It looks like SOTAB 1 isn’t the only bot that will soon be attacking oil spills. Designer Ji-hoon Kim’s OSP robots may look like Roombas but love the water. Each has a computer system that plans and controls its motions, a GPS system and radio antenna to communicate with its fellow modules, boom connectors for hooking up to others, a solar panel to collect energy, and an inflatable boom that rolls out for protection. With their small size, they can be moved quickly to the site by boat or helicopter. We hope this is one prototype that becomes real before the next large oil spill.
Read More | Yanko
For the hunters in your life that still don’t get it that it is not okay to kill animals for sport or clothing, this prototype collection by designer/robotics teacher French Cadet is the gift for them. Walk in a room and the eleven Hunting Trophies will flash their eyes in red, orange, or green, turn their heads and move them up and down, and open and close their mouths. Here’s where the payback comes in. The closer the visitor gets, the more aggressive the bots become and will growl. Walk past them all and a chain reaction of snarling will occur. Created out of I-Cybie robots and individual programming, they each have an infrared sensor that can detect the amount of people in the room and their movements.
Read More | Trophees
Researchers from Osaka University have developed SOTAB 1 (Spilled Oil Tracking Autonomous Buoy 1) with imaging sensors that can spot globs from a distance. The GPS bot dives down and when it senses something that resembles oil, floats back to the surface and “swims” towards the oil spill. SOTAB then helps cleanup crews by providing data on wind speed, and depth and temperature of the water. Still in the developmental stage, head researcher Naomi Kato hopes the 243 lb. robot will be available commercially in a couple of years.
Read More | Pink Tentacle
Zoe is learning cartography. The robot contains a hard disk with a basic map with data from ASTER (Astrobiology Science and Technology for Exploring Planets,) an infrared spectrometer on NASA’s Earth Observing Satellite. It works on about a kilometer of area at a time and takes one astral image/second. So far the bot is working on differentiating clay from basalt, with the researchers hoping that someday a similar device could be sent to a planet like Mars, where we won’t be tripping around for quite some time. Zoe has already mastered avoiding obstacles and fair-field sensing, simple for humans, but not for bots.
Read More | Space Daily
Hook up Mr. Jones’ Tengu to your USB port and he will light up and lip sync to music, voices or any other noise you prefer with no additional software. He features different expressions, depending on what he spits out, and goes to sleep when there is nothing to talk or sing about. He also responds to loud noises and interference by outside sources such as you blowing on him. We dig the little guy’s YouTube audition which includes the Beatles’ “I’m Only Sleeping.” Get your own pet Tengu for £24.99 (~$36.00.)
Read More | Tengu
The Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute in Japan has devised a bot that helps the navigationally challenged. Robovie people-watched a section of the Universal Citywalk Shopping Center in Osaka and offered his expertise if they seemed disoriented. After literally asking “Are you lost?,” he provided directions or suggested shops and restaurants. The robot uses 16 cams, 6 laser range finders and 9 RFIDs to keep track of up to 20 individuals, including their locations and behavior (such as walking or waiting.)
ATR will be establishing themselves permanently in the shopping center and hope to hire out its guides beginning this June.
Read More | Pink Tentacle
Weathernews has found an interesting way to monitor and alert Tokyo to the pollen count. The 200 Pollen Bots measure about one foot across, weigh 2.2 lbs. each, and glow in their styrofoam shells. The color of their eyes change as the count goes up or down. Given to those locals who suffer from hay fever, the recipients monitor the air in their space and send updated results over the Net to Weathernews’ headquarters. We would think that having to purchase a couple extra boxes of Kleenex would be a fairly decent and less expensive indication.
Since most robots are made to serve, it’s nice to discover one that solely entertains. Engineered Arts’ RoboThespians speak, sing, tell stories, and do a dance step or two. You can watch it perform Robert Shaw in “Jaws,” something very “Alien,” “C3PO,” “Singin’ in the Rain,” and our fave of Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker. If you are fortunate enough to live in the UK, you can see them perform at The Eden Project in Cornwall. If not, there is always YouTube. It ain’t Shakespeare, but it is amusing.
Read More | technabob
It’s a sad state of affairs when a company creates a commercial with a human competing for a top dance spot with a robotic device. Remember Miuro? Sony has devised its own dancing bot to be released in the States sometime this spring. Palm-size, Rolly uses the reflection of the floor to create an acoustical image, with speakers at 180º angles. Considering how identically the two bots operate, it might be a better alternative to pit them against each other.
Read More | <3 Yen
There can never be enough cleaning bots. So, in addition to iRobot’s roomba and scooba on the market, there is now one gadget that Hanulkid claims can do both. The bot can sweep door sills up to 1.5 cm high, and features IR, PSD, 3-way gyroscope, geomagnetic, and humidity sensors. When the Steamer has finished sucking up all that dirt, push a button and it will deep clean your carpets. The vacuum/steam cleaner needs 2AA batteries and comes with remote. Four hours of recharge time will give you 2 continuous hrs. of operation. Check with Hanulkid for price and availability.
Read More | CES Planner