October 22, 2010

Shredder Mini-Tank Runs in All Terrains

While technically this is not a robot, we just had to share. Canadian Ben Gulak and his company BPG Werks are developing the Shredder, a DTV that rides like a mini-tank with a 48 hp rotary combustion engine and a top speed of 60 mph. While the current version has a handheld cable for control, the production version will feature one similar to a Jet-Ski handlebar.

The 21 year-old is in talks now with both military and civilian manufacturers and foresees its availability in another year for $3,500 to $4,000. In the meantime, the company is already taking deposits.

Via BPG Werks

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 13, 2010

NNSA Sends MDAR to Patrol NNSS

Never send a human to do a dull job when a robot will do it and probably not complain. The US National Nuclear Security Administration recently loosed a Mobile Detection Assessment Response System on the 1,300 sq. mi. desert to patrol the Nevada National Security Site while cutting costs. The NNSS still houses old nuclear waste, weapons and research materials. There is only one MDARS for now, essentially a combination of Hummer and camera/microphone that contacts its controllers should it suspect a foreign entity or wayward alien. The NNSS plans to add a couple more over the next 6 months and rename the test site, but what really spooked us was the future plans they have for testing in the area.

Via NNSA

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

September 28, 2010

Latest XOS-2 Improves in Strength

Greg Clark, the actor who played agent Phil Coulson in the movie Iron Man, took the latest Raytheon XOS-powered Exoskeleton for a test drive. Engineer Rex Jameson claims that the robotic suit is more fluid and stronger than the first, no matter how much weight is placed upon it. It will be used for carrying heavy weights by the military and disaster rescue teams. Power consumption is reduced by 50% now and eventually they are hoping for an additional 20% when it becomes untethered.

Via Raytheon

BTW, for those of you who believe that cinematic Exoskeletons are better than the real thing, today is the official DVD release date of Iron Man 2.

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

September 20, 2010

Robot Sent Into John Hopkins Tragedy First

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When an irate gunman struck John Hopkins last week, it was a robot that made sure the coast was clear. Paul Warren Pardus had been tending his mother at home until she was taken to the East Baltimore Campus for treatment. While snipers surrounded the building, part of the campus was put in lock down while other sections were evacuated.

When the bot was finally sent in, (which was probably similar to others owned by police departments like the one shown,) it was determined that the pair had probably been deceased soon after Pardus had shot Dr. David B. Cohen. It is a comfort to know that robots are depended upon for such a depressing chore to avoid extra violence.

Via Baltimore Sun

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

The White House is Looking for a Few Good Robots

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Listen up, roboticists who need funding. As part of the President's FY2012 Budget, the White House has combined five Fed agencies for small business research to create grants for Robotics Technology Development and Deployment. Specifically, your robotics company can apply for funding for developing service bots, drug discovery bots and those that can disarm military bombs. DARPA will be overseeing the funding of the latter and although the grant may not make you rich, it can certainly help you develop your ideas.

If you want more information on any of the three opportunities, check out the link to the entire announcement. Applications must be submitted by December 20, 2010. Let us know if yours is accepted and details as we promise to be almost as excited as you are.

Via Robot Grant Information

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

September 13, 2010

GIT Teaches Robots to Lie

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Can robots lie? This is the subject of research from a team based at the Georgia Institute of Technology that enables them to detect whether one is susceptible and use that gullibility against another based on algorithms. They feel that the deception could help it avoid being captured by evil military sources and calm those they rescue, but robotic experts claim that the ability would not only damage robots' current positive image, but may lead to teaching them to be able to gamble and hunt.

Via Telegraph

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

September 7, 2010

iRobot Second Gen LANdroids

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iRobots' wee LANdroids have finally taken another robotic step forward. The disposable robots now have cliff, front and yaw sensors, 4-way video cams, 2-way audio and an optional laser camera. The military bots are being funded by DARPA, who wants small, intelligent and inexpensive mobile communication.

Via iRobot

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

August 26, 2010

Iran Unveils Karrar Drone

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Iran has been showing off its new UAV bomber. Named Karrar (farsi for Striker,) the drone can zoom up to 900 km/h with a range of 1000 km. Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says that it is a symbol of defense technology progress in the country, but it can apparently carry various types of bombs to let others know that it is not just for show.

Via BBC

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 19, 2010

So. Korea Employs Robotic Soldiers

South Korea has begun using robotic soldiers to keep up with the 1.2 million troops in the North. Developed by a group led by Samsung Techwin, the bots use heat and motion detection to find, warn and fire on soldiers that cross the Demilitarized Zone. At a cost of $330,000 apiece, that could be one expensive military force, but if they resemble this old video we found of an ST robot in action, very impressive.

Via Yonhap Newa

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

June 15, 2010

Swarming Flight Array Takes Off

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Scientists at the Swiss Institute of Technology in Zurich have developed a Distributed Flight Array that consists of individual bots that fly together in a swarm. The drones have infrared beams to find each other and then connect with magnets. While each quadrocopter is somewhat clumsy alone, when they dock they become a "sophisticated multi-propeller system." Even if one fails, the others can still function and, if attacked, can detach and later regroup.

Via Red Orbit

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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