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[23 Oct 2011 | 11 Comments | ]
Creepy Robotic Clapping Hands [Video]

Attendees at Tokyo’s DC Expo 2011 were treated to an eerie musical performance by a pair of disembodied arms. These “Ondz” robotic clappers where developed by Masato Takahashi, a researcher at Keio University who crafted them from molds of his own arms.

The arms are made of an aluminium skeleton coated with urethane flesh and were specially designed to make a natural sounding clap. Takashi is well aware of how creepy his creation is and believes this adds an enjoyable surreal feeling to Ondz performances. He believes that they can be …

Robots »

[13 Sep 2011 | No Comment | ]
Teddy Bear Robot Aims to be the Cuddliest

While this isn’t the first robot teddy bear we’ve seen, researchers from the Tokyo Institute of Technology hope they’ve made it the cuddliest. The bear’s arms and legs are soft to the touch, making it comfortable for children to hold and also resistant to damage from being dropped or from rough play. The researchers have managed to keep the arms and legs so soft by choosing to use strings connected to motors and circuits in the teddy’s tummy to control movement.
The group plans to give these teddy bears more …

Geek Stuff, Robots »

[8 Sep 2011 | No Comment | ]
Japanese Starship Trooper Powersuit Life Size Model

Proving once again that when an otaku sets his mind to it he can make fantasy a reality, a sculptor has created a life size model of a powered battle suit from the Japanese version of StarShip Troopers. The suit doesn’t appear to be able to move, but that doesn’t make it any less cool.
ToyBoxDx via: DVICE

Robots »

[11 Aug 2011 | No Comment | ]
Robot that uses only Magnetic Field to Navigate

Researchers at Utsunomiya University have developed an autonomous mobile robot that uses only environmental magnetic fields to navigate outdoors with reliable accuracy. Professor Koichi Ozaki was kind enough to invite us for a demonstration on a 1 km course around the university campus.

Why navigation using magnetic fields? It is pretty difficult for autonomous robots to successfully navigate in outdoor environments. There are many factors to consider; weather, illumination, change in vegetation, these all change a robot’s perception of an environment. GPS is considered the most feasible method for acquiring …

Gadgets, Robots »

[3 Aug 2011 | No Comment | ]
Robot that Walks on Water [Video]

Robots, they can fly, walk like humans, walk on walls and now even walk on water. Chinese researchers have developed a microrobot that mimics the movement of the aquatic insects water-striders, experts at gliding on the surface of water. Though not the first water walking robot, the scientists claim that this is first to be practical, agile and cheap.
The microrobot’s body is about the size on a quarter. It has 10 thin water repelling wire legs that keep it afloat and two shorter motor powered legs that propel it. The …

Robots »

[20 Jul 2011 | No Comment | ]
Automatic Page Turner Helps the Disabled Enjoy Their Favorite Books

In the age of e-readers and tablet computers the idea of a machine that turns book pages automatically may seem a bit silly. But it might not seem so silly if you consider people with disabilities who are unable to pick up a book and read it for themselves, such a machine gives them the independence of reading one of their favorite books at their own pace. The Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry acknowledged the value of these devices by giving one a Robot of the Year Award …

Featured, Robots »

[5 Jul 2011 | No Comment | ]
Snail Inspired Robot Creeps

When you think about robots imitating the movement of animals, the snail is probably the last creature that comes to mind. But researchers at the Chuo University in Japan knew better, they’ve created the “Snail-Wave Omnidirectional Mobile Robot,” Toro II (It doesn’t look like a snail though). Why make a robot that mimics snail movement? The Toro II features really stable omnidirectional motion, as no matter what direction the robot is moving in, it always has a large surface area touching the ground. This makes the snail bot resistant against …

Headline, Robots »

[2 Jul 2011 | One Comment | ]
Realistic Dental Training Robot Made with Love

When this dental training robot needed an upgrade, love doll makers were called in to do what they do best, give it more of a human touch. Meet Hanako Showa 2, the second generation of a this training robot used by students of dentistry to hone their skills before taking on patients that have the power to sue.

The above pictures show just how much more improved Hanako 2 is compared to her predecessor. Her PVC skin has been replaced with softer silicone by love doll company Oriental, giving her a …

Featured, Robots »

[28 Jun 2011 | One Comment | ]
A Robot that Explores Your Insides

The “Mermaid” is a 1.8 inch long, 0.4 inches in diameter robot that swims through your digestive tract. Using this tadpole shaped capsule doctors can explore you insides collecting imagery in a relatively short amount of time. What makes the Mermaid different from other endoscopic cameras is that unlike them it doesn’t rely on natural muscle contractions to move through the body, it is the world’s first self-propelled endoscopy device.
It can be swallowed to examine the stomach or inserted at the other end for a colon examination. Doctors control …

Headline, Robots »

[24 Jun 2011 | 2 Comments | ]
Japanese Robot gets Ripped-Off by Chinese Company

The two pictures above are not of the same model robot. To the left UNISROBO, a new robot by the Chinese company UNIS that debuted this year, and to the right is PaPeRo, a robot by NEC Corp which started development in 1997. I think I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that UNISROBO looks much too similar to PaPeRo for it to be a coincidence.

At first glance the major difference between the two is that UNISROBO has a LED screen in it’s chest, but …

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