March 8, 2012

Bot Teaches Itself to Walk

We previously told you about Cornell's
self-replicating robot
and now a team headed by Hod Lipson created one that becomes self-aware and teaches itself to move forward. At one point it becomes agitated enough to unplug itself. We cannot begin to fathom all the technology that has gone into this process but if that self-awareness continues, we should all be very, very afraid...

Via Cornell CML

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March 5, 2012

Tom Hanks, Robot Lawyer?

Ten million viewers have rewatched the trailer for Jimmy Kimmel Live's "Movie the Movie," noteworthy because so many actors were willing to participate, no matter how silly the role. We thought you might like Tom Hanks' Robot Lawyer and Gabby Sidibe's Black Hitler, and hey, our apologies if we don't have enough time to include Matt Damon.

Via JKL YouTube Channel

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March 1, 2012

Robotic Fish Leads School

Stefano Marras and Maurizio Porfiri of the Polytechnic Institute of New York University created a robotic fish to study the dynamics of fish schooling. Although the robofish was twice the size of a real Golden shiner, it nonetheless mimicked its movements.

Their work was published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface Feb. 22. They found that the advantages to a new leader were making it easier to access mates while avoiding predators. They also found that the technology could increase competition for mates and food, and perhaps spread disease more often.

Via Royal Society Publishing

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February 29, 2012

Air Swimmers on Late Night

Last week Jimmy Fallon challenged Tyler Perry to an air swimmer race on his Late Night show. It was a little difficult to determine the winner but it seems that the shark edged out the clownfish by a nose.

Via Air Swimmers

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February 23, 2012

Mobees Form Hive, Colonize

With inspiration from actual pop-up storybooks, some Harvard scientists can almost literally build a hive of robotic bees. The Mobees (Monolithic Bees) can be mass produced from sheets of carbon fiber, plastic film, titanium brass and ceramic and laser cut into a sheet of 18 layers with flexible hinges. They can then be "popped up" into 3D, 2.4mm tall bots. Just like their living counterparts, they are autonomous and can interact as a colony. Because they can be mass produced quickly, do not be surprised if someday you find them in a neighborhood or war near you.

Via Daily Mail

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February 21, 2012

Telesar V Real Time Avatar

Avatar has finally arrived realtime. Japanese researchers came up with a combination visor/gloves that puts the user into a robot. Telesar V relays audio and video via sensors and the glove delivers heat or texture through semiconductors. Its body has 7º of freedom, the head 8º and the arms 7º of movement. Professor Susumu Tachi and team from Keio University plan to use the system for post-disaster purposes.

Via Physorg

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February 20, 2012

Jennifer - First Robo Hockey Player

This being hockey season, it seems an appropriate time to introduce the world to Jennifer. Built by Prof. Jacky Baltes and University of Manitoba grad students, the hockeybot was named after the Canadian Olympic star Botterill. Created as part of the Robotis competition in Korea, Jennifer is 58cm tall with her skates on and can skate, shook and stickhandle. The team believes that the skating creation will help them better understand traveling over complex surfaces.

Via Winnipeg Free Press

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February 16, 2012

Darpa Backs Origami Robots

A team from Boston University have been working on flexible origami robots, made of paper and silicone rubber. Powered by air, they can turn, bend, grab and lift things 100 times their weight. The video shows an early application and they are moving forward with others. As is often the case when a new robotic form appears, Darpa has its hand in things and would love to develop it for weaponry or spying. The team is thinking that they could also work on miniaturizing their creations, which could be beneficial in science and medicine.

Via Wired

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February 14, 2012

See Robonaut 2 on ISS


As per usual, we were slightly late to attend a live viewing of the ISS as they were putting the Robonaut 2 through its paces this morning. But we can all still attend tomorrow's testing if we can just get that extra cup 'o java. See the action at Ustream.


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Fight Like a Ro-Bros Character

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.

Via Ro-Bros

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