I am joined today by the wonderful Tim Moynihan, who schools me on the tech that I'm definitely going to need at some point in the future (brainwave-reading headgear, anyone?) We also ask the one of the most important questions of the year: Will it blend? A special thanks to CNET member Austin for that one! Here are the rest of the links for today:Robot bloggers on way--Crave frets Veronica plays with WoWWee McDonald's robot Please don't pop the light-up inflatable bar Next week I'll be in Austin for South by Southwest! Hopefully I'll … Read more
If you're really into robots, maybe it's time a robot got into you. Literally.
This miniature robotic prototype developed by researchers at the Ritsumeikan University and the Shiga University of Medical Science in Japan can be inserted into a patient's body through a small incision.
The doctors use prior MRI imaging of a patient as a sort of internal Google Map. Once it's in there, the robot can be controlled by doctors outside the body to capture images, take tissue samples, deliver medicine, and even perform minor surgical procedures.
As advanced as the robot is, it … Read more
Not that there was ever much doubt, but WowWee's career path for the "Robosapien" is now abundantly clear: They want to make it the Britney Spears of the robot world. (It already has the same hairdo.)
Only days after toy Robosapiens descended on McDonald's Happy Meals, RoboCommunity reports that the celebrity bot will star in its own movie, a collaboration with Arad Productions of Spiderman and X-Men fame. Touted as a combination of live action and CGI, the movie is scheduled for release in 2009.
But they'd better hurry. As the market gets flooded with … Read more
This is either a great meeting tool or a dream come true for suspicious bosses who want to keep tabs on workers in remote locations. Or both.
The "Giraffe Video-Conferencing Robot" from HeadThere is basically a mobile video-conferencing system that can roam around the office floor like a surrogate supervisor. "Because people near the robot can see and hear the user, they interact with him as if he were truly present. In a sense, the robot acts as a stand-in for the user," the company says. Creeped out yet?
The 5-foot-8 Giraffe, which can be controlled … Read more
At first glance, we thought this was just another version of the "Clocky" runaway alarm clock, in a different color. But then we noticed the small camera that seems precariously perched on top.
It's not the amateurish design of the "Spy-Cye" that bothers us; it's the price--$695. That's because mobile spy bots are rapidly approaching commodity status. Target's toy department even sells one for kids.
Crave constantly begs for more resources, like any self-respecting blog, but a robot helper isn't exactly what we had in mind.
NEC's "PaPeRo" is designed to automatically assemble multimedia features for blogs, finding relevant material online based on conversations you have with it. (We're not kidding.) Just talk to the bot, Fareastgizmos says, and it will analyze the one-way discussion and find related photos, graphics, music and other accompaniments to post along with a video recording of the conversation.
Now we don't think that bloggers are in imminent danger of being replaced by a … Read more
Gadgets that light up to musical rhythms are everywhere, but they're generally stationary. That's where the "Robotic Laser Ball" has them beat. This disco bot actually hits the dance floor on its own and "gyrates violently and flashes lights in time to your music," according to Red Ferret, for 50 seconds at a time. But keep an eye on it--the ball measures only about 4 inches in diameter, so it could get stepped on.
The chip is connected to the brain with hair-thin electrodes implanted in key brain locations. Scientists then use a computer to order the bird to fly right or left and up or down.
The research is "military and intelligence" related, paralleling similar work by scientists with "Swiss Army homing pigeons" and sharks by the US Navy.
The Chinese scientists have … Read more
We used to joke that Japan was hurtling toward a human-free society, but now we're starting to worry that it's true. The island nation, already concerned about its rapidly declining population (of humans), has recently debuted bots that can clean buildings, plow snow, detect smoke and even police grounds while others escort hospital patients and take their temperatures.
But now robots are entering the ultimate inner sanctum: the kitchen. BornRich says a team of more than 40 Japanese researchers spent four years creating a domestic bot that can, among other things, wash dishes. (Maybe it's not such … Read more
What the hell is going on these days? Seriously.
All of a sudden, scientists have created living remote-control pigeons, monkeys that can control huge robotic arms using only their brains, and cats that are getting pimped-out bionic eyeballs. And then there's that gaming helmet that can read your mind. It's awesome, but it's also creepier than 70 clown Draculas.
Here is what I'm talking about, yo.
Real-life pigeon cyborgs: Simply by placing a bunch of electrodes and red wires in a pigeon's brain, scientists at the Robot Research Center at the Shandong University of Science … Read more