We haven't heard from Jim Quinlan for a couple of years but it seems he is back at work and recently created Roger, a battle droid garden art sculpture. His body is in a fixed sitting positing but his elbows, wrists, head and shoulders are movable. You can adopt him for $5,500.00, trumpet and butterfly included.
Tal Avitzur hangs out in Southern California scrap and salvage yards, happily recycling items he finds there into amazingly detailed artwork. These are not your basic robotic sculptures. For example Primo stands over a foot tall, is made with a sliding door mechanism, drill guide, refrigerator door handles and a blinking red LED to alert you to any impending takeover.
Check out his web page and if you like what you see, you can adopt one of his botty creations for a price between $650 and $1,800.
Randall Munroe has come up with what he believes would happen when the robot apocalypse occurs. His theory, one that we secretly agree with, is that left to their own devices, robots are too clumsy to beat us. Besides, all we need to do if our Roomba tries to corner us is install more shag carpet. Check out his site, xkcd, for this and other answers to obvious questions and revel in his comic genius and stick-figured wit.
Dan Chen's latest project combines ethics and robots in the field of service care. You feel a bit uneasy as the Last Moment Robot comments about its purpose, eerily comforts the patient and eventually calls out the time of death.
"I am here to help you and guide you through your last moment on earth."
Displayed at the Last Moment Hospital in Rhode Island, this interactive art installation certainly causes one to think of the need for someone close "at the end" and the possibility of a non-human filling the part. Chen readily admits that the idea partially came as a result of Paro, a MAID (Mechanical Assisted Intimacy Device) used as companions for the elderly and those with Alzheimers.
Not since the first time we saw the crystal ball image at the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland have we seen an image that creeped us out fascinated us this much. Daniel Jay Bertner created this Gestural Interactive Automaton, a projection sphere with a webcam that captures and displays the user's face. It also has three servo-controlled articulating arms. The purpose of the G.I.A. sculpture is to demonstrate the interactions with humans and nons-.
Move over Gundam, there's a new giant robot in town. Zhu Kefeng was so inspired as a boy by Transformers that he and a team of artists created the Mr. Iron Robot theme park in Jiaxing City, China. More than 600 giant sculptures were made out of recycled car and motorcycle parts. The project took over 10 years to complete and here's hoping it will be endorsed by Hasbro.
Garabato Bot (DoodleBOT in English) puts both Spirograph and Etch A Sketch to shame. Spanish Aerospace Engineering Miguel Ángel de Fruto used some 3D printed parts, 2 stepper motors attached to a power driver, an Atmega 328 board, batteries and Bluetooth wireless connectivity. The Arduino-powered artist is as good as its user's talent and we are mightily impressed by this early effort. Miguel says with an extra servomotor it could handle more complicated artwork. Would this be a good time to ask if it could sketch a quick pic of Mitt?
The talented folk of the Real Art Design Group have created a Rock 'Em Sock 'Em event where you are in control of actual bots. After you sign in on Facebook or Twitter, you select either the Barely-Believeable Bot or the Almost-Autonomous Robot and wait your turn. You can even invite a bud to fight against. Using your keyboard, you land the first 10 punches in real-time video, you win. At the end of the competition, Feb. 22, there will be a Ro-Bros Championship Belt awarded and it could be you, so get your Real Steel on now.
This isn't the first time that we have explored artbots, like the Aikon ii Project. Japanese artists So Kanno and Takahiro Yamaguchi have built a Senseless Drawing Robot that can use spray paint to create its own version of art. We guess that you really have to be into abstract genre to appreciate his work because after about a minute we were ready to turn the thing off. Still, to each his/her own.
Visitors to France's FRAC Center in Orleans get the privilege of witnessing "Flight Assembled Architecture," a 20 ft. high building being assembled by flying robots. Four quadrocopters are placing 1,500 polystyrene foam blocks into the futuristic city that could house 30,000 humans if it were real and to scale. Although they are autonomous they learn placement according to the blueprints. The exhibit is the brainchild of ETH Zurich, roboticist Raffaello D'Andrea and the architect team of Fabio Gramazio and Matthias Kohler, and will run through February 19.
In 2007, Vancouver's eatArt Lab first unveiled their Mondo Spider, a human run robotic arachnid that weighs 1,700 lbs. Now some of their members have created the 50 ft. long Titanoboa, a robot snake. They put them inside a warehouse next to their studio to see how the two got along. While nothing really happened (even if you thought it was going to,) project leader Charlie Brinson says they are going for art, not killing machines.
That may change when they next release Prothesis, a walking exoskeleton also controlled by a human. It may be too much for the feeble controllers who feel the need to challenge each other in a minor metal duel.
Take a look at an up and coming robot artist Meg (aka Gee) and her customizable Gee-bot Pendants. The images are a bit fuzzy but the heart is in the right place, so special order one for yourself or a loved one. Visit them at Etsy or on Facebook. By the way, the profits go to her chinchilla/wildlife rescue center so she is more than alright to us.
Okay, we seem to be a bit tardy here, but perhaps if you send a line to Jason Snyder, he can be persuaded to continue to produce more Atomic Elf Robot Calendar pages. The papercraft is free to download and is a follow up to a line of greeting cards he previously made in 2008. Hit the link to download or get in touch with Jason.
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.