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Categories

Archive for the ‘Robotics’ Category

postheadericon Where Have All the Robots Gone?

Right after the Japanese earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster, I began jokingly mentioning to friends: “At least Japan has lots of robots that can help.” Then, as the days have worn on, and the tragedies mount, I started seeing comments on Facebook and blogs, asking: “Where are the robots!?”

Where are the robots? Japan is known for its cutting-edge robotics development and deployment — it’s even known for its development of emergency robots. In all of the coverage, I haven’t seen any discussion whatsoever about bringing in bots. After the Three Mile Island and Chernobyl accidents, Red Whittaker, of Carnegie Mellon, and later RedZone Robotics, developed robots specifically for nuclear emergency applications. If such robots exist (and can handle some of the tasks being currently undertaken by humans), then why are they needlessly cooking plant workers and JSDF (self-defense forces) if they don’t need to be?

Discuss.

postheadericon This Week in Hobby Robotics 02

Frits and Rik are back with another episode of This Week in Hobby Robotics! Find out what’s going on in the land of robots.

Frits (from Denmark), who works professionally in web concept development, is the creator of Letsmakerobots.com, a popular international source for hobby robotics. His cohost, Rik (from Holland), is part of the team that runs Letsmakerobots.com and assists its online community.

More:
This Week in Hobby Robotics (pilot)

postheadericon Hanson Robokind puts a familiar Frubber face on robotic research (video)

He did it! As promised way back in 2007, David Hanson has turned his little Astro Boy-like Zeno robot loose upon our delicate planet. But Zeno is just one of four face options available for the Hanson Robokind — the “almost human robot” considered “the best robot on the market” by its maker. In addition to the fully expressive Zeno, Alice, and Einstein (yes, that Einstein) faces, Hanson is also offering the static-faced Geo with fully functional eyes. Each face features Hanson’s Frubber biometric skin that contracts and folds to simulate the action of your own flesh-coated facial muscles to create “millions” of possible expressions. These expressions are assisted by natural eyelid actions covering a pair of independently moving eyes, each equipped with 720p @ 30fps cameras for binocular stereo-vision. Rounding out the specs is a complete suite of sensors, microphones, optional Maxon motors, and an embedded computer with open source OS. Hanson’s also working on a complete SDK it hopes to release ASAP. Prices start at $8,500 (model R-20) for a static body with motorized head on up to $14,750 (model R-50) for a maxed-out model with fully expressive head and walking body capable of 33 degrees of freedom. And hey, if you buy five expressive faces you’ll get one interchangeable walking body for free. Now, get ready to get up close and personal with the entire Hanson family after the break.

Continue reading Hanson Robokind puts a familiar Frubber face on robotic research (video)

Hanson Robokind puts a familiar Frubber face on robotic research (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 11 Mar 2011 05:39:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink Plastic Pals  |  sourceHansonRobokind  | Email this | Comments

postheadericon Hanson Robokind puts a familiar Frubber face on robotic research (video)

He did it! As promised way back in 2007, David Hanson has turned his little Astro Boy-like Zeno robot loose upon our delicate planet. But Zeno is just one of four face options available for the Hanson Robokind — the “almost human robot” considered “the best robot on the market” by its maker. In addition to the fully expressive Zeno, Alice, and Einstein (yes, that Einstein) faces, Hanson is also offering the static-faced Geo with fully functional eyes. Each face features Hanson’s Frubber biometric skin that contracts and folds to simulate the action of your own flesh-coated facial muscles to create “millions” of possible expressions. These expressions are assisted by natural eyelid actions covering a pair of independently moving eyes, each equipped with 720p @ 30fps cameras for binocular stereo-vision. Rounding out the specs is a complete suite of sensors, microphones, optional Maxon motors, and an embedded computer with open source OS. Hanson’s also working on a complete SDK it hopes to release ASAP. Prices start at $8,500 (model R-20) for a static body with motorized head on up to $14,750 (model R-50) for a maxed-out model with fully expressive head and walking body capable of 33 degrees of freedom. And hey, if you buy five expressive faces you’ll get one interchangeable walking body for free. Now, get ready to get up close and personal with the entire Hanson family after the break.

Continue reading Hanson Robokind puts a familiar Frubber face on robotic research (video)

Hanson Robokind puts a familiar Frubber face on robotic research (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 11 Mar 2011 05:39:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink Plastic Pals  |  sourceHansonRobokind  | Email this | Comments

postheadericon Polar Bear Spy Cams



These covert cameras employed by wildlife videographer John Downer imitate natural elements of the Arctic Norwegian environment to grab an insanely closeup view of the polar bear’s journey. Jacob Resneck at Cool Hunting writes:

Downer employs three types of cameras to track the lives of two mother bears as they lead their clubs across Arctic Norway in search of seal hunting grounds for the den’s survival. Not letting any of the frozen conditions get in the way of filming, the three cameras each offered a unique way of capturing the bears. The Snow-cam, disguised as a lump of snow, was equipped with four-wheel drive and tundra wheels to get across land and ice. The Blizzard-cam is rigged with propellers, allowing it to reach speeds of 37 mph, while the Iceberg cam was thoroughly waterproofed to maneuver between sheets of ice and under water to capture the polar bears swimming under the ice.

The cameras didn’t always blend into the Arctic’s barren environment though, and late last year an adult male polar bear smelled a ruse, discovered he was on candid camera, and destroyed more than $200,000 worth of equipment with his mighty paw. Fortunately secondary cameras caught the entire act, showing the bear’s impressive cunning and stupendous strength.

John Downer’s film, Polar Bear: Spy On The Ice, premieres stateside tonight on Animal Planet, but you can watch clips on the BBC site, including the one where the curious polar bears destroy a few of the cameras.