robots

  • Mr. Asahi reminds us we need a beer

    http://blip.tv/scripts/flash/showplayer.swf?enablejs=true&feedurl=http%3A%2F%2Fcftech%2Eblip%2Etv%2Frss&file=http%3A%2F%2Fblip%2Etv%2Frss%2Fflash%2F1049555%3Freferrer%3Dblip%2Etv%26source%3D1&showplayerpath=http%3A%2F%2Fblip%2Etv%2Fscripts%2Fflash%2Fshowplayer%2Eswf Mr. Asahi hangs out in the Asahi Beer Brewery where he dispenses beer to the wonderment of all and sundry. Read More

  • Robots that learn

    The University of Massachusetts, Amherst is working on a robot that can learn to use unfamiliar objects. According to MIT’s Technology Review, UMass’s Robot, called the UMass Mobile Manipulator, or UMan, ‘sees’ an object with the help of a Web cam and then pushes it around to see how it moves, identifying and recording the objects’ parts and joints. Doctoral… Read More

  • DARPA throws $3.3m at biomimetic chembots


    You read that correctly. In yet another freaky-yet-awesome move by DARPA, a team at Tufts University has been awarded a $3.3 million contract to develop a breed of “chemical robots” based on the caterpillar form of Manduca sexta. With bodies made of bioengineered, environmentally-friendly polymers, they’d theoretically be able to fit through spaces as small as 1cm wide. Read More

  • Honda tests walking instead of driving


    Honda announced it will begin testing its experimental walking assistant device today. The car maker will test the device, which was created to support people with weakened leg muscles but who are still able to walk on their own, in a collaboration with Shinseikai Medical Group and Kasumigaseki-Minami. Most commonly the device will be tested on elderly patients as part of their rehab… Read More

  • Facial expression recognition for robotic teachers

    Jacob Whitehill of UC San Diego’s computer science Ph. D program has developed software that recognizes common facial expressions and then translates those expressions into commands that either speed up or slow down the playback of certain video lectures.  According to Science Daily, “The proof-of-concept demonstration is part of a larger project to use automated facial… Read More

  • CrunchDeals: Scary-ass robotic Elvis for $59.99

    Remember this thing? It used to cost adoring Elvis fans upwards of $350! Now even fence-sitters and hangers-on can get the WowWee Alive Singing Elvis robot for $59.99 with free shipping. This shoulders-up Elvis robot features a few main dispositions: Alive (taking care of business) mode, where Elvis watches your every move and “makes the occasional famous Elvis remark,” Song… Read More

  • Transformers on Blu-ray will have lossless audio, BD Live content

    Due for release on September 2, Transformers on Blu-ray will no doubt entertain those of you who think giant robots fighting other just-as-big robots is “cool.” Paramount has said that the Blu-ray version will feature, in some capacity, BD Live content. Better still, this version will have Dolby TrueHD 5.1 sounds; the HD DVD version only had Dolby Digital Plus. And that’s the… Read More

  • Tokyo Toy Show coverage, part 2: Watch A.M.P., E.M.A. and other robots in action

    In this year’s Tokyo Toy Show, robots of all kinds and sizes were abundant, the majority of which I found to be very creepy. Especially Sega’s gigantic Golden Retriever is a genuinely scary “animal”. Below are some videos I shot of Sega robots during the show. Sega-Hasbro’s A.M.P music robot Sega’s kissing robot E.M.A. (it really can kiss people and… Read More

  • Robotic arm hustles air hockey players everywhere

    If you walk into a bar and see this robotic arm situated at one end of an air hockey table drinking a Miller High Life with a cigarette hanging from its lip yelling “Who’s got next?!", don’t, under any circumstances, play against it for money. It’ll beat you pretty badly. Politely offer to play a gentleman’s game and if the arm refuses, just walk away. Read More

  • Video: All-robot band and their catchy tune

    http://www.collegehumor.com/moogaloop/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=1819976&fullscreen=1 Sure, it’s not the first all-home-made-robots rock band ever, but this one’s a little more sophisticated than most, and it has a robotic singer. Nice touch. What I’d like to know is this: How come there’s no video of robots playing Rock Band as a rock band yet? We’ve seen bits… Read More

  • You're kidding me, right? A new Robocop movie!

    The Moving Picture Thanks for the tip, Joe G. Read More

  • First batch of MAARS war robots shipped

    Okay you guys. If you see one of these MAARS (Modular Advanced Armed Robotic System) robots heading your way, do not try to pet it. The machine gun mounted squarely to the robot’s frame might look cute, but those bullets sting. The first batch of MAARS robots have been shipped out from British company Qinetiq to the US military recently and should see some action over in Iraq. The… Read More

  • WowWee Wrex the Dog

    I think something inside me died. If you think this is clever, however, feel free to read the full review over at robotsrule.com. Now I have to go change my shirt. Read More

  • Useful: Missile throwing robot

    If you’re the tinkering type, then you might want to check out this little slice of heaven. It’s a missile launching robot, I think, that doesn’t tame the savageness of man, but rather entertains you for all of two minutes. The fun, I’d expect, is in making it; the necessary parts are all there for your enjoyment. As I’ve said before, my knowledge of hacking… Read More

  • The final robot frontier: New robots to patrol Antarctica (in search of sunrise)

    Little snowmobile-like robots will soon be patrolling the Antarctic surface, collecting all sorts of data in the pursuit of something called science. The robots, called SnoMote by their Georgia Tech creators, distinguish themselves from previous cold weather robots in how they navigate the icy surface. Rather than depend upon landmarks like rocks or mountains, which are hard to discern in… Read More

  • 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… Read More

  • 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… Read More

  • Video: Jumping locust robot

    Remember this little guy? Read More

  • 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… Read More

  • 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… Read More