Light Start: Toyota’s cleaning robot, waiting for Apple’s next lot, Spider-Man it’s not and the cutest NASA bot

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Toyota’s latest robot wants to clean your kitchen for you

Just as you think robots can’t possibly replace mediocre jobs, Toyota slides in with its latest innovation. The car company recently unveiled a gantry-type robot that can be mounted overhead in a kitchen and be made to clean. The prototype was revealed at the company’s California mock-up home environment labs last week, and we’re finally convinced the robot apocalypse is upon us. 

The robot was inspired by visiting Japanese homes, where it became clear to researchers that smaller floor space will limit a floor-bound robot to really help around the house. So obviously, if it doesn’t fit on the floor, mount it to the roof as people always say. “Building new robot-assisted homes from scratch would create its own problems, of course, but the design itself does solve some issues,” The Verge details. Although we couldn’t imagine installing that terrible-looking roof mount into any kitchen, we understand that the implementation of tech like this would likely be reserved for caring homes or old-age homes where people may struggle to do basic house cleaning on a regular basis. 

“What if instead of needing a robot to navigate the cluttered floor, it could travel on the ceiling instead, and be tucked out of the way when it’s not needed?” said Dan Helmick, co-lead of robotics fleet learning at the Toyota Research Institute (TRI), during a virtual presentation. 

Source: The Verge

When to expect Apple’s iPhone 12 announcement

Our annual Apple excitement diminished quickly when we realised no actual phone hardware would be announced at the company’s September keynote this year. This was ascribed to production issues due to COVID-19 and lockdown implications during the year. 

Every year before this, Apple has continued to announce a new handset in September. Well, we’re now in October and no iPhone yet. During the 2020 Apple event last month, we got a new Apple Watch and iPad models (both of which have been priced for South Africa), and a bundled subscription service, but no new iPhone. The delay was rumoured for quite a while, so it wasn’t a complete surprise. We were just disappointed. “The iPhone isn’t the only missing-in-action update or new launch we’ve been waiting for. These are some of the things we didn’t see in September, but that might (or might not) show up before the end of the year,” Cnet reports. 

The good news is that Apple hasn’t forgotten about us, and will announce a new iPhone in this month (hopefully) various leaks suggest that we should see another Apple event on either 13 or 14 October of this year. Is that enough time to save up for an Apple iPhone 12? Probably not, so you better start saving for the iPhone 13 then, no?

Source: Cnet

Spiderman gets an overhaul for the Miles Morales game sequel

There are quite a few things to look forward to come the next-gen consoles slated for next month. One of these is the sequel to the great Spider-Man game we saw on PS4. Another is the fact that developers Insomniac Games are remastering the original Spider-Man title for next-gen graphics on the PS5. 

The remastered game is meant to show off the improved graphics and ray-tracing capabilities of the PlayStation 5 console. But a strange thing has happened in the development of this game – developers have decided to remodel the main character Peter Parker’s face to look… completely different. Gameplay will stay much the same to what we saw on the current-gen console, however. “There’s no real polite way to put this: Peter’s new character model looks like like a completely different person who clawed his way out of the uncanny valley,” Gizmodo explains. The reasoning behind changing the character’s whole face is an odd one. We’re not convinced that developers have a good enough reason to duplicate a lot of work to make Peter Parker look completely different to what he looked in the first iteration of the game. Apparently, developers felt the need to cast someone else for the face capture that more closely resembles the voice actor. 

The whole trailer feels unsettling if you’re used to the previous game, with a different face stuck on a fan favourite. This fact won’t bother anyone new to the franchise, but we’re struggling to see how developers are trying to justify the complete change. 

Source: Gizmodo

NASA’s newest moon rover is the cutest yet

Historically, rovers haven’t been particularly… pretty. But who cares, though? We rarely see them, and if aliens were to spot them on the moon, they’d think humans have no sense of style. Which is kinda true, ain’t it?

Until now. NASA has sourced the Astrobotic’s CubeRover which is designed to provide a mobile platform for science kit on the surface of the moon. The CubeRover was co-developed with Carnegie Mellon University, and the developers behind the cutest little rover ever, Astrobotic, said that this is the lightest space-rover ever created weighing in at 4kg. “A NASA team at Kennedy’s Granular Mechanics and Regolith Operations (GMRO) Laboratory will now spend months testing the rover on their simulated lunar surface. The tests will determine what types of slopes, gaps and other surface irregularities the rover can navigate, and drop testing will make sure the rover can bounce around without tipping over,” Engadget reports. 

After initial testing, the CubeRover will make its way to its outer-space destination to go and do its job of researching and documenting our celestial friend. 

Source: Engadget

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Deputy Editor at Stuff. Nevermind the fancy title, I like writing about things that are cool. Like games, gadgets and sometimes even software. Depending on how cool it is.

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