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
Attendees of this past weekend's Coachella music festival in Southern California spotted a robot named Hotshot who apparently roamed the fairgrounds making colorful robotic commentary. Falling somewhere between Short Circuit and Triumph the insult-comic dog, Hotshot seems to be a remote-controlled bot with a head-mounted camera and an off-site operator who provides the robot with its witty banter.
Hotshot begs an interesting and possibly terrifying question. Is it possible to engineer a robot that has a better chance of getting lucky than you do? Not some kind of super-realistic sexbot like Cherry 2000, but a Johnny 5-style robot … Read more
We've all seen what happens when we give robots an inch--Terminator 2: Judgment Day--but perhaps we should consider passing laws to make robot murder, if not a crime, at least something we socially frown on. The delicate issue is put on trial in this week's Crave Podcast. If that subject doesn't slice your pie, then what about city-wide free Wi-Fi networks? Or does the iAxe 393 USB Guitar appeal to your rockstar daydreams? We review it in this episode.
Other treats include the Crave team's reaction to news that Bob Geldof plans to launch a "Dictionary Of Man" online… Read more
iRobot pretty much has both ends of the robot spectrum covered: cute, household cleaning robots and industrial-strength military robots. Monday's announcement that iRobot and Boeing will team up on a military/civilian/commercial robot falls somewhere in the middle.
The Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle, nicknamed SUGV Early, will weigh less than 30 pounds. That's smaller than iRobot's line of robots currently in use in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts to search buildings, caves and tunnels and disarm Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).
The SUGV Early will perform reconaissance and gather intelligence while operators stand out of harm's … Read more
We're confident that those of you who've had to hump ammo cans or a mortar plate over hill and dusty dale will draw great consolation in the knowledge that those following in your footsteps may have it easier should this contraption find its way into the grunt inventory.
While still in the prototype stage, the BigDog robotic mule is supposed to be able to clamber up a 35-degree slope and carry a 120-pound load through rough terrain at more than 5 miles per hour. Billed as "the most advanced quadruped robot on earth" it's the … Read more
Everytime we see a new alarm system from Japan, the more curious we get about the mind of the Japanese criminal. In most societies, it helps to have the most menacing security and surveillance mechanisms available to deter thieves, burglars and other intruders. But the Japanese often take a different approach toward public safety, using technologies ranging from light shows to the "Ubiko" kitty-bot.
So it comes as little surprise that the latest security offering from the island nation--the "Roborior"--looks more like a kawaii toy than something that would scare off hardened perps. True, it … Read more
Justin Kan of Justin.tv talked about how easy it is to promote your site or product with the right strategy. It also doesn't hurt to have a camera hooked to a laptop, with an EV-DO connection streaming every second of your life. Our previous Justin.tv coverage here and here. Surreal moment of the talk? Checking Justin.tv and seeing him talking to us. Creepy
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
If the "Scooba" went on a massive steroid binge, it might turn out as something like this. iRobot has taken its famed vacuuming skills under water, totally submerging a new line for the swimming pool.
The "Verro" pool-cleaning bots come in two models that patrol the floor and climb walls to the waterline in 60 to 90 minutes It also uses artificial intelligence to avoid crashing into sunken tiki gods or pirate ships.
The Verros don't come cheap, at $800 and $1,200, but that may be a small price to pay to get rid … Read more
In this corner, weighing in at about 25 pounds from Haifa, Israel, is yet another contender in the man portable category of life-saving/life-depriving robots. The VIPer climbs stairs, sniffs out IEDs, totes an Uzi and leads the way with built-in mapping all by remote control from the safety of your APC.
Moving up to the 60-pound weight class, sniffin' and shootin' out of Boston, Mass., with 30,000 EOD/IED missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, is the Foster Miller Talon. Used in HAZMAT as well as military applications, a version of this little guy was supposedly the first robot … Read more