This ultra-twee soft robotic gripper was inspired by Venus flytraps

 The problem with tiny robots, if there can really be said to be one, is that you can’t put enough stuff on them. Cameras and motors don’t shrink down very well, meaning if you want your robot to grab something, you’d better come up with a new way to see it and hold onto it. And that’s just what Finnish researchers have done with this bio-inspired, super-small gripper! Read More

These are the arguments against net neutrality — and why they’re wrong

 The next few months will be full of bitter dissent regarding the FCC’s net neutrality rules, how they should be enforced, and indeed whether they should exist at all. Several primary arguments against the rules as they stand have appeared as talking points or recurring themes; they are worth considering seriously and refuting definitively if possible. That’s what I’m hoping… Read More

Horble gray, Burf pink: This neural network’s attempts to name colors are inexplicably hilarious

 There’s hardly anything that we haven’t tried putting machine learning to work at, and usually they take to it like a duck to water. That’s not the case here, with a neural network attempting to learn how to give paint colors those fancy names like “spring rain” and “harbor mist.” How would you like to paint your house in a nice “dorkwood”… Read More

Echodyne’s pocket-sized radar may be the next must-have tech for drones (and drone hunters)

 Just because we live in an age of many sensors doesn’t mean we always have the right one for the job. One in particular we’ve been lacking is a radar system that can detect obstacles and aircraft hundreds of meters out, yet fit comfortably on a small drone. The laws of physics, it seemed, prevented it — but Echodyne made it work anyway. Read More

Google’s neural network-generated custom face stickers are like Bitmoji that aren’t horrible

 So let me just say really quick that I really dislike Bitmoji. Everything about it/them. The one thing that’s good about Bitmoji is that the user really can easily customize a representative avatar, even if the results are universally terrible in every way. Fortunately Google has just blown Bitmoji out of the water with a genuinely excellent alternative. Unfortunately, it’s only… Read More