September 27, 2012

BIOSwimmer is Homeland Security Helper

We gave up eating tuna decades ago because dolphins were also getting caught in the nets. The Department of Home Security came up with their own fish that you cannot eat and should be smart enough to avoid getting trapped. The BIOSwimmer can be used to inspect interiors of ships and exteriors of harbors. Check out the first few seconds of the video to catch the tunabot in action. This was made a couple of years ago so it must be really impressive by now.

Via Science, Space, Robots

Read More in: Robot Vehicles | Robot Videos

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September 26, 2012

The Inebriator - Robotic Bartender

This is not yet more than a working prototype, and its creators are keeping pretty vague about details, however we always admire a good DIY bartender. The Arduino-powered Inebriator can mix one of 15 drinks autonomously. After the alcohol is dispensed, the glass moves to add mixers which are stored in bottles in a cooler beneath the table. The clever inventors are working on the next generation and would like to add an ice hopper and stirring mechanism.

Via The Inebriator

Read More in: Robot Videos | Service Robots

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September 25, 2012

Baxter, the Friendlier Worker

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Because Rodney A. Brooks believes that robots should be friendly to the max, he created Baxter. Meant for assembly line work, this Rethink Robotics adaptive bot will face its human coworker when his hand is touched. Baxter needs no special training and can compensate for error if a part is dropped or missing. He is definitely friendlier than other manufacturing bots but at a price of about $25,000, maybe the next generation could include some friendly chatter.

Via Rethink Robotics

Read More in: Service Robots

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September 24, 2012

Popinator -- Is it Real?

Popcorn Indiana mostly sells flavored popcorn and seems to have been fairly successful at this endeavor. Now they have teamed with an engineer simply named Ted who supposedly invented the Popinator. This automatic marvel of discovery will apparently shoot a piece to your mouth when you say the word "pop" from up to 15 feet away. We are not sure if this is actually real, remotely controlled or a clever PR tool. It certainly took a lot of practice to get the catching down. Still, we figured any video that gets over a million hits in less than a week deserves mention.

Via Popcorn Indiana

Read More in: Advertising | Robot Videos

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September 21, 2012

Must Have: Vintage Wearables

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The "Ancient Style" Robot Necklace sports a treble clef and small crystals. It also seems to have its own ear phone. At a size of 2.7 x 2.76 x 106", you get a randomly selected pendant on a 24" chain.

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For the male robot fanatic, CuffCrazy's vintage Robot Cufflinks are each 1.5 x 1". Made of metal, they have a pseudo energy gauge and come in their very own spaceship gift box.

Via Robot Jewelry

Read More in: Must Have Robot Friday | Wearable Robots

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September 20, 2012

Project Hexapod To Create Stompy

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There are plenty of Kickstarter projects that we never report on, but this one has apparently been embraced by the public and will become a reality. Stompy is a humongous 6-legged bot suitable of the nearest disaster or amusement park. Project Hexapod is a group based in Somerville, MA. The arachnibot will have two drivers, an engine size of 135 horsepower, a weight of 4,000 lbs., a speed of 2 - 3 mph and can even walk through water.

One leg and 80% of the chassis has been built. Hmm, Stompy reminds us of another New England giant robot that rose to fame, eh Jaimie?

Via Project Hexapod

Read More in: Miscellaneous Robots | Prototype Robots

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September 19, 2012

Lettuce Bot Weeder - Farmerbot in Progress

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We thought this was going to be the Roomba of the farming community, but Blue River Technology is still working on a weeding bot. Instead of using pesticides, Lettuce Bot uses cameras, computer vision and algorithms to discern the vegetable from weeds and the claim is that they have 98 - 99% accuracy. It then spreads fertilizer down to kill the weeds.

The company has made two prototypes and the ultimate goal is to make an organic weeder which, now that they have funding from the National Science Foundation, will undoubtedly happen in the near future.

Via Blue River

Read More in: Prototype Robots | Service Robots

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September 18, 2012

Fujitsu Attempts to Create Todai Exam Master

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Tokyo University's entrance exam has the reputation as being one of the most difficult around and Fujitsu has taken on the task of creating a bot hat can pass it. The company teamed up last year with Japan's National Institute of Informatics with plans to complete a Todai exam-taking AI by 2021. The researchers will have to translate human math problems in a way that robots can process. History, social studies, science and foreign language will also need to be mastered.

Fujitsu says it can now do about 60% of the math problems so it still has a ways to go. We think that maybe it should take on Watson when it starts feeling its oats.

Via WSJ

Read More in: Robot Science/Medicine

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September 17, 2012

Robots More Prevalent During Danger

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The time of the robot as a major police partner is certainly upon us. As an example, in West Bloomfield, MI, state police recently sent in six of them after a 20-hour standoff with Ricky Nelson Coley who had shot and killed Officer Patrick O'Rourke. Coley had barricaded himself inside his house with multiple firearms and knives. He shot at anything that tried to reach him on the second floor, including the robots.

A crane was sent in to tear into the room and it was discovered that the shooter had taken his own life. Still, it's a comfort to know that there are robot helpers during natural disasters, bomb threats and altercations involving standoffs where humans are in danger.

Via Freep

Read More in: Service Robots

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September 14, 2012

Must Have: Be that Guy at the Mall

Velveeta's latest hero for their Shells & Cheese commercial is "that guy at the mall that sells the remote-control helicopter" They dig the dude so much that they set up an interactive site. We don't know if we share his taste in cheese food products, but we do admire his toys. Get yours!

Via Eat Like That Guy

Read More in: Advertising | Must Have Robot Friday | Robot Toys | Robot Videos

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