October 28, 2009

Slovenian Robot Hits the Slopes

This video of a skiing robot seems to be making the rounds ski circuit. Made of two computing systems, one for vision and GPS purposes, the other for steering and stability, the Slovenian bot from the Jozef Stefan institute will be used to test equipment and for building virtual reality models.

Via Make:

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October 27, 2009

Witness the Blob With Attitude

The ChemBot, being developed by DARPA, can shape shift between semi-liquid and semi-solid states by injecting air into a membrane that's filled with particulate matter. The plan here is to take the odd robot and place it where others can't since it can get larger or smaller, roll around, or pass through cracks in a wall. iRobot is in charge of the project to create the prototype after receiving a $3.3 million grant.

Via Crave

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October 26, 2009

SMARTHAND 'Feels' Like Real One

Researchers from Italy and Sweden have teamed to devise the first artificial hand that can actually feel. The SMARTHAND (smart bio-adaptive hand prosthesis) works by attaching human nerve endings to tiny electronic sensors. The recipient of the hand was a 22 year-old man who lost his own to cancer.

Via SMARTHAND

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October 22, 2009

Robotic Cockroach Falls Wa-a-y Down, Keeps on Trucking

The UC Berkeley's Biomimetic Millisystems Lab has decided that the world (and/or the military) needs a better robot cockroach. Made out of cardboard and polymer, the 4" DASH (Dynamic Autonomous Sprawled Hexapod) can be built in an hour and moves at 5 ft. per second, which is equal to 15 body lengths. Its 6 legs run via DC motor and a servomotor is responsible for turns. The thing that really creeps us out is the fact that DASH can fall 92 feet and keep going.

Via UC Berkeley

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October 19, 2009

Meyer's Mini R2-D2

Rob Meyer generally makes larger robots, but he came up with a 1:18 scale RC R2-D2 that stands only 6cm (2.36"). (Call Guinness!) The little guy has 2 GM15 pager gearmotors for the drive and one for the dome (which was made out of a measuring spoon.) He has an acrylic body and built up brass tubing for legs.

Via Solarbotics

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October 14, 2009

FlexPicker Sanitarily Stacks

ABB Robotics showed off their FlexPicker robot at a HoneyTop food location recently. No humans means fewer germs as the super-sanitary bot locates pancakes with Ethernet cameras, while software allows them to recognize and grab said breakfast, then stack them for packing. The FlexPicker can stack up to 400 cakes per minute and can be reconfigured for other products.

Via Make

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October 13, 2009

Miim Gets Personal with Vocaloid

At last week's CEATEC conference in Tokyo, Yamaha unveiled their updated fashion model HRP-4C. Equipped with Vocaloid, not only does Miim look a little less creepy, she now has the ability to sing via iPhone. Of course, she does so in Japanese. Still, this goes to prove there is an app for almost anything.

Via CEATEC Japan 2009

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October 12, 2009

Elmo Live Encore, Twice as Obnoxious as the Original

If your eldest toddler didn't go completely bonkers listening to the antics of Elmo Live last year, your younger one will surely do so with the new Elmo Live Encore from Fisher Price. The new and supposedly improved muppet has new songs, jokes and enough banter to keep them amused for a least a couple of days during the holidays. In his words, "Who writes this stuff?"

Via Elmo Live Encore

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October 9, 2009

Must Have: Astro Boy Comes to the Cinema

"Astro Boy" is about to fly into in a theater near you. The film debuts October 23 and some of the voices featured are Freddie Highmore, Kristen Bell, Nathan Lane, Eugene Levy, Charlize Theron and Nicholas Cage. A kind of modern-day Pinnochio, the trailer looks good but this version doesn't seem to have the charm of the original.

Via Astro Boy The Movie

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October 8, 2009

ActiveLink Builds Power Loader Suit

The Panasonic subsidiary ActiveLink has been working on a Power Loader Suit that has 18 electromagnetic motors allowing the user to lift over 200 lbs. while feeling the movement. If the "dual-arm power amplification robot" looks and sounds familiar, it gets its name from the sci-fi classic movie "Aliens." The suit weighs about 500 lbs., will be used for disaster relief and may become available by 2015.

aliensloader.jpg

Via ActiveLink

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

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