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Technology See MIT's Mini Cheetah backflipping robots play a mean game of soccer

22:55  08 november  2019
22:55  08 november  2019 Source:   cnet.com

Starship's delivery robots now serve Purdue University

Starship's delivery robots now serve Purdue University Starship's delivery robots have reached their largest school campus yet. Purdue students at the university's West Lafayette campus now have the option of ordering robot-delivered food that should arrive in "minutes." As at other schools, deliveries carry a flat $2 fee and work in tandem with your student meal plan. If you're too busy studying to traipse across the university grounds and don't want to spend much more than you're already paying for food, your solution might be at hand. The bot maker is in the early stages of an expansion that will have thousands of machines serving campuses within the next two years.

When autumn hits and leaves are on the ground, it's fun to take your dog outside to play. And that includes robot dogs of course.

MIT's Biomimetic Robotics Lab posted a new video this week showing off the skills of its Mini Cheetah robots -- lightweight and quadruped robots the university has been developing for awhile now. The video shows the dog-like robots hopping up and down, doing backflips and even playing soccer. The new footage almost makes the robots look like they're having fun.

You might be talking to robots at McDonald's drive thrus soon

You might be talking to robots at McDonald's drive thrus soon The fast-food restaurant is adding artificial intelligence to its ordering process.

Each Mini Cheetah weighs around 20 pounds (9 kilograms), is powered by 12 electrical motors and can reach speeds of around 5 mph (2.2 meters per second). Earlier in the year, MIT showed off the Mini Cheetah robot's new talent for doing backflips.

a group of people playing football on a field: MIT Biomimetic Robotics Lab's Mini Cheetah robots play some soccer in the park. Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. MIT Biomimetic Robotics Lab's Mini Cheetah robots play some soccer in the park. Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

While these robots are fun to watch, they do have a rather eerie side. But not to fear, they aren't exactly Terminator-level dangerous.

"Twenty pounds is not too small but not so big that it's dangerous or fragile," Director of MIT's Biomimetic Robotics Lab Sangbae Kim told IEEE Spectrum in March.

If you enjoy watching Mini Cheetah's robots frolic together outside, Kim has hinted he wants test the robots further with an obstacle course.

Is the iPad Mini a great choice for a small tablet?

Is the iPad Mini a great choice for a small tablet? Yesterday's Apple event didn't cover any updates to its iPad Mini -- which makes sense given that the 2019 iPad Mini was just released back in March. When senior editor Chris Velazco reviewed the most recent model, it had been three years since the last iteration of the tablet. The improvements that Chris most appreciated about the new iPad Mini were the improved display, solid battery life and Apple Pencil support; the parts he was less thrilled about were the recycled design, slow 12W charger and "unexciting" cameras. Overall, Chris gave the 2019 iPad Mini a solid score of 85, saying it was still "the best small tablet" available.

"Eventually, I'm hoping we could have a robotic dog race through an obstacle course, where each team controls a mini cheetah with different algorithms, and we can see which strategy is more effective," Kim added. "That's how you accelerate research."

Aibo robot dogs and the people who love them

Yandex is testing autonomous delivery robots at its Moscow HQ .
Delivery robots from Amazon, Postmates and Starship are already in the wild, but they're not the only ones with self-driving couriers. Another tech giant, Yandex, is working on its own autonomous package carrier, called Yandex.Rover. Its self-driving division is trialing Yandex.Rovers (which are based on the same tech as the cars) at the company's Moscow headquarters. For now, they're carrying documents to a shuttle that connects Yandex offices throughout the city. The robot can plan its route, detect and bypass obstacles and give pedestrians and pets the right of way.Yandex.

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