July 13, 2010

FURO Serves With a Modicum of Emotion

Although FURO is supposed to exhibit more emotion than earlier generations, the robotic waitress stills seems fairly non-committal to us. The Korean bot from Future Robot takes an order on its touchscreen, expresses mild displeasure when the customer changes his mind and allows him to pay by credit card.

Via Plastic Pals

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Power Laces Auto-Tie Shoe

Inspired by the film "Back to The Future II," Blake Bevin combined a shoe and Arduino microcontroller to create Power Laces (technically only one.) When he steps in the shoe, a force sensor activates servo motors to tighten its laces. He included a touch switch to reverse the process. Blake is an entry in Instructable's USB contest and would appreciate votes from Marty McFly fans.

Via Instructables

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July 12, 2010

Beer Me, PR2

What does Willow Garage do after lending out some of its PR2s to those who will teach them practical tasks? Use one to do something really important. Check out the video that shows the beerbot fetching the correct brew, open the bottle and deliver it. The Beer Hackathon Team's creation has certainly earned its keep, but suppose the beer has a flip-top?

Via Willow Garage

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AQUA2 - Companion Under the Sea

Now you can have your very own underwater pet to take with you on your ocean adventures. The AQUA2 has 6 flippers to propel it in the water and even up on shore. (We dig the robot's eye view.) The McGill University fishbot works by remote fiber optic or Ethernet wire and can travel up to 120 feet (sing along now) 'under the sea.'

Via McGill

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July 7, 2010

Just Call Him Eyeborg

We are not sure if this is very kewl art or terribly wrong. Canadian Rob Spence lost an eye in his teens and now, with the help of some buds, has developed a prosthetic one that can broadcast video and will become a public feed. The device consists of a 1.5mm low-res cam, a small circuit board, video transmitter and a microbattery that Spence says can be recharged via his laptop's USB.

Via spectrum ieee

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Harvard Material Shape Shifts Via Electric Current

Harvard researchers have developed flat sheets of composite material that can fold themselves into shapes after receiving an electric current. Similar to origami, the "Programmable Matter By Folding" contains 25 actuators, split into 5 groups and the shape is produced when they are activated in a sequence.

Via Harvard

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July 5, 2010

ROV Fish Detailed on NBC

We have finally found the definitive video from NBC's Kerry Sanders on just how BP's ROVs (nicknamed "Fish") coordinate and operate from the Ocean Intervention 3. Although many of the operators are ex-military with drone experience, we find it a comfort that many are twenty-somethings that grew up playing video games and are adept at operating the bots' joysticks.


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July 2, 2010

Nesbot Serves Six Blends of Coffee

Bluebotics' Nesbot is an autonomous coffee machine that features an ANT navigation system to find its prey customer and offer it a choice of 6 blends. The coffeebot is part of a project commissioned by Nestle Nespresso to seek out future coffee machine applications.

Via Bluebotics

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July 1, 2010

Robotic Lizard Wriggles Through Sand

The Georgia Institute of Technology designed a robot to rescue humans during disasters. Based on a sandfish lizard, the bot tucks its limbs into its sides then wriggles to go forward. The team built the 35cm sandbot with seven aluminium segments linked with 6 motors and covered in spandex. Adding more segments could make it faster and give it smoother movements.

Via New Scientist

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Naos Synchronized Dance

The Nao robot from Aldebaran Robotics has been around since 2006, but the humanoid is constantly being updated in design and now has up to 25ยบ of movement. To prove their point, the company released a video of 20 of them practicing a synchronized dance for France's Pavillion Day. The bots also have touch, face and voice recognition ability. Even weirder is this clip that replaced the original tune with Beyonce's "Put a Ring On it." There is something really eerie about their performance and we hope they stick to entertainment when the final robotic takeover occurs.

Via Aldebaran

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