robots

  • World's smallest humanoid robot available at Hammacher Schlemmer for $200

    Looking for a friend this summer but can’t stand the thought of direct sunlight and/or human interaction? Then try the i-SOBOT. It’s a six-and-a-half inch robot that comes pre-programmed with almost 200 individual movements and can be programmed to perform up to 240 additional movements, should you get bored of the stock motions. Best of all, it’s small enough that it probably… Read More

  • A peacetime UAV application: investigating hurricanes

    A peacetime UAV application: investigating hurricanes

    Unmanned Aerial Vehicles are in use all over the world for many things, but most famously for their role in warfare. Fantasy abounds and people picture UAVs or “drones” sweeping Iraq in formation, eradicating enemies with the “Terminator” theme in the background. Well, the drones are working to fight that image. NOAA is working on deploying some drones from Barbados to take… Read More

  • Video: Jumping locust robot

    Remember this little guy? Read More

  • Researchers study locusts to make jumping robots

    Researchers study locusts to make jumping robots

    If you are wondering why there has been a lot of robot news lately, that’s because the International Conference on Robotics and Automation is happening this week. In my last post you probably remember me talking about killer attack droids, this time I will talk about jumping search and rescue droids. Researchers at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) designed a grasshopper… Read More

  • Wall-climbing attack droids on their way

    Wall-climbing attack droids on their way

    The non-profit group SRI International is designing a wall-climbing robot to be unveil it at the International Conference of Robotics and Automation. Popular Mechanics has a video of it climbing on a lot of common building materials. The robot uses electro-adhesion to stick to the wall — is the same technology robots are already using to pick up silicon wafers on assembly lines. If this… Read More

  • Robot overlords taking to classical music

    Robot overlords taking to classical music

    In the graphic novella Robota by Orson Scott Card and Doug Chiang, the robots are invented by man, then take over science, and, when they develop a love of art, decide to end humanity, Skynet style. Fortunately, our creations have yet to have anything to do with art, meaning for the time being we’re safe. Wait, I just got a link here that Asimo, Honda’s prototype bi-pedal future robot… Read More

  • Humans:1, Machines:0 in Korean robo-soldier tests

    Humans:1, Machines:0 in Korean robo-soldier tests

    Chalk one up for humanity. Although IPv6 (AKA Skynet) is just around the corner, we have yet to accomplish the other technological advancements that will pave the way for the inevitable robotic apocalypse. We may have autonomous navigation, bee-powered nightmare dogbots, and Aliens-esque exoskeletons, it seems that we can’t create a decent murder machine. I guess it’s time to come… Read More

  • Dances with Childrens: the RC-R2D2 story

    How cute is that? Tread-based robots are limited to very few moves on the dance floor (for instance, they can’t do their namesake), but that doesn’t stop this remote-controlled R2 unit from cutting a rug with these young ladies at Maker Faire. Looks like a lot of fun. You can find out more about the project at Artoo-Detoo.net. Read More

  • Interview with the creator of an R2D2 impostor

    Interview with the creator of an R2D2 impostor

    Don’t let the glossy outer shell and blue markings fool you — this is not the droid you’re looking for. In fact, it is a meticulously designed copy of R2D2 created by Chris James and is radio controlled and can play back R2D2 sound bites and hum the Star Wars theme. It cannot, however, save you in the event of a rebel attack. Sadly, this model is remote controlled and… Read More

  • OH NOES! RoboCup not in China this year!

    OH NOES! RoboCup not in China this year!

    RoboCup lovers better get on the phone with China Air because they canceled the RoboCup in July of this year and will be possibly changing the venue, although nothing is definite. They cited “Olympics related issues,” which I suspect is code for “chance of robocup participants waving flags saying ‘Free Tibet.’” Dear all, Due to the Olympic related issues, the… Read More

 
  • Autonomous killer robots to patrol Israel

    Autonomous killer robots to patrol Israel

    Is it possible to write a full post on deadly military robots without making a snarky joke about SkyNet? Nope. The foot soldiers in the future super-computer overlord’s army aren’t the Terminator series robots, but mechanized drones, like the Israeli killer robot its army has just developed, called the Guardium. This isn’t just a remote controlled killbot, though; the Guardium is… Read More

  • Interesting video of improved robot vision and obstacle navigation

    Interesting video of improved robot vision and obstacle navigation

    This is a short video by the NYU splinter of a DARPA-funded project that aims to improve the way robots perceive the world around them (and most importantly, in front of them). As the video notes, the resolution (both temporal and spatial) of current robots’ visual systems is very limited due to data bandwidth and CPU limitations. Consequently, it cannot process its path beyond about 12… Read More

  • The true story of an iRobot spy and a $300 million theft

    The true story of an iRobot spy and a $300 million theft

    Who stole the sole? Noah “Red Hot” Shachtman wrote a great piece on an iRobot insider who stole the plans for the company’s military Packbot robot and recreated the robot himself, becoming a direct competitor to iRobot. The thief, Jameel Ahed, was frustrated because he wasn’t given full control over the project. He quit the company and, after reworking the design, was able… Read More

  • Honda's Asimo robot will conduct an orchestra next month

    Honda's Asimo robot will conduct an orchestra next month

    Asimo, Honda’s adorable robot that braved sniper fire in Bosnia several years ago, will conduct a special session of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra next month. The ‘bot will boss around Yo-Yo-Ma and the rest of the DSO while they perform “Impossible Dream” on May 13. The stunt is supposed to create awareness of robots in art, while at the same time encouraging local… Read More

  • SwashBot: Cute until it kills you

    The Swashbot will probably be the first robot to come to your house to look for living matter. Once it senses you, this four-servo robot — human-controlled now but hivemind controlled later — will call in its shock troops to blow in some fire bombs and then the Scanner-bots will come at night to check for survivors and, if you’re still huddling in a closet, allow the Swashbots to… Read More

  • Meet Carlos, the flammable legs-only robo hobo

    I don’t get it and I don’t want to get it, but here’s a robotic something-or-other that pushes a shopping cart around while on fire. Exactly. Carlos’ inventor says… “Robotics are often used in environments which are considered dangerous to humans. Deep sea exploration, nuclear cleanup and volcanism are some of the ‘higher profile’ adverse… Read More

  • Robotic sculpture reminds of how I feel after drinking too much port

    Ever feel like someone is inside your gut pulling levers and causing you to chomp madly at passers-by? Then you know how Big Man by sculptor Nemo Gould feels. Big Man has a Little Man in his tummy causing gastrointestinal distress by pulling levers and pushing buttons. The sculpture is made of cast off junk and is about eight feet tall. Gould built it for the San Jose Art Museum for an exhibit on… Read More

  • Robo-spoons, G-Dogs, and jelly sensors at Tepia Technology's show in Tokyo

    Robo-spoons, G-Dogs, and jelly sensors at Tepia Technology's show in Tokyo

    I don’t want to spoil the surprise, there’s a ton of weird gadgets at this Tokyo tech showcase, from robot dogs to catheters with shape memory. The translation is completely off-the-charts inaccurate (not that I know Japanese), but you can tell that some of this is actually some cool industrial tech. I like the “OTOFOKASURENZUDEBAISU” which I believe is a fun localization… Read More

  • To help aging population, Japanese robots put to work

    To help aging population, Japanese robots put to work

    One-fifth (21 percent) of the Japanese population is over the age of 65, according to the CIA World Fact Book. (Compare that to us here in the Sates, with 12.6 percent over 65 years of ago.) Since its population isn’t getting any younger, Japan has to come up with a source of labor to support its aging population. Robots! A Japanese think tank recently predicated that robots could end up… Read More