November 13, 2009

Takahashi Masakazu Papercraft Robots

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Takahashi Masakazu is either an artistic genius or has too much time on his hands, or both. His papercraft is amazing as evidenced by this distant cousin of R2-D2. Check out his site that features buildings, insects, animals and airplanes.

Via Craziest Gadgets

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November 11, 2009

Brush Robot Helps Clean Up

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The folks who brought you the Robot Duck have now decided that robots can be useful as well. Toysmith's Brush Robot, at a size of 6.5 x 9.4 x 2.4", helps you clean up mini messes while ogling you with a curious stare not unlike the money you could be saving if you switched to Geico. The kit comes with wooden and paint brushes, motor, battery case with wires, eyes and miscellaneous parts.

Via Toysmith DIY

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October 23, 2009

Spherical Robot Utilizes Gyroscopes

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Greg Schroll has created a spherical robot that uses gyroscopes for steering. The torque that is exerted increases as it spins for more speed and power. The clever part comes in when the bot jumps because you just never know when one will fall in a pothole. The graduate student from CSU says he used to daydream as a child about a soccer ball that could redirect its course when rolling. We guess that shows that dreams can come true. Because of his talent, Greg was named one of Popular Mechanic's 10 Most Brilliant Innovators of 2009.

Via Popular Mechanics

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October 21, 2009

St. Louis to Host International Competition

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Segway creator Dean Kamen has decided to co-host an international robotics competition in St. Louis. Held in Atlanta in the past 6 years, it seems that the contract of the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition is about to expire. So Kamen and the CVC (Convention Visitors Commision) are taking it on for 2011, 12 and 13. Founded by Kamen in 1989, the event was designed for students to raise funds, design a "brand" and compete with other teams.

Winners have a chance at scholarships, but you know that in the back of the group's minds they are mostly thinking of the spending impact estimated at $7 million. It may not be the Olympics, but it may draw in a crowd of 15,000 competitors and their families. You go, Dean.

Via Biz Journals

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October 19, 2009

Meyer's Mini R2-D2

Rob Meyer generally makes larger robots, but he came up with a 1:18 scale RC R2-D2 that stands only 6cm (2.36"). (Call Guinness!) The little guy has 2 GM15 pager gearmotors for the drive and one for the dome (which was made out of a measuring spoon.) He has an acrylic body and built up brass tubing for legs.

Via Solarbotics

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Punk-O-Tron Rules Halloween

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With Halloween coming up, it is no surprise that even pumpkins are becoming robotic. Made by Ang and Nick, Punk-O-Tron was made with duct tape and pipe and will certainly greet the neighbor's kids in his own special way.

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If you prefer the friendlier type, "bolts and bots" makes all kinds of bots out of polymer clay, glass beads and wire including this 2.5cm tall (~1") Pumpkin Bot.

Via Punk-O-Tron

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October 12, 2009

OmniZero.9 Transforms at Robo-One

We knew they would be out there somewhere. Takeshi Maeda created OmniZero.9 (his ninth robot) for the recent Robo-One competition. The 3 ft. tall Optimus Prime-looking bot can change into a vehicle by remote control. His head also flips to give a free ride to Takeshi. We may soon see a whole horde of Transformers, eh?

Via Daily Mail

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October 7, 2009

Warrior Bot Controlled by Brain Waves

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University of Electro-Communications student Taku Ichikawa managed to build a gladiator robot that he controls by brain power. Electrodes connecting the couple measure Taku's neural activity and spur the bot to walk, rotate and stab. The entire process takes about 1.5 seconds to transfer the signals and 0.5 secs. for the robot to respond. It cannot back up so there will be no retreat for this warrior, however the technology is being used to help develop a hands-free wheelchair project.

Via MDN News

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September 29, 2009

R2-D2 Mod Plays Games, Literally

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Pop Sci reader Brian De Vitis took an R2-D2 cooler and created one of the kewlest mods we have ever seen. He gutted 8 game consoles so all the ports would fit in the right direction and still had space enough for a sound system and a projector! Want to date yourself? See how many of the controllers you can identify.

Via Pop Sci

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September 28, 2009

Vu Van Thang's Trashbot

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Vietnamese Vu Van Thang won a top honor from the National Creativeness Competition for Children and Youth 2009. The 19 year-old's robot was constructed entirely from items taken from the trash, such as such as plastic pieces taken from kids' toys and soda cans. It has 11 small motors and can walk, as well as moving its hands and fingers. We cannot wait to see what Vu can do with real components.

Via Vietnam Net

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