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Category Archives: Robots

World’s Most Awesome Trash Can Catches Your Crap No Matter Where You Throw It

It’s annoying how some people don’t really both to pick up after themselves. It’s even more annoying if you actually happen to live with them. But something that could making your current living arrangements a bit more bearable is this robotic trash can hacked together by some fine Japanese folks. It might look pretty ordinary, but hook it up and you’ll soon figure out why this is the perfect trash can for lazy slobs (and for people with bad aim.)

The trash can is actually equipped with wheels that are controlled wirelessly through a Kinect-based program, which detects the path of thrown objects to direct the trash can to the object’s projected landing spot.

Check out the video below to see how it was put together. But if you’re just eager to see how it works, then skip on over to 2:24.

[ YouTube ] VIA [ TechnaBob ]

Transforming Qosmio Netbook is a USB Hub

qosmiotransformer-og

By Shane McGlaun

Transformers were some of my favorite toys when I was a kid. I had lots of them, though my brother tended to break them because he was a goober and couldn’t transform them correctly. With the new feature films, the latest of which is due out this summer, new Transformers toys are hitting the market.

The cool part is that several of the new transforming devices are actually functional. Take this Qosmio netbook transformer. The thing turns into the Decepticon Soundwave, which is a bad choice, he was like the bastard Transformer in my book. Turning into a tape player just isn’t cool.

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Toyota Unveils Winglet Mobility Robot

This post is syndicated with permission from Gadgetoholic.com

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announced today that it was developing what it calls a Personal Transport Assistance Robot known as Winglet. TMC says that it is still in the process of refining the Winglet and it plans the device to be a small and compact robot that will offer ease of movement and expand a user’s range of mobility.

I can’t tell from that description if it intends the Winglet to be a scooter for the masses to use rather than a car, or if this is one sort of assistance device for those with problems walking like the elderly. At any rate, TMC has created three different Winglet models that only vary in how tall they are. The height difference for the models is from the different length handles used that give riders something to grasp.

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Robotic Lifeguard Saves Your Life Using Silicon Instead Of Silicone


By Jonathan Kimak

The Seascout is a prototype rescue craft designed and created by Andre Harley. He created the prototype using the Lego mindstorms robotics NXT kit. The Seascout will use GPS to track anyone who has fallen into the water. It will scoop the person up and take them to safety. It will also have radios so that the person in the water can communicate with someone on the shore(or boat). It is also intended to be able to work in situations and weather that a human lifeguard would not be able to handle.

So now we have robots that can serve beer and robots that can save you when you get drunk and fall into the ocean. Forget about terminators taking over the world. We’re being taken over by helpful and cute Wall-Es.

[ Andre Harley ] VIA [ Gizmodo ]

At Least It Won’t Hit On You When You’re Drunk

By Jonathan Kimak

The Asahi Robot Bartender was unveiled at Selfridges Department store in London, England a couple days ago. “Mr Asahi” as the creators like to call him can serve beer in draught pints, half-pints and can take the cap off a bottle. He can serve a person in 2 minutes and even has a few programmed replies to customer questions.

He was “trained” for six months before being revealed to the public on July 2. It took 200 hours and eight engineers to assemble this robotic beer baron. He is also lifesize and weighs over 250 pounds so if he had working legs he could probably throw you out of the bar if you were drunk enough to pick a fight with an inanimate object.

For a bar this could be a great addition. An employee that never needs to get paid, doesn’t need to keep it’s own tips, never takes a break and never steals drinks. And maybe after a few hundred years he’ll turn into Wall-E but with a built-in keg.

[ Selfridges ] VIA [ Trusted Reviews ] VIA [ Ubergizmo ]

Last Week On BotJunkie

By David Ponce

The team at BotJunkie are doing a great job unearthing cool bot stories. Here’s a few highlights:

german.jpg - The Germans know how to live… and eat. They’ve built a robotic restaurant, with robo-waiters… of sorts. [ Robotic Restaurant ]

robot art- Robots don’t always have to be useful. It’s cool when they’re made into art, like the awesome pieces from Laurence Northey. [ Robot Art ]

robo walker - The Roller-Walker is a hybrid bot that can walk, and roll. It manages this by doing a little transformation, which I’m sure you’ll enjoy watching on the video in that article. [ The Roller-Walker ]

Subaru Develops Tondon, A Floor-Moppin’ Bot

snipshot_e4vok0h6ug1.jpg By Ryan Nill

Subaru, (aka Fuji Heavy Industries) and Sumitomo have teamed up and created a robo-janitor! His name is Tondon and he currently resides in the the outdoor hallways of a new 14-story Bali-themed luxury apartment complex in Tokyo. Tondon works unsupervised, sweeping and cleaning, and relies on an optical communication system to control the building’s elevators, allowing it to move from floor to floor. It has also been strengthened, to better endure the elements, and has added cameras, to prevent unwanted collisions. It also pulls double duty as a security guard. Looking at this thing’s ink I know that it has been to prison before. At least twice.

No word on commercial availability beyond this.

[ FHI Press ] VIA [ Pinktentacle ]

RoboCup 2007: As Good As The Real Thing

headbutt

By Evan Ackerman

The RoboCup soccer tournament in Atlanta has drawn to a close; congrats to team NimbRo who won the “kidsize” 2v2 competition. There are of course lots of videos of RoboCup 2007 kicking around on YouTube, but here’s an especially close quarterfinal match pitting NimbRo against the Darmstadt Dribblers. If you’re a soccer fan, you’ll appreciate the dramatic saves from the goalies (well, sometimes dramatic) as well as the unbridled robot-on-robot brutality. And of course, just like real soccer players, you’ll catch these robots taking dives from time to time when nobody is anywhere near them.

[ RoboCup ]

Robot Soccer On A Grain Of Rice

Robocup Nano Field

By Evan Ackerman

This is a photograph of a soccer field for robots, part of the RoboCup games taking place though July 10 at Georgia Tech. There are various size brackets for different robots to compete in, and this particular field is smaller than a grain of rice (each of the ‘defenders’ are about the width of two hairs), designed to challenge robots smaller still, called nanobots. Nanobots generally weigh in the tens to hundreds of nanograms, while your average grain of sand is a hefty three hundred thousand nanograms.

The Nanobots face three challenges (while spectators watch under microscopes):
-The 2-Millimeter Dash:
Each nanobot chooses the optimal time for a goal-to-goal sprint across the playing field.
-Slalom Drill: Robots race from goal to goal while avoiding “defenders” (polymer posts) that block the path.
-Ball-Handling Drill: Robots “dribble” as many microdisks as possible into a goal within a 3-minute period.

Here’s a video of a Swiss nanobot practicing the ball-handling drill:

VIA [ USA Today ]