November 19, 2010

Bacarobo 2010 Elicits Laughs

The annual Stupid Robot Contest found itself in Budapest, Hungary this year. Take a peek at the video from Bacarobo 2010 that features plenty of useless bots that nonetheless will bring a slight chuckle or large guffaw. The winner, seen at the end of the video, won $2,700 but we expect the title was enough of a prize.

Via Plastic Pals

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November 18, 2010

DIRECTV Dueling Robot Ad

We may not be DIRECTV subscribers, but we have to admire their latest commercial that features a robotic battle. It certainly lives up to its tag line for Whole-Home DVR service. "Don't Just Watch TV. DIRECTV." Nicely done!


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Geminoid Makes Stage Debut

Geminoid F has once again made headlines in Japan. This time she debuted on the Tokyo stage in the play "Sayonara," playing an android caregiver to a human patient. While this couldn't have been much of a stretch for Gem, it's good that she has perhaps found her calling. The play's director, Director Oriza Hirata, claims that she has boosted ticket sales.

Via Escapist Magazine

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November 17, 2010

Tlaloque Explores Ancient Tunnel

A team from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) sent Tlaloque to search a tunnel that they believe has been sealed off since 250 A.D. Located in the ruins of the ancient city of Teotihuacan in Mexico, the tunnel is located under the Feathered Serpent Temple. Team leader Sergio Gomez says that they plan to enter the area next month. The project has been going on since they first discovered the tunnel in 2003 and it is said to lead to 3 chambers that may contain gems, shells and pottery (and perhaps a couple of mummies?)

Via Hispanically Speaking

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November 15, 2010

Barack Obama, Meet Geminoid F

During the recent APEC summit, Prez Obama took a few minutes off to play with some of Japan's most famous robots. He briefly viewed Geminoid F, interacted with Paro, the robotic seal and tried out an electronic wheelchair.


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November 9, 2010

Wall Climbing Robots Marathon at Shanghai Expo

Clad in silver jumpsuits, three humanoid robots named Yume Robo have been climbing up and down a 15m wall every 20 minutes at the Shanghai Expo's Japanese pavilion for about the last four months. Intended to show how the country dominates in the field of robotics, each is 140cm tall and weighs 30kg. We were thinking that if they really want to impress the rest of the world, they might try to get the trio to run in the next NYC marathon. Now that would be impressive.

Via Crunchgear

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October 29, 2010

Must Have: Zombie Dog

If money were no object, how cool would this Zombie Dog be as part of your Halloween d├ęcor? With a silicone head, he snarls, growls and lunges at those who cross his path. This guy will set you back about $5,300 but when you check out the video, the scare factor has to be worth it. Have a great All Hallows Eve.

Via The Horror Dome

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HRP-4C Boogies at Tokyo Expo

Take a peek at this eerie performance by HRP-4C at the recent Digital Content Expo in Tokyo. She is getting more natural all the time but someone should have covered up those legs.

The performance is almost a throwback to 60's TV shows like 'Hullabaloo' and 'Shindig,' 2010 style. Play both videos at the same time and tell me they didn't use the same choreography. By the way, the intro on this video is done by a very early George Hamilton and Lanie Kazan for those who keep track of that kind of trivia.

Via Fareast Gizmos

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October 28, 2010

Jamming Transition Used as Robotic Gripper

Cornell University decided that the best way to design robotic hands would be by using "jamming transition," the theory being that densely packed particles act like a solid while loose ones behave like a liquid. They used a latex party balloon, filled it with coffee grounds and attached it to a robotic arm. The team, funded by DARPA, proceeded to test their theory by lifting a raw egg, shock absorber and various other items. The balloon deforms around the object, then a vacuum sucks all its air out. If you can make it through the entire video, we figure a robotic fist bump is in order.

Via Cornell

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October 27, 2010

MakerLegoBot Builds 3D Models

Will Gorman, a fan of Lego and robots, decided to combine his two interests and came up with the MakerLegoBot, a robot that uses the plastic building blocks to make 3D models from the programmer's schematics. Gorman has posted his instructions on his site and claims that, with a few modifications to the Mindstorms NXT project, the robot could clone himself. So long after we are gone, perhaps it won't just be the cockroaches that survive.

Via BattleBricks

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