June 28, 2010

Robotic Lifeguard EMILY Hits the Beach

EMILY (EMergency Integrated Lifesaving lanYard) has taken to Zuma Beach in Malibu, CA and will hit 25 to other beaches by December. The sonar-equipped, remote controlled robotic lifeguard detects underwater movements of swimmers that may be in distress and zip over there at about 28 mph. She also has a camera and speaker so a human can add comfort from the boat or shore. Hydronalix, Emily's creator, plans to make them autonomous next spring and will sell them for $3,500.00 apiece.

(Thanks, Mike)

Via Hydronalix

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

June 24, 2010

Emiew 2 Sees Improvements

Hitachi has been working on improvements on Emiew (Excellent Mobility and Interactive Existence as Workmate.) The humanoid robot can now distinguish voices while cancelling out his own inner buzzes and whirrs and can keep his balance when going over obstacles left on the floor. At a height of 32" and a weight of 30 lbs., he can do his thing on either 2 or 4 wheels. Plans for Emiew 2 include surveillance and as a visitor guide.

Via Hitachi

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Robotinho Guides German Students

Would I be the only one thinking that the University of Bonn's Robotinho looks and sounds a bit pervy? Maybe it's a good thing that he is speaking German and we can't translate. Placed atop 4 Roombas 530s, a Robotis Dynamixel RX-64 servo is used for steering. The bot guides a group of kids around the Deutches Museum and introduces them to Steffy, Dynamaid and several of the other exhibits. Some of the kids seem a bit skeptical and seem to have as short an attention span as they would if the guidebot was human.

Via Hizook

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

June 21, 2010

Noby Reacts to Keeper, Kind of

Kosuke Nakamura, a University of Tokyo post grad student, proudly displayed 2ft. 4 inch baby Noby recently. The baby bot, equipped with cams for eyes, mics for ears and 600 tactile sensors, was designed to better help understand human nature and development. It seems to have a ways to go.

Via Day Life

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June 18, 2010

Watson to Take on Human Jeopardy Competitors

IBM has been hard at work for the past 3 years developing their latest Question Answering computer. Watson, named after founder Thomas J. Watson, is supposed to duplicate the human brain's ability to understand the meaning of words, know the difference between relevant and irrelevant content and deliver final answers.

The company is so sure of the ability of their computer they are working on an avatar so that it can compete on Jeopardy later this year. The research has gone as far as getting the computer to answer in the form of a question.


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

June 17, 2010

CM Dragons Practice for RoboCup 2010

While humans compete in soccer matches at the World Cup in So. Africa, Carnegie Mellon is focusing on the CM Dragons, small autonomous bots that are controlled by physics based motion. The CMU team will be participating in the RoboCup 2010 that starts in Singapore June 19.


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

June 16, 2010

Mung Encourages Sportmanship at World Cup

Mung is a product of a collaboration between students of KAIST and Yonsei University in South Korea. Its creators are hoping it will instill sportsmanship in World Cup 2010 participants. Originally meant to change color when it heard profanity, it eventually evolved into altering hues when a player fouls or is injured.

Via Plastic Pals

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June 15, 2010

CareBot Undergoes Improvements

GeckoSystems has been improving on their CareBot software to make it simpler for users. The GeckoScheduler can now more easily set date, time, medication and TV show reminders. In this trial video, the woman (automatically referred to as "grandma",) goes into the kitchen and the CareBot is activated from sleep mode after she leaves the bedroom. Note how long the servicebot takes to get to the kitchen. Let's hope Grandma doesn't fall in the mean time and is not able to get back up.

Via GeckoSystems

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

June 14, 2010

R2 Prepares for Fall Takeoff

NASA's newest astronaut will soon be taking off. R2, short for Robonaut 2, will start out by being tested by the ISS crew and will hopefully move up to performing real chores like cleaning and vacuuming. Weighing 310 lbs., R2 is set to launch this September.

Via Robonaut 2

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

June 11, 2010

Must Have: Bicentennial Man Dehumanizes Robin Williams

Sometimes we dredge up some of those bad classic movies that feature humans attempting to be robots. Take the time to see Bicentennial Man if you appreciate the talents of Robin Williams, who tries his best to humanize himself while still maintaining lame conversation, this is a must see.

Via Bicentennial Man

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

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