Titan the Robot has been around for several years singing, dancing and performing assorted schtik. Created by Cyberstein Robots in 2004, Titan stands 7' 3" and has gone through 5 different metamorphoses. The company's long term goal is to create a fully autonomous version.
We have to give Cyberstein credit for being able pique everyone's interest enough to get him booked at such events as the Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix, the UK premiere of both iRobot and Real Steel, and on the UK version of Big Brother. Look for the possibility of Titan being one of the Torch bearers at the 2012 Olympics this summer in London.
While we were searching for appropriate video, we also came across the pseudo King Robota, an extreme disc jockey also available for parties who seems to do his best work at car shows. Maybe we can get them to participate in a Real Steel Match!
Liverpool recently hosted the Robots and Avatars Exhibition that featured various ideas including Compass, a robotic device that controls where a person can walk. Guided by a magnetic field and torque controlled by heavy weights that can pull the user in alternate directions, BBC Reporter Spencer Kelly seems a bit intimidated by the device. The exhibit is now touring Romania, Slovania, France and the Asian Pacific for the next two years. Here's hoping that they can be persuaded to bring it U.S. as well.
Carnegie Mellon doctoral candidate Heather Knight is endeavoring to design a robot that can better imitate a human. She created Data, a small humanoid that may ultimately read and respond to social cues. Knight gives live performances with the Nao robot (similar to those used in RoboCup soccer) while helping to develop a touch activated sensor on his head and writing behavioral programs.
Her research goes even farther as she consulted an acting professor about gestures and learned timing from stand-up comedians. She even got a script for a bit from a Carnegie Mellon associate who was into Shakespeare.
Data, "If you prick us in our battery pack, do we not bleed our alkaline fluid?"
Knight does not want to replace people, only computers. We think she is well on the way.
Wilton, Iowa's One More Round bar features lifesize 'Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots. Participants connect with a belt and when he/she moves, the bot moves with them. Owner Dave Wilson bought it from another bar owner and holds competitions. What a great way to make a few extra bucks for Dave while customers can let off some pent up hostility.
The audience at the recent Coachella Music Festival were treated to the likes of the deceased Tupac Shakur. A hologram showed up on stage and performed 'Hail Mary.' The audience then saw a duet of '2 of Amerika'z Most Wanted' with Snoop Dogg. Tupac must've been smiling down...
Like sushi but can't seem to get enough of the fishy treat? One of Suzomo's SVR line of robots can produce 280 - 400 korimako rolls per hour. Another can handle up to 3,300 pieces of shari rice by the hour. The company also produces rice cookers, bento box makers and other sushi bots. We like the speed but would certainly miss the human touch.
While a student at John Hopkins, Thomas Smith took some off-the-shelf parts and created a motorized arm that can quickly grab images and place them on a scanner. Smith's bot literally sucks one up and places it on a photocopier that scans the back and front every 42 seconds, saving both time and a great deal of money. He soon teamed with the newspaper Afro to digitize their images.
Dubbed Project Gado, over 6,000 pictures are available online and can be viewed and/or purchased here. With a grant from the Abell Foundation, Smith built a second open source Gado kit at a cost of about $500.00. He is hoping that other publishers, libraries or other companies with photos to convert will invest.
There is almost nothing scarier than having someone come up to you and you have to literally talk to his/her hand. Japan's Keio University created this robotic ring that try to imitate eye and mouth movements. Electromagnetic motors control them and the team wants them to eventually work autonomously. Señor Wences would be proud.
Angry Bird fanatics can take the game one step further with the RC version. After a 30 minute charge, it can fly for 8 - 10 minutes on 3.7V/150mAH Lipo battery and six 1.5V AA batteries (not included.) At a size of 20.0 x 20.0 x 12.5 cm, a USB charging plug and 2 spare blades are included in the package. We expect that if this becomes a major seller, soon we will see angry pigs flying.
We previously told you about brothers Will and Matt Burrard-Lucas who went to Africa two years ago to photograph the wildlife there with their BeetleCam. They recently were visited by ABC Nightline's Jeffrey Kaufman where they once again put their creation to work. You can see other results on their site and if you really like their cam, they will build one for you.