December 24, 2010

Pogo Jumping Bots on the Moon?

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Atsuo Takanishi of Waseda University in Tokyo and team have created a software simulation of their WABIAN-2R bipedal robot to study how it would fare should it go to the moon. The results of study that had the JAXA bot "pogo jumping" found that while it could leap as high as 1.5 meters, the stress on the astrobot's legs would make it fall over. So it's back to the drawing board to find a better compromise between speed and stability.

Via CBS

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December 16, 2010

Humanoid George Restored After Half a Century

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Shades of the Tin Woodsman! Tony Sale built George, a 6 ft. tall humanoid, from a crashed bomber in 1950. The former RAF officer recently brought his creation back to life with new batteries and some oil. You can see George at his new permanent location, the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park, UK that Sale helped found.

Via Tony Sale

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November 26, 2010

Must Have: Shop Trossen for Black Friday

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Trossen Robotics may not be holding a Black Friday sale, but our buds there always have such a wide selection at super-low prices that this is an excellent place to do your robotic holiday shopping. They have almost any Robot Kit imaginable, from Humanoids to Bioloids to Hexapods for both beginners and pros. Need parts? This is the place. Toys and Gift Certificates are also available.

Via Trossen

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November 18, 2010

Geminoid Makes Stage Debut

Geminoid F has once again made headlines in Japan. This time she debuted on the Tokyo stage in the play "Sayonara," playing an android caregiver to a human patient. While this couldn't have been much of a stretch for Gem, it's good that she has perhaps found her calling. The play's director, Director Oriza Hirata, claims that she has boosted ticket sales.

Via Escapist Magazine

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November 15, 2010

Barack Obama, Meet Geminoid F

During the recent APEC summit, Prez Obama took a few minutes off to play with some of Japan's most famous robots. He briefly viewed Geminoid F, interacted with Paro, the robotic seal and tried out an electronic wheelchair.

Via NECN

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November 9, 2010

KSERA RoboEarth - Bots Only Network

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KSERA (Knowledgeable SErvice Robots for Aging) is a project that concentrates on service robots for older persons who need assistance in daily activities, disease management and general care. The project, involving seven partners from five different countries, began in February and will run until 2013. There are several goals involved, one of which is RoboEarth, a network and database where robots only can share information and learn from each other. Uh-oh.

Via KSERA

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October 29, 2010

HRP-4C Boogies at Tokyo Expo

Take a peek at this eerie performance by HRP-4C at the recent Digital Content Expo in Tokyo. She is getting more natural all the time but someone should have covered up those legs.

The performance is almost a throwback to 60's TV shows like 'Hullabaloo' and 'Shindig,' 2010 style. Play both videos at the same time and tell me they didn't use the same choreography. By the way, the intro on this video is done by a very early George Hamilton and Lanie Kazan for those who keep track of that kind of trivia.

Via Fareast Gizmos

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October 21, 2010

Do Babies See Robots As Real?

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In a bizarre experiment, University of Washington researchers tried to learn if babies believe that robots are sentient or inanimate. One of them brought out Morph and interacted with it for 90 minutes in front of 64 18-month-old babies, then left the room. Their conclusion was that 13 out of 16 that witnessed the exchange would continue to observe the robot, while in the control group that did not witness Morph relating to the researcher, only 3 of them seemed interested.

Via Science Direct

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September 23, 2010

NSYSU Uses Neural Networking in Robots

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Humans increasingly expect their robots to be more advanced as time goes on, like the ones they see in movies and video games. Taiwan's Wei-Po Lee, Tsung-Hsien Yang and Bingchiang Jeng of National Sun Yat-sen University are using neural networks to go beyond repetitive behavior and reach emotional responses when interacting.

The team is dealing with:
-constructing control architecture to help the robot behave coherently.
-developing natural human/robotic interaction.
-building emotional responses and behavior into the robot.

The entire article was written up in the International Journal of Modelling, Identification and Control.

Via Times of India

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September 21, 2010

HRP-4s Soon Ready for Ownership

The HRP-4 Robot can soon wreak havoc upon humans. Built by builder Kawada Industries and the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), the HRP-4 is now advanced enough to surpass its cousin 4C, which was used to model. This 5 foot humanoid has 34 moving joints, efficient fingers and has the option of having its own notebook computer to increase data processing. You can use him to serve drinks, tend those power tools or clean up that kitchen as he responds to voice commands. Expect to pay ¥26 million (~ $300,000) beginning in January, software not included.

Via Pink Tentacle

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