Robots go plushie with this 18" Robot Throw Pillow. Stuffed with polyfill, it has embroidered accents and would make a fine addition to any robot-loving human. Pair it up with a Bottle Buddy by Stephen Joseph, a nylon mesh cover with adjustable straps, and you get a pair of botty buds.
Remember AFFETTO, the creepy baby robot head? Let's throw a creepier party as his creators from Osaka University have just given him a torso. He will still be used in behavioral experiments as his 22 pneumatic actuators can provide a certain amount of flexibility. Future generations should include lifelike skin and body movements, a real body temperature and perhaps the ability to smell. Legs would be good, too. The ultimate goal here is to build a "realistic child robot with a muscle-skeletal system" or what we like to call a definite oxymoron.
iRobot teamed with InTouch Health to produce the latest in medical robotics dubbed RP-Vita. The doctorbot is mostly an assistant at this stage and is capable of accessing medical files and making diagnoses. Controlled with an iPad control interface and joystick, it can use its electronic stethoscope to check out the patient. Not much human contact here unless they equip it with a friendlier telepresence on its screen.
A pair of robots from Lovotics dubbed Kissenger can be used for virtual kissing, their own form of diplomacy. The artificial mouths, according to their makers, are good for human to human, human to robot and human to virtual character. We don't have a whole lot to say for this one other than if you need these, you are spending way too much time on the interweb.
MIT has developed another bot worthy of praise. After teaming with Office of Naval Research and Bluefin Robotics, the autonomous third generation Hovering Autonomous Underwater Vehicle scans underwater for mines. The HAUV3 can seek them out by emitting a signal from a sonar camera under a ship, bridge or underwater tanks. And while it cannot yet distinguish between a hull irregularity and mine, the vehicle can at least assist human divers. The Navy has put in a contract for two of the systems with a half million dollar investment for each one.
Like collecting robot miniature figures and also the element of surprise? Then you will really appreciate not knowing which of these twelve 3" Disney Vinylmation Robots you will get until you open the box.
We also found a variation of the Nesting Bots we found sometime back. These 6 Bot Matryoshkas , made of toy-safe ABS plastic, range in height from 3 1/4"- 3/4".
AndyVision is the pet project of Priva Narasimhan and a team from Carnegie Mellon University that may change the way retail business operates. Currently, humans do most of the stocking of shelves and often customers cannot find what they really want because of misplacement. The hoody-clad robot solves this dilemma by traveling down aisles, and combines video camera imaging with algorithms to find items. The data is then sent to a large planogram for customer usage.
AndyVision is still at the prototype stage but is part of Intel Science and Technology Center's Retail 2020 project that is partnered with the CMU Bookstore. Perhaps someday he and other robots can assist shoppers and do many of the mundane tasks like folding clothing and assisting with owners' manuals. And if you have ever had to work an overnighter in retail pre-holiday, you know this is a very good idea that could be made so much better.
Chiba University's Nonami Group have been developing mini drones that can fly in formation. The quadcopters do this with cameras that capture certain markers on the ground then sends the images back to the host computer. Position and attitude are calculated fast enough to prevent collision. Future applications could include disaster inspection, volcanic eruptions and power line inspection.
We have seen plenty of eateries run by robotic cooks, waiters and other personnel, but this recently built $127 million one probably gets the distinction of either being the glitziest or the most disturbed. Robot Restaurant, located in Shinjuku, Tokyo, serves only basic lunch boxes but for $38.00 you get food, drink and a psychedelic hour-long show that includes fembots, real fems, a marching band and automated tanks, all surrounded by neon. Humans also run the entertainment from behind the scenes but we bet most of its patrons simply enjoy the festivities.