February 15, 2010

Attend BarBot 2010 - Skumps!


If you are fortunate to be in the vicinity of the DNA Lounge in San Francisco this Wednesday, be sure to attend their third annual Cocktail Robot Festival. Tickets for the BarBot 2010 are only $10.00 ($15.00 at the door) and the fee entitles you to an evening of being served by robots, sung to by same and perhaps a dancing bot or two.

Via DNA Lounge

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Texas Alphas Telecommute for Willow Garage

Willow Garage developed Texas Alphas, open-source robots designed for telecommuters. Mostly a computer on wheels, a monitor displays the user's face and a webcam allows her/him see what's going on. Communication is done via Skype. The company has 25 "Texai" that will be used for Human-Robot Interaction research and sent to other companies to study. Best of all, the robots dock themselves at night to be fresh and ready for that morning meeting. Hold the donuts.

Via Willow Garage

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February 11, 2010

HERB the Butler

Meet HERB (Home Exploring Robotic Butler.) He can open doors, clean tables and fetch your pipe. He was built on a Segway platform, then human-like arms were added by the Intel Research Group. Using algorithms, he searches for objects, avoids obstacles, grasps objects and passes them around. Future applications include being used to assist the disabled and elderly.

Via Intel Research

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February 9, 2010

Robonaut 2 - Building Better Cars in Space

Team GM and NASA together and you end up with Robonaut 2, the second generation of service bots that can be used as both an astronaut and assembly plant worker. Developed at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, it can lift 20 lbs. with each arm and has nimble hands, fingers and opposable thumbs. We don't expect that unemployed auto workers will be cheered by his release, but he will cut down on the amount of Tang needed in space.

Via Robonaut

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Proto-2 Walks Better But is No Beauty


It's Advanced Robotic Systems Laboratories' turn to release our choice for creepy-looking robot of the week. Proto-2 has an "expressive" face (looks pained to us,) and a better waling gait thanks to ARSL's dynamic toe-joint. At a height of 81.3cm, the humanoid bot is made of plastic and aluminum and features a 1.3 megapixel camera, directional microphones, joint positioning, and temperature and load feedback. Future applications may include using Proto-2 for research, in medical facilities and as Diego-San's new best friend.


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February 8, 2010

RP-7 Communicates With Patients


If you happen to be at the Ryder Trauma Center at the University of Miami/Jackson Medical Center in Florida, you may run into InTouch Technologies' RP-7. The 5 ft. tall wireless robot allows patients and staff communicate to with doctors through a monitor mounted on top. Electronic tools, such as stethoscopes and ultrasound, can be connected to the robot's expansion bay in order to transmit medical data. Future applications may include using more of the robotic dudes on a battlefield to treat injured soldiers.

Via InTouch Health

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February 4, 2010

NAIT Redesigns Edmonton Police Bots


The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology has improved on the Edmonton Police Service robots that they use for emergency operations. The result is an all wheel drive bot that can open doors, run over curbs and move at 16 mph. Woody weighs 100 lbs. and has a mast mounted camera that can act as eyes in hazardous situations. The cost was $10,000 but would be less if they were mass produced. This is certainly a step up from Edmonton's current bots that cost from $79,000 to $350,000 each. NAIT says that Woody should be complete in 1 - 2 years.

Via Edmonton Sun

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February 2, 2010

M-3iA Assembly Robot Picks and Chooses


FANUC Robotics America has an answer to making a better assembly bot. The M-3iA is lightweight, portable and can carry weights of up to 6kg. With a three axis wrist, the glorified Waldo is flexible enough to assemble or pick up electronics, pharmaceuticals, supplies, etc. Because it is in an enclosed structure it can also be used in food environments. (Shall I pick you some fries to go with that Big Mac?)

Via FANUC Robotics

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January 28, 2010

Kiva Puts Bots in Charge of Distribution


Kiva Systems, a Woburn company that develops robots designed to automate warehouse operations, said in a press release that Boston Scientific Corp., a maker of medical devices, will use their robots in two distribution centers, one in New England, the other in the Netherlands. The release stated, "Elimination of operator walking and waiting enables worker productivity that may be significantly higher than with other automated systems."

Yeah, and they don't ask for coffee breaks or time off to attend their kids' soccer games.

Via Finance

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January 26, 2010

Mahru-Z Autonomously Cleans

Rosie the Robot has arrived. The 4 ft. tall Mahru-Z has a rotating head, arms, legs and 6 fingers and can "see" in 3 dimensions. You Bum-jae, the head of the cognitive robot center at Korea's KIST, says "The most distinctive strength of Mahru-Z is its visual ability to observe objects, recognize the tasks needed to be completed, and execute them."

Because she is autonomous, she can work her way through a room, pick up the dirty underwear in the process and toss it into the washing machine. Then she can take some food and toss it in a microwave. Let's hope that KIST instills the quality of cleanliness.

Via ZD Net

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