January 26, 2010

Mahru-Z Autonomously Cleans

Rosie the Robot has arrived. The 4 ft. tall Mahru-Z has a rotating head, arms, legs and 6 fingers and can "see" in 3 dimensions. You Bum-jae, the head of the cognitive robot center at Korea's KIST, says "The most distinctive strength of Mahru-Z is its visual ability to observe objects, recognize the tasks needed to be completed, and execute them."

Because she is autonomous, she can work her way through a room, pick up the dirty underwear in the process and toss it into the washing machine. Then she can take some food and toss it in a microwave. Let's hope that KIST instills the quality of cleanliness.

Via ZD Net

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January 7, 2010

PR2 Demonstrates DMP

Peter Pastor, a PhD student at USC, used DMPs (Dynamic Movement Primitives) to teach PR2 new movements from only one demonstration. This is a huge concept in robotics when you think about it because it means that a bot can perform the same action even when not the objects are not in the same position. Kudos to Peter and Willow Garage and here's to their continued success.

Via Willow Garage

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January 4, 2010

We Could Certainly Use an I-Shovel Now!

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The I-Shovel automatically detects snow and will take care of that nasty chore for you. The prototype is made with with polycarbonate blades, wheels and handles, runs on rechargeable batteries with optional solar charging making it eco friendly. By the way, they are looking for investors and we are quite impressed even if too poor to contribute.

Via I-Shovel

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December 16, 2009

Fuji Develops Farmbot

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Fuji Heavy Industries has a new autonomous farming robot that runs on gas and uses laser signals to get a proper orientation from reflective plates that are 30 ft. from each other. The over six foot long robot can be utilized in greenhouses at a cost of about $100,000.00.

Via Engadget

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December 9, 2009

Clean Up With Autonomous Bot

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Fuji, Subaru and Sumitomo unveiled their new cleaning bot, powered by a 24V battery that will last for 2.5 hours. So far unnamed, it is a glorified Roomba that will vacuum and clean up garbage while avoiding obstacles with its sensors and laser system. Priced between $35,000 and $46,000, it would still be cheaper than maid service. The bot on the right is their previous model.

Via CrunchGear

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November 4, 2009

VAIL and Stanford Devise Autonomous Parking

The new Volkswagen Automotive Innovation Laboratory (VAIL) has teamed with Stanford to create an autonomous parking system. It consists of front radar, a camera mounted on the rear view mirror and two LIDAR units on the sides. Tell your car to park itself and it obeys your orders and when you want to leave, ask it to return. The plan here is to work on a two button system but unfortunately for us all, the car can't yet detect obstacles such as trees, lamp posts and real valets.

Via Singularity Hub

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October 30, 2009

ii-1 Robot is Campus Guide

Kobe's Konan University Faculty of Intelligence and Informatics has devised a guide robot that communicates with natural language. Relying on a database from the campus website, the ii-1 can not only answer 'yes' and 'no' questions, it can reply to those that ask 'why' and 'who' using Julius open source speech synthesis software. The autonomous bot can move around and avoid obstacles. Professor Hirotaka Nakayama and team plan to give it facial expression recognition to make it look more human friendly.

Via Robonable (translated)

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October 21, 2009

Snackbot Serves Carnegie Melon

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Mmmm. Donuts. When Snackbot isn't busy performing his usual applications, he will be serving the faculty and students at Carnegie Mellon. Snackbot has been originally designed to support research in the fields of design and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI.) He can autonomously move through a crowd, detect individuals, and recognize those he has met before.

Via Snackbot

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October 9, 2009

Eporos School Together Like Fish

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Nissan studied the movement of schools of fish and developed Eporos (EPisode O (Zero) Robot,) three-wheeled bots that share information to avoid crashing into each other. They use laser range finders and radio communication to determine where obstacles may be and then avoid them while still hanging near each other. The auto company is hoping to utilize the technology and apply it to future vehicles.

Via NY Daily News

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September 22, 2009

Robotic Jumper Gets Drafted

Boston Dynamics, father of the BigDog, has been awarded a contract to create the Sandia National Laboratories' prototype Precision Urban Hopper for DARPA. The 4-wheel robot navigates autonomously and has a single leg, allowing it to jump over 25' fences. Imagine their surprise when the enemy, in its compound behind walls, gets startled by the PUH. The project should be completed by late 2010 and the Pentagon says it would like a third of all forces to be robotic by 2015.

Via New Scientist

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