E.A.R.L. Strikes at the ITRC

E.A.R.L. (Enhanced Automatic Robot Launcher), named after Earl Anthony, known in bowling circles as "The Machine," is the second generation of bots designed to assist at
the International Training and Research Center (ITRC) in Arlington, Texas. Replacing Harry, a robot that was built in 1999 and recently retired, E.A.R.L. can consistently toss a ball at a speed of 10 to 24 mph at 50-900 rpm. He recently participated in a game against PBA star Chris Barnes. The bowlbot may be good but Barnes was the victor with a score of 259 - 209. E.A.R.L. will be used to help design lanes, balls and pins.

Via Bowling Digital

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October 26, 2010

Energid to Develop Robotic Fruit Pickers

Help design a Robonaut and you, too may get funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop a robotic citrus harvesting system. Energid Technologies, who developed Actin and Selectin software toolkits used in NASA's bot, believes that the way to go is to use robotic arms to literally pick the fruit. Principal Engineer Dr. Chu-Yin Chang says of the technology, "Imagine a flexible picking mechanism that shoots out to remove an orange like a frog's tongue catching a fly. Now line up tens or even hundreds of these. That is the system we are developing."

Wax on, wax off.

Via Energid

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October 25, 2010

'Check It Out' - Robotically Influenced Tune

We bet that if robots watched music videos the first one they would watch would be Nicki Minaj and Will.I.Am performing 'Check It Out'. It just doesn't get any more techno than this performance on the Letterman's Late Show. 'Nuff said.

Via CBS

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October 22, 2010

Shredder Mini-Tank Runs in All Terrains

While technically this is not a robot, we just had to share. Canadian Ben Gulak and his company BPG Werks are developing the Shredder, a DTV that rides like a mini-tank with a 48 hp rotary combustion engine and a top speed of 60 mph. While the current version has a handheld cable for control, the production version will feature one similar to a Jet-Ski handlebar.

The 21 year-old is in talks now with both military and civilian manufacturers and foresees its availability in another year for $3,500 to $4,000. In the meantime, the company is already taking deposits.

Via BPG Werks

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October 19, 2010

iRobot Debuts Next-Gen Robots

iRobot introduced its 5th generation Roomba at a recent a press event in New York, built with modular parts that can easily be replaced. It also has iAdapt technology, an internal sensor that "listens' for dirt rather than mapping and memorizing a room.

CEO Colin Angle spoke about the company's chembot being developed by the University of Chicago that he described as a"shape shifting, amorphous, squishable blob that can roll itself."

Kudos also goes to the company that launched their Seaglider, developed at the University of Washington and licensed by iRobot, that is still in the Gulf. It captures and monitors samples to detect oil as far down as 1,000 meters as well as reportng a wide variety of data, including measuring the level of dissolved oxygen.

Via PC World

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October 18, 2010

German MIG Self-sufficient Taxi

Germany's Freie University has come up with a robotic vehicle that one ups Google's Pribot. Their laser, radar and sensor-equipped VW Passat that they have appropriately named "Made in Germany" lets the driver start a program and enter coordinates on an Appirion iPad app, then wait for his/her self-driving cab to arrive.

Via FU

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October 14, 2010

Lifesize RIC Hawks Android

RT Corp and Brilliant Service Co Ltd came together to build RIC (Robot Inside Character,) a literal robot controlled by Android. Encased in a plastic suit, the android can walk, move its hands and head, and plays synthetic sounds and music via wireless LAN. Displayed at Google Developer Day 2010, future plans include extending its functions by April 2011 then renting it to other companies for about $6,000 a day to promote other Android-based devices.

Via Tech-on

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October 13, 2010

NNSA Sends MDAR to Patrol NNSS

Never send a human to do a dull job when a robot will do it and probably not complain. The US National Nuclear Security Administration recently loosed a Mobile Detection Assessment Response System on the 1,300 sq. mi. desert to patrol the Nevada National Security Site while cutting costs. The NNSS still houses old nuclear waste, weapons and research materials. There is only one MDARS for now, essentially a combination of Hummer and camera/microphone that contacts its controllers should it suspect a foreign entity or wayward alien. The NNSS plans to add a couple more over the next 6 months and rename the test site, but what really spooked us was the future plans they have for testing in the area.

Via NNSA

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October 12, 2010

Fujitsu Bear Cubs Still on Life Support

Fujitsu's Bear Cubs are still in the developmental stage, but you can tell by engadget's interactive video clip from CEATEC 2010 in Japan that they can giggle as obnoxiously as Elmo. The prototype first made its debut in May and creeped us out even then. It now can accomplish about 300 actions with 12 actuators, 13 skin sensors, a tilt sensor and a mic but it will be still a while before its public unleashing.

Via engadget

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October 11, 2010

Trekbot - Affordable Robot Battling

Desk Pets' RC Trekbot should be ready to rumble soon. The hubless micro-robotic racer can turn on a dime, do headstands and flip in one of four frequencies so that multiple racers can perform. A thirty minute charge from your US port will give you 15 minutes of competition. The bots will be available in black, gold, white, and a clear shell at Toys 'R Us and Radio Shack for a mere $19.99.

Via Desk Pets

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