New York City Wants to Ban FedEx Robots

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FedEx robots called Roxo appeared in New York City for a preview party of the company’s Small Business Saturday event. Despite not being there for testing, New York City’s mayor tweeted that they weren’t welcome, and criticized FedEx for taking jobs away from humans.

FedEx told TechCrunch that the bots were there for a preview party for its Small Business Saturday event and are not testing in New York. Even this promotional event was too much for city officials concerned with congestion and bots taking jobs from humans.

After reports of the bot sightings, the mayor tweeted that FedEx didn’t receive permission to deploy the robots; he also criticized the company for using a bot to perform a task that a New Yorker could do. The New York Department of Transportation has sent FedEx a cease-and-desist order to stop operations the bots,  which TechCrunch has viewed.

How Far Would You Go to Protect a Robot?

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I, Robot (the movie)

From boingboing: “‘Under what circumstances and to what extent would adults be willing to sacrifice robots to save human lives?’ That was the question posed by researchers at Radboud University in Nijmegen in the Netherlands and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich.” The results have implications for how we’ll design robots with apparent human feelings.

Sphero Intros BOLT Robot for STEAM Education

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Sphero announced its newest robot, Sphero BOLT, on Monday. The sphere-shaped robot is targeted at the education market, but is available to everyone. It packs an array of infrared and ambient light sensors, LEDs, and a digital compass in its clear body. You can program it from a wide range of devices including iPhones, iPads, Android phones and tablets, Kindle, Macs, and PCs. Sphero BOLT is priced at US$149.99 and is available at the Sphere website.

Anki Unveils Vector Home Robot with AI Learning

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Anki’s Cozmo is a fun fist-size robot for education and play, and now the company is taking its compact robots to the next level with Vector. Unlike Cozmo, Vector doesn’t need your smartphone to supplement its brain, and it uses artificial intelligence to learn. It’s also designed to be more of an assistant and can learn names and faces, as well as link to the internet to find answers to your questions. The idea is to make Vector your companion instead of just a robot toy. There’s a Kickstarter so you can get a Vector for US$199.99 on October 9th, and it’ll be available to the general public for $249.99 on October 12th.

Apple Camp 2018: Robots, Music, and Video

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If you’re a kid between 8 and 12 years old, it’s time to sign up for Apple Camp. This year’s programs include Coding with Sphero Robots, Beat Making and Songwriting with GarageBand, and Telling Stories with Clips. The programs are hosted at local Apple stores and are 90 minutes a day for three days throughout July. The programs are all free and they fill up fast so be sure to sign up right away. You can check out the program descriptions and sign up at the Apple Camp website.

Apple Camp 2018: Robots, Music, and Video

MekaMon: The AR Robot You Control with Your iPhone is Even Cooler than it Sounds

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Let’s be honest: Who doesn’t want a battle crab robot in their livingroom? That’s the distilled essence of living in the future, and exactly what Reach Robotics is giving us with its MekaMon. The MekaMon is a 4-legged robot you control with your iPhone or iPad for games and to battle against other MekaMon robots—in real life or AR. It’s is amazingly cool, and you’ll have to pay a trip to the Apple Store (online or in person) to get yours. MekaMon is priced at US$299.95 and is available now.