robots

  • 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… 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… 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… 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… 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… 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… 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… Read More

  • CMU's snake robot: Coming up through a toilet near you

    http://blip.tv/scripts/flash/showplayer.swf?enablejs=true&file=http%3A//blip.tv/rss/flash/817026&feedurl=http%3A//crunchgear.blip.tv/rss/&autostart=false&brandname=CrunchGear&brandlink=http%3A//crunchgear.blip.tv/ Got to see CMU’s Snake Robot up close and it’s really something. The bugger rolls around the floor and can climb up pipes and through holes with… Read More

  • Robots with guns: The ethical dilemma

    Robots with guns: The ethical dilemma


    I am but a toy! I was at the show today talking to some folks about the current crop of military robots from people like Foster-Miller and even iRobot. These are robots deployed by the army to handle bomb detection, room clearing, and all the nasty stuff you don’t want to send humans in for. For years, politicians have been deriding these things as remote controlled toys rather than… Read More

  • RoboBusiness 2008: Kind of small, lots of cool stuff

    RoboBusiness 2008: Kind of small, lots of cool stuff

    Just got to RoboBusiness 2008 in Pittsburgh, PA where I’ve seen more cool things in a 100 square foot space than I’ve ever seen at the South Hall 8AC57.9.B at CES. There are quite a few kit makers here for education and research along with some cool research projects by Carnegie Mellon and other local universities. Read More

  • To spark interest in robots, man wants to build 60-foot-tall Gundam

    To spark interest in robots, man wants to build 60-foot-tall Gundam

    In order to form a more perfect union and get kids interested in robots and robotics (but not cockfights), some Japanese guy, Takayuki Furuta, created blueprints to build a 60-foot-tall Gundamn. The total cost of such a robot comes out to $742 million, which is, I think, the price Haliburton charges for a single tire. in Iraq. (Oh no, he’s getting political!) Furuta, realizing that… Read More

  • Toshiba's ApriPoco helper robot looks innocent for a reason

    Toshiba's ApriPoco helper robot looks innocent for a reason

    First, this is not an April Fools joke post. Biggs does those, not me. This is ApriPoco, a small helper robot created by Toshiba. It can learn how to accomplish any number of tasks using its built-in infrared sensor, like turning on the TV, useful for the elderly (or lazy). There’s a reason why ApriPoco looks as childlike as it does. Its developers know how frustrated people can get when… Read More

  • Review: WowWee Flytech Butterfly

    It flies like a real butterfly! I was actually quite surprised at the build quality on this thing. Usually these sorts of things blow into a million pieces on the first day but the Flytech butterfly withstood quite a few crash landings during our trials. The dog also bit it a few times, which is usually the kiss of death for toys like this. Read More

  • Robotic cockfighting at the Robo-One Championships

    http://www.reuters.com/resources/flash/includevideo.swf?edition=US&videoId=78870 Here’s something everyone can enjoy; intricate robot fighters bobbing, weaving, and punching. It’s the twice-yearly Robo-One Championships in Tokyo. The most recent tournament played host to 112 robots ranging from your standard karate-bot to the more interesting chicken robot named… Read More

  • Gigantic undersea trench-digging, cable-laying robot

    Gigantic undersea trench-digging, cable-laying robot

    I said “cable-laying,” get it? Anyhoo, if you’re in the market for a huge remote controlled submersible robot that weighs 50 tons and can bury oil and gas pipes at the bottom of the ocean, look no further than the Ultra Trencher 1 by a company called SMD. It uses propellers to submerge itself to depths up to a mile and then uses ninja-like high-pressure “jet… Read More

  • Man killed by gun-toting robot in his own driveway!

    [photopress:starscream_deletedscene1.jpg,full,center] At first the headline grabs your attention, but then you read the story and find out that the man who died built the killer robot specifically to kill himself. I’m sorry, but that is so badass. He was an 81-year old man who’s out of state relatives wanted to put him in a nursing home, because they were selfish bastards. So… Read More

  • The march of the RoBeasts continues: Technics Robot Crab

    The march of the RoBeasts continues: Technics Robot Crab


    I’ve just downloaded an inexplicably large video (120mb for 30 seconds? It’s called YouTube, guys) of this crab doing its thing. It’s certainly not as cool as the BigDog robot from yesterday, but it’s also not a multi-million-dollar DARPA-funded military all-terrain bioroid. It’s for scrambling around on sea floors and taking samples or pictures. Like the… Read More

  • BigDog Robot: Imagine this thing coming at you through the woods

    Good lord. If you want to see the future of warfare and fear, this is it. This is the BigDog quadraped robot designed by Boston Dynamics for DARPA and can climb over rubble, walk through snow, and even save itself when slipping on ice. It can apparently carry over 300 pounds. When they put a gun on this bastard and set it lose behind enemy lines, watch out. via Giz Read More