tech e blog

Robot Lawyer

Joshua Browder, a 19-year-old British programmer currently studying at MIT, has created "DoNotPay", the world's first robot lawyer. Registered users can use the service to ask any kind of legal question and receive relevant auto-generated answers. This project began as a free website to help people appeal parking tickets, which soon became an automatic appeal generator, using previously successful letters as a template. "As a 19-year-old, I have coded the entirety of the robot on my own, and I think it does a reasonable job of replacing parking lawyers. I know there are thousands of programmers with decades more experience than me working on similar issues. If it is one day possible for any citizen to get the same standard of legal representation as a billionaire, how can that not be a good thing," said Browder. Continue reading for a video demonstration and more information.

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Scarlett Johansson Robot

Ricky Ma, a 42-year-old graphic designer from Hong Kong, taught himself everything about robotics from scratch, and spent over $50,000 building a Scarlett Johansson-like robot. He was able to manufacture 70% of the robot's body using a 3D printer, and through trial-and-error, setbacks, like burnt-out electric motors and it continuously toppling over, were overcome. "When I started building it, I realized it would involve dynamics, electromagnetics, and programming. I have never studied programming, how was I supposed to code? Additionally, I needed to build 3D models for all the parts inside the robot. Also, I had to make sure the robot's external skin and its internal parts could fit together. When you look at everything together, it was really difficult," said Ma. Continue reading for more fascinating images from around the web.

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Axidraw Handwriting Machine


Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories unveils AxiDraw, a drawing machine that can use a variety of pens and markers to create picture perfect signatures as well as images. "The AxiDraw is an extremely versatile machine, designed to serve a wide variety of everyday and specialized drawing and writing needs. You can use it for almost any task that might normally be carried out with a handheld pen," said its creators. Click here to view the first image in this week's funny Facebook status updates gallery. Continue reading for a viral video of the Sesame Street version of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony's "Crossroads".

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Robot Drummer

Researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a robotic "smart arm" that musicians wear on the shoulder, which can result in epic drum solos. It follows the drummer, and is able to quickly switch between the ride cymbal and the floor tom depending on which other parts the drummer is using, while also changes tempo on the fly. Integrated accelerometers and motors help keep the smart arm on beat. Continue reading for close-up images of the robotic drumming arm. Click here to view a few bonus images of creative and geeky guitars.

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DARPA Robotic Suspension System

DARPA's new advanced suspension system adapts to rough terrain and lets robots easily glide over obstacles without trouble. It's based on a modified iRobot 510 PackBot, and is durable enough to withstand rocks being thrown directly at its treads. Currently, it's being used for such tasks as bomb disposal and surveillance. Click here to view the first image in today's viral picture gallery. Continue reading for the five most popular viral videos today, including one of Stephen Hawking taking on Paul Rudd in a match of quantum chess.

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Rubik's Cube Solving Robot

Rubik's Cube-solving robots are nothing new, but friends Jay Flatland and Paul Rose managed to build one you won't believe is real. Though the setup may look complex, it's only comprised of several webcams, 3D-printed frames and Arduino stepper motors. The custom software takes the image input from the cameras and converts it into a 'unrolled' that the solver can comprehend. After a few blazing runs, they managed to get the times down to 1.047s and an unreal 1.019s. Continue reading for more.

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SWAT-Bot


SWAT-Bot by Howe and Howe Tech is the world's first mid-sized robot designed exclusively for SWAT/SERT applications, and serves as a robotic ballistic shield, door breacher and /or vehicle/debris remover in dangerous situations. Also known as the Robotic Ballistic Shield (RBS1), this machine utilizes the RS1 base platform, a collapsible ballistics shield, and a hardened AR400 steel nose shield to protect those in the line of fire. Practical applications include: providing the operator and team adequate cover from hailing gunfire and explosive scenarios while approaching a hostile environment. Click here to view the first image in today's viral picture gallery. Continue reading for the five most popular viral videos today, including one showing Tesla's new auto-park function.

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Wall-Climbing Robot

H/T: Disney Research

There are remote-controlled cars, and then VertiGo, a wall-climbing robot capable of transitioning from the ground to wall modes in seconds. This amazing bot was created in collaboration between Disney Research Zurich and ETH. It sports two tilting propellers that provide thrust onto the wall, and four wheels. One pair of wheels is steerable, and each propeller has two degrees of freedom for adjusting the direction of thrust. The robot is able to traverse over indentations such as masonry, thanks to the propellers providing thrust. "The choice of two propellers rather than one enables a floor-to-wall transition - thrust is applied both towards the wall using the rear propeller, and in an upward direction using the front propeller, resulting in a flip onto the wall," said the team. Click here to view the first image in this week's geek life gallery. Continue reading for a viral video of a modern Empire Strikes Back trailer that will want to make you watch it again.

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Thomas the Train Robot

H/T: Laughing Squid

Y Nakajima, a sculptor from Japan, has transformed Thomas the Tank Engine into a creepy post-apocalyptic hexapod robot, complete with a frickin' working laser canon. Not just for looks, this nightmare fuel creation is capable of popping a balloon, lighting matches, or just scaring away intruders. One thing's for sure, you don't want to leave this alone with your kids, or else Thomas may wreak serious havoc. Click here to view the first image in this week's funny work pictures gallery. Continue reading for a viral video of a daredevil skiing through an impossibly narrow mountain gap, captured with an action cam.

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Crabster CR200

Created by the Korean Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (KIOST), the Crabster CR200 robot is designed to inspect seabeds, pipelines and shipwrecks. Instead of propellers, this underwater submarine robot comes equipped with six legs for easy maneuverability around obstacles - the front two legs can be fitted with manipulators for grasping objects. Continue reading for two more videos and additional information. Click here for more pictures.

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