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
In theory, robots aren't designed to make mistakes. But a University College London (UCL) project team is hoping errors in how software "sees" optical illusions can make robots more like humans--mistakes and all.
Project leaders Dr. R. Beau Lotto and David Corney at the UCL institute of Ophthalmology say the study provides unprecedented insight into how the human eye can be fooled by lighting and shading. Instead of simulating the human brain, the software simulates learning patterns from past visual experiences.
The UCL Institute of Ophthalmology study recreated the vision errors using software that "learns" … Read more
The following was originally posted on the new MP3 Insider blog.
Could the next frontier of gadget interface design be modeled after female sexual arousal? Multimedia artists Matt Ganucheau, Kyle Machulis, and Kelly Moore have designed a female mannequin that uses strategically placed sensors to control audio playback. The mannequin, affectionately named Moaning Lisa, was unveiled at the recent Arse Elektronika conference, as part of a showcase of emerging erotic-based technology. While Lisa is currently programmed to only play a catalog of more than 200 female moans, her open-source architecture is capable of handling anything from an MP3 music library … Read more
After a two-year break since its last robot race, the U.S. government's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency will hold the semifinals of its Urban Grand Challenge from October 26 through October 31.
Teams are expected to descend on the dusty town of Victorville, Calif., to race their modified robotic cars through a mock city at the former George Air Force Base. The winner of first place will take home $2 million; second place, $1 million and third, $500,000.
Click here for a photo gallery of the competitors.
The U.S. Special Operations Command is going green with its purchase of a hydrogen-fueled robo-plane that can loiter in the stratosphere for up to five days at a time.
The high-altitude long endurance (HALE) Global Observer will cost $57 million for the first drone, with two more in the pipeline for an additional $108 million. The drone, or unmanned aircraft system (UAS), is powered by a hydrogen-fueled internal combustion engine designed and built by AeroVironment, which has already successfully tested a scaled down model during a five-day stretch in an altitude chamber above a simulated 65,000 feet.
The … Read more
The X Prize Foundation and Google are looking to whiz kids for robot ideas.
Three weeks ago, the L.A.-based prize organization announced the Google Lunar X Prize--a $20 million-plus contest to put a robot on the moon that can rove for at least 500 meters and send visuals back to Earth. As if to add heft to the unveiling, Google and X Prize executives talked about the mission and the future of space exploration while surrounded by throngs of school-aged kids from around Los Angeles.
Now, the people behind the Google Lunar X Prize are calling on middle-school … Read more
With an endless stream of remote-controlled toys on the market, it's hard to get excited about yet another entry to the fray. But the "Tri-Clops Mutant" is different, and not just because it's got a great name.
The features alone make it worth the $100 price in our opinion--pincer claws, laser targeting and a disc-firing cannon--but what makes this three-wheeled monster unique is its omindirectional movement, which gives it exceptional abilities to maneuver around obstacles and opponents alike. Manufacturer Tyco calls it "a blend of robotic and organic styling." We call the first item … Read more
It's only Monday, but the robot news has been coming fast and furious of late. Fast like turbo robot.
Tomy launches U.S. version of i-Sobot site: The English version of the Web site for Tomy's $300 robot is now live, just in time for its late October launch. According to Waziwazi, i-Sobot will hit the shelves of Sharper Image and Toys R Us on Halloween day. Waziwazi also has a hands-on review of the robot, along with some good video footage. Tomy and the Guinness Book of World Records claim i-Sobot is the world's smallest commercial … Read more
Voting is now closed! See the exciting conclusion of the Nonviolent Robot Tournament right here.
The nonviolent robotic cream has risen to the top. Figuratively.
All this week, Honda's Asimo and Star Trek: The Next Generation's Commander Data will be hitting the hardwood and competing for your votes. The robot with the most votes will take its place among the pantheon of greats, immortalized as the champion of all nonviolent robots.
NEW YORK--While DigitalLife 2007 did see a better turnout than last year according to those who attended both, there wasn't all that much in terms of new tech toys at the show.
Lots of favorites simply continued to make the digital world rounds.
The R2D2 television projector from Nikko was set up to play the famous lightsaber sequences scenes from the Star Wars films.
Lots of people were playing with the Novint Falcon at the Novint Technologies booth. The company announced Thursday that the 3D game controller would be available at CompUSA stores this October for about $239.
WowWee … Read more