Relish the look on their loaf-of-bread faces when you summon all 44 pounds of the "Halluc II" beast-roach. Developed by Japanese scientists, this 32-inch, eight-legged robotic bug runs on Linux software and an 800MHz AMD processor, technology that Engadget says allows it to "walk or roll via a simple rotation of its jointed appendages." What's unclear to us is why … Read more
It's good to see that the Japanese haven't forgotten about cultural entertainment in their apparent quest for a human-free society. At least their robots haven't, anyway.
The recently unveiled "Motoman" was initially assigned to such mundane tasks as sorting mail, for example, but it's already showing that it's got rhythm too. Four of them, to be exact--two twin-armed models and two welding versions.
As we've been warning for ages, we knew it would happen eventually--we just didn't know exactly how. But now the diabolical plan for world domination by the dreaded Hello Kitty is becoming frighteningly clear, and it makes perfect sense: as part of the robotic trend toward a human-free society in Japan, the homeland of creator Sanrio.
Yes, we're talking about the "Hello Kitty Robot." The 20.5-inch tall, 13.7-pound cat-bot, which is equipped with face and voice recognition, can move its head and appendages while "chatting with you in three different situations: 1. … Read more
Once again, the top dog among robotic subs is a Gator.
There aren't many details to offer just yet on how Sunday's finals went. So far, it's just the Gators and the Proteus team from Cornell University that have posted brief notes on who won. Cornell reports that it finished fourth overall, behind Florida, the University of Rhode Island's (Ram-boat 8) and Montreal's Ecole de Technologie Superieure (… Read more
Having had some fairly infuriating experiences with graffiti as property owners, we view the work of outfits like the Institute for Applied Autonomy with mixed feelings, to say the least. Its stated mission, after all, is "to study the forces and structures which affect self-determination and to provide technologies which extend the autonomy of human activists." Translation: They make stuff like graffiti robots.
Still, from a pure gadget-loving point of view, we can't help but admire their unabashed guerrilla-like audacity. Take, for example, the "StreetWriter" project, which is essentially a van that's been converted … Read more
We may not be advocates of Japan's future human-free society, but we do think there's at least some hope: A few of the country's robots are actually providing some useful functions like doing the dishes, not just handing out Kleenex or presiding over weddings (perhaps both, at some auto-nuptials).
The latest practically minded bot comes from Mitsui and Yaskawa Electric, which have partnered with the Hokusho packaging systems company to develop a mechanical worker that can sort parcels, clothing and other relatively small objects. The "Motoman-DIA10," according to Pink Tentacle, has "a pair of … Read more
Collegiate teams from around the country--and a few from abroad--are arriving in San Diego for a competition to see who has the best robotic sub.
Wednesday is the check-in and orientation day for teams entered in the 10th annual Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Competition, put on by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International and the Office of Naval Research. Then come several days of in-water practice and qualifying runs, with the finals scheduled for Sunday.
The gist of the challenge is this: the robot vessels have to navigate their way across a large pool following a set course. They must … Read more
RoboCup 2007, the international robot soccer, rescue and home chore competition, concluded Sunday night with an awards ceremony, but some are still wondering who won.
The organization used Wikipedia as a central location from which to post results for its different events, but the information from many links remained incomplete as of Monday afternoon. It's left some followers of the event flummoxed.
About 300 teams, comprising 1,700 people from 37 countries, participated in RoboCup 2007, which was held this year at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.
The event to promote artificial intelligence and robotics included soccer … Read more
The new Transformers movie has inspired a surprising degree of lyricism and detailed cinematic analysis for what is, in most respects, a kids' movie about giant robots. Blogospheric commentators used the language of formal cinematic criticism or just let fly with off-the-chain gushing normally seen in 12-year-old boys. In particular, scroll down for the entry from a self-styled "film theologian" who offers his exegesis on parallels between the movie and the scriptural Book of Kings.
Everyone seems to agree that the CGI sets a new record in coolness, the action sequences are numerous and fast-moving, and the new … Read more
On Sunday, an international team of scientists and engineers embarked for a place that has been cut off from Earth's other ecosystems for 26 million years.
Along with two autonomous underwater robots, the Gakkel Ridge expedition team has set out to explore and find life on the Arctic Ocean floor at the North Pole.
The team, which includes scientists and engineers from Germany, Japan, Norway, Sweden and the United States, set sail from Svalbard, an island near the Arctic Circle, for the Gakkel Ridge, the deepest and most remote part of the Artic Ocean.
The landmark expedition, which will … Read more