September 20, 2012
There are plenty of Kickstarter projects that we never report on, but this one has apparently been embraced by the public and will become a reality. Stompy is a humongous 6-legged bot suitable of the nearest disaster or amusement park. Project Hexapod is a group based in Somerville, MA. The arachnibot will have two drivers, an engine size of 135 horsepower, a weight of 4,000 lbs., a speed of 2 - 3 mph and can even walk through water.
One leg and 80% of the chassis has been built. Hmm, Stompy reminds us of another New England giant robot that rose to fame, eh Jaimie?
Via Project Hexapod
September 19, 2012
We thought this was going to be the Roomba of the farming community, but Blue River Technology is still working on a weeding bot. Instead of using pesticides, Lettuce Bot uses cameras, computer vision and algorithms to discern the vegetable from weeds and the claim is that they have 98 - 99% accuracy. It then spreads fertilizer down to kill the weeds.
The company has made two prototypes and the ultimate goal is to make an organic weeder which, now that they have funding from the National Science Foundation, will undoubtedly happen in the near future.
Via Blue River
September 13, 2011
The IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems takes place in San Francisco from September 25th - 30th. Tickets are still being sold for the 50th anniversary event that will feature robots from all over the planet and includes workshops, tours, and forums. Look for exhibits from Willow Garage, DARPA, iCub and many other robotics companies. Registration for the IROS includes almost everything, from the conference attendance to receptions to the special events.
Via IROS 2011
October 19, 2010
iRobot introduced its 5th generation Roomba at a recent a press event in New York, built with modular parts that can easily be replaced. It also has iAdapt technology, an internal sensor that "listens' for dirt rather than mapping and memorizing a room.
CEO Colin Angle spoke about the company's chembot being developed by the University of Chicago that he described as a"shape shifting, amorphous, squishable blob that can roll itself."
Kudos also goes to the company that launched their Seaglider, developed at the University of Washington and licensed by iRobot, that is still in the Gulf. It captures and monitors samples to detect oil as far down as 1,000 meters as well as reportng a wide variety of data, including measuring the level of dissolved oxygen.
Via PC World
October 12, 2010
Since 2005, Google has been developing automated cars under the direction of Sebastian Thrun. An engineer sits in the driver's seat in case of an error and another controls a computer on the passenger side. The redesigned Toyota Prius is aware of speed limit, traffic patterns and road maps. Each uses video cameras, radar, sensors and lasers to detect other cars.
Already the cars have covered 140,000 miles with the emphasis on safety as the company believes that they could reduce the number of auto-related deaths. Other plusses include instant reaction time, less fuel used and 360º awareness. So far there has only been one accident when one of cars was rear-ended at a stoplight. Google believes that a launch is at least eight years away.
Via Google Blog
September 24, 2010
Japan's Chiba Institute of Technology's Core is a headless bot that can handle heavy loads and knows to bend at the knees while doing so. At a height of 6' 2" and a weight of 507 lbs., he can handle up to 220 lbs. and can function as a helper, eventually working his way to assisting the elderly or disabled in the next couple of years. Oddly enough, Core shares his history with ASIMO as both are descended from Wabot 1.
August 17, 2010
Aimec 3 (Artificially Intelligent Mechanical Electronic Companion 3) is a 4 ft. tall service bot dreamed up by Tony and Judie Ellis of East Sussex, UK. With a camera for finding its way around, the third gen prototype understands verbal instructions and can perform chores such as dimming lights, turning on the TV and even access the Net to read the news. He can also sing, tell jokes and do impressions.
The couple is hoping to find a manufacturer and believes that Aimec will be the real deal in a couple of years at a price of £200 (~$311.00.) Ellis certainly knows what he is doing as he is the creator of the highly successful Cube World.
July 30, 2010
In an effort to learn more about human/robot interaction, this project from Bielefeld University has reversed roles as the BARTHOC humanoid head and torso with Shadow Hands asks questions about objects and the manipulation of them. A CyberGlove II sensor allows the human to perform a natural grasp for the bot to copy and as preliminary tests were successful, the team plans to go more in depth in future projects.
Via AI Web
July 14, 2010
Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne has developed a spy system for vehicles with cameras that can attach themselves to walls, trees, or other surfaces. Mirko Kovac demonstrated the system that can not only be used on various sizes of flyers, they can be placed on hoppers as well. Usage could include checking out catastrophic conditions and searching for damage victims.
Via EPFL (translated)
April 7, 2010
This unique concept could help firefighters in many situations where they cannot go. The autonomous Firegard records pictures and information with built-in cameras and sensors and sends the information back.
Via Design Blog
January 6, 2010
There certainly seems to be a trend of robotic insects of late, maybe because they will last longer than humanoids. UC Berkeley created the Dynamic Autonomous Sprawled Hexpod that can jump over objects twice its height and can be dropped off a four story building and move on. Run by a remote control for now, the 4" DASH was built with simple materials like a mixture of cardboard and polymer, watch batteries and inexpensive electronic parts from Radio Shack.
Paul Birmeyer, the student who created DASH, claims that these cheapo roachbots could go into rubble and seek out survivors by sniffing for carbon dioxide which would indicate that there may be life.
Via SF Gate
January 4, 2010
The I-Shovel automatically detects snow and will take care of that nasty chore for you. The prototype is made with with polycarbonate blades, wheels and handles, runs on rechargeable batteries with optional solar charging making it eco friendly. By the way, they are looking for investors and we are quite impressed even if too poor to contribute.
November 25, 2009
Tokyo company HiBot, working with Japan's Kansai Electric Power Co., has developed and is testing Expliner, a robot that can move on and inspect power lines. The bot can provide feedback while avoiding spacers and suspender clamps. It is powered by two SH2Tiny, one SH2 Controller, six boards TitechDriver ver.1 and one Mini2Axis. The company is hoping to release them on the public by next year.
November 19, 2009
Mint Robot #3: Music Tank was inspired by Caterpiller's tractor tread movements. Remote controlled, it will follow its human around by playing music. The musical bot runs via a WiFi handheld or PC with a 2D map. A USB port allows for charging or loading tunes into the the prototype. Add more Tanks and get different instruments or vocals, turning it into a veritable surround sound robot.
Via Mint Pass