February 25, 2009

Michael Jackson's Head Goes on the Auction Block


Help Michael Jackson's solvency by bidding on his estate sale. Items include a Sega flight simulator, a coin-operated fortune teller and an electric golf cart with the singer as Peter Pan on the front and interior cushions. But it is this robot head that really got our attention. It is expected to sell for $2,000-$3,000. Featured at the end of "Moonwalker," the head lights up in addition to moving. The auction will take place April 29 from Shaan Kokin/Julien's Auctions.

Via Julien's Auctions

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February 23, 2009

Berti Plays With Museum Visitors

Berti (Bristol Elumotion Robotic Torso 1) made his public debut at London's Science Museum last week. He was designed to make "credible conversational gestures" as you can see in the video. During his performance, he played rock-paper-scissors with passers by. When they used a sensor glove, the bot could tell who won. Berti's controller, student Paul Bremner, claims that as difficult as it is, gesturing is an important aspect of conversation, even with robots.

Via Technovelgy

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February 18, 2009

Albert's Head Greets Conference Visitors


This Albert Einstein head was designed by Texan David Hanson and was used to welcome visitors to the Technology, Entertainment and Design conference in Long Beach, California. (Note Hanson's Zeno in the background.) Using the same technology as in the recent movie "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," Albert follows guests with his eyes and can smile or frown with 32 motors to mimic 48 face muscles and hidden cameras in his eyes. While many other Hanson robots are on display elsewhere, we think the only head we want watching us is that of The King, thank ya vera much.

Via Reuters

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February 17, 2009

Hitec Humanoid Robot Stand


Since you have already invested a bundle in making your Robonova, maybe you should find it a safe haven to keep it from evildoers and rampant laser cats while you work on him. We found this adjustable Hitec Stand that will keep them safe for a mere $24.95. Not only is your bot protected, he can move around while on the stand if he gets too stiff.


Incidentally, the stand also works with Bioloids.

Via Trossen

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February 9, 2009

Little Island Clones Robotically


This may be a little too close to home. Hiroaki Koike and his Little Island company make dolls in the likeness of their owners. They are equipped with interactive sensors, servos, LAN connections, cameras and microphones. At a height of about 40cm, the doll can be taught the voice of the original model. She/he can read you RSS feeds or place VOIP calls. Contact Little Island if you would like you or a loved one in his/her image. It will set you back about $2,215.00. While you are waiting, watch "Chucky" and consider if this is really something you want sitting next to you sharing popcorn.

Via Little Island

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January 22, 2009

WowWee's New Pets

At the recent CES in Vegas, WowWee displayed their next generation of toys, including Joebot, (the latest incarnation of Robosapien,) who can walk, dance and beatbox. Also displayed were the Spyball spycam, a mini-Rovio which has WiFi and is remote controlled, and new Alive Cubs, the Seal Pup, Husky Puppy, Koala Joey, and Leopard Cub. The Alive Sleeping Cuties pets include the Labradoodle Puppy, Beagle Puppy, Cinnamon Persian Kitten, and White Persian Kitten.

Via Gearlog

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January 21, 2009

MDS Nexis Up for Adoption

Nexi, an MDS (Mobile Dextrous Social) bot that features an expressive face and ability to interact with humands, is now for sale. This robot combines sensing, actuation, contro, design and computation technologies. We know the cute li'l guy will not come cheaply as they don't list his price on Xitome's site, but when we do find out, we will get back to you.

Via Xitome Design

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January 6, 2009

i-SOBOT Named Robot of the Year 2008


The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) was established in 2006 in Japan to encourage the development of robotics. In December, they announced that the 2008 robot of the year was Takara Tomy's i-SOBOT because of its decent price, advanced technology and entertainment value. We have heard some vague rumors that Tomy was thinking of discontinuing the diminutive bot, but suspect they will now rethink this.


Other awards went to Book Time, an auto-page turning bot and a rice planting robot developed by the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization.


Via Pink Tentacle

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December 29, 2008

ASIMO to Attend Rose Parade


ASIMO keeps showing up in the darndest places. Soon one of his older and larger brothers, 49 ft. of him, will be featured in the Rose Parade in Pasadena. The float is made with lettuce seed, rice, carnations and starflowers (in case he gets hungry on the trip.) Seriously, it will become mulch after the event. The pace car, a Honda FCX Clarity, will be powered by a hydrogen-powered fuel cell, the first for the parade. What a clever way to mix business with pleasure. If you are lucky enough to attend, it will take place Jan. 1.

Via Honda

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December 25, 2008

Taiwanese Robots to Perform "Phantom of the Opera"


It would appear that Taiwan has the same idea as Osaka University and have turned some of their robots into thespians. The Center for Intelligent Robots at National Taiwan University developed 2 named Thomas and Janet mimic humans and interact with Pica the painter and Ringo the drummer. Their first appearance will be Dec. 27 with "Phantom of the Opera" and Chen Shi-shuenn, University president, says there will also be displays with singing and comedy. Proceeds from the event go to research and development at the college.

Via The China Post

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