Trek into the mountains of Vermont this summer, and you may see an actual Giant Robot. Jaimie Mantzel has been working on his creation for a while now, and says that he is hoping for a springtime debut. When completed, the aluminum bot will be 12 ft. tall, 18 ft. across and Jaimie will pilot it via cockpit. Take a look at his site that is filled with video of the project and many of his other ones. By the way, if you like what you see and can’t wait for the time when Giant Robots dominate the planet, a donation would probably be graciously appreciated.
Read More | Jaimie Mantzel
ASIMO eat your heart out. Flame is now the most advanced walking robot to date. Created by Dutch PhD student Daan Hobbelen of TU Delft, his bot is both stable and energy efficient. To accomplish his objective, he studied how people walked for the first time. He then gave Flame seven motors and a balance mechanism created with stability algorithms. Daan is hoping that the technology will be used to help treat those with walking disabilities.
Read More | Physorg
WowWee has finally moved on from their inane Chatterbots to bring us all the Tribot, which we first introduced you to in February from the CES. Obviously named for its three-wheeled base, the bot can move in 8 directions (including diagonal.)The kewl tilt trigger button allows you to move him in directions by just moving the remote around. He will also tell jokes and stories and refers to himself as “the most rad robot in the galaxy.”
Wait, there’s more. Use Tribot as a guard against alien bots or dogs, as an alarm that needs a tap on the head to shut him up, challenge him to a game of hide and seek, or play one of three driving games. We would have been happy if he just cleaned up our room.
Read More | Tribot Product Page
You’ve got your elite with their fancy Swedish Automowers that they adore so much they give them names, and then there are others who take a more ordinary approach by having a robot slave do the work for them, despite the rudeness of the family dog. The video of the Tynamizer is fairly amusing to watch but we were wondering a couple of things. Doesn’t the grass already look fairly short? And what happens when the extension cord runs out?
Read More | Robots-Dreams
Although the movie won’t be out until June 27, Disney is already promoting it with two toys. The Ultimate WALL-E has 10 motors, a programmable remote with touch programming, and sensors to detect obstacles and sound direction. It is also MP3 compatible with built-in speakers, USB cables, and rechargeable batteries (included.) The robot will be at ToysRUs and Disney Shopping this fall for $189.99.
The iDance WALL-E, with animated eyes, talks and dances. The audio in-jack makes it compatible with iPods or MP3 players. Sound activated, it will be at various retailers this summer for $24.99.
Read More | Bot Junkie
One of our fave robotic buds, Honda’s ASIMO, will be coming to Detroit May 13 to conduct the city’s Symphony Orchestra as part of a performance with cellist Yo-Yo Ma. He will be performing to “Impossible Dream” to draw attention to the DSO’s music education program for younger listeners. He will also be on display to music students May 14, who get to learn what he can do as well as get a lesson from the Master of Strings. We will try to get a peek at the bot when he arrives, so if you plan on going, save us a seat.
Read More | Akihabara News
It’s not often that we find a bot that is useless, silly, and not made by WowWee, but the Push-kun can be placed in all those categories. Created by Osaka’s Robot Force, the robot tells jokes, plays drumrolls for itself, and performs other odd antics. If nothing else, he is a fine way to spend a couple of minutes watching. Push-kin was so impressive that he performed in the Baka RoboCup, which seeks out the most amusing and/or trivial robotics. While the quadruped didn’t win, we knew we just had to share, even if he only speaks Japanese. RF’s OniRoppo is also in the video.
Read More | Pink Tentacle
We love robotic animal toys almost as much as the genuine article, with the exception being the annoying Furby, even though that probably doesn’t qualify as an animal. Hal the Hamster sings and dances to Styx’s “Mr. Roboto.” Standing 6-inches, he needs 3 AAA batteries to do his thing and has a price of only $9.99. We think we might have programmed him with something more appropriate, such as “Chewy, Chewy” or “Spinning Wheel.” Then again, he is wearing a spacesuit.
Read More | Kleargear
Shades of Chucky. MIT Media Labs Personal Robotics Group has created Nexi, an MDS (Mobile/Dexterous/Social) bot that moves, has some dexterity, and communicates. About the size of a 3-year old, they hope that the robot will excel in areas of human/robot interaction, teamwork, and learning. While this is another step forward in the annals of robotics, the video kind of creeped us out. We wonder what would happen if a real child encountered it.
Read More | MIT Personal Robotics Group
Who says the military is not into games? When we last told you about the iRobot Packbot, it had barely taken off as a prototype that could fly with a parafoil system. The USDE has been busy and is now teaching its battlefield model, which features a gun and sensory equipment, to run via a Wii controller. It seems that the soldiers spent more time operating the bot than in reading data and they figured this would be a more useful alternative. Engineers have developed software that will send back vibrations if it finds something of importance, like an injured soldier. They would also like to hook it up to an iPhone sometime in the future.
Read More | New Scientist Tech