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Robots »

[21 Oct 2010 | 2 Comments | ]
Robot House Inspector coming through

Daiwa House Industries presented “Moogle”, their latest house inspection bot. His task is to get into the small, low and hard to reach places and give inspectors real-time info on a house’s status without any harm to the house or Moogle’s human operators.

Moogle is equipped with a range finder sensor, LED lights, an inspection camera to see targets and a driving camera to guide the direction of the bot. This controlled wirelessly by a regular gaming controller.
Here’s a vid of Moogle in action.

Source: Daiwa House press release Via: NODE
Video: Moriyama’s …

Events, Featured, Robots »

[18 Oct 2010 | 3 Comments | ]
Robots Sing Ponyo DC Expo 2010

Yamaha presented a collaboration between PaPeRo and Vocaloid. But this probably means nothing to you if you don’t know who those are.
PaPeRo -Stands for “Partner-type-Personal-Robot”. A research robot from NEC. This bot was created with the aim of it being a personal partner for us humans. It features; speech sensors, facial recognition software, touch sensors and more. And it’s cute as hell.
Vocaloid – A voice synthesizer by Yamaha. Speech and singing can be synthesized from typed text. This software is known for producing the first successful “virtual idol”. …

Events, Featured, Headline, Robots »

[11 Oct 2010 | One Comment | ]
Robot Teddy Bears

Fujitsu’s “Social Robot Bear Cubs” made a showing at CEATEC 2010 in all their cuteness. The furry little ones where created to help take care of the elderly.
The teddies are equipped with a nose camera which allows the them to detect faces and respond to movements e.g. If you wave at a Teddy he’ll wave back. Also 13 touch sensors around the body making them able to respond to physical stimuli. They have a set of 300 different different movements in response to user interaction.

The bears can be programmed …

Geek Stuff, Robots »

[6 Oct 2010 | 15 Comments | ]
3 Reasons Why Building a Giant Mecha is a Really Bad Idea

Mechas, we grew up with  them, Voltron, Gundam, The Mighty Orbots, The Power Rangers’ Megazord. It’s a pretty long list. As a kid you thought  it would be cool to pilot one of those things (I still do).  Well, actually it wouldn’t. The whole idea of  using a giant-sized humanoid robot in battle is incredibly ridiculous. Here are 3 reasons why.
1. It would be ridiculously expensive!
How expensive? Try around *960 million dollars!!.. for just one!
Takayuki Furuta, the director of Japan’s Future Robotics Technology Center, did the math. Back in 2008 in …

Robots »

[22 Sep 2010 | No Comment | ]
Living with Robots – Honda Robotics Division Promo

I just stumbled across this video by Honda about their robotics division. It talks about the future of robotics and the public’s perception vs reality. It’s a part of a documentary series called “Dream the Impossible” It’s good stuff, check it out. Asimo makes a cameo .

Headline, Robots »

[15 Sep 2010 | No Comment | ]
Robot Ballin’ [Video]

While checking out the DekoRobo exhibit. I ran into Souichi Nagasato, president of MechaTraX and creator of the game. He gave a demo and brief description.
I gotta say, it’s a lot more difficult than it looks. Easy mode was anything but for me and even Mr. Nagasato the CREATOR of the game said he can’t pass difficult mode. But then again I’m a noob, there is a youtube video of some little kids doing better than I did.
Check out the company website: MechaTraX

Gadgets, Robots »

[5 Sep 2010 | No Comment | ]
Robot + Video game = Decoration Warfare

UPDATE: Interview with the designer
Deko-Robo Wars! which stands for “Decoration Robot Wars” apparently
A new arcade machine uses the humanoid “Robo Catcher” to interact with a video game. The player controls Robo Catcher as he picks up and drops a ball in one of threes slots in an attempt to hit an on screen target. All this to sparkly graphics, flashing lights and an energetic pop soundtrack.
via: NODE
Demo

Headline, Robots »

[27 Aug 2010 | No Comment | ]
Robot Noses Better Thanks to Frogs

Imagine a world in which your robot pal compliments you on your new cologne. You smile and tell him thanks, then he goes on to tell you that he’s analysed it’s molecular content and that it’ll give you cancer if you keep using it. Hence totally ruining your day.
We’re one step closer to that reality thanks to bio-engineers at the University of Tokyo. Using genetically modified cells from frog eggs, researchers were able to make an electronic nose far superior in accuracy than one’s currently in use. This “living …

Robots »

[2 May 2010 | No Comment | ]
Japanese Robot on the moon by 2015

Maido-kun is his name and a company called SOHLA will spend 1 billion yen ($10.5 million US) to get him on the moon by 2015.
While we’ve had robots in space before e.g. the Mars Rovers, Maido-kun will be the first bipedal bot on an extraterrestrial surface. Robots with wheels or even with multiple legs seem more plausible, but according to SOHLA board member Noriyuki Yoshida, “Humanoid robots are glamorous, and they tend to get people fired up” and he’s right, I wouldn’t be writing this post if I …

Robots »

[24 Apr 2010 | One Comment | ]
Automata – Japan’s Ancient Mechanical Pals

Japan’s the world’s largest producer of  robots. It is a culture fascinated by these mechanical humanoids, Gundam, Astro Boy, Mega Man. These guys usually get showered in with affection, while in the West, human-like  robots tend to freak people out. So what’s the cause of this Japanese robo-lovefest?
Kazuyoshi Suzuki wrote an article on the use of automata (self-operating machines) way back in the Edo period. These dolls did stuff like perform acrobatics and shoot arrows and most importantly serve tea. He suggests that these primitive wooden play things have influenced the Japanese perception …

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