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Tag Archives: Robot

Giant Inflatable Robot Fists Are Great for Costumes, Not So Great for Boxing

Giant Inflatable Battle Fists

It’ll take a while to knock someone out if you don’t really know what you’re doing. It might take even longer if you happen to be wearing these Giant Robot Battle Fists on both hands. That’s just as well, because they weren’t made for use in fights in the first place anyway.

They’re great for cosplays (Mega Man, anyone?) and for costumes. And with Halloween coming up in just a few weeks, you can kiss your costume woes goodbye. ThinkGeek says they’re forged from Cobalt Flame and Robotonium, but we all know better. They’ll ship out flattened, of course, but just pump in some air (or blow some in if you feel like showing off) and you’ll be good to go.

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Awesome Cheetah-bot Now Runs Faster than the World’s Fastest Human

Cheetah Bot

Remember the Cheetah-bot that was featured here a couple of months ago? It looked pretty scary as it galloped on the treadmill with its spindly legs moving at an astounding 18 miles per hour. It might have looked as scary as heck then (it still does now), but you can’t deny it was an impressive feat that Boston Dynamics achieved with the support of DARPA.

When the Cheetah reached 18 mph during its run last March, it broke the land speed record for legged robotic machines. The Boston Dynamics team decided that that wasn’t enough, so they tweaked a couple of things and now the Cheetah is faster (and scarier) than ever. Breaking the record that it had previously set, the leggy robot can achieve a peak speed of 28 mph. Yes, that’s right folks, it’s now even faster than the fastest man in the world, Olympian Usain Bolt, who reached 27.78 mph during a 20-meter sprint.

Check out a video of the Cheetah doing its thing after the jump. It’s both scary and impressive at the same time.

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Inebriator is a Robotic Bartender that Mixes Drinks on Command

Inebriator

Some robots were meant to scare people while others were created to provide people with companionship (but really, when will people learn that live pets just can’t be replaced with robotic ones?) And then there’s the awesome and amazing robot that has been programmed to mix drinks and cocktails on command to serve thirsty crowds at the party.

It’s called the Inebriator and it’s a cocktail-mixing machine that uses an Arduino microcontroller to do the deed. It’s pre-programmed with 15 drink recipes so you and your guests are bound to find something you’d like on the menu. It’s not for sale though, so if you want it, you’re going to have to build your own.

Check out a clip of the Inebriator in action after the jump.

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The Pentagon is Working on an ‘Attack-Proof’ Robotic Worm Called the ‘Meshworm’

Worm Robot

An ‘attack’ proof robotic worm? What will the government think of next?

The Pentagon has reportedly teamed up with a group of universities to develop a robotic worm that’s immune to attacks from, say, a sledgehammer. Dubbed as the ‘Meshworm’, the robot looks like a bunch of rolled-up electronics that work together to crawl and creep along like earthworms do.

So out of all the creatures they could’ve chosen to base their robot on, why’d they choose the earthworm? As they say, the structure “allows the machine to be made of soft materials so it can squeeze through tight spaces and mould its shape to rough terrain.” That’s scientific-speak for saying that the robot’s got potential to become an indestructible spy–but we’ll see.

Hit the jump to check out a clip of the Meshworm in action.

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SmartPet From Bandai Could Look Cute If It Didn’t Look So Creepy

By David Ponce

The SmartPet is being released by Bandai, the same company that made the Tamagotchi. So we know there’s likely going to be an element of long term care and nurturing to this little creation. It uses your iPhone as its brain (and face) and the (free) associated application allows for a variety of interactions. It can make over 100 faces, and uses the front facing camera to try and recognize gestures. As it gets more emotionally attached to you it’ll be able to learn more and more gestures. It can even interact, sing, and dance with other dogs through Bluetooth.

The application will be released March 31st, but you’ll have to wait until April 24th, in Japan, to be able to buy one for $78. In the meantime you can entertain yourself sans dog, but retain some of the dignity you will inevitably lose if you’re anywhere over the age of 12 and in possession of this somewhat creepy toy.

[ Press Release (Japanese PDF) ] VIA [ The Verge ]

Roomba Vacuum Controlled By Kinect

By Chris Scott Barr

The whole point of a Roomba is to vacuum for you so that you don’t have to put in any physical labor. Well, someone in Japan with a little too much time figured out a way to put the vacuuming labor back into the Roomba. Why? I don’t think anyone really knows. There are always kudos for new ideas and thinking outside the box, but this really just leads to us being able to pantomime all of the chores we don’t like. Though we could completely avoid the chores altogether.

This thing is still pretty neat considering it’s self-defeating design. It has many different options other than normal back and forth. A plus side is that there may come a real life Chibi-Robo type game out of this. If you have no idea what that is, it’s about a robot who cleans things.

[ Ros-Robot ] VIA [ Technabob ]

Pentax To Release Special Robot K-r DSLR


By Chris Scott Barr
You know what’s missing from most DSLRs? Robots. That’s right, I said robots. Granted, I say that about pretty much everything, so it’s safe to say that I’m a little biased. Thankfully someone over at Pentax is running on the same wavelength, because they’re releasing a special edition K-r DSLR that is robot-themed.

Sadly, this is not what I expected from a robot DSLR. I get the color scheme, as it’s taken from a rather famous ‘bot over in Japan. What I really don’t get is why the face and details are drawn on with a marker. I mean, if I’m going to shell out $1,200 for one of these, I’d like someone to take the time to draw some straight lines.

[ Pentax ] VIA [ Crunchgear ]

National Robotics Week Coverage On BotJunkie

robots

By Evan Ackerman

Last week was National Robotics Week, and over on BotJunkie we posted a lot of great stuff, including a bunch of live event coverage. If you haven’t checked it out yet, here’s some highlights:

-Video of the first public demonstration of Stickybot III, the latest version of Stanford’s climbing robot that uses the same type of sticky material that gecko toes are made of to stick itself to a sheet of glass.

-Video from the back seat of Junior III, a robotic car that can drive (and park!) itself.

-Video demonstration of the world’s fastest industrial robot, the Adept Quattro, as it goes up against a moving platform controlled with a Wiimote.

There’s more coverage over on BotJunkie.com, so come check it out!

[ BotJunkie ]

Flyfire Creates Giant Dynamic 3D Display With Self-Organizing Micro Helicopters

Update- Apparently Flyfire is a secret still, since it looks like MIT has pulled the video, plus the website, just an hour or so after we posted this. Weird…

flyfiresm
By Evan Ackerman

The problem with true three dimensional displays (displays that you can walk around) is that they require pixels to be floating in space. This has been done with lasers and plasma, but such technologies are super expensive and limited in many ways. MIT’s SENSEable City Laboratory in collaboration with ARES Lab (Aerospace Robotics and Embedded Systems Laboratory) has hit upon the idea of creating huge free form three dimensional displays out of individual “smart pixels” made up of micro helicopters carrying LEDs:

Gigantic 3D displays made up of swarms of micro helicopters that can be released into any open space… How awesome is that? More, after the jump.Continue Reading