Gadgets

This robotic arm slows down to avoid the uncanny valley

This robotic arm slows down to avoid the uncanny valley

Robotic arms can move fast enough to snatch thrown objects right out of the air… but should they? Not unless you want them to unnerve the humans they’re interacting with, according to work out of Disney Research. Roboticists there found that slowing a robot’s reaction time made it feel more normal to people. Disney has, […]

The Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 is a truly great game controller

The Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 is a truly great game controller

Microsoft’s original Xbox Elite controller was a major step up for gamers, with customizable buttons, changeable physical controls and adjustable sensitivity for serious personalization. The new Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 has just landed, and it offers similar features, but with new and improved features that add even more customization options, along with key hardware […]

This prosthetic arm combines manual control with machine learning

This prosthetic arm combines manual control with machine learning

Prosthetic limbs are getting better every year, but the strength and precision they gain doesn’t always translate to easier or more effective use, as amputees have only a basic level of control over them. One promising avenue being investigated by Swiss researchers is having an AI take over where manual control leaves off. To visualize […]

Chinese space station Tiangong-2 is about to burn up over the Pacific

Update: Deorbit complete. RIP Tiangong-2. The final hours for China’s Tiangong-2 space station are at hand, as the eight-ton piece of hardware will fall to earth, or rather sea, some time in the next 20 hours or so in a controlled deorbit maneuver.  But unlike with its predecessor, it isn’t a mystery where this particular […]

Apple sells wireless charging AirPods, cancels charger days later

Apple sells wireless charging AirPods, cancels charger days later

“Works with AirPower mat”. Apparently not. It looks to me like Apple doesn’t treat customers with the same “high standard” of care it apparently reserves for its hardware quality. Nine days after launching its $199 wireless charging AirPods headphones that touted compatibility with the forthcoming Apple AirPower inductive charger mat, Apple has just scrapped AirPower […]

Apple acquires talking Barbie voicetech startup PullString

Apple acquires talking Barbie voicetech startup PullString

Apple has just bought up the talent it needs to make talking toys a part of Siri, HomePod, and its voice strategy. Apple has acquired PullString, also known as ToyTalk, according to Axios’ Dan Primack and Ina Fried. TechCrunch has received confirmation of the acquistion from sources with knowledge of the deal. The startup makes voice […]

Samsung is preparing to launch a sports smartwatch and AirPods-like earbuds

Samsung is preparing to launch a sports smartwatch and AirPods-like earbuds

Samsung’s newest product launch happens next week, but already the Korean tech giant has revealed its entire upcoming range of wearable devices that will seemingly be unveiled alongside the Galaxy S10. That’s because the company’s Galaxy Wearable’s app was uploaded today with support for a range of unreleased products, which include wireless earbuds, a sports-focused smartwatch and […]

Nintendo makes the old new again with Mario, Zelda, Tetris titles for Switch

Nintendo makes the old new again with Mario, Zelda, Tetris titles for Switch

The afternoon brought an eventful series of announcements from Nintendo in one of its Direct video promos, and 2019 is looking to be a banner year for the Switch. Here’s everything the company announced, from Super Mario Maker 2 to the unexpected remake of Game Boy classic Link’s Awakening. The stream cold opened with a […]

Opportunity Mars Rover goes to its last rest after extraordinary 14-year mission

Opportunity Mars Rover goes to its last rest after extraordinary 14-year mission

Opportunity, one of two rovers sent to Mars in 2004, is officially offline for good, NASA and JPL officials announced today at a special press conference. “I declare the Opportunity mission as complete, and with it the Mars Exploration Rover mission as complete,” said NASA’s Thomas Zurbuchen. The cause of Opportunity’s demise was a planet-scale […]

Devialet’s Phantom Reactor turns music into an emotional experience

Devialet’s Phantom Reactor turns music into an emotional experience

French startup Devialet has done it again. The new Phantom Reactor is a smaller, more effective speaker that packs in everything that made Devialet speakers good in the first place. Devialet’s first speaker, the Phantom, attracted rave reviews a few years ago. The egg-shaped speaker promised no background noise, no saturation and no distortion in […]

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