Archive for February, 2007

Robots from Boston Dynamics

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

Boston Dynamics makes some very advanced robots !

NASA’s robotic sub readies for dive into Earth’s deepest sinkhole

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007
nasa robot

An underwater robot, shaped like a flattened orange, maneuvered untethered and autonomously within a 115-meter-deep sinkhole during tests this month in Mexico, a prelude to its mission to probe the mysterious nether reaches of the world’s deepest sinkhole.

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via Digg post 

Let Robots Sweat the Boring Stuff

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007
happy-robot

If it’s bad for humans to be reduced to robotic inauthenticity, isn’t it preferable that real robots should step in to execute our mindless tasks for us? But what happens when robots start to develop emotions of their own?

The Standard reported last week that “emotional robots” are currently being developed, sensate vacuum cleaners programmed with emotion to increase their efficiency. “If a robot feels happy after it has cleaned a dirty carpet particularly well, then it will apparently seek out more dirt in order to do the same,” the article explains. “Similarly, if the robot feels guilt or sadness at having failed at a task, it will try harder next time.”

read article at Wired

via Digg 

Draganflyer Gyro Stabilized RC Helicopter

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007
Draganflyer

Anyone looking into building serious flying robots should take a look at the Draganflyer line from Draganfly Innovations. These are some high quality flyers for very decent prices. Info about the Draganflyer from their website:

Draganflyer SAVS Stabilized Aerial Video System Gyro Stabilized RC Helicopter

The Draganflyer r/c helicopter just got better; with the new Draganflyer Stabilized Aerial Video System (SAVS) it has never been easier or more economical to create superior, professional quality, aerial video. The SAVS takes up the slack where full size aircraft fall short, low level and close up video. For everything from real estate to surveillance or music videos the SAVS will excel with its high resolution CCD wireless video camera and anti-vibration mounting system. The complete Draganflyer SAVS comes pre-assembled with a wireless video camera system, transmitter, batteries and charger all packaged in two compact, custom built hard-shell cases. Built on the tested and proven Draganflyer V Ti platform and equipped with a high resolution CCD video camera and numerous state of the art features the Draganflyer SAVS is one of the most high-tech aerial video system in the world.

Link with videos after the jump

check out their entire helicopter line here 

Engineering life after robots

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

We are still engineering life in the form of robots, but after that is conquered we perpetually unsatisfied humans will certainly move onto other things. The next step after robots will of course be bioengineered life! How exciting. It looks like one company, Genpet, has already gotten a head start marketing their product line. Look out Ugobe, Pleo already has some competition!

Genpet Features !

Genpet_feature

01. Genpetâ„¢
The Only Bioengineered Buddy. Available in 7 different personality types.

02. Color Coding
Each personality type of the Genpets has been linked to its respective colour, and that color is then used as a base for each package. (Read more)

03. Heart Monitor
Each package has a built in low cost heart monitor that is fully functional, with green LED lights and built in speaker. (Read more)

04. Fresh Strip
Every single package includes an easy to use “fresh gauge”. Four simple blue LED lights display the status of the Genpetâ„¢. The display will also display if the Genpetâ„¢ has been sitting on the store shelf too long, or if the package circuitry has malfunctioned in some way. (Read more)

05. Bio-Genica IV System
While the Genpets hang on the store shelves they are in a form of hibernation. Each Genpetâ„¢ package has a special nutrient feeding tube attached to it, supplying our specially formulated mix and keeping them healthy and asleep.

06. Genpetâ„¢ Restraints
Restraining the pets in their packaging ensures no damage to the product, as well as allowing for optimal consumer viewing.

Visit their site today and get in line to order yours!

Gen-pet-wall

link

Monkeys Test Robot Arms

Monday, February 26th, 2007

Beer Launching Fridge

Monday, February 26th, 2007
beer-launching-fridge

Have you ever gotten up off the couch to get a beer for the umpteenth time and thought, “What if instead of ME going to get the BEER, the BEER came to ME???� Well, that was how I first conceived of the beer launching fridge. About 3 months and several hundred dollars later I have a fully automated, remote controlled, catapulting, man-pit approved, beer launching mini-fridge. It holds 10 beers in its magazine with 14 more in reserve to store a full case. It is controlled by a keyless entry system. Pressing unlock will start the catapult rotating and when it is aiming at your target, pressing unlock again will stop it. Then the lock button can be pressed to launch a beer in the selected direction.

Link (video after the jump)
via Coolest Gadgets 

Man builds robot plow to shovel snow from inside… brilliant.

Wednesday, February 21st, 2007
robot plow
robot plow

Herdy-Gerdy, a remote-controlled snow-plowing robot built by Bill Lauver, of Middleburg, has been getting a lot of attention over the last five days.

“It’s been crazy,” Mr. Lauver said. “We’ve been getting calls for radio interviews. I talked to a guy from David Letterman today who discussed some ideas (for a television bit) and said he’d call me back.”

video clip

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via digg post 

Under the hood of Stanford’s robotic race car

Wednesday, February 21st, 2007
Stanford-robotic-race-car

A view of the “brains” of “Junior,” a modified 2006 Volkswagen Passat wagon being developed by Stanford University’s Racing Team to compete in DARPA’s Urban Challenge in November. The competition among driverless cars will take place on city streets, among other cars.

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Experts lay out scenarios for the next decade of robotic evolution

Wednesday, February 21st, 2007
robot-forecast

“The technology is becoming virtually ubiquitous,” she said. “Before, when the first computers came out, there were rooms and rooms of computers. … Now, they’re [embedded] in the doorknobs. Robotics is going to be the same way. You’re already seeing robotics integrated into your car today.”

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“If i want to cook a meal, and I can’t do it by myself but I could do it with a robot … if I want to garden but I have a hard time getting down and the robot can help me do that … that’s where I would find value, as opposed to just saying, ‘Go do my gardening’ or ‘Go cook my meal,’” Breazeal said. “As we design technology, we have to respect the human life cycle.”

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Robots would also make good sentinels: Ken Goldberg of the University of California at Berkeley described his robotic camera system, ACONE, which has been set up in the remote Arkansas woods to look for signs of the elusive ivory-billed woodpecker. ACONE sifts through a stream of video imagery, hanging onto the pictures that appear to show birds in flight. After three months of continuous operation, the system has identified birds such as red-tailed hawks and blue herons, Goldberg said.

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