October 7, 2009

Tetsujin 28-go Comes to Kobe

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Tetsujin 28-go has taken over Kobe's Nagata Ward. Modeled after the comic/TV Series robot, the 15 meter statue weighs 50 tons and stands as either protection against evil bots or a reminder of them. The project was actually meant to help revitalize the area after the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake and will be a permanent fixture, unlike the giant Gundam in Odaiba. A completion ceremony was held last week to celebrate his arrival.

Via Kyodo

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October 6, 2009

Muriko Wearable Eyebot

Not since Malcolm McDowell wore eyeball cuff links in Clockwork Orange have we seen something so creepy. The Miruko Eyeball Robot goes on your sleeve and consists of a built-in camera and WiFi. When it senses an object, it reacts to it by helping to, in this case, close in on the monster.

Via Pink Tentacle

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October 5, 2009

Honda U3-X Unicycle

Honda has created what could be the next Segway (yeah, like we need another one of those.) The U3-X can travel left, right, forward, back and diagonally. The robotic unicycle readjusts itself which makes it the perfect assistant to those who have balance limitations. Its height allows the user to be at the same level as other pedestrians. The U3-X will debut at the Tokyo Motor Show 2009 this month and may become available next year.

Via cnet

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October 2, 2009

Must Have: Celebrate Futurama!

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The Complete Collection of Futurama is coming next month. Available for pre-order, included are all four volumes, 4 full length adventures and a limited edition collectible Bender head signed by Matt Groening and David X. Cohen.

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Want more? Add a 5" nickel plated Bender and a couple of cans of Slurm Energy Drink and you can have a veritable Futurama Party.

Via Futurama

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Walk On, Robotic Tiles

Prof. Hiroo Iwata, of the University of Tsukuba in Japan, has created robotic tiles that can detect where a walker will go next. Each tile has a cover of Kuralon EC, a fabric that is touch sensitive to pressure of a walker's foot. There are sensors to determine the direction, then the information is relayed to a central computer that figures out where the next tile should be placed. Seeing as though Hiroo does research at the VR (virtual reality) Lab, his system would probably best serve in simulators to imitate movement, but we think it would be a nifty application for, say, walking on water.

Via technabob

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October 1, 2009

Soccer Playing Hajime 33

Hajime Sakamoto usually designs smaller humanoid combatants, but this time has come up with Hajime 33 who is almost 2 meters tall. He walks, stands on one leg and plays soccer. The inventor has plans to build a full size Gundam in the next few years. Check out his site for his previous creations.

Via Hajime Robot

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September 30, 2009

Toyota Releases Running Bot

Toyota's R&D has a bot designed for speed. It can do 100m in under a minute which makes it a 7km run. We are not sure why they felt it necessary to make this one, but maybe the company wants to warn us to continue to be very afraid.

Via Pocket-lint

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September 29, 2009

JingJing and BeiBei Can Wup Ass, Then Apologize

The Beijing Institute of Technology have two new robotic family members. JingJing and BeiBei are life-size humanoids that can perform in the area of martial arts. Standing 5′4″ tall and weighing 143 lbs. apiece, this latest generation of BHR-1 and BHR-2 robots can also carry on a conversation. We assume that comes after the match. Creator Professor Duan Xingguang claims that current robotics is in a place that PCs were 30 years ago, but expects rapid advancement in the future.

Via Plastic Pals

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September 28, 2009

Taizo Motivates Exercisers with Cuteness

Japan spends a lot of its time warning us about the size of their centenarian population (last report has it at 40,000.) The National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) built Taizo (based on the word "taisou," which means "calisthenics,") to motivate their senior citizens to exercise more. With 26 joints, the 28" tall robo-instructor has up to 30 different moves. Taizo can go for about 2 hours on a charge, understands simple commands, can lead a group and will work for you at a price of ¥800,000 (~$8,000.00.)

Via Pink Tentacle

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September 25, 2009

Doka Harumi Joins the Robot Ranks

Doka Harumi has been programmed with the motto, "I will sing, dance, and work to be helpful for people." Standing 130 cm tall, the Robo-One member was recently put through her paces in a 2 meter dash and then made to perform in a Bottle Traction event (shoving water bottles across a designated space.) Now, if her humans could get her to run to the nearest store to purchase those bottles, this would be a wondrous thing.

Via Robo-One (Japanese)

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