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.
Go ahead, take the kids to McDonald's to get their Happy Meal Robosapiens. You know you were going to have to make a trip there anyway, sooner or later. Besides, that'll give you another excuse to get a robot of your own soon--the "Spyke."
As noted when it was introduced last month, this spy bot made by France's Meccano is outfitted with a Webcam, Wi-Fi connection and Skype's latest VoIP software. And now, thanks to Uber-Review, we know its price and availability: 200 pounds in the U.K., or about $391, with an April … Read more
You know that a toy has achieved official ubiquity when it gets stuffed into McDonald's Happy Meals. And the latest to win that dubious honor is the Robosapien.
But don't expect the giveaways to be anything close to the full-fledged, biomorphic original; remember, these kiddie meals are only a few bucks. From the looks of it on the Happy Meal site (yes, there's a site), we wouldn't anticipate more than some fancy wind-up gizmos, but we hope we're wrong.
At least we can count on variety, which is standard practice to lure kids back to … Read more
We'll be dating ourselves again by mentioning this, but this item is kind of a 21st century version of those black and white scotty dog magnets we remember from our childhood. Only the "SuperBot" modules can think for themselves and find each other on their own.
Gadget Lab says these interlinking robotic cubes use artificial intelligence to "flip and stagger their way back together when parted" (see the YouTube clip below). Once reassembled, they can take a caterpillar-like form and continue on their merry way, or they can be combined to form a new kind … Read more
A few months ago we wrote of a rather odd-looking Japanese bot named "Ubiko" whose purpose was somewhat vague--"to replace humans for such tasks as welcoming clients, promote products on site." (The "replacing humans" phrase freaked us out a bit.) Now we find out its true mission: a rolling smoke detector of the future.
Ubiko doesn't just beep when your macaroni and cheese starts to burn; it actually has olfactory sensors designed specifically to react to odors associated with fire. The robot had its first public demonstration yesterday, which Pink Tentacle described … Read more
That's right, Sparky. Now your favorite bot can tool around on its own personal transporter with "human-sized performance."
Segway has released its "RMP" (Robotic Mobility Platform) for the "quick and easy transportation" of civilian and military robots, according to Engadget. The price is steep--about $11,500 to $50,000, depending on the model--but that's still cheaper than buying a car that your robot can drive. (And it won't be nagging you for the keys to yours either.)
The RMP is making its debut in Japan, of course, land of the eventual … Read more
In addition to mopping floors, the "Nursebot" can reportedly take a patient's temperature with laser beams and thermal camera imaging. And, as Technie Diva says, "this means no more rectal temperature-taking treatment for you."
The Nursebot is scheduled for 2010, but we're looking for ways to donate contributions to speed its release.
As pet robots go, we can't exactly say this one is the cutest or cuddliest. In fact, we can't even say what it looks like at all, except for maybe a giant shark tooth.
But to hear the Taiwanese Industrial Technology Research Institute tell it, this is actually a robotic fish with the unlikely name of "POPO," according to I4U News. POPO can reportedly swim on its own for 24 hours on its rechargeable batteries without bumping into things because of its ultrasound system.
That's all well and good, but we think they could have … Read more
The island city-state of Singapore announced a contest to build a Terminator-style robot, able to operate in urban warfare environments independent of direct human control. That's right; no joystick.
Individuals, companies, universities and research institutes are invited to compete in what the country's Defense Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) calls the TechX Challenge. The autonomous robot DSTA has in mind would be an all-weather unit, able to negotiate stairs, use an elevator and generally move and shoot in a search-and-destroy mode without the aid of satellite navigation, just like a human soldier.
"Operation in urban areas represents … Read more
The company's Government and Industrial Robots Division has an entire line of "PackBots" designed for the battlefield: "Adaptable, tough and reliable, these robots go where people can't, shouldn't or don't want to. From the battlefield to deep inside Afghan caves, our robots are hard at work."
Lest you be too intimidated, be aware that these bots are directed by a controller that looks … Read more