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.
Paintball is the favorite past time of many humans. It’s a non-lethal way to have fun in the field with other people, and guns. Mega Hurtz, a crazy ass robot designed by Chris Rogers is up for backing on Kickstarter. This thing is fantastic, it’s fully armored, can drag an adult body across the ground (usually for rescue missions), rip through the bush at 50 MPH all the while unloading 20 rounds of paint per second on unsuspecting opponents.
When the original Roomba from iRobot first hit the scene it was revolutionary: a vacuum that roamed (and cleaned) your room on its own. iRobot has quite the track record making military robots, so why not infiltrate the home front? LG also has quite the experience with military production, so it comes as no surprise that LG’s new HOM-BOT does what an iRobot does, but smarter.
The idea behind the Talk-Torque 2, which is almost more alien-like than robot-like, is that it can guide you through a museum using only gestures. The robot is supposed to “become a master at human communication without words,” directing your attention toward points of interest as it acts as a tour guide through a museum, art gallery, or some other similar exhibit.
Right now XBOX 360’s Kinect is easily one of the hottest consumer technologies on the market, but the Hoshino Biological Cybernetics Lab at Tsukuba University have managed to take it a step further with their concept at the 3D Expo.
Over at McGill University, a team of surgeons have successfully removed a patient’s prostate without the use of human hands. Instead, a couple of robot surgeons did the real work on the guy going under the knife. Part of the surgery team included the da Vinci robo-surgeon and the McSleepy robot anesthesiologist.
Anyone planning on illegally crossing the North/South Korean border better think twice, the government has deployed a couple sentry robots that can sense heat and motion and deploy 40mm grenades at the target, or just fire off a couple thousand rounds of ammunition its way. Audio and video is sent back to the command center allowing them to make the call on whether or not the response requires such offensive action. Check the video below for a peak at the command UI.
While you can find a webcam on the market with pretty good resolution these days, they largely restrict you to just two dimensions of imagery. You’ll need an adequately-equipped display, but if you pick up this Minoru 3D webcam, you can effectively send your likeness in three dimensions. The styling of the webcam itself reminds […]
Is there seriously a market for doo-dahs like this? Sega has already released the i-Dog, i-Cat, and i-Platypus (okay, maybe not the last one), so I guess they figure there’s money to be made in robotic speakers for our portable music players. The latest offering from Sega is the i-spin, and it appears to be […]
The touchscreen-equipped portable gaming machine from Nintendo never ceases to amaze me. When I first picked up a DS Lite, I was enthralled by multiplayer sessions of Tetris DS and Mario Kart DS, but it was only after I discovered the homebrew possibilities that the DS really started to shine. And the development has just […]
Robots just keep getting smarter and smarter. I’ve seen a movie or two about how this can go awry. Evolution Robotics hasn’t taught robots to cry, but they have come close. With their new NorthStar 2.0 System robots can be truly aware of their surroundings, and can even perform tasks on their own. The system […]
Robots have been created to do a lot of ridiculous and totally unnecessary things over the years. Here’s one, though, that actually makes sense. A London-based firm has deployed a group of fire fighting robots. Taking after the bomb-defusing robots that we are already familiar with, these robots are being used in a trial to […]
If the movie Transformers has taught as anything, it’s that big robots can cause some pretty massive damage. In an effort to keep things under control, Professor Robert Wood of Harvard University has developed a robotic fly that is actually the same size as a real fly, except, you know, it’s a robot. Boasting a […]
Too lazy to walk around your 600 square foot bachelor pad with a vacuum cleaner? Yeah, me too. I want to just sit back on my couch and watch some Simpsons and Family Guy. Apparently, SK Telecom is almost finished developing a robot cleaning solution that you control using a mobile phone. The round cleaning […]
Technology, as I’m sure you’re well aware, is advancing at an increasingly expedient pace. What was hot and innovative just a couple years ago is mundane and conventional today. We normally talk about laptops, cell phones, and that kind of thing around here, but let’s take a brief break to check this out. A magnetic […]
German efficiency and determination have produced the world’s largest and strongest robot, the KUKA KR 1000. It’s full-on huge, with a height of just over 4 meters and a reach alone of 3.2 meters. The robot, aptly called Titan, has nine motors built into a dynamic yet rock-solid steel base. This kind of machine is […]
Not that many legs on this little mechanical medical marvel, but it’s called a “robotic caterpillar” anyway. It’s a creation of the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon, and its primary task is to crawl across the human heart to help perform bypasses and procedures that would otherwise require stopping the organ, if only temporarily. That […]
When I first heard about this robot chicken, I immediately thought of the very strange animated series created by Seth Green. Unfortunately, this creation has absolutely nothing to do with quirky cartoons. Fitting somewhere between Tamagotchi virtual pets and a real puppy is the next-generation robot chicken from Sega. The little robots are fuzzy, cuddly, […]
I suspect that there will be a run on Fantastic Voyage rentals in the next few months. Fans and trivia buffs will remember that little sci-fi movie gem as starring Raquel Welch much more than they’ll remember that the vital task the miniaturized scientists had to perform was remove a blood clot. Yet that very […]
Meet Dexter. He’s still in his formative years, just learning how to walk, to think. But he can analyze 20,000 actions a second. Dexter is a robot, a product of a California research lab run by Anybots, a group of independent engineers who have put six years of their lives into making Dexter, who can […]
This will still give some people the creeps. It’s a mini robot that can be controlled remotely even after it’s inside your body. That’s thanks to the genius of researchers from the Shiga University of Medical Science and Ritsumeikan University of Japan. These dedicated scientists have put together a tiny machine that, once inserted in […]
One of the things that humans will always have over robots is, for better or worse, the complexity of emotions. Computers can think better logically and make faster and more accurate calculations, but they can’t feel. There’s a huge gap there. Into that gap are wading a group of European scientists on a project titled […]
When it comes to handling explosive objects, it’s probably better if you don’t go in there yourself to deal with it. I think it’d be much safer for everyone involved if you just deployed the iRobot PackBot 510 with EOD (explosive ordinance disposal) kit. This speedy little sucker will zoom into action 30 percent faster […]
If you’ve been secretly jealous of your kids’ ever-more-sophisticated toys, you can soon get one of your own, thanks to Takara Tomy, who are unveiling the i-SOBOT, a small yet powerful little robot that can respond to voice commands as well as a remote control. The iSOBOT is just 6.6 inches high and weighs just […]
I’m just not sure whether to laugh or quake in fear. iRobot, the folks who brought you the robots that can mop your floors and vacuum your carpets, have gone and done the open source thing, giving us a robot that we can all program to our own heart’s desire. That would be the iRobot […]
If you are one who gets freaked out in the dentist’s chair, you might want to steady yourself before reading on. It seems the inventive folks at Johns Hopkins have come up with a surgical robot that can crawl down your throat. The whole thing looks like something out of the Terminator series to me, […]
We’re getting ever closer to the sentient robotic age. And we’re not talking The Jetsons here, although this robot does roll around on wheels just like Rosie. The latest entry in that technological development race is a robot out of Germany that takes its instructions directly from a plugged-in human boss. The human part of […]
Look closely behind the wheel of that Chevy Tahoe behind you, because there may not be a driver. In Pittsburgh, a group of researchers are planning to test a robotic vehicle that drives itself through traffic. The Tartan Racing team from Carnegie Mellon, is looking to enter next year’s DARPA robotic vehicle challenge with a […]
So this little guy will go where you want him to go. He’s small enough to remain unseen (if you try hard enough). And he can stay in one place for 150 minutes without needing a battery jolt. He is NetTansor, a Wi-Fi robot with wheels and a webcam in his face. The result is […]
Isaac Asimov definitely would not approve. A recent iRobot gathering in Washington, D.C. featured robots designed for war. The autonomous killing machines were out in full force: One robot packed double-barreled shotguns. Another had a 30-caliber machine gun. Not all robots were packing heat, however. Some are the kind that we’ve heard about before: the […]
Matsushita is aiming to get back into the robot business. This time, however, the target audience will be people who need help. Speaking at the CEATEC tech trade show, Matsushita President Fumio Ohtsubo said that the company was pursuing two kinds of robots. The first will have two pairs of arms, one for lifting a […]
Motorola is looking towards vending machines as the newest way to expand their retail reach. The Instantmoto robotic stores will carry 30 different products – initially 12 phones and 18 accessories. The pilot project of the stores will see them installed in 20 malls and airports in the States. There are already three operating in […]
From the creators of AIBO comes MI RAI-RT, another in a growing line of moving, entertaining, and “speaking” robots. MI RAI-RT can do all sorts of fun things, like sing and dance and even speak. The makers are quick to point out that the robot can speak English, which means that it can teach English […]
It seems like there is a dozen new iPod accessories released every day, but what we haven’t seen so far is a robot. Well, the long wait is over. Miuro is a Japanese robot designed around your iPod, because who hasn’t wished they had a dancing boombox on wheels? The machine (kinda looks like a […]
Having trouble finding a reliable place to buy your robots and robot-related items? Move to Japan. The world’s first store dedicated entirely to the sale of robots will be opening in Nagoya in October. The futuristic retail complex will be part of a new robot museum, so you can be educated at the same time […]
Here we have another programmable robot out of South Korea. This one has a not-at-all catchy name, D2V-ZN, and it’s from D2E Robotics. Still, if looks are what you’re after, you can do a lot worse than this one, which resembles nothing more than one of those giant blasting monoliths that the Empire wielded on […]
USRobotics has come up with a couple more ways for us to easily use Skype, but the two new phones that they unveiled both lack a catchy name: the USR9602 and USR9601A. The USR9602 is also known as the USB Mini Internet Phone. You can plug it into either the USB 1.1 or 2.0 ports […]
Ally McBeal may have had a dancing baby, but you can now get your hands on a much more techie version in the form of the Robonova robot. While a pre-made model is available, you can also choose to build it yourself, in 6 to 8 hours, using nothing more than a simple screwdriver. They […]
We’re getting a Star Wars vibe from this one, specifically on the ice planet of Hoth. This is something that mere mortals can operate, although it weighs almost a ton. It’s the Land Walker, and it’s more than 10 feet tall. You sit in the cockpit, or the robot’s “brain.” You can control the movement […]
It didn’t take the robot aficionados long to get a new pet dog. This sounds a lot like Aibo, but it’s not really. It’s Genibo, which is a combination of the words Genius and Robot. He’s a clever little creature, one that can understand up to 100 voice commands. You can pet him and watch […]
Sounds like something out of a Jules Verne story. A team of researchers at Carnegie Mellon have released word of a micro-sized robot that they anticipate being able to swim through your veins. That sort of device can go where microscopes and needles can’t, giving doctors new opportunities to not only examine the inner workings […]
Not sure how many uses you can find for this one, but there it is all the same. It’s the R7, a walkable robot out of South Korea. The seat you sit in is certainly plush, and the robot’s feet do all the work. The movement is supposed to be not too traumatic, so maybe […]
Check this out: a ground robot that has four-wheel drive, and that’s just the beginning. It’s called the Spybot 4WD, and its made by MacroSwiss. Making a a name for itself at the recent European Land Robot Trials, the main new feature of the bot was its Flapper Wheels, which are a sort of cross […]
Can paper move a robot? Researchers in South Korea think so, and they are out to prove it. A team at Inha University has discovered that electricity can make cellulose bend. Cellulose, of course, is the main ingredient in paper. A set of recent experiments has resulted in treated cellulose that is lightweight and inexpensive, […]
Some people enjoy cleaning, but I am definitely not one of those people. With the advances in technology these days, we’re already seeing some rather impressive robots on the market that can do what we do, and maybe even do it better. The VC-RS60 and VC-RS60H may look like little boomboxes to bring tunes with […]