Over at CNET News.com sister site TechRepublic, members raved about the iRobot Roomba's intelligent floor-cleaning prowess and expressed an interest in seeing one of these innovative gadgets cracked open. So Scott Wolf cracked open a Roomba purchased just for this purpose and learned a few things about how the device works.
Not everyone in the French government wants to use flying robotic surveillance drones next year as part of a plan to triple police surveillance efforts.
ELSA (a French acronym for "light device for aerial surveillance") is a 4-foot aerial robot that would be used to watch people in Paris and towns connected to Paris by the Metro subway system.
The device was demonstrated at Milipol, an exhibition of police security technology, which took place last week in Paris.
ELSA drones are slated to be part of an effort to triple the number of video surveillance devices by 2009, … Read more
If you love robots so much, why don't you marry one?
This may be possible in the future, according to artificial intelligence researcher David Levy. According to Levy's Ph.D thesis, titled "Intimate Relationships with Artificial Partners," robots will become so humanlike and pseudo-emotional that we won't be able to keep from falling in love and making out with them. Aw yeah.
The University of Maastricht in the Netherlands liked the thesis paper so much that they married it awarded Levy a doctorate.
Silly and pervy as the idea of marrying a robot sounds, the … Read more
As part of the LA Auto Show this November, leading automakers were asked to submit ideas for a design challenge.
This year's theme was the "RoboCar of 2057" and the submissions are as far out as that date.
The concepts take into consideration environmental concerns and safety as well as imagination. General Motors based its car on the ant; Mazda has you thinking like a samurai; and Nissan wants to give you a pet that does the grocery shopping.
They're not 100 feet tall, and the cars they turn into aren't all that aerodynamic, but a couple of real-world Transformers are strutting their stuff over in Japan.
Robots Dreams has up-close and personal videos of WR-07 and Gogic Racer, two humanoid bots that transform into remote-control cars.
Better yet, you'll eventually be able to buy a kit to build your own Gogic Racer from SK-Pang, the Japanese company that created both bots.
Like Optimus Prime to Bumblebee, WR-07 is the bigger and bulkier of the two robots, while Gogic Racer is smaller and less fluid when … Read more
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--The Boston area has become a leading robotics hub, with a larger cluster of related companies than any other area in the U.S., according to a group of panelists assembled for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Enterprise Forum on Robotics Wednesday night.
The group, which consisted of executives from ABB Robotics, Brooks Automation, iRobot, Kiva Systems, North End Technologies and Vecna Technologies, said robotics companies are drawn to the university-rich New England area because of their unique need for highly educated employees from a multitude of disciplines.
Based on the apparent premise that bigger is better, the company that makes the SWORDS gun-toting robot has introduced a plumper version called MAARS, or Modular Advanced Armed Robotic System.
Foster-Miller is pitching MAARS as its "Transformer model." Presto--watch it "literally 'transforming' from a remote weapons platform for force protection to Improvised Explosive Device (IED) identification and neutralization tool."
It takes some wrenching, but the modular design robotic platform can clear the souk with its turret-mounted M240B Medium Machine Gun, then quickly transform to bomb-disposal duty with an attachable arm and gripper.
And while it tips … Read more
iRobot will miss its third-quarter earnings goal, but overall 2007 financial expectations remain on track, the company said Wednesday.
The company expects to announce revenue of between $63 million and $64 million, resulting in a pretax loss of $1 million to $1.5 million in the third quarter, CEO Colin Angle said in a statement.
Part of the blame for the disappointing quarter was placed on delayed production of iRobot's new Roomba 500 vacuum series.
"... the production ramp up by our new contract manufacturer was slower than our initial targeted projections and consequently, revenue from delayed shipments will … Read more
If all robots were musicians, the best instrument for them to play would be the theremin. This is because it creates delightful scenarios in which the robot can play its own space-age soundtrack music.
Take Lev, for example. The theremin-shredding bot, built by Ranjit Bhatnagar at Moonmilk Laboratories, is featured in a couple of mesmerizing videos below. Both are "Crazy"--one by Patsy Cline, and one by Gnarls Barkley in which Lev is accompanied by a robot drummer called Thumpbot.
Lev's been playing the theremin for a while; according to the Moonmilk site, the robot played a … 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