Bizarre Amazon Patent Application Suggests Jellyfish-Like Drones for Warehouses

Amazon is on a mission to mechanize as much of its supply chain as possible, and has—through publicly available documents—considered autonomous vehicles, drones that react to screaming, and flying warehouses. Among the strangest is a patent application which became public today, and it’s, uh, some sort of crane game…

Nike Patent Imagines Shoes With Tiny Treadmills Built Into the Soles

A recently published patent filed by Nike depicts a new “rotatable conveyor element” designed to help people put on their shoes. Essentially a tiny treadmill, the proposed device is a conveyer belt that’s embedded in a shoe’s insole and “configured to rotatably engage a body part of the wearer as the foot enters the…

Facebook Patents Self-Balancing Robot, and It's Anyone's Best Guess Why

Earlier today, Facebook filed a patent for “a self-balancing robot that transitions from a three-wheeled mode to a two-wheeled self-balancing mode” with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Facebook isn’t typically thought of a as a hardware company, and the details on what this is intended to do are left…

Amazon Wants to Protect You From Falling Drones by Making Them Self-Destruct

It was almost two years ago to the day when Amazon released a cheeky video detailing its plans to conquer the skies with a fleet of package-delivering drones. We’re still waiting for these unmanned aircraft to replace standard trucks and delivery personnel, but it’s clear Amazon hasn’t abandoned the idea. Earlier this…

Roomba's Next Big Step Is Selling Maps of Your Home to the Highest Bidder

The Roomba is generally regarded as a cute little robot friend that no one but dogs would consider to be a potential menace. But for the last couple of years, the robovacs have been quietly mapping homes to maximize efficiency. Now, the device’s makers plan to sell that data to smart home device manufacturers, turning…