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Carnegie Mellon University

  1. Your Videos Are Boring. This Algorithm Can Help By Automatically Trimming the Boring Parts

    Sadly, there's not a real world analog version.

    So your dog does this really cute thing, and you want to get a video and throw it up on YouTube. You get your camera and dog ready and start rolling, but he just won't do the cute thing. Finally, he does it! Yeah! Most of what you just shot is boring, and a new algorithm can automatically edit it leaving only the best bits.

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  2. Snake Robot Teams With Dog For Search and Rescue Operations

    Carnegie Mellon University's unnerving snake robot is back in the news today, and not for its unnerving auto-strangle function, which we've talked about here previously. The snake-bot -- which was designed to be a maneuverable set of eyes and ears in disaster situations, delving into collapsed buildings and other areas that first responders may not be able to reach. Over the weekend, the team behind the project released footage of some of it's latest tests, where it's paired with a rescue dog that carries it into the building.

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  3. Robot Snake Comes With Auto-Strangle Feature, Because What Could Go Wrong?

    Look, I'm a pretty lazy guy, and as such, I'm as in favor of teaching robots to do pretty much anything. If a robot can wash my dishes, great. If a robot can hang out with my friends for me while I play video games, honestly, that's awesome. But when you teach a snake robot to automatically constrict around whatever it comes in contact with -- a tree branch, say, or your neck -- you've gone too far. That way madness lies.

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  4. CHIMP Humanoid Rescue Robot Can Also Turn Into a Tank

    Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have given robotic life to every child's dream, building a rescue robot that can take on both humanoid and tank forms as the situation demands. The real life Transformer known as CHIMP (CMU Highly Intelligent Mobile Platform) can work like a human when it needs to climb a ladder or operate a valve. But when terrain gets rough, it can drop onto it's four treads, entering a tank-like mode that makes it easier to maneuver and seek out survivors disaster survivors.

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  5. Firmware Updates Could Cut Game Console Energy Usage By More Than Half

    Game consoles use electricity; that's just a fact of life. If I had to choose between playing lots of video games or saving on my electric bill, I think I'd choose the video games. It may not come down to that, however. As it turns out, in 2010 the lion's share of energy used by consoles was when the consoles were in idle states, a whopping 68% of it. That being the case, saving energy and playing video games might not be mutually exclusive. In fact, something as simple as a firmware update could cut these energy costs right down to size.

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