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Tag Archives: Robot

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


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, 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…

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

Therapeutic Robot Helps Kids And The Elderly

By Jonathan Kimak

A while ago my now deceased grandmother had to move into a nursing home. The stress of moving into that place was nearly overwhelming for her and had it not been for our dog Tommy my grandmother might have died within the first month. The companionship between our dog and my grandmother gave her(in my opinion) 4 more good years of life. It also gave her someone to pet and talk to without worrying about what he thought.

It is this sense of companionship that robotics engineers at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Japan focused on during the 12 years spent creating Paro.

Paro is a fur covered robot that resembles a baby seal. Its function is to act as a therapeutic pet in situations where a real pet could not or should not be used. It helps both kids in hospitals and seniors in nursing homes relax and socialize and can really extend their life or at least their enjoyment of life.

Some nursing homes in the US already carry Paro and it’s likely that more will follow.

[ Paro ] VIA [ DVICE ]

Pool Playing Robot Claims It’s An Amateur, Could Be Hustling Us

By Jonathan Kimak

Researchers at Queen’s University have created a robot that can play a decent game of pool, billiards or snooker. Dubbed Deep Green(likely a nod to the chess playing computer Deep Blue) the robot is ceiling mounted and uses a Global Vision System to see all the balls on the pool table. It also has a Local Vision System which detects objects in front of the cue ball so as to better select the right shot.

The robot can produce power from none to 3 m/s for the average shot and up to 12 m/s for the initial breaking shot using a pneumatic break cue actuator.

There have been pool playing robots around since the 1980’s but this one is touted as the best of the best. It is ranked at slightly above amateur status for now but improvements are being made constantly so that eventually the robot could become a true pool shark.

With the name Deep Green it’s clear the designers want it to eventually challenge a true professional in some televised(and sponsored) matches.

[ ] VIA [ Tech Digest ]

Toyota Unveils Winglet Mobility Robot

This post is syndicated with permission from

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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