January 19, 2011

Heinz Automato "Reeks" Havoc

What do bored MIT students do when a HFCS craving strikes? They create a robot that sprays ketchup. Here's hoping that Bill Fienup and Barry Kudrowitz can teach the Heinz Automato to actually hit the area of the bun that counts.

Via YouTube

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 14, 2011

Must Have: Mint Performs Dance Routine

In order to draw attention to its Mint, Evolution Robotics staged a dance routine with a dozen of them. On display at the CES, they robotically got down to "Boom Boom Pow" by the Black Eyed Peas during a Las Vegas fashion show. This video clearly shows the swiffer-like cleaners' versatility but you have to wonder who came up with the idea and laboriously choreographed the routine. It may be one reason that it won the Innovations 2011 Design and Engineering Award.

Via Mint

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Watson Creams Competition on 'Jeopardy' Test

We expected no less. IBM's Watson slaughtered both Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter yesterday on a 'Jeopardy' test run. The real contest will take place at IBM today and air Feb. 14 - 16. In true geekish fashion Rutter commented on the victory, "When Watson's progeny comes back to kill me from the future, I have my escape route planned, just in case."

Via ZD Net

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January 12, 2011

'Tin Man' Worth a Viewing

The Sci-Fi Channel released the Emmy nominated mini-series 'Tin Man' in 2007 that featured some very creative CGI. An homage to "The Wizard of Oz," when you get to Milltown, you get a very happening Robomayor as well as some botty admissions from some of the townsfolk. Watch the recently released Blu-ray Two-Disc Collector's Edition for the special effects and the outstanding performances of Alan Cumming as the clever Glitch and Kathleen Robertson as the evil Azkadellia.

And while the adults watch the aforementioned videos, kids will dig "Meet the Robinsons," an animated film with boy-genius Louis visiting the future. Look for a robotic spider, hat and Carl the robot, who has a small team of minions.
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January 11, 2011

Sphero Plays Chicken

Orbitix will eventually release Sphero, a robotic ball that can be controlled by your iPhone or Android based smartphone. Drive it around a series of games included in its app, like going through a maze or competing with other Sphero in a robotic version of chicken that you can play for pink slips (you win, you get your opponent's control.) Look for the ball wa-a-y down the road (the 2011 holiday season) at a price of $99.

Via Go Sphero

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iRobot Unveils AVA at CES 2011

iRobot's display at the CES last week included AVA, a robot that is connectable to iPad and Android smartphones. Using sensors that are the same as in the Kinect, the bot builds a map of its area and will go to any location on it by a simple touch. The application can be used for security, telepresence and as a fetch and carry bot.

Via Tech 2

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January 4, 2011

A Robot A Day for 2010

We are not exactly sure who the imaginative WeirdForceOne is, but he seems to have built a robot a day during 2010 as a request by a galactic overlord. The army was made from junk and recycled materials, (although some of them looked new,) but we found the video amusing enough to post it. And it has a happy ending, sort of.

Via WeirdForceOne

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Kura Restaurants Thrive with Automation

Kunihiko Tanaka built his first Kura restaurant in 1995 and used conveyer belts for efficiency. As his profits came raking in, he used more automation to the point that while each business can seat 196 customers, it only takes 6 servers and a minimal kitchen staff.

Soup and side dishes are ordered via touch panel as robots prepare sushi. Diners place used dishes into a tableside dock where the bill is calculated and dishes are cleaned. This has proven to be a lucrative deal for Tanaka as seven additional restaurants have cropped up in the last two months, bringing the total to 262 eateries.

Via Maximizing Progress

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January 3, 2011

Veltrobot Runs Via Kinect

That didn't take long. Terry Veltrop has already hacked into his Xbox Kinect to create a humanoid robot that will follow his moves. The bot was built from a Kondo KHR-1HV with a Roboard control and software written from ROS and the IO library. Named after his builder, Veltrobot works in master/slave mode, but Terry would like to improve on it to give it better leg and gripper controls. After watching the video, we would like to see that, too, as it looks a bit wobbly.

Via Terry Veltrop

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December 31, 2010

Must Have: Two Terrible Techno Movies

If you are breaking in the new HDTV you finall bought this year, here are a couple of the worst movies ever made with robots participating. 'Santa Claus Conquers the Martians' has a robot named Torg that clearly didn't know Asimov's three laws of robotics as it was instructed to destroy a couple of Earth children.

S1m0ne (aka Simone,) which we thought would be better since Al Pacino was its star, has him as a director who takes a Sim One computer program and fools the entire planet into thinking that she is real.

Via Robot Movies

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