Puck, Gilda and Rosie are robotic arms that work for SF's Autofuss as camera bots. The three Fanuc s430iL waldos were designed as car assemblers, but seem to have their new craft down. Although they are not mobile, they can also deal with props and rigging. Here's a peek at their video for Louis Vuitton. (You just can't go anywhere anymore without seeing Buzz Aldrin.)
Note one of the unsung heroes of Saturday Night's Times Square incident. The NY Bomb Squad's robot was sent to check out the situation, break into the SUV via a window and help disarm the crude device. If you would like to see it in action, hit the link below to the Vancouver Sun. Since the car was near the offices of Viacom's Comedy Central, they are exploring the idea that the suspect was going after "South Park's" Matt Stone and Trey Parker after a depiction in an episode that showed the Prophet Mohammed in a bear suit.
Meet the Family Nanny. China's Siasun Robot & Automation is developing the 2'7", 55 lb. bot that can chat it up on an 8 hour shift after a two hour charge. She can also check email, text, check for gas leaks and call the police in case of an emergency. Nanny is due out in 2015 at a price of ¥10,000 (~$1,465.)
Controlling your Rovio may have just gotten easier. The EEG, made by Emotive Systems, utilizes facial gestures and brainwaves to control the securitybot. Signals are picked up by a PC, sent to a second one via Skype after interpretation by the Robodance 5 app, then sent to Rovio. Woot Woof.
How do you get closer to camera shy (or overly aggressive) African wildlife? If you are Will and Matt Burrard-Lucas, you attach a Canon 400D DSLR to a wheeled robotic platform. BeetleCam has managed to capture shots of elephants, lions and other animals from 150 ft. away. Unfortunately, it was mauled by the lions, but the photographers managed to recover the memory card and will rebuild.
BP has been using 4 submarines with robotic arms to try to stop that oil spill off the Louisiana coast. The arms were attempting to activate a blowout preventer on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. Obviously, it hasn't worked so far as the vessel is still pumping out 5,000 barrels a day and covers 1,800 square miles. Another leak has been found while the Coast Guard has been trying to use controlled burns to contain the spill. Booms, skimmers and chemical dispersants are also being used in an effort to prevent the oil from reaching land possibly by tomorrow.
The Korean Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs is developing a wireless aquatic robot that can swim at a speed of 18 meters per second and crawl at a speed of 30 mi./sec. Each has six paddles and camera to find sunken ships. The $17.88 million project hopes to have a prototype by 2012 that can reach a depth of up to 200 meters and another by 2015 that can reach a 6 km depth.
The Ciudad Grupo Santander in Madrid utilizes cute headless robots to usher around visitors and probably the 5,500 employees in its 9 buildings by swarm interactions. Made by YDreams, the "Interactive Guest Assistants" are joined by a giant virtual wall and map in case the humans want to seek information on their own.
Japan has a new goodwill ambassador, probably the tallest remote controlled robot on the planet. TsutenkakuuRobo was named after Osaka's landmark Tsutenkaku tower ("tower reaching heaven") and stands 170cm tall. It walks, it talks and, if you check its website, interacts with people and other bots.
If you plan a trip to Thailand, stop by the Hajime Japanese Restaurant, where you can be served by robots. Customers order on a touchscreen and the robots fetch their order. They also dance and bus tables. The eatery's owner, Lapassarad Thanaphant, spent about 30 million baht ($927,600) to build it and equip it with 4 bots.