August 23, 2010

ATHLETE Celebrates Dance Day

NASA has been testing ATHLETE, an all-terrain robot for use on the Moon and Mars, but recently took a day off in honor of National Dance Day to bust a move. This certainly proves that even hexapods can have rhythm.


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

August 20, 2010

Must Have: U.R.I.-NAL 9000


As promised, we couldn't wait to show you the work of Hauke Scheer and his company Scheer Imagination. This U.R.I.-NAL 9000 is astounding in its detail and we are so pleased that Hauke sent us one all the way from Germany to keep us company. Made of resin, this will surely be a collector's item.


Because we suspected that Hauke was as much into robots as we are, we decided to ask him a few questions and found that his talent and sense of humor are certainly worth the read.

I understand U.R.I. is a limited edition?

Yes, this medium grey colored variant is limited to 50 figures. However if they sell well I will produce more figures with different colors variations. Those will probably have higher production numbers so the medium grey variant will be the most valuable over time.

Is there a real U.R.I.-NAL 9000?

Unfortunately, no. I designed this character simply to be a fun toy figure. However a lot of people have told me they would love to have a real working one. So if there is some robot company out there that would be interested in producing a real one, I would love to hear from them. :-)

Do you foresee one in the future?

Well, you never know. It would be fun having hundreds of urinals walking through town on a Saturday night.

What was your inspiration?

I actually made another toilet robot before. That one was just meant to be a spoof on those cute Disney characters that are made from household items, like the ones in 'Beauty and the Beast.' However, I was always a little dissatisfied with that one because apart from being funny, the design did not make much sense. I decided to give it another try and come up with something that would kind of work in the real world. So the idea for the U.R.I.-NAL 9000 was born.

Will you be making any future robot figures?


Sure. I love robots and cyborgs and those will always be part of my work. The latest robot I created was the Flying Fridgebot from my Bionic Bjoern Figure Series. A prototype figure for that one is currently in development. The fridge will actually open and close and have some beer cans in it.

How did your career in the arts start?

I studied 3D modeling at the Vancouver Film School. Afterwards, I worked on a couple of small computer games as well as in advertisement. But during all that time I was always working on personal projects as well creating several of the characters I am now selling as figures on my website.

How long have you been an artist?

I have created science fiction and fantasy characters since I was in my teens. I started 3D modeling in my twenties when I was at university. My professional career started when I went to Vancouver Film School.

Do you make each one or just the first?


All the figures are actually sculpted and produced by a professional toy company in China. I send them various pictures of my 3D art so they can sculpt the figures to my designs. I wrote an article on the whole process a little while ago that can still be found in the notes sections of my Facebook page.

How does one make something out of resin?

Basically you have to create a silicone mold from your original sculpture and then you can start casting away in resin. You can get both the silicone for making the mold and the resin for casting in most art shops. Since you do not need expensive steel molds like you do with plastic figures, resin is used both by large manufacturers as well as hobby modelers.

Do you still do work for video games and advertisements?

At the moment I am concentrating on my own work and getting my figure business up and running properly. However, I am always interested in cool projects in either the video game or the advertisement industry.

What will be your next creation?

I am currently working on a series of animations for my Bionic Bjoern figure series. This one and others can be seen here. I will create various friends and enemies of Bionic Bjoern for these animations. However most of them exist currently only in my mind. :-)

How can your fans get in touch with you?

You can buy my figures here.
My art can be seen on this site.
If people want to get updated on upcoming figures they can become a fan of my company Scheer Imagination on Facebook.
Or they can just email me at: contact(at)

Thanks for your time and U.R.I, Hauke. Best of luck in all your endeavors!

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

August 19, 2010

Yaskawa-kun Soft Serves Ice Cream

One of the latest service bots to become employed in Japan is Yaskawa-kun, a product of the electronic and robotics company of the same name. It will be dishing up ice cream at theme park Tokyo Summerland until August 22. After placing an order, the human can watch the bot as it prepares his/her selection. It is a good thing that this is a temporary position. The robot runs so slowly that if the long lines doesn't kill the project, the melting ice cream will.

Via Robonable (translated)

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

August 16, 2010

Popchilla Assists Autistic Kids

The Autism Center of Pittsburgh and Interbots may have made it one step easier to communicate with children who suffer from Autism. Popchilla and an interactive iPad app create Character Therapy, a program that a therapist uses to create emotions in the robot that in turn may help the child better understand their own. This video demos one of Popchilla's current apps, "Let's Do Shapes."

Via Pad Gadget

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

August 12, 2010

Wall-Climbing ROCR

William Provancher of the University of Utah and his team of mechanical engineers have collaborated with ROCR ('Rocker') the robot as the result. This little guy can climb a carpet-padded wall with the assistance of two hooks. Provancher sees the future of his climber to inspect buildings, bridges or nuclear facilities when equipped with a remote camera. Until that time, ROCR will be hanging out in the lab.


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

August 10, 2010

India Produces Robot Musical

India has produced a movie with dance-off movin' robots. Entitled "Robots," of course, it comes out of Kollywood in the Kodambakkam district located in Chennai, a city in the state of Tamil Nadu. We guess the country is finally into CGI mode.

Via Gizmodo

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

August 9, 2010

U.R.I.-NAL 900, Relief At Last

We really dig the U.R.I.-NAL 900. In a limited edition of 50, the collector robot is 6 " tall, made of resin and can be yours for €55 (~$73.00.) Even if it doesn't talk and can't really help you out in the woods, Haute Scheer and his German company has come up with some of the best artwork and most imagination we have seen around here in a while. Look for an interview with Haute and review of URI in the near future.

Via Scheer-Imagination

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

August 5, 2010

Telenoid Semi-Human Presence

Hiroshi Ishiguro's latest idea is the Telenoid R1, a robot that uses sensors to transmit movement and sound and replicate them in humanoid form. A controller sits beind a computer with webcam and software to cause the effect. Note that the bot is folically challenged so that according to its developers, will look "as both male and female, as both old and young." (Note also that it is limbless.) R1 will go on sale in Japan later this year for about $8,000.


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

August 2, 2010

Service Bots Taking Over Tokyo

Helpful service bots were featured at a recent expo in Tokyo. Participants included Chapit, a robot that can answer questions and crack jokes, the Personal Mobility Robot that has four cams and a sensor to help humans move around and DiGRO, an advanced helpbot that can draw pictures for kids that it finds on the Internet. Japan's latest estimate is that by 2050, 40% of its population will be over 65 so expect those service bots to be frequent companions.

Via Reuters India

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

July 30, 2010

Curious Bielefeld Bot Interacts With Human

In an effort to learn more about human/robot interaction, this project from Bielefeld University has reversed roles as the BARTHOC humanoid head and torso with Shadow Hands asks questions about objects and the manipulation of them. A CyberGlove II sensor allows the human to perform a natural grasp for the bot to copy and as preliminary tests were successful, the team plans to go more in depth in future projects.

Via AI Web

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

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