Divers sent down an Ageotec Perseo ROV to search the wreckage of the Costa Concordia. Hopefully they will help in seeking the still unaccounted for passengers. There is no sound on this video but you can see just how well the robotic camera can get into small places. The five function vehicle is part of the equipment being used by the Italian Fire Department.
You have to learn to appreciate fellow bloggers when they relate embarrassing interesting encounters on their journeys. Such is the case of Mashable's Lance Ulanoff meeting Justin Bieber at the CES 2012 while in search of Tosy's mRobo Ultra Bass, a speaker system that can grow limbs and dance. Programmed with pre-recorded dance movements, it can hold up to 500 tunes in its 2 GB memory. Clearly, no one clued the Bieb in on just what he was promoting.
We digress, but after reading Ulanoff's odyssey when meeting the tween throb, from his offering to get him an iPhone mic to not realizing when a mini-idol says now, he means now, we have to admit that this video far surpassed the one designed to sign us all up to buy the $199 mRobo. Lance, remind me to tell you about that lunch I had with Sean Connery.
Give my cat a catnip mouse and she's a happy camper. Not so with Taylor Veltrop who took a 21" Nao robot, some Wiimotes, Kinect sensor bar, mini-cam, treadmill and brush to tend to his. We admire him for sticking to his project for over a year and hope his feline forgives him for that slight bonk in the head. We cannot wait for the 2-way audio chat that is to come next.
Robert Full and a team at UC Berkeley studied Agama lizards to see how they utilized their tails for balance when they run and jump. It seems that the reptiles needed to tilt their bodies upward to land properly. They applied this principal to their Tailbot, a wheeled lizard. The idea here is to create a robot that can jump over gaps and land safely and the team figured that the motion involved went as far back as dinosaurs. The results of their study can be found in the January 2012 edition of Nature.
Watch the video and note the subliminal glee that Full gets when he realizes that the velociraptor in the film Jurrasic Park has that same balance of body and tail.
Copora's Q.bo Daniel 123 has certainly been busy and can now identify himself in a mirror via his flashing nose. Because he is equipped with the Festival speech synthesizer and Julius recognition program, he can relate to people. Even more impressive, he recognizes another Q.bo (Jane 234) and the two have a brief, even flirty chat. As robots "approach consciousness" we are wondering if someday they be clever enough to perform experiments with humans.
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.
Fans of "Nightline" were surely almost impressed with David Hanson's Phillip, a robot that comes close to looking and sounding humanish. If you missed it, here is your chance to take a look at the segment that also features Zeno, Watson and a few other familiar bots.
Kid Galaxy's RC Data Robot is almost too cute and designed for ages 3 and above because we all know that toddlers love robots, too. With blinking lights and moving eyes, he spouts out botty noises and his remote lets him go forward, back or turn around. He also comes in apple green.
While we barely tolerate the overly enthusiastic star of Progressive Insurance's commercials, it seems that a bobblehead in one of them wasn't enough. So they came up with Flobot, a bot that the original Flo (portrayed by the comedic Stephanie Courtney) seems to find objectionable. Somehow we think a gecko makes a much better foil.
We seem to have missed this one last week but better late than never. Toronto, Canada's bd594 came up with a duet of a robot snare drummer and HP scanner rockin' to "The Little Drummer Boy." When creating this ditty, he claimed the project was "70% timing and 30% execution." Check out his YouTube page for other robot band concerts.