iRobot's military bots answer to one tap on a tabletA new app makes it easy to control iRobot's defense and security robots. Also, AT&T pays for mobile "cramming," and Snapchat will soon feature advertisements.
If you want to operate a military robot all it takes is one finger. I'm Bridget Carey and this is your CNET update. [MUSIC] The robotics company iRobot is best known as the creator of the rumba automated vacuum,. But there is another side to iRobot that many don't know about. A military side. iRobot has more than 6,000 defense and security robots deployed world wide. Some of these robots are being used in war zones for bomb detection and disarming. Some are being used in Japan t clean the Nuclear melt down. Local police use them to scope dangerous situations. Each robot requires specialized training to operate. but, now, that;s all changing. iRobot unveiled a new system that control all these model with a simply touch screen app on an Andriod tablet. Previously first responders would use laptops and video game controllers to operate these robots, but now just put your finger on a tablet screen to drive the robot and move the limbs. During a demo, I was able to pick up the controls with practically no training, and that's the point. Any Joe or Jane can run a robot rescue mission without having to go through time consuming training. Of course Irobot hopes that encourages more first responders and local law enforcement to buy a few for their teams. And this is just a baby step to the next advancement not needing a driver. Irobot is working on programing the robots to recognize obstacles and then give it a few more years and we'll have Robocop and battle. Let's switch gears to the world of mobile. AT&T will have to pay the US government a fine $105 million to settle charges over the practice of mobile cramming. The Federal Trade Commission went after AT&T for collecting hundreds of millions of dollars from customers. To subscribe to services that give you daily text messages with jokes, horoscopes or ring tones. The problem is those services cost $10 a month but consumers may not have been aware of the fees because the charges were not always clear on the bill and AT&T and other carriers were taking a cut of that money, at least 35%. The carriers have stopped charging for those services, but if you feel like you've been charged unfairly, you can go to ftc.gov to ask for a refund. Meanwhile, the app Words With Friends is back. Zynga is really not a new version of the Scrabble-like game. Now you can play by yourself against a computer and. You can pick a nearby stranger to play against. And what's a four letter word for junk advertisements? The head of snapshot said ads will soon be coming to the popular messaging app but the ads will not be targeted so basically, get ready for snapshot spam. That's your tech news update, for more, head to cnet.com for more studios in New York. I'm Bridget Carey. [MUSIC]