March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day - Hic!

Look who we found all dressed up and ready for St. Paddy's Day! Enjoy the festivities but don't indulge in too much green beer!

(Thanks, Jamie)

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Sukima - Ghostly Interaction

Keio University and Keio University of Art and Design got together and came up with the Sukima (interspace) Robot, designed to provide a "space with a virtual human body." The bot has human presence sensors, eyes which are information out put interfaces and mechanical hands underneath the desk and between bookshelves. All are connected to a PC via Bluetooth. When the sensors detect a human, Sukima responds as if "real."

The team claims that their poltergeist with personality can be used for artistic purposes or to keep people away from dangerous or limited access areas. We opt for the first idea. Somehow Sukima doesn't look all that scary.

Via Tech-On

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March 16, 2009

Coppa - Simple, Yet Oddly Capable

Coppa is your basic robot controlled by eee class laptops via USB and runs on a 12V rechargeable NiMH battery. Available from RoBe:Do are this and other programmable bots, as well as accessories such as webcams, light sensors and gripping arms to add to your project. The Coppa is 13 x 15 x 12", weighs 10 lbs., is available for $1,649.00 and comes with desktop stand, battery and charger (computer not included.) That's quite an investment, but if it literally delivers, we are all for it.

Via RoBe: Do

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March 13, 2009

Must Have: Terminator Bots

Yahoo has gone to great lengths to uncover rumors concerning "Terminator Salvation," which will debut May 21 (Memorial Day weekend.) While we don't know if any or all of them are true (besides the Christian Bale rant,) we do know that this film will showcase a sh**load of robots, as you can see from the trailer, and as such makes the Terminator our Must Have this week.

Not only does it make us want to re-screen the original "Terminator" and sequels, we may just splurge on the Collector's Edition and greedily surround ourselves with action figures.

(Thanks, Mike)

Via Yahoo Movies at Terminator

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Pyuuun, Two Sugars, Please

Robo-Engine's LifeLog Robot may be your future best friend. Aside from serving you tea, Pyuuun has 8 sensors such as movement, sound, distance, infrared and temperature, which translates into an ability to let you know if someone is invading your private space or the temperature in the room takes a drop. It contacts you via WiFi and has 6 hours of usage on one 12-volt battery charge. Save your pennies. Pyuuun comes with about a $3,000.00 price tag.

Via Robo-Engine (translated)

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March 6, 2009

Artist Makes Giant Transformer

Artist Guillaume Reymond's latest creation is a video with vehicles amassing to create a giant robot transformer, as opposed to the other way around. He used several different types of vehicles and choreography, although it wouldn't do you a lot of good unless you were flying over it, so we appreciate the video. Reymond's earlier work was a "Human Tetris." Uh-huh.

Via Not So Noisy

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March 4, 2009

RG3 Cleans the Greens

If you are a golfer, you may soon run into the RG3 (Robotic Greens Mower 3,) which made its debut at the recent 2009 Golf Industry Show in New Orleans. The robotic mower from Precise Path not only keeps greens tidy, it may soon have the capability of mowing fairways, raking sand traps and applying pesticides and fertilizer. The RG3 runs on 2 lead acid batteries for its 24V DC motor and one for its computer, and gets about 3 hours of work done before needing a recharge. It uses ultrasonic and infrared technology to triangulate a location that exists in a perimeter set up by 4 beacons and can run at night because it is "whisper quiet." Precise Path claims it has 100% coverage when at work, as opposed to other robotic mowers. It had better. The RG3 has a MSRP of $29,500.00.

Via Precise Path

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March 2, 2009

"It's A Small World" Gets Makeover

Disneyland has updated "It's a Small World," one of their earliest animatronic rides. This delighted my kids when they were small but almost got me kicked out as I tried to decapitate one of the little buggers. Many of the characters are reportedly created in the style of the original, such as Alice in the UK scene, and there is a new "Spirit of America" scene that supposedly crosses all nationalities. The original press release declaims the rumor that the ride was shut down because of it boat riders ever-increasing girth. Whatever the reason, we find the video as obnoxious and annoying as ever.


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February 26, 2009

AIBOs Put On a Show

You may think that you are obsessed with robots until you see what Japan is up to with theirs. Earlier this month, 37 Sony AIBOs performed and were conducted by none other than a Rolly. Although the AIBO is no longer sold, maybe the company felt that this was an artistic way of saying out with the old, please buy a our high-priced Rolly. Then again, maybe AIBOs love reunions.

Via Robot Watch (translated)

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February 23, 2009

Wall-E Wins!

We were so excited that Wall-E won last night's Oscar for Best Animated Film. It was also nominated for Original Score, Original Song "Down to Earth" by Peter Gabriel, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Original Screenplay. We really dig the little bot and as Director Andrew Stanton commented after winning the award, "It's a noble aspiration in times like these."

We think so, too. If you haven't seen it, now is the time. And if you have, it might be worth a re-viewing. There are some incredible bonus extras such as the short "Burn-E," deleted scenes and the excellent feature in which Sound Designer Ben Burtt describes how he created the sounds of Wall-E and pals.

Via Academy Award Home Page at Wall-E

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