That's why we like the "Ellos RescueBot," which Gearfuse describes as a "damage-resistant" machine designed to go where humans can't in emergencies. Its description makes it sound more like something from the Amazon (the river, not the store) than a piece of robotics: "Its main standout feature is 10 lifting arms on its bottom. When … Read more
Meshly is a new nanoblogging platform that's built around publishing via instant messages. Users can create and publish posts in AIM, Google Talk, or Windows Live Messenger using IM bots. Creating posts is like having a conversation with someone. Type "post" to the IM robot and it will ask you to fill out the post title, body, links, and tags, before it publishes the content to Meshly's post queue.
Once post are there, other Meshly users can vote to decide which ones are interesting. Stories that have piqued enough user interest will be promoted to the … Read more
The competition for robots in hostile situations has never been hotter, so manufacturers are understandably trying whatever they can to distinguish themselves. But rather than focus on more common attributes such as speed and power, Japan's Topy is opting for agility.
The company has introduced two new "crawler robots" designed to negotiate tight spaces, such as under floors, with a large LCD built into their controllers for close inspection. To get them down to more manageable fighting weights, Fareastgizmos says Topy lightened its crawler belts by 25 percent. But the larger model can still climb over gaps … Read more
RightRound, which had a presentation table at SF Beta last night, was showing off a new product it's working on for people in bands: BandBot. It's a one-stop shop for managing a band's online presence. Initially it will manage an e-mail list, a Web site, and a band's footprint on a few social network sites. So all a band will have to do is update its info in one place. Then its Web site (under its own name, e.g., www.thebandthatsucks.com), MySpace page, and other social networks will all get updated at once.
Unfortunately, … Read more
Where robots are concerned, it's always seemed to make sense that tasks would become increasingly specific. Whether it be detecting smoke or taking patients' temperatures, researchers have traditionally worked to refine their skills to make them more valuable.
In Japan, however, we've detected a trend toward bots geared toward more everyday tasks, such as washing dishes--perhaps to help that country's rapidly aging population. To that end, Japan's Raytron has developed a small "intelligent companion" that can help with such basic things as flipping light switches or turning on the telly, according to Akihabara … 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
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
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
Unlike a lot of those other hot-shot bots, the "Robot Bank" isn't here to show off--it just goes about its business, encouraging you to save for the future and diligently toting up every penny you drop in. Don't try to cheat, either: It recognizes withdrawals and will make disapproving noises if you try to sneak a few bucks.