Berti Plays With Museum Visitors

Berti (Bristol Elumotion Robotic Torso 1) made his public debut at London's Science Museum last week. He was designed to make "credible conversational gestures" as you can see in the video. During his performance, he played rock-paper-scissors with passers by. When they used a sensor glove, the bot could tell who won. Berti's controller, student Paul Bremner, claims that as difficult as it is, gesturing is an important aspect of conversation, even with robots.

Via Technovelgy

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February 19, 2009

e-puck Swarm Mimics Ants

If there is ever a robotic takeover, perhaps it will not come from giant, evil ones but rather from small friendly-looking ones like the e-pucks. The University of Wales' Robotic Intelligence Lab has studied ant behavior and created 8 of the little buggers. The autonomous bots will have the ability to perform tasks assigned to them as well as figure out what else needs to be done. The lab is planning to make 25 more of them and then it's 'look out!' time.

Via e-puck

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February 16, 2009

Evil Bunraku!

This video is not for those who think that their toys turn into monsters when they sleep. Three bunraku puppet robots were first displayed at the 1970 World Expo in Osaka. Each is pre-programmed and driven by 20 pneumatic cylinders that move the head, torso, face and arms. The dolls/demons were recently shown at the National Science Museum in Tokyo.

Via Pink Tentacle

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February 13, 2009

Slave Zero - Only Half a Bot

Carl Pisaturo, an applications engineer at Stanford, creates kinetic sculptures in his spare time that include a transmutoscope, a 3D photograph viewer, and two upper body bots with 21 servos in a series named "Slave Zero." His studio is named Area 2881 after his address and houses 400 sq. ft. of art and light. Visit Carl's site to see his work, which he claims is "a money sink."

Via Wired

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February 12, 2009

The "Handy" Edge Arm Kit

Everyone can use an extra hand now and then. The Edge Arm Kit only takes about 2 hours to snap together. The robotic limb has five motors, 5º of movement and five controls on its wired panel. With a span of 13 - 15", it can rotate and bend, and lifts up to 100 grams while its LED lights up whatever it picks up. While the video shows the waldo picking up robotic blocks, we think that it might make an excellent pooper scooper for $49.95.

Via ThinkGeek

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T-34 Detects and Protects

T-34 is a new security bot that has been equipped with sound sensors and infrared heat to detect intruders within 5 meters. Once it does, the robot sends a video feed to the user's cell phone. Its owner must have a NTT Docomo FOMO phone to communicate by pushing keys to send instructions or speak to the intruder via T-34's loudspeaker. Weighing 12kg and at a size of 60 x 52 x 60 cm, the bot has a speed of about 10km/h and can, when prompted, launch its built-in net. Judging from the video, we think this would probably be a better weapon against small mammals and rodents rather than large humans. Once the prototype is released, it will be available for about ¥500,000 yen (~$5,570.00.)

Via Bouncing Red Ball

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February 11, 2009

Axel Can Climb Every Molehill

NASA's latest project is Axel, a robot that can handle rocky and steep terrain, scale cliffs and go down into deep craters. With a motor inside each of its wheels and one controlling a lever, the bot has a scoop to pick up material and two cameras that can tilt 260º. The device has wireless communication and computing capabilities, and a sensor to work autonomously. One Axel can be attached to another rover or several of them can be arranged to carry larger loads. NASA says applications include not only other planets but rescue operations after disasters.

Via Network World

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February 10, 2009

Pong Playing Robot Can't Lose

This bot will play Pong with you, if you still have your old one around and can't find a human. Maybe that was why Dutch designer Ivo Vos came up with it. He took a webcam, a telescoping neck and 2 solenoids for fingers. He claims that it "displays the narrowness of human-computer interaction." Clever as the robot is, we think that it might be time for Ivo to take a vacation.

Via Ivo Vos

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January 22, 2009

WowWee's New Pets

At the recent CES in Vegas, WowWee displayed their next generation of toys, including Joebot, (the latest incarnation of Robosapien,) who can walk, dance and beatbox. Also displayed were the Spyball spycam, a mini-Rovio which has WiFi and is remote controlled, and new Alive Cubs, the Seal Pup, Husky Puppy, Koala Joey, and Leopard Cub. The Alive Sleeping Cuties pets include the Labradoodle Puppy, Beagle Puppy, Cinnamon Persian Kitten, and White Persian Kitten.

Via Gearlog

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January 21, 2009

MDS Nexis Up for Adoption

Nexi, an MDS (Mobile Dextrous Social) bot that features an expressive face and ability to interact with humands, is now for sale. This robot combines sensing, actuation, contro, design and computation technologies. We know the cute li'l guy will not come cheaply as they don't list his price on Xitome's site, but when we do find out, we will get back to you.

Via Xitome Design

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