We're not sure how we missed this one but we figure later is better than never. Late last yeah GE unveiled their latest commercial that pays tribute to some of the most famous robots, including Data. We saw this during the Golden Globes last week and just had to share. See how many you recognize.
China has joined the ranks of robot-run eateries with its Robot Restaurant in Harbin. We are talking full-scale serving here, from the Wall-E-esque greeter to the chefs to the servers. All told there are 20 of them um, employed. Each server bot follows a track on the floor and each has sensors for avoiding obstacles as well as a smattering of Chinese for conversation. Opened since June 2012, the robots were designed by the Harbin Haohai Robot Company with price tags ranging from $31,500 - $47,000 apiece. Not a bad deal since they will never require lunch breaks or tips.
Because many see them as pests in parks or other open meeting places, Randy Claussen created the Goosinator, a bright orange RC creature designed to keep the large birds away. We think they are scary enough to keep humans away as well. At a cost of $3,000, the robocreature can move up to 25 mph, grinning evilly the entire time of operation. So far Colorado, Massachusetts, Wisconsin and New York have invested. This is definitely a positive alternative to removing geese by deadlier means.
We are not sure what possessed the Health and Safety Laboratory in Derbyshire, UK to build Vomiting Larry but we suppose someone had to do it. The humanoid simulated vomiting system will help researchers to study the norovirus, one of the worst strains of its kind. And the faithful bot will help the Health Protection Angency determine how it is spread. They have already found that it literally has a reach of up to three meters.
More than a million people have been affected by the virus this season in the UK while the United States say it reaches 21 million annually. We pity the team member who had to clean up the mess when it comes to listing that on their resume.
The Science Applications International Corporation has received a $58 million contract with Darpa to construct an Anti-Submarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vehicle to chase down evil submarines. Promising a 60 to 90 day stint out in the water, the ACTUV will track with sonar and other sensors and link back to the Navy ship via satellite. It will then follow the sub to its port or return to its own. If you can make it through this rather lengthy video you will get a better idea of the autonomous bot's place in the battlefield water.
Engineers from the University of Zurich's Artificial Intelligence Lab have begun a rush job on a service robot designed to look like a humanoid boy that will be unveiled March 2013. To be named Roboy, the 1.2m tall bot will have artificial tendons for smoother actions. He will also have soft skin and his face will be designed after taking a poll helping decide what it should look like. While the project has 15 partners and 40 engineers, the creators are hoping that it can find other backers. A donation of $55,000 means adoption and a logo on Pinocchiobot.
While we understand their zeal in wanting to help the planet with helpers for the infirm and elderly, we have a silly notion that Roboy morally represents a victim of robotic child labor.
You would wonder if this could be successful but it is worth viewing just to see how they pulled it off. A battleship/museum is the hero, saving the planet from evil aliens. Starring Alexander Skarsgard, Rhianna operating the big guns and David Schwimmer for comic relief. CGI runs amok throughout the film where there are plenty of robot weapons and vehicles. The best part, however, is that most of the ammo used to attack are giant pegs and you can play along yelling, "Hit!" every time one meets its mark.
For the past 3 years, 10 teams have been competing in a Robot Rodeo to perform bomb squad chores. Orlando's $250,000 entry into the competition managed to move through a dark building, go over a curb and stairs, shoot water at a targe,t then remove a faux hand grenade. Each team is required to complete the task in less than 35 minutes. The prize for all of this is the honor of hosting the next year's event. Volusia county won this year.
A team at Darwin Aerospace must have been too busy to stop working when they came up with the idea of the Burrito Bomber. The idea here is to order a burrito via an app while your phone sends your location. A burrito is loaded into a Delivery Tube which is flown and dropped to you.
They used a SkyWalker X8 Flying Wing with Ardupilot to navigate. The Burrito gets dropped with the help of a Quantum RTR Bomb System, a 3" diameter mailing tube, and 3D printed parts.The plane works either manually or autonomously. They utilize a Futaba 9C controller and EzUHF transmitter. Full instructions on their site means that you can make your own Burrito Bomber.
Before this, the team concentrated on air and space exploration projects so perhaps this latest one with bring them enough PR to garner them some backing for future ideas. Imagine a fleet of pizza delivery saucers!
MIT keeps cranking out those robots. This time they have one that can actually fold itself into almost any shape. The Milli-motein is the planet's smallest chain robot that operates under the assumption that a 3D shape can be formed by folding a long chain from subunits. The team does not yet have a perfect set of steps for the bot to follow, but because the experiment has so far proven that they can make an autonomously folding universal device, that certainly gives it merit.
Think of it as a kind of Swiss Army robot. Team member Ara Knaian is much better at describing this than we are.
It seems that even NASA is now hooked on Gangnam and has its own video. Called NASA Johnson Style (named after the Space Center, you pervs.) We don't know where in their budget they got funding to afford it but not only is it worth a viewing, it will certainly give them some well deserved extra PR. While some astronauts and techies have cameos, we are sad to say that although a couple of dummies made the cut to appear, Robonaut 2 did not.
By the way, NASA has also released a video concerning that end of the world that they say will not occur, appropriately titled "Why the World Didn't End Yesterday." If you are one of those that is fretting over it to the point of mania, hunker down with someone you love Friday.
Under the leadership of Ron Arkin, Georgia Tech has been borrowing from the habits of squirrels who seem to be masters at stashing food and keeping other ones from finding their caches. They taught deception to a robot that will give false clues to another one so that it will be unsuccessful when it goes hunting for the first. Future application may be in the military for storage of weapons or in health care with a bot having a calming effect in the face of disaster.
Last November, Liquid Robotics launched 4 Wave Gliders from San Francisco, CA. After a 9,000 mile trek, two arrived in Japan and two in Australia. One of them, Papa Mua, broke a Guinness World Record for the longest distance traveled by a robot. The project was designed to show how these water bots can gather data and travel at the same time.
A second purpose for the trek is to draw attention to a $50,000 research grant for the roboticist that can come up with the best way to utilize that knowledge. Head over to their site to see what the five finalists have to offer.
Germany based ETH Zurich is currently working on its second generations naro-tartaruga, a robotic sea turtle. They have chosen to use this as a model because its rigidity is simpler than a fish. The largeness of the body houses sensors and batteries used to make it autonomous. Its fin actuators work independently of each other and of course the turtle is waterproof. We don't know much about the science but we do know this robotic creature can certainly swim in a very kewl way.