May 22, 2009

IRML Develops Robot on Facebook

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The United Arab Emirates University has been working on a project that involves Sarah, a mobile wheel-based robot with stereo cam, who has her own Facebook page. While FaceBots is only being used for testing at this point, the IRML (Interactive Robots and Media Lab) plan to open it up to the public next January. From what we understand, Sarah meets someone, researches personal information and uses it as a starting point of interaction. Those interactions become the events on the robot's page and future communication will use memories from past encounters. The project hopes that its circle of friends will include other robots. Sarah, meet Wakamaru NYT.

(Thanks, Nicholas)

Via IRML

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

May 11, 2009

Control A Robot With EyeSeeCam

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University of Munich Hospital scientists have created the EyeSeeCam, a head mounted control interface. It tracks from the viewpoint of the wearer and transmits data to servo actuators. Operated by remote control, it can then control a robot or other electronic devices. You only need a standard laptop with a 6-pin firewire port for connection. Designed to study cognitive behavior, the German team plans to turn their discovery into a commercial product.

Via DVice

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May 5, 2009

Second Scarlet Knight Sets Out to Spain

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We told you about a year ago about a team from Rutgers who attempted to send their UAV Scarlet Knight across the Atlantic Ocean to Spain, but it sunk just short of its destination. Not giving up, I-Cool (International Coalition of Ocean Observing Laboratories is at it again with a Teflon coated version of the SK. After a couple of days out, they had traced it in the Elephant Trunk area, where it reported scalloping activity. They then turned the underwater autonomous vehicle east and it completed a 6 hour underwater test. Here's hoping that this trek will be more successful. We will keep you posted on its progress.

Via I-Cool

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May 4, 2009

SHOAL To Keep EU Water Clean

SHOAL is an interesting idea. They are robot fish with chemical sensors that sniff out and report pollution in harbors and rivers in Europe. Their creators believe that they will be more efficient and less expensive than humans, who sometimes don't know until after the pollution has wreaked havoc. The first will be released in the Port of Gijon, in northern Spain. The three-year research project will begin next summer, moving near sewage pipes and underneath ships and will communicate via WiFi. We just hope the military doesn't catch wind of it.

Huosheng Hu, the head of the project, says the robotic swimmers are shaped for their ability to avoid danger and move quickly. The video shows a smaller version built for the London Aquarium.

Via Robotics Trends

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April 29, 2009

Probo - Creepy, Cuddly Comfort

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We understand that this "huggable, intelligent" Belgian robot was designed to be a kid's playmate. They will be placed in hospitals to provide comfort, moral support and information. With a fully actuated head, he has 20ยบ of freedom and can show facial expressions. An operator utilizes an RUI to get him to work. What we don't understand is why they named him Probo. Maybe it's a European thing.

Via Probo

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April 28, 2009

PR2 - Premade Service Bots

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Willow Garage has been working on the PR2 for academic and industrial research and development labs. About the size of an average human, it has integrated arms, mobility, computation, sensors and batteries, eliminating the need for building one from scratch. Running on the ROS software platform, it is still in the prototype stage, but if you want more information, you can get on their mailing list.

Via Willow Garage

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April 24, 2009

AquaPenguins Get Along Swimmingly

Festo's AquaPenguins not only resemble their live counterparts, they can move like them. They can be manuevered in all directions and even swim backwards. Applications include being used as autonomous underwater crafts while communicating with other robot penguins to keep them from colliding. Wanting to do more than just invade the ocean, the German company also came up with AirPenguins, but we suspect that spying capabilities isn't part of their plans.

Via Festo (translated)

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April 23, 2009

Get Ready for roboworld 2009

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roboworld 2009 will soon be upon us. Opening day at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh is Saturday, June 13. There will be games, a dance contest, lots of exhibits including one with Keepon and a greeter named Andy. They will also be inducting into the Robot Hall of Fame:

  • Mars rovers Spirit & Opportunity
  • iRobot'sRoomba
  • DaVinci Medical Robot System
  • Huey, Dewey & Louie from the 1971 film "Silent Running"
  • T-800 Terminator from the 1984 film "Terminator"

Via roboworld

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April 22, 2009

I Grobot Mission = Green Life for Humans

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In honor of Earth Day, we could replace a light bulb, turn off our computer for a couple of extra hours, or various other energy saving chores, but we figured the best thing to do, because we love robots and the planet, was to get you to help. To this end we came up with the I Grobot. The glazed ceramic container is 3 1/2 x 3 x 2 1/2" and can be used as a home to grass, catnip, or any other herb you can think of. Peat moss and seeds are provided to help you help eradicate your carbon footprint.

Via I Grobot

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

April 20, 2009

Japan To Send Robot to Moon

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By the year 2020, Japan plans to send astronauts and a two-legged robot to walk on the moon. Specifics will be project should become finalized within the next 2 years. We wouldn't be surprised if they sent an entire group up there to build a botty colony. The country also wants to promote research that involves military satellites, such as a ballistic missile warning system.

Via The Raw Feed

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

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