artist has created a rover that's solely programmed to avoid human contact. In an artist's statement , Norma Jeane admits... More »

Robot Enters Fukushima Reactor, Doesn't Fare So Well

'Scorpion' robot's crawling function fails before it could locate melted fuel

(Newser) - Robot probes sent to one of Japan's wrecked Fukushima nuclear reactors have suggested worse-than-anticipated challenges for the plant's ongoing cleanup. The plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., said the remote-controlled "scorpion" robot was sent into Unit 2's containment vessel Thursday to investigate the area around... More »

IBM Working on Bot to Help Elderly Age at Home

Sensors can detect motion, scent, audio, and more

(Newser) - Assisted living facilities and personal nurses aren't exactly cheap. And as the Baby Boomer generation ages, finding affordable means of helping people age in the comfort of their own homes could be good not just for seniors, but for their wallets, too. So IBM is working on a prototype... More »

Cops Grab Suspect's Gun Without Lifting a Finger

'The robot was a game changer'

(Newser) - After an attempted murder suspect armed with a rifle was chased into the desert on Sept. 8, he barricaded himself using a dirt berm and wire fencing; Los Angeles County sheriffs say they tried for six hours to get him to surrender. Finally, officers skillfully plucked the gun right out... More »

Robots Judge Beauty Contest, Get Called Racist

Artificial intelligence was supposed to eliminate bias—but most winners were light-skinned

(Newser) - Can robots be racist? It appears that way, per results from Beauty.AI , a beauty competition designed to take prejudices out of the mix by having algorithms do the judging instead of humans. But results from the competition indicate that even 'bots have biases, the Guardian reports. Forty-four winners... More »

Fake Babies Meant to Curb Pregnancy May Be Promoting It

Teens in Aussie study who used dolls more likely to get pregnant than those who didn't

(Newser) - You'd think the tedium of tending to a wailing robot baby 24/7 would make teens reluctant to have a real one—but a study out of Australia is indicating that may not be the case. Realityworks' RealCare Baby is an "infant simulator" that cries and coos, as well... More »

Robot Makes a Run for It From Russian Lab

Bad Promobot

(Newser) - Robots are on the loose in Russia—or one was on Wednesday, causing mayhem and a traffic jam. Officials say a robot trained to move around on its own made an escape from a science lab in the city of Perm. The robot, or Promobot—created to market products to... More »

Ingenious Robot Retrieves Swallowed Batteries

Thanks to origami

(Newser) - The stat is remarkable: Every three hours in the US, a child swallows a battery and risks potentially lethal consequences, per the Washington Post . Now, however, a clever fix is in sight, thanks to origami. MIT researchers have unveiled a tiny robot that, once ingested, unfolds inside the body to... More »

Touching Robot Privates Gives Us the Heebie-Jeebies

Humans turn out to be very good at thinking robots are more than mere circuitry

(Newser) - "Please touch my buttocks." Most people feel uncomfortable obeying this command, and scientists have just discovered that this discomfort extends to, well, boxes of circuitry. Researchers at Stanford University are presenting their findings from a study on touching robots at the Annual Conference of the International Communication Association... More »

Mercedes Lays Off Robots, Swaps In Humans

Customization is getting more humans back on the production line

(Newser) - Mercedes-Benz is pulling some robots off the production line at its biggest plant and replacing them with … humans. The reason? Mercedes offers so many options for its vehicles (such as four types of caps for the tire valves in the case of its S-Class sedan), it's "too... More »

Robot Farm to Churn Out 30K Heads of Lettuce a Day

Our automated overlords will be up and running by next year

(Newser) - "Robot-obsessed Japan" is how describes a country bent on automation, and its latest agricultural efforts seem to back that claim up. The world's first robot-run farm will be up and running by mid-2017, Kyoto-based Spread has announced, and it plans to churn out 30,000 heads... More »

IKEA Furniture Is Tricky for Robots, Too

But researchers are determined to get a robot to put together an entire chair

(Newser) - Most humans find IKEA furniture assembly infuriatingly difficult ... and it turns out robots aren't much better at the task. In a new study out of the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, researchers find that "fine robotic assembly, in which the parts to be assembled are small and fragile... More »

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