This sounds bonkers, but apparently a robotic cleaning system called HullSkater can remove bio-gunk off the hulls of ships, helping them reduce their carbon footprints. Plus: Freeman, South Dakota was to have SchmeckFest this weekend. It will be back, so until then keep the spirit of SchmeckFest going.
Toss an item into TrashBot and the system’s internal sensors figure out what the item is, and whether to recycle it or toss it out. No more recyclables in the trash, no more trash in the recyclables. Plus: officials in Prichard, Alabama missed a typo when sending out their new trash bins for residents.
The nefarious filbertworm is trying to infest our hazelnut supply! Researchers at the University of Oregon think the solution might lie with pigs. Plus: the Ebo is a little ball-shaped robot that will play with your cat when you're not home.
A startup called Beetl is developing an autonomous device that’s ready to clean up after our dogs on demand, thanks to a large scooper on its underside. If they’re willing to do this job, maybe robots aren’t trying to conquer us after all. Plus: "dogfishing" is a problem for online dating.
There’s a quadcopter drone that uses spring-loaded arms and a process called "rapid aerial morphing" to fold itself up as it flies. So we’re a step closer to real-life Transformers. Plus: the story of the all-robot band Compressorhead, whose members twist and turn their mechanical parts so they can ROCK!
In Japan, there's a little white robot swimming through rice fields, imitating a duck! It's actually helping to grow the rice by aerating the water and stopping weeds from growing.
Autonomous robot boats are a thing! Over time, researchers have taught them to row themselves gently down the stream and to connect to each other autonomously - soon they could help clean the water or even turn themselves into temporary footbridges.
A New Zealand company is testing a robot that’s supposed to move through an apple orchard, spot ripe fruit, yank it from the tree and bring it back to the farmer.
I’m not Martha Stewart class when it comes to cakes - I may not even be Iron Sheik class yet. But the robot cake was a big hit with the first graders at today’s birthday party so I’ve got that going for me.
Some excellent links from the past week.