If you need someone to nag you to get back into shape, Autom is now available for the masses. A $195.00 down payment gets you the personal coach for 10% off the annual price and 6 free months of subscription service. That may seem pricey but think of it as a replacement for that third daily Big Mac. A companion book with special diet tips is also available to get you started.
Canada's Carleton University is working on Kapvik, a remote controlled micro-rover that can assist the more expensive Spirit Rover. So the next time one gets mired down in Mars' mud, the 6-wheeler can come to the rescue and act as a scout the rest of the time. The demo video is a nice touch to see the 30kg prototype in action on this planet, even with the controller's tacky sandals in the picture.
Every day, more commercials crop up that use robots for costars. As CGI becomes more technically advanced all the time, we can see why that trend is catching on. What better villain to destroy Duane than an evil giant robot in this State Farm spot "State of Chaos?"
Back in February, Watson beat out Jeopardy champs and his keepers decided his next move would be Med School. Teaming with the University of Maryland, software developer Nuance and Columbia UMC, the computer "learned' about anatomy, conditions and symptoms to help diagnose patients' illnesses. Dr. Eliot Siegel, the team's head, says they will use Watson as a sort of "safety check" to determine if proper care and medicines have been prescribed. Yeah, he ought to stay in the background as he probably doesn't have much of a bedside manner.
Note: If you are a Watson fan and watched him on Jeopardy, PBS' Nova presented "The Smartest Machine on Earth" this month. It discussed computer learning and how IBM prepared him for his TV debut, including auditions. This is a must see for anyone into A.I. and you can still watch it online.
You have probably seen the Kia's dancing hamsters as they face off against what we would like to think are robots hoping to dispense with the creepy rodents. Just in case you missed the 2012 Soul Commercial, here it is with the targeted age group certainly obvious.
The India Times interviewed actor Shah Rukh Khan of soon to be released Ra.One, and questioned him as to its resemblance to the 2010 movie Robot after comparing the two promos. He claims the science fiction film is more of a superhero movie. We figure you should make your own assessment although some of the effects do look similar. But, no matter how you slice it, it still looks worth a viewing upon release in October.
It's that time of year again as robots that are useless compete to find out the one that is the buffoon of the year. The Bacarobo will take place at Budapest's Trafo House of Contemporary Arts October 30th, when the 12 finalists try to prove their unworthiness. That leaves plenty of time for other useless Do It Yourselvers to catch up. The winner, or should we say loser, takes home €2,000 (~$2,897.)
Japan loves their robots and the latest trend there seems to be making them into mascots for local companies like ATR/Vstone's Daichan, a 3'7" bot dressed for dancing and Eager's 5'4" Hansan, made mostly of recycled cardboard. Both are a part of Robot Laboratory, a network designed to encourage the PR practice.
The latest Droid commercial is out for the Bionic, due to be released this Thursday. Note that amidst the bells, flashes, whistles and robots, you never actually get to see the product itself. Both Motorola and carrier Verizon have been keeping pretty quiet as to the details until the carrier came up with a gimmicky idea for the smartphone tied into an app.
Here's your chance to make your very own animatronic head. The eyes, eyebrows and mouth are built of motors, cardboard and wire while a microcontroller takes care of servo controls. You can get the full tutorial and some more examples via the link. PyroElectric's Chris states that he is still working on the project that should take about 4 hours to complete, longer if you want to accessorize.