Weekend Roundup for June 20-21, 2015

Much more to come later, but for now one word: Battlebots!

So far, 3D printing is a tech whose potential has been more heralded than its impact has been demonstrated, but one area that’s an exception to that rule is custom prosthetics for amputees, with the Guardian’s Shane Hickey profiling an interesting local designer who thinks he can reduce the cost of a custom, functional, responsive hand tenfold.

Pepper, the new household bot that went onto shelves in Japan for the first time this week, sold out under a minute.

The Internet of Things may be big shot consultant’s most beloved buzz-phrase at the moment, but the tech doesn’t quite seem ready for prime time — at least, where prime time is a consumer’s living room, according to this litany of complaints from an early adopter.

The hottest new company in the robotics space is…an British online grocery store? (via ZDNet’s Greg Nichols).

As we discussed in our conversation with James Young, the warm and fuzzy side of human interaction with intelligent machines is beginning to garner more attention, and Patrick Mankins says it’s up to designers to successfully get us to trust them.

Meanwhile, G. Pascal Zachary says we need to shape A.I. before A.I. shapes us.

Or rejects us: A French company is using border control robots to check passport at airports.

And on the plus side though, for the Michael Bay fans among us, kinja user @notindetroit makes a lengthy case for why we are really, truly, no-shit this close to making actual transformers, you guys.


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