Brian Heater

Brian Heater

Hardware Editor

Brian Heater is the Hardware Editor at TechCrunch. He worked for a number of leading tech publications, including Engadget, PCMag, Laptop, and Tech Times, where he served as the Managing Editor. His writing has appeared in Spin, Wired, Playboy, Entertainment Weekly, The Onion, Boing Boing, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Beast and various other publications. He hosts the weekly Boing Boing interview podcast RiYL, has appeared as a regular NPR contributor and shares his Queens apartment with a rabbit named Juniper.

The Latest from Brian Heater

Google I/O set for May 14, 15

The sun is peeking out behind the clouds and the birds are singing. That can only mean one thing: developer season is nearly upon us. While the rest of you are out there touching the proverbial and li

Humanoid robots face continued skepticism at Modex

If your robotics startup is looking to raise, there’s close to a 100% chance you’re going to get two questions from potential investors: 1) How are you incorporating generative AI? and 2) Have you

Behold, TruckBot

One undeniable trend from this year’s Modex conference: suddenly everyone is into truck unloading. The past couple of years have gone from a few select companies to seemingly everyone in and around

Cypher’s inventory drone launches from an autonomous mobile robot base

Doing inventory sucks. I feel the need to reiterate this any time I discuss the topic here. Having performed a bit of it during my years of retail work, I can personally attest to the fact that it’s

Reflex Robotics’ wheeled humanoid is here to grab you a snack

Agility’s Digit wasn’t the only humanoid holding court at Modex in Atlanta this week. On the opposite end of the Georgia World Congress Center, Reflex Robotics, a younger and smaller startup, was

Verve Motion’s robot backpack helps workers lighten their load

Wander the Modex floor long enough and you’ll stumble upon some wearable robotics. The category has nowhere near the presence of AMRs (autonomous mobile robots) or storage and retrieval systems, but

Locus Robotics’ success is a tale of focusing on what works

“We’re fundamentally a software company,” Locus CEO Rick Faulk says with a laugh. We look like a robot company, but we’re actually a software company.” It’s a familiar refrain from compani

The loneliness of the robotic humanoid

Covariant is building ChatGPT for robots

Hey, it’s me, Brian’s less creepy Apple Vision Pro Persona

Hey. Sorry to call you out of the blue. No, no, nothing serious. I’m fine. I wanted to apologize for freaking you out last time. I wasn’t myself. But I’ve changed. Honestly, I don’t even know

AALTO seeks to democratize high-speed internet access through solar-powered drones

In the beginning of 2021, Alphabet shuttered Loon. It was a familiar story within the annals of Google X history: an ambitious moonshot with tremendous upside that sputtered out prior to gaining any s

Apple M3 MacBook Air review: Still the best Mac for most

Before we go any further, a question: What makes a computer an AI computer? Is it simply the ability to execute AI-powered tasks? To run LLMs locally? Is it something deeper? Is any computer that is c

Headspace brings meditation to Meta Quest

Mindfulness and meditation apps have tremendous potential in the world of extended reality. The full immersion created by headsets like the Meta Quest and Apple Vision Pro offer great potential to kic

Babylon Micro-Farms is bringing vertical farming to K-12 classes

In an e-mail exchange, Babylon Micro-Farms CEO Alexander Oleson tells me “we’ll have these in every school and apartment one day.” It’s a nice vision, and really the level of belief/commitment

Amazon teams with recycling robot firm to track package waste

Amazon generates a lot of trash. Precisely how much is a matter of some debate. In 2021, the company says it used 214 million or so pounds of single-use plastic in its packaging. Nonprofit ocean conse

Agility Robotics’ new CEO is ‘focused on the here and now’

There was nothing else like Digit on the ProMat floor last year. The manufacturing supply chain event has gradually morphed into a tech show in recent years. Many of the biggest names in the space wer

Right to repair bill targeting parts pairing passes Oregon House

The Oregon House this week passed a right to repair bill by nearly a 3-to-1 margin at 42 votes to 13. If signed into law, the northwestern state wouldn’t be the first in the union to pass a righ

Nothing’s budget Phone (2a) hits preorder at $349

The much-teased and oft-leaked Nothing Phone (2a) is now officially official, just under a week after it made its limited debut at the company’s MWC after party. Nothing’s third phone is the first

Shure enters the wireless lav mic business

Consumer lapel mics are one of the more interesting consumer electronics trends of recent years. Prior to this, lavalier microphones and their ilk were largely the domain of professional film crews. W

Ultraleap is bringing haptic touch to cars and VR headsets

In May 2019, Ultrahaptics and Leap Motion became Ultraleap (not to be confused with Magic Leap, which operates in the same space). It’s a name change representing the marriage of two different, yet
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