March 19, 2012
Here's a thought. Suppose a wireless network could be set up in areas where the internet and social network access is not allowed so that activists and rebels could let the outside in? Suppose no more. Electronic Countermeasures was created by Liam Young and London based Tomorrow's Thoughts Today.
The idea is that UAVs establish temporary networks literally on the fly. The best part of it all is that they could be utilized wirelessly with mobile devices so that no connection is needed. This pirate interweb could be moved around with autonomous drones wherever and whenever needed. Kudos to the group and others like it that seek the truth and a way to make it public.
July 24, 2008
Grad student Dov Katz and one of his professors, Oliver Brock, have created a new concept in robotics. Instead of using software to program the bot, UMan (UMass Mobile Manipulator) pushes around objects to see how they work. The robot looks down from above with his webcam, learns how it moves, then uses the information to figure out what it does. It then can utilize whatever it picks up. Katz likens the movements to that of a baby. Imagine what UMan will be able to do when it grows up!
Via Technology Review
July 17, 2008
By the spring of next year, and partially because of Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh will become the permanent home of the Robotic Hall of Fame. This year, in honor of the city's 250th anniversary, CMU, the U. of P. and other foundations will be sponsoring Robot 250, a robotic arts festival. BigBots will be scattered throughout the city and there will be robot-building workshops, a theatre production and a botty film festival with such films as "Shrek," "A.I.," and "Westworld."
Via Robot 250 Festival
July 15, 2008
KumoTek Robotics and Vstone Corporation have teamed to create the KumoTek-X (KT-X.) This bipedal bot can stand, walk, run, and somersault. It can be programmed to pick itself up after falling. At 13" tall, KT-X has 17 servo-activated joints, 75 pre-programmed motions, and 60MHz HV processor with 512kB ROM / 64kB RAM. The company claims it has extremely user-friendly programming for robotic virgins. The price? A whopping $1,199.99.
Via Audio Cubes
July 11, 2008
This video is downright eerie. Performance artist Momoyo Torimitsu let her robotic Middle Manager loose on a busy Australian intersection. According to the artist, "The battery-powered robot is supposed to symbolize the Asian economic crash and Japan's rigid 'salaryman' culture."
Yeah. We wonder why she didn't let it loose in Toyko.
Via Diagonal View
July 10, 2008
Sega Toys recently released their cheapy version of the Rolly. Their egg-shaped dancing bot responds to your tunes coming out of its speaker. The i-spin can attach to audio players and will also repond to human voices. At a size of 95 x 80 x 160mm, it runs on 3 AAA batteries, and comes in blue or pink at a price of ¥5,250 ($52.00.) We found one of their commercials on YouTube, which is almost as cheesy as the i-spin itself.
Via Sega (translated)
July 9, 2008
Competing with Sony's ASIMO, no doubt, are Toyota's Partner Robots, which can play the violin, trumpet, tuba, trombone, French horn, and percussion. Released late last year, the bots occasionally gather for impromptu concerts. The company is working on their dexterity as well as coordination. Once perfected, they are hoping that they will become household robots. We think they should get together with ASIMO and go on tour.
Via Pink Tentacle.
July 8, 2008
Twenty one hearing impaired dancers often perform the Thousand-hand Bodhisattva in China. Now the University Science and Technology Department has taken 15 robots and taught them to perform the same dance. One of Time's favorites, the bots can also hug and do push-ups. While we couldn't locate a video of the robots in action, if they are anything like their human counterparts, they must be awesome.
July 7, 2008
It seems that Time magazine loves robots, too, and recently compiled a photo essay of their 16 favorites. The collection includes the Sommelier, a wine-testing bot, "Twendy-one," for nursery and household assistance work, a robot jockey, and Wall-E, of course. We will be going in depth with some of them because many of them are our faves, too.
July 4, 2008
Wouldn't it be nice to go into a bar, or in this case pub, stroll up to the counter and the Asahi Bartender pours you a brewski? No asking for tips, no cutting you off when you reach your limit, and someone you can talk to who will listen, no matter how much you whine. Although the brewery is located in Japan, Mr. Asahi, a combination of robotics and animatronics, speaks in a delightful English accent and can not only open bottles, but deliver a pint on tap. We say Cheers! to the bot.
Via channel flip
June 26, 2008
Sega and Hasbro have collaborated on A.M.P. Automated Music Personality (aka Ampbot,) a robot that can dance. The 2.4 foot tall bot gets down while bobbing his head and flashing red lights on his LED. Hook the Ampbot up to an iPod or MP3 player and his tunes will come out of his stereo speakers. The turntable-like hands control volume, scratching, and sound effects. Clearly this is the companies' version of Rolly, but he is certainly more user friendly. Ampbot will become available in Japan this November and go global in about 18 months for ¥80,000 (~$745.00.)
Via Space Daily
June 23, 2008
The Israeli company Linceus designs security devices in the form of monorail robots for large-scale detail such as airport perimeters like the Ben-Gurion-Airport in Tel Aviv. Even better, it can be used in mines as a safety device. The system uses search and track regional RF (radar) sensors and transmits video to a remote control room. It can also provide first-aid packages if necessary. With such an interesting concept, we are surprised that with all the millions spent by the U.S. Border Patrol, they haven't bought up a few.
June 20, 2008
Korean researchers from the ETRI (Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute) have produced a bot that can see, hear, touch, and smell. POMI (Penguin rObot for Multimodal Interaction) can move his eyes and lips, and utilizes LED lighting and built-in scent sprays for facial expressions. We figure that must be close to aromatherapy. The robot can move his arms, express emotion, and has a ka-thumping heart. Since ETRI can also talk through his speaker, we wonder if he can smell those tomatoes we bought and let us know if they are edible.
June 19, 2008
Sega Toys has created a new fem humanoid bot in Japan. E.M.A., which stands for "Eternal, Maiden, Actualization," is 38cm tall. She can hand out business cards, sing, dance, walk "like a lady," and even kiss if someone gets close enough. E.M.A. is battery powered, can move her elbows, shoulders, knees, and waist, and has sensors for avoiding obstacles. The $175.00 bot will become available this September. We suspect if E.M.A. receives the same publicity for Sega as ASIMO does for Honda, we can expect her to come stateside.