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ApriPoko Learns and Responds

Posted by Sheila Franklin Categories: Design, Misc. Tech, Science

ApriPokoToshiba is working on a new robot that doubles as a voice-operated remote for all your appliances. At a size of 8 x 11-inches and a weight of only 5 lb., ApriPoko learns by watching and questioning your actions, such as “What did you just do?”

Talk back to the bot (“I turned on the stereo”) and he will memorize your actions. When you want that stereo turned on the next time, he will happily oblige with an IR signal. Think of the implications in years to come for the prototype.

“I got a beer from the fridge.”
“I flushed the toilet.”
“I called my boss and told him I was very sick.”
“I have to go see my mother-in-law.”

Read More | Asahi (Japanese) via Pink Tentacle


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BigDog Balances in any Terrain

Posted by Sheila Franklin Categories: Design, Misc. Tech, Science, Videos


Funded by DARPA, Boston Dynamics has developed the BigDog. About the size of a goat, it also has the dexterity of one. The gas-powered bot’s control system keeps it balanced so that it can navigate on all types of terrains. Sensors monitor such aspects as hydraulic pressure, oil temperature, engine temperature, rpm, and battery charge. Its legs move in an animalistic way and if something interferes, it simply absorbs the shock and carries on. Watch what happens when some dude decides to give it a kick.

 

Read More | Boston Dynamics

Phone Braver Monitors Your Calls

Posted by Sheila Franklin Categories: Cell Phones, Misc. Tech, Science

PhoneBraverWith an idea that originated from the Japanese TV show “Cellphone Investigator 7,” Softbank has created a mobile phone that can also be a robotic friend. Attach PhoneBraver’s arms and legs and it will begin to respond with differing faces. It also pays attention to your phone habits. If you call someone frequently it will say, “You’re calling her often these days, aren’t you?”

Apparently, you will be able to carry on a conversation by responding to PhoneBraver’s questions. We are not sure that we want our handset monitoring our phone calls. Look for it to come out this April.

Read More | Weird Asia News

Dextre Gets a Bumpy Ride

Dextre ArmsWhen we last told you about Dextre, he was about to be launched to the ISS via Endeavor. It seems that all did not go well with the bot, who decided to sleep in a bit longer. It turns out that a cable design flaw wouldn’t allow power to turn him on. The astronauts finally got him up and running, then attached his hands to his arms and his arms to his torso. No one is sure yet about the reason for the dilemma since it wasn’t apparent in pre-flight testing, but NASA promises a thorough investigation.

Read More | USA Today

ReadyBot Does Dishes

Posted by Sheila Franklin Categories: Design, Misc. Tech, Science, Videos

Why settle for a simple Scooba to wash your floors when you can get a ReadyBot to clean your entire kitchen? The prototype loads your dishwasher, cleans up the mess on your counter, and even takes care of leftovers. Created by a group of engineers from Silicon Valley, the team hopes to have them on the market in approximately two years. They also say that being made of commonly available parts, the bot will be affordable for us common folk. We say, “Sign us up.”

 

 

Read More | ReadyBot

Griffon Barely Took Off

Posted by Sheila Franklin Categories: Misc. Tech, Science, Videos

Can the military ever have enough robots? Apparently not. An iRobot team devised the packbot Griffon, a prototype that combines with a steerable parafoil system. Controlled by radio and running on gasoline, it attaches to the Ozone Razor with two hang points. The kit was meant to be carried by soldiers or civilians for search and rescue missions. We understand that it never went past its practice runs and we suspect that it was forgotten in lieu of newer technology.

 

Read More | c/net

Bar Owner Builds Robocop

Posted by Sheila Franklin Categories: Misc. Tech, Science

Robotic GuardIn downtown Atlanta, Rufus Terrill didn’t like some of the folk who were hanging around his bar, O’Terrills, so he built himself a simplified robocop which he controls by remote. Consisting of an old meat smoker that he says still smells like chicken, a spotlight, an IR cam, a water cannon and a loudspeaker, the bot stands 4 feet tall and weighs 300 lbs. Apparently the silly looking device is working since Terrill says there is a lot less “action” going on near his tavern. Check out the video to see it put through its paces.

Read More | ajc

Dextre Goes Into Space

DextreWhen Endeavor takes off this week, it will have more than a paper airplane and space boomerangs for the astronauts to play with. Dextre (for dexterous) will have to be built once he arrives on the ISS, for he is 12 feet tall with multi-jointed 11 foot arms. Costing about $200 million, he is tele-operated and will attend to some of the station repair jobs. Apparently the Canadian bot has a sensitive touch and precise control even without legs.

Read More | CSA

Goggles Remember for You

Posted by Sheila Franklin Categories: Design, Misc. Tech, Science

Memory Goggles

You will some day be able to find your lost car keys with only your PC. University of Tokyo researchers have come up with Memory Goggles. They can recognize and organize visual information of objects after a certain amount of training. They also have an LCD screen built-in so that you can double check the item. The glasses need the aid of a computer tied to the user’s back, which the scientists say will become smaller in time. The team is also hoping that the goggles will be capable of processing information in future robotics.

 

Read More | neoseeker

Robot Gymnast is Super-Coordinated

Posted by Sheila Franklin Categories: Design, Misc. Tech, Science, Videos

This automated gymnastic bot is more talented than most humans we know. Earlier studies showed that walking robots needed pressure sensors on the soles of their feet. Take this a step farther and this one features a layer of urethane foam which have been embedded with LEDs and photodiodes. When the light disperses in the foam it is detected by those diodes. All we know is that the robot is incredibly impressive as it goes through its acrobatic routine.

 

Read More | BotJunkie

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