Polaroid has decided to go back to what it does best, instant printing cameras. The digital cam will have an on-board printer for 4x3-inch prints, their original image size. Amateur Photographer is holding a competition for the company to help design it by asking 6 questions, such as whether you think it should have an external battery for extended printing. The competitions ends August 31. We assume you have to be a real photobug for this one because as far as we could tell, the prize is knowing that you contributed.
Read More | Amateur Photographer
Foosball players that can’t find enough competition can rejoice in the fact that they can now play against a robo-player. Engineering students from the Univ. of Adelaide won an award for their mechatronics project that took 8 months to complete. The system consists of a motions sensor system, software for decision making, and an actuation system for control manipulation. The 4 sets of rods can move side to side and rotate for kicking. The winners were sponsored by Sage Didatic and supported by Rockwell Automation.
Read More | Rockwell Automation
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Robotic competitions are not limited to those with agility and practicality. Meiwa Electronics sponsors the annual Stupid Robot Contest. Entries must be mechanical, useless, and make people laugh. Papa Robopucho plays the red-flag white-flag game solo, then topples over and cries for help. We’re not sure what the baby ones do. Previous contestants included a chorus of preggers wifebots. While we don’t really find that the most amusing of robotic entrants, we suppose there is just no accounting for taste.
Read More | Tokyo Mango
If you are the type to keep up on robotics competitions, (and we are,) then you know that the next RoboGames (formerly the RobOlympics,) is coming up June 12 through 15 in San Francisco. With over 70 different events, including combat robots, walking humanoids, and soccer bots, the competition comes from all over the planet. You can get a ticket for $20.00 a day to watch the event, but if you have ever thought about participating, there is still time to get in on the action. Purchase a RoboNova kit and build your own android for $999.99 or get one that is pre-assembled for $1,199.00.
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Japan’s Robots of the Year are Fanuc Ltd.’s robotic assembly line arms that are already present in pharmaceutical and food plants. The three arms feature suction cups that pick up items on at the speed of 120 pieces per minute. During the competition, they also lined up items in rows inside boxes. The winners were chosen for its practicality and beat out a dancing humanoid, a bot that can toss water on a fire three times as far as a human can, and Eve, a transparent torso for medical practice that complains verbally if the user tugs a little too much on a catheter.
Read More | Examiner
Japan’s Yu Nakajima has become the 2007 Rubik’s Cube World Champ. The sixteen year-old managed to solve the classic 3 x 3-inch puzzle with an average time of 12.46 seconds after five attempts. His speed earned him the top award of $7,000. Over 250 contestants from 33 different countries took part in the event in Hungary, where the game was invented in 1974. Other competitors manipulated the cube with one hand, blindfolded, and with their feet, on 3, 4, and 5-inch sized puzzles. Our only question is, who has enough time to sit around and play with Erno’s invention with his/her feet?
Read More | Mainichi Daily News
We suppose that Google is not satisfied with its new Sky, but then again maybe they have just gone a tad space loony. The company has offered a $30 million reward to the first private company that sends a robotic rover to the moon and sends back a gigabyte of images.
Partnered with the X Prize Foundation, who hosted the contest that sent non-astronauts into space, Google says that the rules involve the device traveling at least 1,312 feet across the surface and having high-def video and still cameras to send self-portraits, panoramic views, and near-real time videos. More details will become available during the WIRED Nextfest in LA this week.
Read More | ABC