December 28, 2010

Virtual Holiday Dinner - Telepresence Reunions

While you were fighting at your latest family holiday meal, the Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam ad agency created an app for those who cannot hook up in person. The Virtual Holiday Dinner teams custom built mechanical dolls with Skype calling so that any family can enjoy each other in 15 minute slots. Although only 156 actually knew of and used the service, perhaps if you book now, they will open it again next year or open it up for family reunions.

via Virtual Holiday Dinner

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Talk-Torque Robots Non-Verbal

A team from Japan's Tsukuba University has created the Talk-Torque 2 Robot that specializes in non-verbal communication. Although it can only move its arms, twist its waist and tilt its head, the bot's purpose is to act as a sort of museum curator. The video shows the first generation.

Via Plastic Pals

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December 27, 2010

Robotic Arm Solves Rubik's in 15"

Witness the 15 sec. Rubik's Cube solving arm. Created by Rowan University's Zachary Grady and Joe Ridgeway, the system consists of a camera that captures how the cube is scrambled. Then it uses patterns and algorithms to solve it. Ridgeway himself is a solver, his best time being 45 seconds.

Via New Scientist

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December 23, 2010

Gundam Topples Rival Lookalike


A 60 ft. tall statue was reportedly being built at the Floraland amusement park in China that resembled Gundam a tad too much. Sotsu Co., the company that owns the copyright to the Gundam in Odaiba district in Tokyo, is looking into the matter. Those who saw it noted that the Chinese version had the same EFSF and WB logos on its shoulders. Although the park's operator claims that the design was original, it is nonetheless missing for now, leading us to believe that the Gundam has some powerful friends.

This ia not a select incident. In 2007, the Shijingshan Amusement Park near Beijing tried to create mascots and figures that resembled Disney and Japanese Anime characters. Even if you cannot understand Japanese, it is obvious from the video that those characters are/were a direct rip-off. Most of the videos released at the time were taken off YouTube and a quick check at the park's site claims that it is "under construction." As far as we can tell, the Disneyesque characters and a banner stating "Disney is too far, so please come to Shijingshan" has been removed.

Via Japan Times

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December 22, 2010

SAP Ad Features Familiar Bots

Check out this SAP commercial that features both NEC's PaPeRo and Optimus Prime in its spiel. The German software company says that it "offers technical account management for the life cycle of your solution and supports your implement of end-to-end solution operations." Yeah, we thought that, too.


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December 21, 2010

"Real Steel" Trailer Released

Although "Real Steel" is not scheduled to come out before October 7, 2011, trailers are still being released by DreamWorks. Sugar Ray Leonard served as advisor for the boxing scenes. Look for the finished product to be shown in IMAX and regular theaters when it finally arrives.

Via DreamWorks

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December 17, 2010

Robot Butcher Debones Ham

This video is not for the squeamish (or vegans.) Mayekawa's HAMDAS-R can debone 500 hams per hour, which usually takes 20 humans. The company will be selling them mostly to companies in Japan and will continue to research more efficient ways to trim "irregularly shaped, soft items." The robobutcher recently won a top prize at the Fourth Robot Awards held at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Technology in Japan.

Via DigiInfo

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December 16, 2010

Robot Picker Can Determine Strawberry Ripeness

IAM-BRAIN (the Institute of Agricultural Machinery's Bio-oriented Technology Research Advancement Institution,) has created a robot that can not only pick 60% of a strawberry crop, it can target the ripest and pick and cut in 9 seconds. This berrybot's camera images them in 3D and uses algorithms to detect the reddness. Farmers in Japan are now field-testing the new technology.


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December 15, 2010

Ans. - Watson, Quest. - What Bot is Going to be on Jeopardy?

Watson will be going up against former 'Jeopardy' champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. Often referred to as "Google on Steroids", the IBM bot has already competed against chess champ Garry Kasparov and won in 1997. This challenge will test Watson's knowledge, speed and ability to ask silly questions. You can see him starting on Valentine's Day in a 3 day competition.


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Toss A Transformer Party


"Transformers: Dark of the Moon" will be coming out in Real D 3D July 1 and should be a hit, at least to its fans. Throw a Transformer Party with a Party Pack for eight. It comes with plates, cups, napkins, cutlery, tablecloth balloons, ribbon, crepe paper, candles and a centerpiece.


Add to that a PiƱata and a Bumblebee and Optimus Cake with the 3-piece Topper Set to complete the fiesta.

Via Transformers Party

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