Featured Slider

The best running headphones

Let’s face it, even the best headphones aren’t always the right choice when it comes to listening to music, audiobooks, and podcasts while running. We’ll gladly trade a bit of audio quality in favor of something smaller, lighter, and more durable. It doesn’t hurt if they are resistant to sweat, dirt, and rain either. Make them simple to interact with while on the move and you’ll likely have a winning combination. Fortunately for runners, there’s a wealth of Bluetooth-enabled headphones that meet that description these days, many of which excel when it comes to comfort, sound quality, and fitness tracking features. The selections below are the best headphones for running but also kick ass for general fitness, too. At a glance Product Category Rating Jabra Elite Sport Best running headphones...

Under Armour launches UA Rush, athletic wear that recycles your energy

Credit: Under Armour When it comes to athletic clothing, Under Armour is one of the biggest names in the business. Primarily known for its signature sweat-wicking fabric, UA has been pushing the boundaries between comfort, performance, and innovation since the company was first founded in the mid-1990s. The sportswear brand has been busy launching entirely new lines of athletic wear — the likes of which have never been seen before. After working closely with New England Patriot’s Tom Brady on their recovery sleepwear line,  they have also created fitness tracking shoes, and most recently, UA Rush apparel. What is UA Rush? 1. Credit: Under Armour 2. Credit: Under Armour 3. Credit: Under Armour Under Armour’s newest performance clothing line, UA Rush, is a beautiful combination of science an...

Adidas has created a running shoe that’s made to be remade

[embedded content] Adidas is doubling down on efforts to reduce waste in its shoe-making business with the development of what it claims is the first-ever performance footwear “that’s made to be remade.” In regular speak, it’s 100% recyclable. The Loop running shoe is the latest creation from Futurecraft, the creative hub launched by Adidas in 2015 with a focus on utilizing cutting-edge technology for innovative footwear designs. Previous Next Each component of the Futurecraft Loop is made using 100% reusable thermoplastic polyurethane developed by BASF. The highly versatile material is spun to yarn, knitted, molded, and clean-fused to a midsole at the company’s automated Speedfactory facility. The method allows glue to be entirely removed from the manufacturing process, which reduces wast...

Home Robot Control for People With Disabilities

Photo: Henry Clever and Phillip Grice/Georgia Tech Henry Evans, a California man who participated in Georgia Tech’s study, used a PR2 robot to shave, wipe his face, and scratch his head. Advertisement Editor’s Picks So, Where Are My Robot Servants? The Heaphy Project: Crowdsourced Robot Servants and the Willow Garage Spin-off That Never Was Moxi Prototype from Diligent Robotics Starts Helping Out in Hospitals Robots offer an opportunity to enable people to live safely and comfortably in their homes as they grow older. In the near future (we’re all hoping), robots will be able to help us by cooking, cleaning, doing chores, and generally taking care of us, but they’re not yet to the point where they can do those sorts of things autonomously. Putting a human in the loop can help robots ...

Dreaming of a Peloton? These exercise bikes are just as good (and cheaper, too)

Modern technology certainly helps us stay fit and healthy. Whether it’s fitness watches, or interactive treadmills, there are plenty of options out there. But perhaps the most popular name right now in fitness tech is Peloton. Peloton bikes are super cool for sure: the company has revolutionized exercise bikes and treadmills, and brought them into the 21st century. No longer do you have to drag yourself to the gym for your spin class, or even let bad weather get in your way. In just a few taps, you’re connected with live fitness instructors in New York City and sweating your behind off. It’s perfect, and is the reason why high profile owners like John Legere, Hugh Jackman, and even David Beckham just can’t say enough good things about them. But with all those fancy schmancy features comes ...

Scientists manage to 3D print an actual heart using human cells

Heart disease is the leading cause of death among both men and women in the United States. Although heart transplants represent a possible solution to this condition, there is an enormous shortage of donor hearts available. As a result, scientists are busy looking for innovative other ways of making hearts available for transplantation. One possibility involves 3D bioprinting, a type of 3D printing that uses living cells, growth factors, and biomaterials to fabricate biomedical parts. Eventually, the dream of 3D bioprinting is to be able to create a fully functional human heart for transplant. That is still a ways off, but scientists at Tel Aviv University (TAU) recently made a massive step forward by printing the world’s first 3D-printed, small-scale heart, complete with blood vessels, ve...

NASA Launching Astrobee Robots to Space Station Tomorrow

Photo: NASA Astrobee robot during testing at NASA’s Ames Research Center. Advertisement Editor’s Picks Robonaut Has Been Broken for Years, and Now NASA Is Bringing It Home Meet Valkyrie: NASA’s Superhero Robot How NASA’s Astrobee Robot Is Bringing Useful Autonomy to the ISS It’s been a little over two years since we were first introduced to Astrobee, an autonomous robotic cube designed to fly around the International Space Station. Tomorrow, a pair of Astrobee robots (named Honey and Bumble) will launch to the ISS aboard a Cygnus cargo flight. There’s already a nice comfy dock waiting for them in the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM), and the plan is to put them to work as soon as possible. After a bit of astronaut-assisted setup, the robots will buzz around autonomously, doing ...

The Buddy System: Human-Computer Teams

Advertisement Editor’s Picks Using AI to Make Better AI Let’s Shape AI Before AI Shapes Us Is that him? Is she the one? A prized attribute among law enforcement specialists, the expert ability to visually identify human faces can inform forensic investigations and help maintain safe border crossings, airports, and public spaces around the world. The field of forensic facial recognition depends on highly refined traits such as visual acuity, cognitive discrimination, memory recall, and elimination of bias. Humans, as well as computers running machine learning (ML) algorithms, possess these abilities. And it is the combination of the two—a human facial recognition expert teamed with a computer running ML analyses of facial image data—that provides the most accurate facial identification, acc...

Inflatable Robots Are Destined for Space, If We Can Control Them

Photo: Brigham Young University Brigham Young University researchers are learning how to control a soft inflatable robot using a motion-tracking system and visual servoing. Advertisement Editor’s Picks Astrobee: NASA’s Newest Robot for the International Space Station Robonaut Has Been Broken for Years, and Now NASA Is Bringing It Home Meet Valkyrie: NASA’s Superhero Robot We don’t see a lot of inflatable robots, which is really too bad, because they’re weirdly excellent at being exactly the sort of robot that everybody seems to want: They’re cheap, being made of mostly fabric and rubber, and they’re very easy to fix. Relative to most other robots, they’re extraordinarily lightweight, and they pack down to a small fraction of their size once deflated. Despite their squishiness, they c...

Untold History of AI: Algorithmic Bias Was Born in the 1980s

Photo-illustration: IEEE Spectrum; Hospital photo: Matthew Fearn/PA Images/Getty Images Advertisement Editor’s Picks Untold History of AI: Invisible Women Programmed America’s First Electronic Computer The Trouble With Trusting AI to Interpret Police Body-Cam Video Untold History of AI: When Charles Babbage Played Chess With the Original Mechanical Turk The history of AI is often told as the story of machines getting smarter over time. What’s lost is the human element in the narrative, how intelligent machines are designed, trained, and powered by human minds and bodies. In this six-part series, we explore that human history of AI—how innovators, thinkers, workers, and sometimes hucksters have created algorithms that can replicate human thought and behavior (or at least appear to). W...

Video Friday: Soft Robots, and More

Image: MIT Soft robotic fingers with embedded ionogel sensors created by MIT researchers, who’ll present this project at RoboSoft 2019. Advertisement Editor’s Picks Review: iRobot Roomba 980 Get Ready for National Robotics Week Wheeled Robot With Soft Rotary Motors Is 100% Squishy 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!): RoboSoft 2019 – April 14-18, 2019 – Seoul, Korea NIST ARIAC Challenge – April 15-19, 2019 – Online Nîmes Robotics Festival – May 17-19, 2019 – Nîmes, France ICRA 2019 – May 20-24, 2019 – Montreal, Canada 2nd Annual Robotics Summit & Expo – June 4-6, 2019 – Bos...

Wing Officially Launches Australian Drone Delivery Service

Photo: Wing This drone can deliver your morning coffee directly to your house. But is that something people really want? Advertisement Editor’s Picks Amazon Promises Package Delivery By Drone: Is It for Real? Google’s Project Wing Needs More Moonshot The Economics of Drone Delivery Alphabet’s subsidiary Wing announced this week that it has officially launched a commercial drone delivery service “to a limited set of eligible homes in the suburbs of Crace, Palmerston and Franklin,” which are just north of Canberra, in Australia. Wing’s drones are able to drop a variety of small products, including coffee, food, and pharmacy items, shuttling them from local stores to customers’ backyards within minutes. We’ve been skeptical about whether this kind of drone delivery makes sense for a lon...