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Art and technology meet again. This time in the form of traditional Kabuki. The robot, dubbed Tokotokomaru, is a customized hobby robot like the ones featured in the recent robot marathon by Vstone. Older version of Tokotokomaru and creator Amino Azusa shown after winning a robot battle competition. Note the belt. Almost as soon as these hobby robots were introduced, they were made to fight each other. The Robo-One robot fighting circuit is where an older version of Tokotokomaru was firs ...
(via youtube)   Korea is pushing robotics as the next big industry. Their "Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute" (ETRI) is helping in the cause. ETRI is donating the version 2 of their ETRI-Built Robot (ETRO) for use as a human-robot relation guide at the Daejon National Science Museum.   Version 1 of ETRO was a bot developed to read and read-out-load. It had stereo vision and ran off the Linux OS. It could identify objects, faces, letters, etc. It was an excellent pi ...
I like playing golf. The green course, trees, nature, a gentle breeze, all contribute to a relaxed time. But scoring a 15 on a par 3 due to poor putting ruins the atmosphere. I had no clue that there are golf training devices that can help with your swing. But what about putting? Golf Swing, mechanical, trainer via Lama Golf Institute.   Katherine Kuchenbecker, at the University of Pennsylvania, and her team have created haptic tactile feedback sensing robot that gently forces a perfect ...
  "It's stunning. I have never seen a machine doing a motion like this." -  Jessy Grizzle, a professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.   MABEL is a pi-pedal robot that looks like it is from the future. Its run invokes images of it chasing down people who do not conform to the system. Of if you are less pessimistic about the future, perhaps it is running into a fire to save someone. The robot is not doing either yet, but it has demonstrated the fi ...
  As autonomous robots mature to be usable in rescue situations, the need for human control is still omni-present. Microsoft (MS) is bringing their "Surface" technology for use in control application through the Microsoft Robotics Studio.   At the University of Massachusetts, Lowell (UML) robotics lab, Holly Yanco and Mark Micire are taking their Dynamically Resizing Ergonomic and Multi-Touch (DREAM) controller developed since 2008 to a new level with the MS Surface. The MS Surface is ...
Like watching your child take their first steps, the feat that the collection of "Swarmanoid" robots achieve brings tears to the eyes. Although I did not help create these bots, I can appreciate the advancement in robotic collaboration and artificial intelligence they show.   Original Swarm-Bot concept   Professor Merco Dorigo, of the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium, ran a project that lasted 42 months, completed on March 31 in 2005, that was to take a new approach to ...
Only image of Ernie Fessenden's RC truck (via Sergeant Chris Fessenden)   In a gesture of brotherly love and DIY finesse, Ernie Fessenden built an RC truck with a built in camera to keep his bother safe in Afghanistan. His brother, Sergeant Chris Fessenden, routinely used this “Traxxis Stampede RC truck” in the battle field. The RC truck’s hood mounted camera sent a video relay to an LCD that Sergeant Chris Fessenden had attached to his rifle. When an object in the road lo ...
  The PR2 open source platform robot from Willow Garage has recently been used to handle many menial and simple tasks. You can see the PR2 scan and bag groceries, fold clothes, and travel around learning to read. The days of PR2 performing the day to day are not over, now it is cooking.   The PR2 was taken by MIT graduate student Mario Bollini and made to bake cookies from start to finish. The PR2 would mix the cookie dough, dollop onto a cookie sheet, and place it into the oven. Boll ...
(video via GRITS) The independently thinking robots from Georgia Robotics and Intelligent Systems Lab are at it again. This time they are paired with a autonomous quad copter.   In the experiment, the bots are told to perform certain tasks. For example, the ground bots are told to form a straight line, a shape around a "leader" bot, and form a platform for the quad copter to land on. In each case, the bots have to decide what role they will take in each case. As demonstrated in their la ...
  Japanese company Riken has partnered up with Tokai Rubber in the creation of the RIBA II nursing assistant robot. At the joint laboratory RTC, RIKEN-TRI Collaboration Center for Human-Interactive Robot Research, they have taken the RIBA Robot, from 2008, and upgraded the lifting abilities (by  41 lbs) and control interface to the point where it will be a tool for medical use.   I know a few hospital volunteers that say they have to lift elderly, sick, and disabled people in and ...
  Fast forward to 1:30 for the real action   Eliza is a robot built Beijing Institute of Technology's Intelligent Robotics Research Lab and the China Aerospace Science & Industry Corporation. Eliza is an affable robot designed for human interaction. First employed as a general guide at the Guangzhou Asian Games 2010 Experience Center, Eliza has been seen at various other shopping malls and Wal-marts since. More recently a crew of Eliza bots have thrilled audiences with their choreo ...
Industrial electronics manufacturing robot (via KUKA)   Foxconn, based in Taiwan, is the world's premier electronics manufacturers. They assemble Nintendo, Apple, and Microsoft electronics. (Foxconn is also the world's leader in employee suicides. While many were stopped, 17 did jump to their deaths last year.)  The founder and chairman Terry Gou plans to replace a large portion of Foxconn's 1 million human workers with 1 million industrial robots. He stated rising labor costs as the i ...
  Robots can perform repetitive tasks with a high degree of precision. Change some aspect of its environment and the bot will not adapt, and errors will soon follow. Researchers from Hasegawa Groups Labs, at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, have created a bot that can make decisions based on prior data in a dynamic environment.    The experiment was to pour a glass of water, add ice, and place it for a person. While being away of its surroundings and situation, the bot had to ...

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