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Brian Heater

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Atlas lies motionless in a prone position atop interlocking gym mats. The only soundtrack is the whirring of an electric motor. It’s not quiet, exactly, but it’s nothing compared to the hydraulic jerks of its ancestors. As the camera pans around the robot’s back, its legs bend at the knees....
Mentee Robotics hasn’t been in stealth, exactly. The Israeli firm caught a small wave of press at the tail end of 2022, following Tesla’s initial humanoid robotics announcement. As that was the year of the startup’s founding, it didn’t have much to show off at the time. Even so,...
Nothing lasts forever. Nowhere is the truism more apt than in consumer tech. This is a land inhabited by the eternally restless — always on the make for the next big thing. The smartphone has, by all accounts, had a good run. Seventeen years after the iPhone made its...
The right to repair has been a hot topic for several years now, hitting a kind of critical mass with domestic and international legislation. Advocates note that these proposals give users more control over their own property, while expanding products’ shelf life and reducing e-waste. Fairphone is, perhaps, the most...
I was happy — excited, even — to check out Shure’s latest USB microphone. Its predecessor, the MV7, has been my default podcasting mic since it was launched toward to end of 2022. I’ve recorded more than 100 episodes of my show on the thing — not to mention...
Every year, Time Magazine issues a list of the 200 best inventions of the past 12 months. Frankly, I don’t know how the editors do it. The dirty secret of this job is that true, game-changing inventions rarely cross your desk. In fact, you’re extraordinarily lucky if you average...
For every tech success story, there are countless projects that slam headlong into the brick wall of reality. Apple’s electric vehicle ambitions are one of the most recent — and, frankly, best — examples of a project failing in spite of seeming to have everything going for it. The jury...
A week after finding itself at the business end of a landmark lawsuit from the United States Department of Justice, Apple is staunchly denying any parallels between itself and Microsoft in the 1990s. It’s a comparison into which the U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland leaned heavily in last week’s...
Robots made their stage debut the day after New Year’s 1921. More than half-a-century before the world caught its first glimpse of George Lucas’ droids, a small army of silvery humanoids took to the stages of the First Czechoslovak Republic. They were, for all intents and purposes, humanoids: two...
The snake robot form factor has existed for decades. In addition to the diversity it adds to the world of automation, the design has several pragmatic attributes. The first is redundancy, which allows for the system to keep chugging even after a module is damaged. The second is a...