If you find yourself tiring of your icon that looks like an M & M, you can now Androidify yourself with a free app. Make one and share with your buds on Twitter, Facebook or other social networking site.
If you watched 'Jeopardy' this week, then you already know that Watson trounced humans Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. While Rutter seemed somewhat bitter about the defeat, Jennings took a more humorous approach, at one point wanting to unplug IBM's computer, then giving in during the Final Jeopardy question by commenting on his chalkboard that he was ready to "welcome our new computer overlords."
The latest ugly babybot to take the prize is AFFETTO, a robotic head modeled after a toddler's face, from Osaka University. The intent is to produce realistic facial expressions and the team has been working on the project for about a year. Intended to be used for studying interaction with human caregivers, he does have a certain Winston Churchill look about him. You can read the entire story via the link.
The company that produces the telepresent Anybot decided to put one to the test when Aaron Blumenstein craved a scone from Red Rock Coffee. This video was taken by the engineer to document the occasion. We would add that this is free advertising that is as good as it gets because the company now boasts a backlog of 4-6 weeks.(We suggest future outings should be recorded by another Anybot with a Steadycam.)
Just in case you missed it, somehow Chevy managed to combine NASA's R2 with football as the astrobot selected his MVPs for this Superbowl. On the pre-game show at 3:18 p.m., his choices were Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers or Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Did you notice how they kept him behind a table so that nobody would notics he was legless?
Bangkok University, Thailand is developing robotic waiters for MK Restaurant. The concept robot Yumbo carries food on trays and maneuvers around by following lines on the floor. He also avoids collisions with IR range detection. Rit Thirakomen, the managing director of the MK Restaurant, says that they will perform the "less glamorous tasks" of the eatery, not to mention they won't ask for tips. Watching the video, it looks like the project has a ways to go.
Once again a bomb squad robot is sent out as hero. Spokane sent their bombot out to a downtown parking lot Friday when a to-go mug was discovered that seemed heavier than normal to a 911 caller. While the device was found not to be a danger, the Bomb Squad was nonetheless wary after a suspicious backpack was discovered last Monday.
We first wrote about South Korea's ED Corporation in March of last year that designed a
service bot to sell tickets in movie theaters. The recently improved CIROMI also entertains while customers wait in line by playing games, taking photos or sending an email. This guy can do double duty as a security bot after the theater closes. Future plans include having the Cinema Companion recommend movies.
We spotted another Kinect controlled humanoid. Asura Engineering's Wataru Yoshizaki has designed software so that a HPI GR-001 is controlled by its human. This guy works by click and drag control of a 3D model and a camera can be added for a first person perspective. It keeps its balance by finding the bot's center of gravity
Pacman takes on a whole 'nother meaning when it involves living creatures. Scientists from Stanford University have created video games that, instead of software, are based with biological processes. Assistant Professor Ingmar Riedel-Kruse says that there are 3 types of biotic games, one with a single celled paramecium, another on a molecular level and a third involves yeast. He believes that not only is it a way to make everyone more aware of biology, but could involve those who can run experiments at the same time.