September 3, 2010

Must Have: RC Skitterbots

Desk Pets has developed Skitterbots, 2" RC bots that claim to be the fastest insectoids around. They come in seven different colors and can race on their 6 legs at about one foot per second. Each can run on its built-in battery for 15 minutes after a 30 min. charge. Owning one will definitely illicit an 'ick' factor and two can race around your house or office.

Via Skitterbots

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

DustCart Cleans Up Peccioli, Italy

In 2006, Scuola Superiore Sant' Anna in Pisa, Italy was given a grant to develop a better form of urban hygiene. DustCart was born and if you lived in Peccioli all you had to do to get it to perform was call it from your cell phone and it and its Segway base would deliver your new garbage receptacle. Toss in your trash, up to 70 lbs., and the bot would haul it to a dump.

This is no one trick robot. It can also measure air quality and provide city information like train schedules. DustCart, and its partner DustClean, passed the city test but at a double digit cost, it may be a while before the pair is hired out, although discussions to have DustCart turn into a neighborhood pharmacy delivery bot have been held. Hmmm.

Via Dustbot

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

September 2, 2010

U.bo Invades, Eats, Poops

Phison Electronics demonstrated its new pet robot U.bo ("U" for you, "bo" for ball shape) at the recent Tokyo Toy Fair. The company calls it an alien spore but it seems more of an advanced Tamagotchi that needs feeding, cleaning up, and will amuse you by walking, speaking alien and interacting. The 10 x 8.5cm AI features mouse buttons, touch sensors and a couple of motors for movement. It will run for 14 hours on 2 AA batteries.

Via U.bo Magicland

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

Noelle Gives Birth, But Not Without a Fight

The latest service bot in town comes from Ohio's Wright State University and was designed for health care professionals to practice emergencies in the delivery room. Noelle complains, groans and grunts and seizes her way through childbirth, with a detachable belly cover that every woman wishes she had. The $40,000 simulator keeps track of medical statistics and lets the participants perform several different predicaments, including some with her robotic baby. Good times.

Via Dayton Daily News

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

September 1, 2010

Electric Robofish Filled With Silicone Oil

Robofish keep getting more sophisticated as evidenced by this electric swimmer. Controlled via electrostatic actuators as muscles, the fish has been filled with silicone oil and even moves its eyes around to appear more lifelike. The creation from Germany's University Venture Creation Science and Technology Agency runs left or right by an operational joystick, the result being that its tail propels it forward.

Via Sendensha (translated)

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

August 31, 2010

ECH Taken Over by Robots, Almost

El Camino Hospital in Silicon Valley, CA have leased 19 robots to replace current workers. They handle chores such as delivering medication and food and take out the trash. The guy who took this video is certainly enchanted. The rentals amount to about $350,000 a year, according to Ken King, VP of facilities, while humans would have cost about a million a year. We are assuming that is more than 19 total employees as that would be a huge salary.

Via El Camino Hospital

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

August 30, 2010

Robots With a Sense of Smell

We just cannot fathom how/why researchers come up with some of this stuff. The University of Tokyo's Institute of Industrial Science took frog eggs, inserted insect RNA and ended up with robots with a sense of smell. This compact smelling sensor could be used in the future to detect the differences between chemicals, polluting gasses and hopefully a better class of burgers.

Via PNAS

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

August 27, 2010

Hydro-Quebec LineScout Inspects

While power line inspection robots are not a novel idea, we found this one hanging out in the Hydro-Quebec network in Canada. The LineScout is remote controlled with two joysticks and utilizes 360ยบ cameras to inspect power lines. In usage since 2006, it can maneuver around obstacles and spots exact locations by GPS. After identifying any power problems, the bot is sophisticated enough to make minor repairs.

Via cnet

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

August 25, 2010

Yurina Assists Bedridden

At the recent Next-Generation Robot Manufacturing Exhibition in Japan, Yurina, a home care robot, was put through its paces by first lifting patients of weights of up to 80kg and then converting itself into a wheelchair. The robotic vehicle can then be directed by voice, touch screen or controller.

Via Japan Logic (translated)

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

August 24, 2010

Build a Sculpture For Remember Reach

kukaarm.jpg

Microsoft has launched Remember Reach for Halo fans. The site allows them to control a giant robot by remote and build a sculpture. A Kuka KR 140, an oversized robotic arm, places points of light. The site is part of the publicity for awareness of the soon-to-be Xbox 360 shooter release of Halo Reach. Help build the monument via Facebook and watch real time as it is being built.

Via Remember Reach

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

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