Want to start your own robot horde? That's exactly the idea behind My Robot Nation, the brainchild of Sarah Stocker and Mark Danks. You visit their site, design your own bot in a size from 2 - 6" and they will 3D print your droid figures in color. Once yours is made, it will be delivered to your address. Prices start at $17.99 per bot and there are holiday parts available this month.
Plan Toys feels it can help your 3 year old learn about emotions while building tactile skills with its Planpreschool Build A Robot. The 7.9" toy is made with chemical free, recycled rubber and wood in non-toxic coloring. It has 4 interchangeable heads and arms and legs are movable.
Recommended for children over 5, the 11" tall Alex Build and Roll Kit comes with 7 heavy duty cardboard pieces, 8 bolts, 4 wheels, 2 eyes, 6 markers, 30 stickers and plastic screwdrivers.
Again we note that some people have way too much time on their hands, in this case Jason Huggins, who developed a robot that plays Angry Birds. Bitbeambot was made to accompany him in a talk he gave at the first Jenkins User Conference earlier this month in San Francisco.
The University of Tokyo has taught their PR2 to fetch a sandwich. If one is not available in the fridge, he goes to the Subway in another building. The bot is using "semantic search," the ability to use common sense when seeking an object. It can also add to the knowledge as it gains more experience. So, although he did have a bit of a bind at the elevator, we still call this a $5 footlong success.
It's that time of year again as robots that are useless compete to find out the one that is the buffoon of the year. The Bacarobo will take place at Budapest's Trafo House of Contemporary Arts October 30th, when the 12 finalists try to prove their unworthiness. That leaves plenty of time for other useless Do It Yourselvers to catch up. The winner, or should we say loser, takes home €2,000 (~$2,897.)
Here's your chance to make your very own animatronic head. The eyes, eyebrows and mouth are built of motors, cardboard and wire while a microcontroller takes care of servo controls. You can get the full tutorial and some more examples via the link. PyroElectric's Chris states that he is still working on the project that should take about 4 hours to complete, longer if you want to accessorize.
Robert Oschler's Robodance 5 is the latest version of software designed for the Rovio that has been in development for 4 years and is a cut above most. Using it, there is no need for a router, it eliminates DNS service, connects audio without a browser, can be accessed via public WiFi and can be used for Skyping. Although the download will be free when released, help out by contributing to various projects or adopting one of Oschler's domains as your own.
A Houston, Texas couple created their own computer minister to perform their wedding ceremony. Miguel and Diana Hanson took their vows before a 30" monitor in the backyard of his parents' house. The ceremony was not a legal one and the couple will still have to get an authentic justice of the peace to sign off on it, but think of the kewl stories the couple will be able to tell their grandkids. (And we certainly hope that it brings some attention to the groom's Web development business.)
Will.i.am, using his power of celebrity, backed a star-studded TV special last night that explored the 20th annual FIRST Robotics Championship. ABC aired "i.am.FIRST: Science Is Rock and Roll" and the singer supported it because "Most kids are not dreaming of being programmers, scientists or engineers. The ones that are do not get the spotlight or attention. Instead, they are looked at as geeks or uncool, when in actuality technology is the only thing that is cool today."
Now that the kids are whining about the oppressive heat, find something for them to do if you are fortunate enough to have A/C. The Perler Fun Fusion Kit, recommended for kids over 5, has more than 2,000 beads, a pegboard, ironing paper and instructions to make many robots and rockets.
For kidlets into the world of glitter, Best Creation has a Kit that comes with chipboard, paper and glitter stickers, and 11 pages of happy robot projects. The paper is heavy duty and the stickers are acid and lignin free, but not recommended for tots.