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Robot Orders Scone, Leaves Big Tip

Today's completely true weirdness: a telepresence robot orders a scone from a coffee shop in Mountain View, California. The robot is given the scone, pays for it, and turns out to be a good tipper.

Now, part of what's remarkable about the following video is the whole bit about the robot (which is completely controlled by a person -- that person is visible in a screen on the robot's "face" and speaks with coffee shop patrons and employees via a mic/speaker/camera combo). So we're not talking about autonomous scone-ordering robots just yet. But the more remarkable thing, to me, is how people in the coffee shop react to the robot. After some initial awkwardness, everyone managed to pull out a camera phone and record the scene. So this is just one of many videos about this particular event. I wonder if, at some point, robots ordering scones will become commonplace? This may be the beginning of a new joke setup: "So a robot walks into a bar...."

This particular video starts a little slowly (as the videographer apparently hears from a friend that a robot is in line, and the videographer dashes to the coffee shop). You see the robot standing in line starting about one minute in.

For the record, the robot is made by Anybots, not Google as mentioned by the videographer below. It reportedly costs about $15,000.

(Via Waxy.org.)

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Star Wars © & TM 2015 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
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Pop Culture
How to Perform the Star Wars Theme—On Calculators
Star Wars © & TM 2015 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
Star Wars © & TM 2015 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

The iconic Star Wars theme has been recreated with glass harps, theremins, and even cat meows. Now, Laughing Squid reports that the team over at YouTube channel It’s a small world have created a version that can be played on calculators.

The channel’s math-related music videos feature covers of popular songs like Luis Fonsi’s "Despacito," Ed Sheeran’s "Shape of You," and the Pirates of the Caribbean theme, all of which are performed on two or more calculators. The Star Wars theme, though, is played across five devices, positioned together into a makeshift keyboard of sorts.

The video begins with a math-musician who transcribes number combinations into notes. Then, they break into an elaborate practice chord sequence on two, and then four, calculators. Once they’re all warmed up, they begin playing the epic opening song we all know and love, which you can hear for yourself in all its electronic glory below.

[h/t Laughing Squid]

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Somnox, Kickstarter
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technology
This Cuddly Robot Is Designed to Lull You to Sleep
Somnox, Kickstarter
Somnox, Kickstarter

For people seeking all the benefits of a human sleeping companion without the human part, there’s a new Kickstarter-backed product. As Mashable reports, Somnox, the self-proclaimed “world’s first sleep robot,” is designed to give you a more comfortable, energizing night’s rest.

The bean-shaped cushion is the perfect size and shape for cuddling as you drift to sleep. Beneath its soft exterior is hardware designed to get you to deep sleep faster. Somnox rises and falls to mimic the movements of human breathing. Lay with the pillow long enough and the designers claim your breath will naturally sync to its rhythm, thus prepping your body for sleep.

Somnox can also be set to play sounds and music. Some content, like guided mediation, lullabies, and gentle heart beats, come built-in, but you can also upload audio of your own. And you don’t need to worry about shutting it off: Once you've customized its breathing and audio behaviors through the app, the device does what it's programed to do and powers down automatically.

Having a robotic sleep aide will cost you: You need to pledge about $533 to the team’s Kickstarter to reserve one. Even with the steep price tag, the campaign surpassed its funding goal.

[h/t Mashable]

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