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Video Friday: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Tries Dexterous Robot Hands

Photo: Shadow Robot Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos controls a pair of dexterous robot hands using haptic feedback gloves at Amazon’s re:MARS conference. Advertisement Editor’s Picks Amazon Uses 800 Robots to Run This Warehouse Brad Porter, VP of Robotics at Amazon, on Warehouse Automation, Machine Learning, and His First Robot Amazon’s New Prime Air Drone Features a Weird Tailsitter Design Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers. We’ll also be posting a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months; here’s what we have so far (send us your events): RSS 2019 – June 22-26, 2019 – Freiburg, Germany Hamlyn Symposium on Medical Robotics – June 23-26, 2019 – London, U.K. ETH Robotics Summer School – June 27-1...

Samsung Galaxy Fit hands-on review

It doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to get a good, basic fitness tracker these days, and while Fitbit’s latest lineup is looking strong, Samsung is ready to put up a fight for your attention. Its latest, the Galaxy Fit, goes toe-to-toe with the Fitbit Inspire HR — both cost $99 — and in my brief time with it, the Galaxy Fit is increasingly looking like the better buy. Slim profile, colorful display What stands out is the 0.95-inch screen that’s protected by Gorilla Glass. Sure, it’s not as big as the 1.04-inch display on the Inspire HR, but it’s AMOLED, so not only are you getting deep blacks, but there’s plenty of vivid color. AMOLED makes the screen on the Galaxy Fit more visually interesting, and the use of color helps me to quickly distinguish certain datasets when I’m working out. I woul...

This lifesaving wearable could diagnose strokes more accurately

As the Apple Watch’s ECG-reading tech has made clear, wearable devices have moved well beyond high-tech gimmicks and become genuine lifesavers. The latest demonstration of this is a new device, developed by researchers from the Army Medical University and China Academy of Engineering Physics. Their “hybrid instrument” uses two different light measurement techniques to build an accurate profile of the body’s blood circulation. In doing so, it could be useful for quickly and accurately identifying strokes, one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Because strokes must be diagnosed within a few hours for effective treatment to take place, this may prove a significant tool for physicians — and potential future patients, too. “We have fabricated a hybrid diffuse optical device that combines...

T-RHex Is a Hexapod Robot With Microspines on Its Feet

Photo: CMU T-RHex uses microspines on its feet to grip onto rough surfaces like bricks, wood, and concrete. Although it can’t yet climb vertical walls, it can hang from them. Advertisement Editor’s Picks RHex Does Parkour All Over UPenn JPL Designing Spiny-Fingered Grippers for Robotic Drilling on Asteroids Here’s How NASA Will Grab an Asteroid Using a Spiky Robot Gripper In Aaron Johnson’s “Robot Design & Experimentation” class at CMU, teams of students have a semester to design and build an experimental robotic system based on a theme. For spring 2019, that theme was “Bioinspired Robotics,” which is definitely one of our favorite kinds of robotics—animals can do all kinds of crazy things, and it’s always a lot of fun watching robots try to match them. They almost never su...

Robotic Animal Agility

Advertisement Editor’s Picks Video Friday: ANYmal Robot, Jibo Unboxing, and Anki Overdrive Fast & Furious Video Friday: ANYmal in Davos, ISS Robot Upgrade, and WALK-MAN’s Soft Hands North Sea Deployment Shows How Quadruped Robots Can Be Commercially Useful An off-shore wind power platform, somewhere in the North Sea, on a freezing cold night, with howling winds and waves crashing against the impressive structure. An imperturbable ANYmal is quietly conducting its inspection. ANYmal, a medium sized dog-like quadruped robot, walks down the stairs, lifts a “paw” to open doors or to call the elevator and trots along corridors. Darkness is no problem: it knows the place perfectly, having 3D-mapped it. Its laser sensors keep it informed about its precise path, location and potential obs...

Custom 3D-printed heads let doctors practice delicate brain procedures

Radiotherapy can be a game-changer for treating brain cancer, with high doses of precisely targeted radiation used to kill off dangerous cancer cells, while avoiding damage to surrounding areas. The key word, however, is “precise,” since missing a target even by a few millimeters could damage healthy brain tissue with major health implications that threaten everything from disrupted speech to paralysis. The radiotherapists who perform these procedures therefore have to be incredibly skilled and highly trained. But that doesn’t mean that they couldn’t benefit from being able to practice eliminating brain tumors in patients before going ahead and carrying out an operation. With that in mind, radiotherapists now have the option of practicing specific treatments on a life-sized replica of a pa...

Natural medical superglue alternative is made from Chinese giant salamander goo

Best View Stock/Getty Images From futuristic Star Trek-style patches which use cold plasma as part of the healing process to UV-activated superglue, we’ve covered a surprising number of high-tech wound dressings here at Digital Trends. But here’s one we’ve not come across before: A special adhesive that’s able to seal up wounds better than medical alternatives, made from a goo excreted from the skin of Chinese giant salamanders. “This is a truly exciting medical adhesive that is previously unavailable,” Yu Shrike Zhang, assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, told Digital Trends. “It is soft [and] able to comply with the shape of the tissue, yet strongly adhesive. It sticks not only flesh together, but also to fat. It is non-toxic, being [of] purely bio...

Before buying an Apple Watch, check out this cheap smartwatch under $100

Not looking to spend hundreds of dollars on a smartwatch? You might want to consider this little-known but well-reviewed budget smartwatch from Amazfit called the Bip. Normally $100 on Amazon, the watch is currently only $80, and you can have it in one day if you’re a Prime member. The Bip is a no-frills smartwatch for sure. You don’t get any app support, and while it does sync with the notifications on your phone for select apps as well as emails, phone calls, and text messages, you will need your phone to respond. The price is very attractive, however, and if you’re looking for a more fitness-centric smartwatch the Amazfit might be your best option. The Amazfit measures heart rate using an optical sensor similar to the Apple Watch, and in fact, the overall design of the watch is awfully ...

Sensitive Whiskers Could Make Small Drones Safer

Image: University of Queensland Researchers at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, have demonstrated a new whisker sensing system for drones. Advertisement Editor’s Picks Shrewbot Uses Whiskers to Map Its Environment Shrewbot Finds Its Way Around With Sensitive Whiskers Next Generation Robotic Whiskers Promise New Capabilities, More Cuteness Animals of all shapes and sizes have whiskers of some sort. Cats and dogs and rodents have them. Seals have them too. Some birds have them, as do insects and fish. Whiskers have shown up across such a diversity of animals because they’re an efficient and effective method of short range sensing. Besides just being able to detect objects that they come into direct contact with, whiskers can also sense fluid flows (like the speed and dire...

Need to reduce dentist visits? Philips’ Sonicare electric toothbrush is $30 off

Dentists say brushing your teeth at least twice daily is key to keeping them, and your gums, healthy. Even when we do so, however, many of us are still missing hard-to-reach spots or aren’t brushing long enough, which leads to cavities, stains, and bad breath. Lucky for us, electric toothbrushes are a great solution for a better brushing experience, and the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 Plaque Control continues to be one of the best available. If you’re looking to improve your oral hygiene and save a few dollars along the way, Amazon is offering this electric toothbrush for only $40. The Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 Plaque Control is Amazon’s No. 1 bestseller in Oral Care Products. It is equipped with a pressure sensor, Brush Sync tracker, Quad Pacer, and Smart Timer. Norm...

Jaco Is a Low-Power Robot Arm That Hooks to Your Wheelchair

Photo: The Nelson Family Advertisement Editor’s Picks Startup Spotlight: Kinova Creating Robot Arms That Improve Lives At the World’s First Cybathlon, Proud Cyborg Athletes Raced for the Gold Moxi Prototype from Diligent Robotics Starts Helping Out in Hospitals We usually think of robots as taking the place of humans in various tasks, but robots of all kinds can also enhance human capabilities. This may be especially true for people with disabilities. And while the Cybathlon competition showed what’s possible when cutting-edge research robotics is paired with expert humans, that competition isn’t necessarily reflective of the kind of robotics available to most people today.  Kinova Robotics’s Jaco arm is an assistive robotic arm designed to be mounted on an electric...

Amazon’s Father’s Day sale cuts $150 off Garmin’s Fenix 5X Sapphire smartwatch

We continue to uncover great fitness smartwatch deals across the web ahead of Father’s Day, especially on some of the high-end models like the Garmin Fenix 5X Sapphire. For Dads that are fitness junkies, Garmin’s top of the line smartwatch is a great choice. The feature-packed Fenix 5X Sapphire is normally $600  — one of the more expensive smartwatches on the market. However Amazon’s sale brings the price down to $450, a 25% savings. While a pricey watch, the feature set and durability make up for its larger than normal price tag. The ‘sapphire’ in the name comes from the sapphire glass lens used in the device. This makes the watch far less susceptible to scratching and breakage — something that some Apple Watch Series 4 owners have found themselves dealing with. It also features a protect...