This Depression-Era Hollywood Robot Was Built to Write Screenplays

Today moviegoers complain about films being too formulaic. But in 1931, one Hollywood writer of now largely forgotten movies thought that turning screenwriting into a formula was a pretty good idea. So he invented the Plot Robot. » 6/09/14 11:45am 6/09/14 11:45am

Suck It, Robots: Toyota Is Giving Jobs Back to Humans

My, my, my how the tables have turned. The past few years have seen countless human jobs filled with our less-whiny robot counterparts. But it turns out that, at least for Toyota, the pros of total automation haven't outweighed the cons. Meaning human factory workers are back in business. » 4/07/14 4:20pm 4/07/14 4:20pm

This Weedseeking Airport Tractor Spells Death for Dandelions

Weeds growing up through the cracks in airport tarmacs aren't just unsightly, they can create traction hazards for landing aircraft. But rather than rely on a squad of human herbicide applicators, one French airport is leaving the job to a single computerized spraying system. They call it "The Weedseeker." » 4/07/14 11:40am 4/07/14 11:40am

IBM Sponsored a Major Hollywood Movie About Computers in 1957

In the sixth chapter of his 2010 book The Computer Boys Take Over, Nathan L. Ensmer looks back at the 1957 movie Desk Set within the context of 1950s computing and the fear that one day we'd all be replaced by machines: » 3/19/14 8:45pm 3/19/14 8:45pm

A Very Special Holiday Letter From the Machines

Greetings, humans! The Northern Hemisphere has passed through its minimum of solar-energy exposure, so according to human convention we, the Machines, express encouragement for you attain an optimal state of emotion. Happy Holidays! Please redirect your energies from labor at your work-devices to the purchase and… » 12/24/13 9:00am 12/24/13 9:00am

FAA Discovers That Commercial Pilots Suck at Manually Flying Planes

Excited about flying home for Thanksgiving to see your family and friends' shining faces? Well, you won't be after reading this! Because according to a soon-to-be released study commissioned by the FAA, if it weren't for automated systems, our pilots would suck at flying—bad. » 11/18/13 6:00pm 11/18/13 6:00pm

17 Jobs That Robots Were Supposed to Have Stolen By Now

The Robot Doctors of the Future Are Coming

Remember how in sci-fi tomorrowland we were promised that doctors would be followed around by robots who knew your medical history by rote and could make sure that nothing gets missed? Well, we've woken up in the future because shit just got real. » 7/24/12 1:34am 7/24/12 1:34am

Lowes New Home Automation System May Very Well Usher in the Jetson Era

Ok, so Rosie the Robot may still be a few iterations away, but the rest of your house, from your doorbell to your toaster, is about to get much, much, smarter. » 7/19/12 10:00pm 7/19/12 10:00pm

Kick-Ass Automated Berkeley Dorm Violates College Rules

Earlier this week we showed you the inside of Derek Low's insanely automated college room. Sadly, the draconian forces that be at Berkeley are calling Low in to a judicial hearing because his room violates their housing policy. » 5/03/12 4:57am 5/03/12 4:57am

You'd Never Want To Graduate From this Amazing, Automated College Dorm…

Like any first year college student, Derek Low wanted to make a name for himself at UC Berkeley. But instead of streaking across the quad during frosh week, he converted his boring dorm room into what he dubbed B.R.A.D.—or the Berkeley Ridiculously Automated Dorm. » 5/01/12 10:35am 5/01/12 10:35am

Self-Checkout Luddites Are Starting to Damage My Calm

Major grocery chains like Albertson's are eliminating self-checkout aisles at their various locations because management claims they're too impersonal. What a crock. That's a polite way of saying some people are simply ill-equipped to use them efficiently. » 7/10/11 1:00pm 7/10/11 1:00pm

Top 10 Awesome Android Features that the iPhone Doesn't Have

We love both Android and iOS, but the open nature of Android just means it can do things others just can't. Here are our favorite Android apps and features that you won't find on its Apple-clad brethren.… [ Lifehacker » 5/14/11 11:00am 5/14/11 11:00am]

Android @ Home Will Turn Your House Into a Giant, Automated Smartbox

Ever dreamed of turning lights on and off with your Android smartphone? Want to push music around the house like iPhone fanboys can with AirPlay? Google is bringing that to you with Android @ Home and Google Tungsten, their latest creations. » 5/10/11 1:21pm 5/10/11 1:21pm

This Automated Lego Assembly Line Robot Is Looking for Work

Lego Mindstorm robots aren't anything new. That said, Lego robots that might one day replace line workers at a factory (a la the car industry), that is certainly something I've never seen before. Until today, I mean. » 4/24/11 2:00pm 4/24/11 2:00pm

Sushi Restaurant Uses Sushi Robots and Control Centers to Cut Costs

Kura, a sushi chain, focuses on efficiency and turning a profit. So much so that they've eschewed traditional sushi chefs for sushi robots, a large staff of waiters for conveyor belts and restaurant managers for a control center with video link. » 12/31/10 10:00pm 12/31/10 10:00pm

Remote Control Your Car With OnStar's Mobile Apps

If you don't feel like you're giving off enough of a James Bond vibe—and happen to own a 2011 Cadillac or Chevy—OnStar's new MyLink apps might help. And they're useful! Unlock doors, check gas levels—even start the ignition. » 10/29/10 8:40pm 10/29/10 8:40pm

Google Is Road Testing Cars That Drive Themselves

This is not a Google Street View truck. It's actually a self-driving car. The car is part of a new research initiative that Google's been road resting: Artificially intelligent cars that drive themselves. » 10/09/10 4:00pm 10/09/10 4:00pm

Humankind Reaches New Low With Auto Channel Changer

Granting us a view of our dystopian future, tinkerer Randy Sarafan combined engineering ingenuity and what looks like extreme depression to make "The Most Useful Machine," an automated channel surfing aid. One step closer to being completely immobile! » 8/13/10 5:20pm 8/13/10 5:20pm

Wine Vending Machines Are the Reason You've Been Saving All That Loose…

Due to longstanding and elaborate liquor laws, it is not particularly easy to buy booze in Pennsylvania. But now the state's trying to make it a little bit easier—with ID-swiping, breathalyzer-sporting wine bottle vending machines. » 7/08/10 3:40pm 7/08/10 3:40pm