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Tag Archives: Robotics

Compressorhead Does Motörhead: Now This is a Real Heavy Metal Band

Robot Band

Robots, robots everywhere. I bet only a handful of scientists and researchers foresaw what would happen down the line in the field of robotics. I think it’s safe to say that it has come a long way from its earlier days, since we’ve already got dancing robots that can do the Gangnam Style and even a couple that could replace bartenders in the future.

This time around, we stumbled upon a robotic duo that redefines what people can come to expect from ‘heavy metal bands’ in the future, because as you’ll soon see in the clip above the break, they don’t necessarily have to be human.

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This Robot Wants to Wish You a Happy New Year

Happy New Year Robot

Happy New Year!

Who did you kiss on New Year’s Eve? We’re into the second day of 2013 and thankfully, the world hasn’t ended. We might be a little late to the party, but this little robot from Alderbaran Robotics wasn’t, because he was dancing up a ton while wishing everyone a happy new year. In case you missed him, you can hit the break to check out his little performance.

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Ultimate Stress Test: iRobot’s Hand ‘Smashed’ With a Baseball Bat and Emerges Unscathed

iRobot

It’s amazing how far robotics has come throughout the years. From simple robots that could only do menial tasks to advanced robots like the CHARLI-2 that can do the Gangnam style, I guess you can say that roboticists themselves have come a long way.

An example of the latter group of robots is the iRobot. What you see above is just a part of it though. Specifically, that’s the robot’s hand, and it’s about to be ‘smashed’ by a baseball bat. It sounds brutal, but I assure you, it’s not what you think. You’ll understand when you see the clip where the researcher does the actual smashing. You’ll probably come off amazed at how they managed to build such a thing in the first place.

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Awesome Dad Builds Quadcopter So His Son Doesn’t Have to Walk to the Bus Stop Alone

Quadcopter

Joining the ranks of cool mom Cory and awesome dad Mike is Paul Wallich. He didn’t mod his kid’s push car into a DeLorean nor did he mod Zelda and turn Link into a girl. Instead, he did something that isn’t only fun but pretty useful at the same time: he built a quadcopter that tracks and walks his son to the bus stop.

Call him lazy, but you have to admit that it’s a pretty ingenious device. Paul wanted to keep an eye on his son when the latter made his way to and from the stop. But at the same time, he didn’t want to go out there and do some actual walking either. So instead, he took a basic quadcopter kit, strapped an old smartphone into it so that he could stream the live feed to his home computer, and installed a navigation program in order to track the GPS beacon in his son’s backpack.

Convenience for the dad, and instant popularity for the kid. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

VIA [ Technabob ]

MechBass Is A Robot That Plays The Bass

Back in 2011, the British rock band Muse was honoured to have one of its tracks, Hysteria, named as MusicRadar’s Best Bassline Of All Time. It’s a fantastic bassline, to be sure, and Christopher Wolstenholme is a wonderful bass player. But it’s even more impressive when it’s being played by MechBass, a robotic contraption by New Zealand-based engineering student James McVay. The elaborate device is MIDI-controlled, and “consists of four string units on an aluminum frame with sliding pitch shifters that alter the pitch of the strings, which are then struck by rotating pick wheels.” It’s a little convoluted to explain, so feel free to just watch the video below, or hit the jump for a much more detailed account of what went into MechBass’ construction.

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CHARLI-2 Robot Dances Gangnam Style

Yeah, yeah, dancing robots are a dime a dozen. But CHARLI-2 here isn’t a $50 desk toy from Japan, it’s Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering’s Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory darling, and the U.S. Navy’s “forerunner for creating a Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot (SAFFiR) that could work with human sailors to battle fires aboard warships at sea.” This little guy’s got some serious tech on him, but in the video above, no one really cares. CHARLI-2 puts the moves on to a little tune known as Gangnam Style… maybe you guys have heard of it? (please note sarcasm) Anyway, it’s fun to watch. And as a top comment on that video says, “I thought Humans dancing like robots wre cool, but robots dancing like humans is the new thing.”

By the way, that song’s up to 532 million views. That’s… just nuts.

[ CHARLI-2's Homepage ] VIA [ UberGizmo ]

The Double Mates An iPad With A Segway

Telepresence. That’s what this is about. The Double takes an iPad, puts it on a long stick, attaches it all to a set of self-balacing wheels and creates a telepresence robot that lets you “be there” without being there. You control it from a distance with yet another iPad, and your face (or whatever) is broadcast to the screen on the Double so that people can see you. The height is adjustable, and there are kickstands when it isn’t being used so that energy is conserved. Driving the bot around is a simple matter of pressing on some D-pad like controls. The battery should last about 8 hours on a 2 hour charge.

The Double is useful for a bunch of things, like bossing your employees around the office, creeping kids in the neighbourhood (good way of getting your iPad stolen though), and going on dates. It’s $2,000, but the first batch sold out, so now you have to wait until 2013.

Hit the jump for a video of The Double in action, as well as links.

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We Have A Rover On Mars! And Here’s Two Nerdy Facts About It You May Not Know Yet

It never ceases to amaze us that what is essentially a species of really successful primates is able to launch a rocket into space, have it travel around 350 million miles and land on Mars, pretty much right where it wants it. The logistics, engineering, science and all around awesomeness required to do this is just mind boggling. Even more amazing is that the descent of this rover on an otherworldly land is then captured in images by a satellite this same species of primates placed there a few years prior! The above picture, in case you haven’t seen it yet, is just that: NASA’s Curiosity rover descending towards Mars’ surface as captured by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has been orbiting the red planet since 2006.

The touchdown, as you surely know, was flawless; news of this has been pretty hard to miss. But there are two (pretty geeky) factoids about the mission you may not have heard in the media yet: what’s Curiosity’s brain and what does it have to do with Apple, and what’s the image file type it’s transmitting in? For the answer to these questions, hit the jump.

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Meet Romo, The Smartphone Robot

This has been out for some time now, but we’re just now stumbling across it. It’s called Romo and is a robotic dock for your Android or iOS smartphone. It’s got two treads and is able to roam around the house. But that’s just the start. Depending on the application running on it, you can also use the front facing camera on your phone and turn Romo into a spybot. If there’s music playing in your house, it’ll “dance” to it. Also a new application for Android devices lets you draw on Romo’s face and the little bot will follow the path you draw. The best part about Romo is that the company is young and is seeking developers to expand its capabilities. Anything it’s able to do depends on what application your phone is running when docked, so stay tuned for for more exciting developments from that front. In the meantime, if you want to get your hands on yours right away, it’ll be $149.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ CoolMaterial ]