January 10, 2011

Docent Tours Daejon

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South Korean school children are being given a robotic treat at the Daejon Museum this week. The 4 ft. tall Docent tells them about each exhibit as it leads them around. This bot is already a seasoned veteran as it has made the rounds at several museums. Nice tie.

Via Plastic Pals

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November 2, 2010

One Small Step for Humans, One Giant Leap for Robotkind

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Originally scheduled for today, two gas leaks have delayed the final launch of Discovery to Wednesday, Nov. 3 at 3:52 p.m. The space shuttle will deliver 6 NASA astronauts as well as Robonaut 2, who will become a permanent resident on the ISS. The Discovery will be carrying a Permanent Multipurpose Module that contains the bot, spare parts and supplies, and will be attached to the outside of the space station. While R2 is to be confined to a limited area after arrival, future plans include him assisting astronauts on space walks.

Via NASA

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August 11, 2010

DEPTHX Finds New Bacteria

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Thanks to NASA's ASTEP funding, an underwater robot is studying biology in a series of sinkholes in Zacatón in northeastern Mexico. So far the autonomous DEPTHX, guided by a team of several universities, has gathered 100 types of microbes, including three new phyla of bacteria. It will continue to seek the unknown in months to come.

Via MSNBC

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July 30, 2010

Must Have: Escape Robot Kit

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Elenco's latest kit can create an Escape Robot that can process information and maneuver around objects autonomously. The kit has a microprocessor, three infrared emitting modules and on IR receiving module. Two different sets of legs can be used for different types of movement. Some soldering is required (iron and solder not included.)

Via Elenco Kits

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July 28, 2010

Ecobot III is Self Sufficient

Bristol Robotics Laboratory's Ecobot III's sole purpose in life is your basic eat, digest, poop. The bot has a digestive system that ingests biomass via microbial fuel cells and turns it into hydrogen atoms with the addition of water and then excretes. Because of the microbes, the robot can exist on waste. So far the team has found that it can maintain itself for up to a week but only utilizes 1% of the energy that is available.

Via BRL

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July 26, 2010

Semi-Autonomous Vehicles Travel to China

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Two semi-autonomous vehicles from VisLab, of the University of Parma in Italy, left that city for a trek to Shanghai, China. The electric pair that run on solar energy will be following a vehicle driven by a human and travel 8,000 miles over the next three months. They will be traversing over various terrains with no fuel or human intervention. You can track the journey from the site with a map and cameras on the vehicles.

via VisLab

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July 1, 2010

Naos Synchronized Dance

The Nao robot from Aldebaran Robotics has been around since 2006, but the humanoid is constantly being updated in design and now has up to 25º of movement. To prove their point, the company released a video of 20 of them practicing a synchronized dance for France's Pavillion Day. The bots also have touch, face and voice recognition ability. Even weirder is this clip that replaced the original tune with Beyonce's "Put a Ring On it." There is something really eerie about their performance and we hope they stick to entertainment when the final robotic takeover occurs.

Via Aldebaran

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June 24, 2010

Emiew 2 Sees Improvements

Hitachi has been working on improvements on Emiew (Excellent Mobility and Interactive Existence as Workmate.) The humanoid robot can now distinguish voices while cancelling out his own inner buzzes and whirrs and can keep his balance when going over obstacles left on the floor. At a height of 32" and a weight of 30 lbs., he can do his thing on either 2 or 4 wheels. Plans for Emiew 2 include surveillance and as a visitor guide.

Via Hitachi

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June 21, 2010

Noby Reacts to Keeper, Kind of

Kosuke Nakamura, a University of Tokyo post grad student, proudly displayed 2ft. 4 inch baby Noby recently. The baby bot, equipped with cams for eyes, mics for ears and 600 tactile sensors, was designed to better help understand human nature and development. It seems to have a ways to go.

Via Day Life

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June 11, 2010

Chicago Gets Robotic Dinosaur Exhibit

KumoTek Robotics has launched an interactive robotics exhibit at Chicago's Field Museum. It features several dinosaurs built by Japan's Kokoro that respond to each visitor in a different way. The star of the show is RoboSUE, a Tyrannosaurus rex that has cameras, sensors and artificial intelligence, and is bound to scare the little ones. The show is scheduled to run through September 6.

Via Field Museum

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