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Comparing all 8 Amazon Echos

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Which Amazon Echo is right for you? The new Echo 2, Plus, Spot, Connect and Buttons, or the existing Dot, Show, or Look? This handy chart lets you compare the functionality and pricing of Amazon’s entire Echo line that got several new additions today at a big launch event.

Though Amazon has traded simplicity for flexibility, the Amazon Echo sh*tshow makes Google Home look like one-size-fits-none.


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MIT’s new robot can put on different exoskeletons to gain new powers

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MIT’s Computers Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) has created a new robot that’s designed to be as adaptable as possible, with the ability to use different “outfits” that each provide different “powers” to the robot. These could include optimizing its ability to walk, for instance, as well as navigating water and even taking to the skies.

This super cool little robot is basically a cube, and CSAIL calls it ‘Primer,’ which is a perfect setup for a sci-fi story based on this thing. In the video below, you can watch it in action, as it navigates itself into the center of its exoskeletons, and then uses emitted heat to wrap the suits around itself. Then, it can do different stuff, like hit the waves or ramble about more quickly on land.

Primer’s movement is controlled by built-in magnets, and it can shed its own skin and then go find a new one to don all on its own. It can also stack outfits on top of one another to help it combine capabilities.

These robots could prove incredibly flexible when built at scale, and in more complex configurations. You can imagine deploying a single robot with a range of “suits” to do something like explore the surface of an alien planet, or even to chart more remote portions of our own Earth, and to switch between search and rescue tasks.

Plus, they seem like they would make great pets.

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Amazon’s Alexa will live in a talking fish

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Amazon’s virtual voice assistant Alexa can go virtually anywhere thanks to Amazon’s Gadgets API, but her next destination is still kind of surprising: It’ll end up in Big Mouth Billy Bass, the animatronic talking fish that you may have seen adorning the walls of the homes of people you don’t like.

At a special event today at Amazon’s Seattle HQ, the company reveals that Alexa would be making its way to the fish, which was traditionally stuck primarily to singing by way of vocalization. Now, it’ll be able to field your smart home requests, re-order your toilet paper, add items to your to-do list and set kitchen timers, too.

This actually isn’t even the first time Alexa has been in a fish, oddly enough: A DIY solution created by Brian Kane using a Raspberry Pi showed up in November last year.

But if you like your intelligent fish assistants nice and official, this is your lucky day.

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