Skiing Robot Races Down Snow Slope

Posted By Ben Goulding, 20 October, 2009 | permalink


(Youtube Link)

Developed by Bojan Nemec, from the Jožef Stefan Institute in Slovenia, this skiing robot can navigate autonomously using a video camera and various other sensors.

The laptop control center plans the robot’s trajectory, using a camera to measure its distance from the race gates. Gyros and force sensors help the bot stay stabilized on the slopes.

The robot carries a GPS unit, but it’s used to help measure speed, not for trajectory planning. That makes sense, if you’re trying to build a robot that works more like a human, relying on vision.

Click the link for some skiing robot bloopers and outtakes!

Link

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Emotional Robot Substitutes Human Contact

Posted By Ben Goulding, 6 October, 2009 | permalink


(Vimeo Video)

Ignoring the rather odd music, this concept of an emotional robot is pretty awesome if I’m being honest. The closest thing that I can compare it to, is a gigantic cuddly Tamagotchi.

Based on EAP-technology “Funktionide” is a concept for an emotional robot that substitutes human contact. In a future where technology will play a huge part in our lifes it is very likely that some day it will shift from satisfiying our basic funtional needs to include our emotional needs as well.

How will this future be? How do we want it to be? Will it affect our human interactions if we start to fall in love with machines? Will the machines fall in love with us?

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‘Power Loader’ Exoskeleton Suit

Posted By Ben Goulding, 1 October, 2009 | permalink


(Youtube Link)

Science fiction super powers have just moved one step closer to reality with the invention of the ‘Power Loader’ Exoskeleton Suit.

The suit, created by Activelink – a Kyoto-based subsidiary of Panasonic – takes its name from the fictional hydraulic exoskeleton suit appearing in the sci-fi classic “Aliens”. The Power Suit allows it’s user to lift up to 100 kilograms (220 lbs) with little effort. This is made possible with the use of 18 electromagnetic motors which are built into the 500 pound aluminum-alloy frame.

The Power Loader is still in the development phase, but Activelink plans to have a marketable version of the suit by the year 2015.

Link

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Barack Obama’s Amazingly Consistent Smile

Posted By Ben Goulding, 28 September, 2009 | permalink


(Vimeo Link)

Barack Obama has a great smile – it’s wide, bright and welcoming, but have you noticed how unbelievably consistent it always is?

Ladies and gentlemen, your President is a robot. Or a wax sculpture. Maybe a cardboard cutout. All I know is no human being has a photo smile this amazingly consistent.

On Wednesday, the Obamas hosted a reception at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, during which they stood for 130 photographs with visiting foreign dignitaries in town for the UN meeting. The President has exactly the same smile in every single shot. See for yourself — the pictures are up on the State Department’s flickr. And, of course, compressed into 20 seconds for your viewing pleasure.

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Miruko: Wearable Eyeball Robot Interface

Posted By Ben Goulding, 24 September, 2009 | permalink


(Youtube Link)

Invisible monsters lurk, and the human eye can’t see them. Here’s an eye that can!

“Miruko,” a wearable eyeball-shaped robot with a built-in camera and wi-fi capabilities, is designed to augment human perception by sensing and reacting to objects that cannot be seen with the naked eye.

In this video, Miruko’s creators demonstrate how the robotic eyeball can be used as an interface for a virtual monster-hunting game played in a real-world environment.

Worn on the player’s sleeve, Miruko’s roving eye scans the surroundings in search of virtual monsters that are invisible to the naked human eye. When a virtual monster is spotted, the mechanical eyeball rolls around in its socket and fixes its gaze on the monster’s location. By following Miruko’s line of sight, the player is able to locate the virtual monster and “capture” it via his or her iPhone camera.

Link

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Unbeatable Pool-Playing Robot

Posted By Ben Goulding, 22 September, 2009 | permalink


(Youtube Link)

The RCVLab at Queen’s University demonstrates Deep Green, a pool playing robot, and ARPool, an augmented reality system for teaching the science of pool.

Of course, it does take the fun out of the game, but still a very innovative technology – even if robots are banned from competition.

1 Comment | Posted in: Sci/Tech | Sport
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Rubik’s Cube Solving Robot

Posted By Ben Goulding, 15 September, 2009 | permalink


(Youtube Link)

Think of all the hours you’ve spent trying to solve that Rubik’s Cube, to no avail. Well twist no more my friends, there’s a robot that can do it for you.

It’s clever alright, but who has the time of day to build something like this? I’ll tell you who – an uber-genius-geek. We’ve beaten ‘the man’. Good on ya!

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Evolta Toy Goes Into World Record Books

Posted By Ben Goulding, 11 August, 2009 | permalink


(Youtube Link)

“The little fellow in the video here is called Evoia and is powered by two Panasonic EVOLTA AA alkaline batteries. We like to think of him as a modern version of the Energizer bunny. And his claim to fame is that he entered the Guinness Book of World Records as “the longest distance covered by a battery-operated remote-controlled model car.” That’s right, the little guy kept pedaling non-stop, following an infrared beam from a lead car for 5.6 laps – 23.726 km or 14.82 miles – around the 4.2 km Le Mans race circuit for 24 hours.”

Link

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Robot Runs Like A Human

Posted By Ben Goulding, 4 August, 2009 | permalink


(Youtube Link)

This very cool robot by Toyota has perfect balance, which enables it to run and withstand mild force, just like a human.

The humanoid robot can run up to speeds of 7kmh, which isn’t too fast, but it’s balance at that speed is pretty special.

The robot takes a step every 340ms and has no contact with the ground for 100ms of that.

The only downside, is that the only function of this robot is it’s ability to run and balance. I’d like to see it push back!

2 Comments | Posted in: Sci/Tech
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Unbelievably Skilled Robots

Posted By Ben Goulding, 1 August, 2009 | permalink

With every day, robot technology is improving and here’s the proof. These robots, created by Ishikawa Komuro Laboratories, have way more hand-eye co-ordination and skill than us humans in terms of speed and precision. Check it out!


(Youtube Link)

Previously:

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Extreme Anti-Smoking Advert

Posted By Ben Goulding, 31 July, 2009 | permalink

Never, ever, ever smoke again! Humanity is counting on you!


(Youtube link)

Link

4 Comments | Posted in: Health | Lifestyle | Television
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Humanoid Robot With iPhone 3GS Head

Posted By Ben Goulding, 28 July, 2009 | permalink

One robot developer has programmed an iPhone 3GS to function as the brain and face of a miniature humanoid robot.

The robot, named Robochan is connected to the iPhone via the dock connector.

Robochan’s functions:

  • change its face
  • dance with playing music
  • wake up alarm with body motion
  • interaction with its body
  • teach and playback.


(Youtube Link)

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Baseball Playing Robots

Posted By Ben Goulding, 24 July, 2009 | permalink

Now this is a really cool piece of technology. Researchers at the University of Tokyo have managed to create a robot that can pitch to a separate robot who has a near-perfect swing. Check out the video.


(Youtube Link)

The robot pitcher consists of a high-speed, three-fingered hand (developed by professor Masatoshi Ishikawa and his team from the Graduate School of Information Science and Technology) mounted on a mechanical arm (developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology). With superb control of nimble fingers that can open and close at a rate of up to 10 times per second, the robot can release the ball with perfect timing. Precise coordination between the fingers, hand and arm allow the robot pitcher to hit the strike zone 90% of the time.

Link

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Advertise On The Moon

Posted By Ben Goulding, 21 July, 2009 | permalink

Advertisements are everywhere. From billboards to television and newspapers to hot air balloons. Every company wants maximum exposure so as many people as possible know about them. Well one company wants to take advertising one step further. They want to carve ads onto the moon!

The company proposes to use robots to graft adverts onto the moon’s surface. Take a look at the video.


(Youtube Link)

Moon Publicity is the company that has it eyes set on advertising on the moon. This is what they said:

New Shadow Shaping technology creates images on the moon that can be seen from Earth. Robots are used to create several small ridges in the lunar dust over large areas that capture shadows and shape them to form logos, domains names or memorials.

So what are your opinions on this? Who wants to see the moon covered in advertisements? Personally I like the plain old moon as it at the moment.

Link

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Scientists Aim To Create Robot-Insects

Posted By Ben Goulding, 15 July, 2009 | permalink

It may sound like science-fiction, but scientists aim to create robot-insects capable of carrying out very important tasks assigned by police or authorities.

Robot-Insects. Image: AFP

Imagine if a robot-moth could sniff out a distant drug stash or robot-bees could dodge through earthquake rubble to find survivors – well this is the vision of Japanese scientists.

Scientists will research the brains of insects and then rebuild and program them to carry out different tasks. Ryohei Kanzaki is a professor at Tokyo Univeristy’s Research Centre for Advanced Science and Technology. Having become a pioneer in the field of insect-machine hybrids he believes that in the future we will see programmed insects.

“It will be possible to recreate an insect brain with electronic circuits in the future. This would lead to controlling a real brain by modifying its circuits,” he said.

Kanzaki’s team has already made some progress on this front.

It sounds scary to me…it’s like Frankenstein but with insects. Couldn’t this lead to bad guys using insects to carry out criminal acts and dare I say it, even terrorism? If insects can be used to find survivors in earthquakes then surely, if the technology gets into the wrong hands, there is potential for catastrophe.

Link

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Einstein Robot Teaches Itself To Smile

Posted By Ben Goulding, 11 July, 2009 | permalink

Einstein Robot. Image: Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego

Researchers at the University of California have created a robot that can teach itself facial expressions. When we were infants we taught ourselves to smile and frown and be aware of our facial expressions. Well, this very clever gadget works in the same way.

The Einstein robot had previously required individually programmed facial movements, however with the use of facial recognition software, through a trial-and-error technique it can now teach itself to change it’s face until it achieves a real expression or emotion.

Today, Einstein is able to express emotions like joy, sadness, anger and surprise. Check out the video!

Eureka!

2 Comments | Posted in: Sci/Tech
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