Brian Heater
Brian Heater
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MSCHF mounted a remote-control paintball gun to Spot – TechCrunch

MSCHF mounted a remote-control paintball gun to Spot – TechCrunch

a number of ways in a number of different settings. I had the chance to control the robot for the first time at one of our Robotics events a number of years back, and drove one around an obstacle course at Boston Dynamics’ headquarters. More recently, I navigated it via web browser as a test of the robot’s new remote interface.But a recent test drive was different. For one thing, it wasn’t officially sanctioned by Boston Dynamics. Of course, the highly sophisticated quadrupedal robot has been out in the world for a while, and a few enterprising souls have begun to offer a remote Spot...

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Brian Heater
5d ago
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Chromebooks had a banner 2020 – TechCrunch

Chromebooks had a banner 2020 – TechCrunch

2020 was a weird year by any measure. Certainly it was a wild ride for those in the consumer electronics category. Take smartphones — first there were manufacturing delays out of China, followed by an across the board decrease in demand. There are lots of reasons contributing to the latter, but the simplest and most prevalent one is that people just didn’t want to spend money to upgrade their devices.But the pandemic also changed how — and where — many people work and learn. It was an abrupt shift for many that required tech investments, even in the face of economic uncertainty. After years...

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Brian Heater
Feb 18
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MIT is building a ‘one-stop shop’ for 3D-printing robots – TechCrunch

MIT is building a ‘one-stop shop’ for 3D-printing robots – TechCrunch

Additive manufacturing has proven an ideal solution for certain tasks, but the technology still lacks more traditional methods in a number of categories. One of the biggest is the requirement for post-printing assembly. 3D printers can create extremely complex components, but an outside party (be it human or machine) is required to put them together.MIT’s CSAIL department this week a new project that attempts to develop robotics, drones and other machines than can be fabricated as part of a “one-stop shop.” The system is comprised of a software kit and hardware platform designed to create...

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Brian Heater
Feb 8
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Amazon warehouse workers to begin historic vote to unionize – TechCrunch

Amazon warehouse workers to begin historic vote to unionize – TechCrunch

On Friday, the National Labor Relations Board rejected Amazon’s attempt to delay a union vote set to begin on Monday, February 8. For many, the online giant’s bid was seen as a stalling tactic, including a motion to demand votes take place in-person — a clear health risk, as the COVID-19 virus still poses a major threat in the United States and globally.“Once again workers have won another fight in their effort to win a union voice,” Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union President Stuart Appelbaum said in a statement regarding the NLRB’s decision. “’s blatant disregard for the health...

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Brian Heater
Feb 7
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Fetch’s latest warehouse robot is designed to replace forklifts – TechCrunch

Fetch’s latest warehouse robot is designed to replace forklifts – TechCrunch

San Jose-based robotics company Fetch unveiled its latest robot this morning. The PalletTransport1500 is an autonomous bot designed specifically to replace forklift uses in warehouses. The systems, which are designed to pick up and deliver pallets, are capable of sporting payloads of up to 2,504 pounds.The device joins a number of different robotic forklift solutions from various companies, including Toyota. Though Amazon’s own Kiva Systems-produced robots are likely still the best-known pallet-moving robotics in the game.The system was developed with Honeywell Intelligrated’s Momentum...

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Brian Heater
Jan 28
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Samsung’s upcycling program is designed to give new life to old tech – TechCrunch

Samsung’s upcycling program is designed to give new life to old tech – TechCrunch

In the world of annual refresh cycles, there’s always been a big question mark around what to do with all of the old tech we too readily abandon. There are a number of options for disposing and recycling these objects that often contain rare earth and sometimes harmful material. The concept of upcycling has also become an increasingly popular option — offering a new lease on life for old technology. After all, your three-year-old smartphone may not be the latest and greatest, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily worthless.During this morning’s kickoff press conference, Samsung outlined...

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Brian Heater
Jan 11
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Samsung simplifies with a lower-priced premium Chromebook – TechCrunch

Samsung simplifies with a lower-priced premium Chromebook – TechCrunch

Happy almost Sure, the year’s biggest consumer electronics show hasn’t officially kicked off, but, well, what do such arbitrary signposts really mean in a year like 2021, right? Samsung just dropped what’s almost certainly one of its biggest pieces of news for the show, with the arrival of the Galaxy Chromebook 2.The two-in-one follows almost a year to a day after the announcement of the original. It appears to share a fair bit of the charm of its predecessor, but notably has a much-improved price point. This time out the Chrome OS-powered portable starts at a far more reasonable $549 —...

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Brian Heater
Jan 7
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Twitter locks Trump out of his account for at least 12 hours – TechCrunch

Twitter locks Trump out of his account for at least 12 hours – TechCrunch

Image Credits: / Getty ImagesIn a reversal of its long standing policy, Twitter has locked the President of the United States’ Twitter account and forced the removal of three offending tweets.“As part of the action, Trump will be locked out of his account for at least 12 hours. The account will remain locked beyond that, as long as the tweets are not deleted, the site adds. Beyond the current action, Twitter adds that future violations of its policies, “As a result of the unprecedented and ongoing violent situation in Washington, D.C., we have required the removal of three Tweets that were...

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Brian Heater
Jan 7
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Twitter locks Trump out of his account for at least 12 hours – TechCrunch

Twitter locks Trump out of his account for at least 12 hours – TechCrunch

In a reversal of its long standing policy, has locked the President of the United States’ Twitter account and forced the removal of three offending tweets.“As part of the action, Trump will be locked out of his account for at least 12 hours. The account will remain locked beyond that, as long as the tweets are not deleted, the site adds. Beyond the current action, Twitter adds that future violations of its policies, “As a result of the unprecedented and ongoing violent situation in Washington, D.C., we have required the removal of three Tweets that were posted earlier today for repeated and...

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Brian Heater
Jan 7
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Remembering the startups we lost in 2020 – TechCrunch

Remembering the startups we lost in 2020 – TechCrunch

year, running a successful startup is a tremendous lift. After the events of 2020, however, no doubt many already lean businesses are hanging on by the skin of their teeth. For every company that saw increased interest in their offerings during the pandemic, there were several that simply couldn’t make it through the finish line.We’ve put this list together for several years now. It’s not a fun task, but it seems worthwhile to commemorate the startups that have closed up shop over the past 12 months. (Some of them were acquired by larger companies before shutting down, but all of them began...

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Anthony Ha
+1
Dec 22
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Samsung hasn’t announced the Galaxy S21 yet, but you can already reserve one – TechCrunch

Samsung hasn’t announced the Galaxy S21 yet, but you can already reserve one – TechCrunch

For obvious reasons, many of us are spending the final week of 2020 looking forward. Samsung is hoping some folks are looking far enough ahead to reserve a spot in line for its still-unannounced Galaxy S21 handset (not an official name, mind, but probably a safe guess).If you’re on the Samsung Mobile mailing list, you may well have received an email, compelling you to The link takes you to a reservation page that offers up some perks for getting in early on the company’s new flagship, including credits on other Samsung products like Galaxy earbuds.The company recently noted that it would...

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Brian Heater
Dec 28
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Not even 5G could rescue smartphone sales in 2020 – TechCrunch

Not even 5G could rescue smartphone sales in 2020 – TechCrunch

to be the year of 5G. It was going to be the year the next-generation wireless technology helped reverse some troubling macro trends for the industry — or at the very least helped stem the bleeding some.But the best laid plans, and all that. With about a week left in the year, I think it’s pretty safe to say that 2020 didn’t wind up the way the vast majority of us had hoped. It’s a list that certainly includes the lion’s share of smartphone makers. Look no further than a recent report published by Gartner to answer the question of just how bad 2020 was for smartphone sales.It was so bad...

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Brian Heater
Dec 24
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Following Hyundai acquisition, Boston Dynamics’ CEO discusses the robotics pioneer’s future – TechCrunch

Following Hyundai acquisition, Boston Dynamics’ CEO discusses the robotics pioneer’s future – TechCrunch

change in a year. Especially this year. For Boston Dynamics, the past 12 months have brought a number of radical changes traditionally not seen at 30-year-old businesses of its size. It’s a list that includes the first new CEO in the company’s history, wide availability of its first commercial product and, most recently, being acquired by its third owner in seven years.Of course, no one has ever accused of being traditional.Last week, the Waltham, Massachusetts-based robotics pioneer confirmed earlier rumors that it was being acquired by Hyundai. The South Korean tech giant will be taking...

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Brian Heater
Dec 16
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Qualcomm announces the new Snapdragon 888 chip – TechCrunch

Qualcomm announces the new Snapdragon 888 chip – TechCrunch

kicked off an all-virtual version of its annual summit this morning by announcing the launch of the the Snapdragon 888 platform. The chipmaker is clearly saving some key information for later in the virtual event, because it has yet to reveal a ton about its next SoC.We do, however, have an extremely modest quote from Qualcomm president Cristiano Amon to go on: “Creating premium experiences takes a relentless focus on innovation. It takes long-term commitment, even in the face of immense uncertainty. It takes an organization that’s focused on tomorrow, to continue to deliver the...

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Brian Heater
Dec 1
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Hyundai reportedly in talks to buy SoftBank-owned Boston Dynamics – TechCrunch

Hyundai reportedly in talks to buy SoftBank-owned Boston Dynamics – TechCrunch

Image Credits: TechCrunchBoston Dynamics could be set to change hands once again, according to a new report that cited “people familiar with the matter.”The deal would make Korean automaker Hyundai the third company in seven years to own the robotics firm, following sales to Google and SoftBank Group. Boston Dynamics is well known inside and out the industry for making some of the most advanced robotics systems on the planet, including BigDog and the humanoid Atlas.A Hyundai spokesperson said the company’s policy is not to comment on market speculations, adding that “As a global business...

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Brian Heater
Nov 10
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Sam’s Club will deploy autonomous floor-scrubbing robots in all of its US locations – TechCrunch

Sam’s Club will deploy autonomous floor-scrubbing robots in all of its US locations – TechCrunch

The past six months have seen a fairly aggressive acceleration in the option of robotics and automation as companies look for ways to augment (and, likely, replace in some instances) human workers. The appeal is certainly clear during massive pandemic-fueled shutdowns.Sam’s Club has been into robotic floor cleaning for a bit longer, having already deployed Tennant’s T7AMR scrubbers in a number of locations. But this week the -owned bulk retailer announced that it’s adding , bringing the technology to all of its 599 U.S. stores.The robot can be piloted manually, but the addition of .’s...

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Brian Heater
Oct 21
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Formlabs announces a large-format medical and dental 3D printer – TechCrunch

Formlabs announces a large-format medical and dental 3D printer – TechCrunch

was one of a few desktop 3D printing companies to weather the massive tech bubble a few years back. The Somerville, Massachusetts-based company set itself apart by bringing advanced industrial 3D-printing technologies to the consumer space. In recent years, the tech has also positioned the startup ahead of the competition when it comes to expanding into different manufacturing aspects.Medical and dental have been two key targets. Products like prosthetics and retainers are two prime exemplars of products that can benefit from both customization and speedy manufacturing. Today, the company...

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Brian Heater
Sep 15
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Trump threatens Apple with tariffs, Google with investigation on Twitter

Trump threatens Apple with tariffs, Google with investigation on Twitter

The president of the United States called out two of the nation’s largest tech firms in a pair of tweets this morning. was the first target. The statement follows weeks of suggested investigations of the tech giant over a supposed relationship with China.There may or may not be National Security concerns with regard to Google and their relationship with China. If there is a problem, we will find out about it. I sincerely hope there is not!!!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)“There may or may not be National Security concerns with regard to Google and their relationship with China,” Trump...

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Brian Heater
Jul 26
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