Take a look at the Toy Story 2 Alien Webcam, courtesy of Disney and Pixar. The 15", 1.3 megapixel cam hooks up via USB, has glowing eyes and antenna, and emits strange alienish noises. Unplug him and you get an external speaker with 2 more USB ports. It's fun, it's freaky, it costs a whopping $299.99.
Willa is one of four Fijit Friends that debuted at February's Toy Fair and is ready to be your or someone you love's best friend. Made by Mattel, she can sing, dance, giggle and tell jokes. With soft, tactile skin and LED face, she responds to noise, movements and tummy poking. She reacts to over 30 specific voice commands, has about 150 phrases and can interact with mobile apps, TV commercials and other outside stimuli. When bedtime comes, she can become a nightlight.
The video is a bit juvenile, but then you have to consider the target audience and realize this will be a hot Holiday season for the quartet. Hit the link to see all four of the Fijit Friends.
See the Khepera quadropods. See them and their pod leader form on their own to make a landing pad for a quadrotor. They do this after being programmed with algorithms from Ted Macdonald and a team from Georgia Robotics and Intelligent Systems Lab. You know that the military is going to want a piece of that to build their own robot army.
Watch out sports fans, there's some new competition in town. DARwin-OP (Dynamic Anthropomorphic Robot with Intelligence--Open Platform) stands a mere 18" and weighs only 2.9kg, but is truly endearing. He performs a kick the can routine with some Takate beer that shows he may have a future in soccer, even at a cost of $12,000.
Emerald is back with a new spot for their "Breakfast On the Go" munchies video. This time Carl becomes Carlita but the message is the same, why eat the same boring granola bars when you can have a yummy snack? Nice hair!
PR2s continue to make news and the latest is the one in Georgia Tech's Robots for Humanity program. They have adapted him to allow quadriplegic Henry Evans the ability to shave himself and scratch an itch. Henry gives him commands to move or fetch, including the manipulation of objects from a separate room.
GT is hoping that eventually they can design better hard and software for the next gen of caregiver bots. And while most of use robots because we don't want to vacuum, this PR2 reminds us that they can make a real difference in a human's life.
Microsoft released Kinect SDK a while back and now they are giving the free gift of Kinect Service for RDS to developers. They are hoping that robots will make veritable leaps and bounds, so put your skills to work and do some bottin'! Look for updates in the fall and contact them when you have the next best bot.
Take a look at this spot made for an Audi A4 campaign in Spain. Created by Big Lazy Robot VFX in Barcelona, it is surely a masterful creation and worth a view. When you have admired this one, head over to their website and revel in their portfolio that includes ad for the Mercedes E300L, a trailer for "The Gift" and we cannot wait to see their cockroach short!
If you happen to be in the NYC area this weekend, tickets are still available to attend the Robot Film Festival at the 3LD Art and Technology Center, 80 Greenwich St. See 70+ videos, films, awards ceremony, workshops and even an evening BBQ. We think it is a fine idea and our kudos go to founder Heather Knight of Marilyn Monrobot, who knows that all robots deserve recognition. Tickets start at $25.00 and if you cannot make it this year, you can make your own or attend what we hope will be an annual event.
Mex-One is entering its final phase of its metamorphosis. It is a humanoid that not only can walk and memorize information, it is considered a social robot and can learn by experience. Head of its team Eduardo Bayro, claiims that they will have "sub-products with practical ends in such fields as medicine and culture." This means that it has open architecture for developing new algorithms, ideas and applications such as intelligent limbs for the disabled. The total cost is about $100,000 with that price halved by ordering a replica that can be used as a hospital assistant or museum guide.