Robot jumping roach will chase you into your Terminator nightmares

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Robots that can do amazing things are creepy enough, but when roboticists start creating insectoid robots, things get really uncomfortable. Nevertheless, mimicking the behaviors of insects can often be the perfect way to give robots additional abilities. Along those lines, a research group has created what they call the JumpRoACH

Created by South Korea’s SNU Biorobotics Lab in collaboration with UC Berkeley’s Biomimetic Millisystems Lab, the tiny robot weighs just 59.4 grams and can jump to a height of just over five feet, according to a research paper published by the team.

And like an insect, the robot can make its jumps even while running, and if it falls over it has the ability to stand itself back up on its legs. Yes, it looks just as unnerving as it sounds.  Read more…

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Now you can try Amazon Echo and Alexa in your web browser

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If you’ve heard about the Amazon Echo and have been wondering what it’s like to use it before committing to buying one, there’s now an online tool that lets you test it out as much as you want, right in your browser.

It’s called Echosim, and all you need to use it is an Amazon account to log in.

Once you’ve logged in, you can use your mouse to click and hold the onscreen button while asking Alexa a question. You don’t need to use the name Alexa, you can just ask it any question and, in most cases, get a great answer back

The voice and response times are identical to what you’d experience using the Amazon Echo, making this is perfect gateway drug for the real thing. That tech taste test is even more likely to lead to buying a real Amazon Echo once you remember that with Amazon Echo you don’t need to be near your computer and there’s no need to press a button, you just call out requests across the room to the device. Read more…

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Jaybird's new wireless earbuds offer exceptional sound and battery life in a tiny package

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Jaybird is known for its fitness-focused wireless earbuds, designed to provide quality audio without the tangled mess of the wires that normally accompany headphones.

In January, Jaybird announced it was expanding upon this experience with a smaller, yet still fully capable product called Freedom.

Over the past week I’ve been using the Freedom in place of my typical wired headphones, and have enjoyed the added freedom (excuse the pun) of roaming around my office and house while listening to podcasts or streaming T-Swift’s workout playlist on Apple Music. Read more…

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This text line is helping teens talk about mental health without saying a word

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“He won’t stop raping me. He told me not to tell anyone.”

In August 2011, teen-focused social change organization DoSomething.org received this startling text message. It wasn’t rare for the nonprofit to receive replies unrelated to the social causes it highlighted through its mobile platform — teens often looked to talk about issues such as bullying, questioning sexuality and substance abuseBut this text’s raw honesty was particularly jarring.

After one of DoSomething’s digital engagement managers hesitated to answer, another message came through from the same number about an hour later: “R U there?” Read more…

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There's a real-life, giant, tabletop version of 'Pong'

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This physical, tabletop version of Pong looks sort of like an air hockey table but the paddles and ball are actually connected to mechanical arms, which are connected to a computer. 

Just like the video game, tabletop Pong allows you play against a computer AI opponent or against a friend. And it glows in the dark.

Now we just need a tabletop version of Tetris. Get to work, Internet.

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Stunning onboard view follows SpaceX's rocket from space to ocean landing

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Last time Elon Musk’s SpaceX rocket stuck its ocean landing, he released a jaw-dropping video. This time, Musk has outdone himself. The latest onboard view from the Falcon 9 booster will zip you from space to the ocean landing and blow your mind. 

The brief video speeds up the rocket’s trip and ends with its graceful landing on a drone ship in Cape Canaveral, Florida, following the launch of the SpaceX Thaicom 8 communications satellite headed for orbit. 

In addition to showing up on YouTube, the video has also been shared by Musk on social media, with s Read more…

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