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Robots are invading just about every aspect of modern life. They are helping with noodles, outrunning athletes and even replacing pack mules. This time around, they are making their way to our vineyards as well. French inventor Christophe Millot has created “Wall-Ye”, named after Pixar's own WALL-E.
It's called the Plant Host Drone (PHD) and it's a wheeled robotic plant holder that will actively seek out the sun's rays, moving over to where it (and the plant it holds) can soak in some sunlight.
The government seems forever fascinated by the idea of taking animal abilities and giving them to robots. First there was the DARPA cheetah and pack mule robots. Now we have a tuna fish robot. Yes, really.
When it comes to entrance exams, few are considered more difficult than the exam presented by Tokyo University. This is why scientists have decided to come together and see how hard the test really is by bringing in a unique student to take the exam- a robot. Fujitsu hopes to create a robot that can easily pass the exam, pushing A.I. Intelligence as far as possible along the way. Fujitsu is teaming up with Japan's National Institute of Informatics to develop this super-intelligent robot.
When it comes to phone returns, more than half the time it is because of faulty software, at least that is what T-Mobile claims. What's a mobile carrier to do about it? At T-Mobile the solution is to employ robots.
That's not the case with the LS3 "pack mule" bots being developed by DARPA, because they look more like giant mechanical bulls with four fully functional legs than anything else.
Not too long ago, Mobile Magazine reported on the world's fastest land robot, the very creepy and strange DARPA Cheetah robot. At the time it's recording-breaking robotic speed was set to 18MPH. The new land speed of this unique robot is 28.3mph for a 20-meter split.
Want your own personal bartender, but don't make thousands of dollars a day? How about a computerized bartender instead? You only need a few things like an Arduino board, the alcohol, the parts to assemble it and, well, the know-how.
Apparently, the next step in robotic-assisted human evolution is to add an extra finger to our hands. That's what San Francisco University student "Frenzy" did with his special glove.
At this point in time, robots aren't very good at tasks that require intuition, common sense or human judgement, but they are fantastic at...
For scientists at MIT, Harvard University and Seoul National University, they got their inspiration from the lowly earthworm when it came to their latest creation: the Meshworm robot.
Conspiracy theorists are already preparing for the impending Robot Apocalypse and, let's face it, Baby Affetto doesn't do anything to ease any tension or worry that some of us have about our robot-filled future.
What if I told you that scientists have now developed a robot that acts like a water strider, able to actually jump across the surface of water? Well, they have and the video is below.
More in line with my digital lifestyle would be something like the SmartPet. Winning the innovative toy category award at the Tokyo Toy Show, SmartPet essentially transforms your iPhone into a virtual pet dog.
Inspired by the way that insects can fly, fall, and easily pick themselves back up, the Laboratory for Intelligent Systems at Switzerland's EPFL federal research institute set out to create a flying unmanned aircraft that could do the same.
Do you want to have a jogging buddy but none of your human friends want to go for a run with you? Enter Joggobot, an AR Drone that's been modified to be your jogging companion.
When it comes to saving lives out on the open waters, Los Angeles County Lifeguards are adopting a new first response measure, the use of a robot lifeguard.
The “Smart Sand” project has tons of obstacles to climb over before it truly gets very far off the ground, but it is attempting to use large cubes, 12mm on each side, that can actually bind together to mimic real objects.
You've seen just about everything there is to see when it comes to RC cars, right? What about one that transforms instantly before your eyes to a dancing robot that has a pretty strong resemblance to one Optimus Prime?
On display at the Beijing Auto Show, the Qin is a plug-in hybrid car from Chinese automaker BYD. The car itself isn't terribly exciting as far as sedans go, but there is a little pop-up robot on the dash that serves as a central control point.
While we have robots like Asimo that attempt to mimic the bipedal nature of humans, robots that take on entirely different forms of locomotion can be so much more interesting. And the cool thing about the MorpHex robot is that it has more than one trick up its sleeve.
A robot on wheels isn't exactly the most exciting thing in the world, but the Sand Flea by Boston Dynamics has a very neat trick up its mechanical sleeve: it is capable of jumping a full thirty feet in the air from an absolute standstill.
Apple iPhone, meet the new robotic arm, Galileo. This uniqe arm is capable of tilting at a 360 degree angle with the swipe of your finger on a remote iOS device.
What you see in the above picture is Robojelly, a robot jellyfish designed by the researchers at Virginia Tech, which could be very useful in the future for underwater surveillance or search and rescue operations. You might be thinking that there is nothing new about a robot inspired by nature, but the robot jellyfish has a new trick up its sleeve. Theoretically, the Robojelly will go on working without ever running out of energy, as long as it’s in water.
Basically, this experiment is to see how well they can service working satellites using robots via remote control.
If you thought that the Big Dog was terrifying in motion (it was!), take a look at this new product from DARPA. The DARPA Cheetah is absolutely creepy when it starts moving, but it’s now the fastest legged robot on the planet and chances are you won’t outrun it.
What would you call a remote-controlled, six-legged robot toy (pictured above) for kids that can shoot all kinds of projectiles? Its designer, Jaimie Mantzel, is already calling it “The Greatest Toy in the Universe” (and we think that he might be right there), but he wants you to give it a cool name.
The heavy weight 710 warrior is just like its predecessors, just more versatile. It's more capable of performing a wide range of missions including EOD (explosive ordnance disposal), reconnaissance and surveillance.
It's a project that has recently been put up on Kickstarter and it's effectively a "professional quality yet affordable flying robotic camera platform." Yes, it's a drone.
They are currently testing robots called SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites) which actually have been around since 2006. The robots, having the size of that of a bowling ball, utilize CO2 thrusters to fly around the International Space Station.
The next time you walk in to a department store, you may not be greeted by a human, in fact, if Verizon Wireless has anything to do with it you'll be looking at a VGo robot. Presented at CES 2012, Verizon is aiming to enable 4G LTE devices beyond what we would expect with a typical smartphone or tablet.
Living in a world where gas and oil prices are certainly on the rise, Rudolph Behrens has come up with a theoretical solution for preparing/gathering biofuel. He has begun raising funds at Kickstarter for a 26x14 foot robot that uses a wind turbine with radial blades on top and a PV panel.
The Ant-Roach is completely inflatable, including its muscle structure. The robot weighs only seventy pounds and is easy to carry around, but due to its design it can support up to 1,000 pounds.
It turns out that "Surrogates", staring Bruce Willis, might not have been just a movie after all. For those who haven’t seen it, in the near future when people don’t interact with the environment themselves and instead have human-looking robots they control remotely do everything for them. Telesar V might not be nearly as sophisticated as the robots in Surrogates, yet the concept is still pretty similar. Telestar V is a telexistence robot system being researched by a group at the Keio University led by Professor Tachi. The idea behind the technology is having a robot you can remotely control.
Rotundus Groundbot, a dual-camera security bot which provides a 3D video feed is a new easy to manipulate automated surveillance tool presently being tested by government. Its interface is kept free from clutter to make the operation less complicated and this bot will roll around the ground spying on everything around it.
The most recent robot controlled by a smartphone is the Automated Music Personality (AMP) robot launched by OLogic. AMP is a two-wheeled, self-balancing robotic music player that can only be operated by an Android smartphone. OLogic has plans of shipping the robot for around $400 or less.
The Handroid is a robot hand developed by a Japanese company called ITK. It's a fully articulated robot hand with the same kind of dexterity as a human hand. Each finger can move independently and the hand as a whole is meant to be "sensitive" enough to be suitable for touching humans or handling fragile objects.
The Yotel chain of hotels are bringing in a new worker to their New York location. The hotel in New York will feature a robotic baggage drop-off machine. Touted as the world’s first hotel robotic luggage handler, “Yobot” loads and stores your luggage.
Visual artist Benjamin Grosser seeks to answer the question; can machines be original or creative? Grosser has created an Interactive Robotic Painting Machine that uses sounds from the environment to inspire its paint.
Artificial Intelligence may not be contained to the manufacturing industries forever. In fact, it might not be long before human customer service workers and receptionists are a thing of the past. Chyi-Yeu Lin and colleagues at the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology have built a singing, disembodied animatronic robot head that will someday put every last unskilled desk clerk and Walmart greeter in the unemployment line once and for all.
If you thought that robots are nothing more than humanoid thoughtless piles of iron that are controlled by real humans, well, you're wrong. Future robots could be even smarter than some of us. And who else could create such a robot if its not Skynet? The Japanese!
Montreal-based maker Marc-André Bazergui has created his own Wall-E robot using a set of motors and a LEGO Mindstorms NXT Kit. It took Bazergui over 250 hours to build the 20cm tall toy, but it’s sure worth the effort, since the robot moves and transforms just like the animated character.
How do you train a resident surgeon to remove an appendix? As much preparation they get in school, they can’t master how to remove an appendix until they’ve done it. The problem is that unlike the board game Operation, you’re dealing with real people who don’t have multiple lives. So how do you give residents hands-on practice when human lives are hanging in the balance? How do you get busy, experienced surgeons to take the time to teach them? How can surgeons watch and effectively evaluate a resident’s performance in the operation room, when tensions are high and a patient’s life is on the line? These are questions being considered by a surgical robotics team at Johns Hopkins University.
Rovers are key to exploring planets that are too far and expensive for manned missions, but they have their limitations. NASA rover “Spirit” scaled a mountain the height of the Statute of Liberty, but couldn’t maneuver its way out of a sand bog. In 2009 Spirit became stuck and in NASA controllers’ attempts to free the rover, the wheels only sank deeper. Lack of sun in the rover’s current location meant Spirit went into low-power hibernation mode, and on May 25 2011 NASA made their last communication with Spirit.
It's going to be a long time before Japan is really back on its feet. We already know about Nao and FirstLook seeing what they can do, but it's time to toss in some QinetiQ robots to help too.
Our friend Chris at pyroelectro.com sent in this DIY sentry gun turret that uses a simple airsoft gun and a tupperware container found at your local big box store.
When I hear the name iRobot, the first thing that comes to mind is that silly Roomba. Yeah, it's pretty clever how they can get a vacuum to roam around a room on its own, but the iRobot 110 FirstLook looks like it could be infinitely more useful.
We've always been fascinated with robots, particularly of the humanoid type. It's been a challenge for scientists to give them human-like movements, which is why it's taken them so long to get robots to walk, run, climb stairs, and play soccer. Nao is ready for more.
When I went to school for my psychology degree, it was quite common for my classmates to sign up as assistants for people who were doing applied behavior analysis (ABA) training and therapy for children with autism. Now, we could be looking at much more technological approach.
Kids these days are bloody lucky. Sure, kids’ cartoons are getting wimpier and more pathetic. But the toys! Oh man, the toys.