Over at CNET News.com sister site TechRepublic, members raved about the iRobot Roomba's intelligent floor-cleaning prowess and expressed an interest in seeing one of these innovative gadgets cracked open. So Scott Wolf cracked open a Roomba purchased just for this purpose and learned a few things about how the device works.
While hardly the Armani of unmanned air vehicles, this Italian robo-plane's gourd-like form and earthy, ochre hue could fit right in with your autumnal cornucopia squash arrangement.
But the plane's paisanos are aiming a bit higher. The Sky-Y Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) unmanned, flying machino is one part of Rome-based Alenia Aeronautica's effort (PDF) to stake a claim in the expanding UAV world market.
Stretching a substantial 10 meters wing to wing, the Sky-Y's main innovations are its all-composite structure, a Dieseljet TDA 1.9 liter, direct-injection engine and its two-part ground station--one for the … Read more
If you love robots so much, why don't you marry one?
This may be possible in the future, according to artificial intelligence researcher David Levy. According to Levy's Ph.D thesis, titled "Intimate Relationships with Artificial Partners," robots will become so humanlike and pseudo-emotional that we won't be able to keep from falling in love and making out with them. Aw yeah.
The University of Maastricht in the Netherlands liked the thesis paper so much that they married it awarded Levy a doctorate.
Silly and pervy as the idea of marrying a robot sounds, the … Read more
They're not 100 feet tall, and the cars they turn into aren't all that aerodynamic, but a couple of real-world Transformers are strutting their stuff over in Japan.
Robots Dreams has up-close and personal videos of WR-07 and Gogic Racer, two humanoid bots that transform into remote-control cars.
Better yet, you'll eventually be able to buy a kit to build your own Gogic Racer from SK-Pang, the Japanese company that created both bots.
Like Optimus Prime to Bumblebee, WR-07 is the bigger and bulkier of the two robots, while Gogic Racer is smaller and less fluid when … Read more
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--The Boston area has become a leading robotics hub, with a larger cluster of related companies than any other area in the U.S., according to a group of panelists assembled for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Enterprise Forum on Robotics Wednesday night.
The group, which consisted of executives from ABB Robotics, Brooks Automation, iRobot, Kiva Systems, North End Technologies and Vecna Technologies, said robotics companies are drawn to the university-rich New England area because of their unique need for highly educated employees from a multitude of disciplines.
Based on the apparent premise that bigger is better, the company that makes the SWORDS gun-toting robot has introduced a plumper version called MAARS, or Modular Advanced Armed Robotic System.
Foster-Miller is pitching MAARS as its "Transformer model." Presto--watch it "literally 'transforming' from a remote weapons platform for force protection to Improvised Explosive Device (IED) identification and neutralization tool."
It takes some wrenching, but the modular design robotic platform can clear the souk with its turret-mounted M240B Medium Machine Gun, then quickly transform to bomb-disposal duty with an attachable arm and gripper.
And while it tips … Read more
iRobot will miss its third-quarter earnings goal, but overall 2007 financial expectations remain on track, the company said Wednesday.
The company expects to announce revenue of between $63 million and $64 million, resulting in a pretax loss of $1 million to $1.5 million in the third quarter, CEO Colin Angle said in a statement.
Part of the blame for the disappointing quarter was placed on delayed production of iRobot's new Roomba 500 vacuum series.
"... the production ramp up by our new contract manufacturer was slower than our initial targeted projections and consequently, revenue from delayed shipments will … Read more
CNET Asia blogger Rick Martin has posted pictures from various Chinese sites about two guys from Nanjing who built a life-sized Transformer robot.
The bot, which is almost 15 feet tall, took the builders three months to make with parts from a Citroen C2 car. This model doesn't really transform or move, but it's impressive nonetheless.
In an interview with a Chinese newspaper, the creators said they are planning to build an even larger Optimus Prime in the future. That'll be quite a sight--and one we can hardly wait for.
(Source: Crave Asia)
If all robots were musicians, the best instrument for them to play would be the theremin. This is because it creates delightful scenarios in which the robot can play its own space-age soundtrack music.
Take Lev, for example. The theremin-shredding bot, built by Ranjit Bhatnagar at Moonmilk Laboratories, is featured in a couple of mesmerizing videos below. Both are "Crazy"--one by Patsy Cline, and one by Gnarls Barkley in which Lev is accompanied by a robot drummer called Thumpbot.
Lev's been playing the theremin for a while; according to the Moonmilk site, the robot played a … Read more
Excitement is building in the world of car tech as the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge approaches. The event, which is the third and most demanding to date in the DARPA Challenge series, requires driverless vehicles to perform mock military supply missions completely autonomously. Over a 60-mile course, the robotic cars will be required to merge into moving traffic, navigate traffic circles, negotiate busy intersections, and avoiding obstacles. Thirty-five teams will compete in the Grand Challenge semifinals taking place between October 26 and 31, with 20 vehicles going on to compete in the final race on November 3. Check out our … Read more