For behind the scenes pictures, stories and special contests, follow us on Facebook!
Subscribe:

Tag Archives: Robots

This Baby Dinosaur Robot Is The Most Adorable Thing You’ll See All Day

2014-02-19-BoomerDinoMSRP99.99

Meet Boomer, the baby dinosaur. He’s the brainchild of Never Ben and his team at SpinMaster, a company that already has a toy robot under their belt called Zoomer. Boomer is a self-balancing two-wheeled (legged?) toy T-Rex that behaves unlike any toy robot we’ve come across so far. It’s so seemingly life-life in its movements, it’ll kick you right in the cute. It’s able to follow your hand around, obey your voice commands, “eat” and generally display a seemingly organic behaviour. You have to watch the video below to understand.

Sadly, we’ve got no hard details on cost or availability, but we’re thinking that there’s a chance it hits the shelves before this Holiday season, considering how ready their prototype appears to be. The rumours are, actually, that it’ll cost $100 and be available in the fall.

VIA [ Huffington Post ]

Keecker Is A Remote Controlled Projector And Webcam On Wheels

Keecker-Robot-Android-specifications-techniques

The headline makes the product sound kind of weird, but it’s when you start looking at the usage scenarios that you realize it’s actually pretty cool. You’re looking at a self-contained home entertainment unit that can be moved around in your home. This means you can direct it to your living room, where it’ll project your movie onto your wall or screen, along with some sound from its built-in speakers. You can then direct it to your bedroom, where it’s able to project a 360° image (of the starry sky for instance). That’s something that could help put the kids to sleep, or at least provide you with some engaging educational material. At the same time, you can use the Keecker to check up on them and make sure everything is ok, since it has a built-in webcam as well.

Additionally, it syncs with your Android smartphone and not only lets you stream music to it, but also play games that are on your phone, projected onto your larger screen. There are sensors in the machine that monitor “temperature, humidity, CO2 levels and more” to provide you with remotely accessible home security. It does so much stuff, we’re surprised it doesn’t also make sandwiches. Especially since you’ll have to pay $4,000 to own it, it wouldn’t’ve hurt anyone to toss that extra feature in. Oh well, nothing is perfect.

[ Product Page ]

Robots Teach Young Children How To Code

play-i-bo-and-yana

With a future increasingly overlaid in all things digital, it makes sense to raise an ever enlarging number of kids to become programmers; we’re going to need them, after all. And while learning the specifics of a coding language is better done after a certain age, getting acquainted with the concepts underlying programming can be done somewhat sooner. Play-i’s Bo and Yana robots are being introduced for just this purpose. It gives children as young as 5 the opportunity to control them by selecting a series of visual presets that trigger particular behaviours. By doing so, they get acquainted with the “if/then nature of programming”, and rub elbows with concepts that will become central to their potential later careers. Bo is the three-wheeled bot on the right, while Yana is the stationary one on the left. Obviously, their abilities will be limited by their physical attributes so the robot that does more things costs a bit more. Right now a pledge of $149 for Bo and $49 for Yana will get you in the game, although full funding needs to be achieved first and that’s not done yet. Hit the links below to get your chance to move that along a bit.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Engadget ]

Drone Waiter Serves UK Diners–Is A Tip Still Required?

Drone Waiter

Do the usual rules of tipping etiquette still apply when you’ve got a drone for a waiter? UK-based Yo Sushi has begun using iPad-controlled quadcopters to deliver meals to diners at the restaurant. The drone waiter, which is aptly called the iTray, is equipped with two high-definition cameras so that the cooking staff can see the reactions of the customers when their food arrives.

You can check out a video of the iTray in action after the break.

Continue Reading

Kooky Robots Let You Know If You Have Bad Breath or Stinky Feet

Sniffing Robots

Got bad breath and feet that can stink up an entire room? Then these robots will let you know. Developed by CrazyLabo and the Kitakyushu National College of Technology in Japan, the Kaori-chan and Shuntaro-kun robots will smell your breath and sniff your feet before letting you know just how much you’re stinking up the place. Kaori-chan will tell you what it thinks about your breath straight to your face, while Shuntaro-kun beats around the bush a little and shows you instead by either cozying up to you or losing consciousness.

Continue Reading

So It’s Come To This: Baton Twirling Drones

Ok, so it’s a bit of an exaggeration to say the robots in the video above are full-fledged baton twirlers. But folks at the ETH Zurich’s Flying Machine Arena have managed to program a pair of quad-rotor drones to toss a stick to one another, with a flip in the middle. If that’s not baton twirling for bots, I don’t know what is.

Two of the most challenging problems tackled with quadrocopters so far are balancing an inverted pendulum and juggling balls. My colleagues at ETH Zurich’s Flying Machine Arena have now combined the two. As part of his Master thesis Dario Brescianini, student at ETH Zurich’s Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control, has developed algorithms that allow quadrocopters to juggle an inverted pendulum.

First, a state estimator was used to accurately predict the pendulum’s motion while in flight. Second, a fast trajectory generator was needed to quickly move the catching quadrocopter to the estimated catching position. Third, a learning algorithm was implemented to correct for deviations from the theoretical models for two key events. [...]

The result is automated flying drones performing the kind of aerobatics that can only foreshadow a fiery death for mankind at the grips of a superior robotic race. It’s a worn-out cliché, sure, but you’ll understand if you watch the video.

VIA [ BoingBoing ]

The Grillbot Is A Grill Cleaning Robot

grillbot

iRobot may disapprove of this usage of their trademark, but we don’t care and we’ll just say it: there’s a Roomba for everything these days. The Grillbot, although not at all associated with iRobot or the Roomba, performs much the same task that the carpet cleaning bot does, only on your BBQ. Equipped with a set of rotating bristle brushes, the single-button operated machine gets to work on caked on grease and grime, taking the grunt work out of your summer feasts. Or at least, some of the gruntwork. After a few minutes of driving around randomly, the grill will be clean and ready to barbeque another day.

Expected to hit the market in mid-June, the Grillbots will cost $70 for the base model and $100 for a premium version which will have unspecified extras.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Technabob ]

Did You Know That A French Rugby Team Trains With A Freaky Six-Legged Robot?

Thales-Scrum-Simulator

Rugby is a sport that confounds many in America, but for those with even a passing knowledge of it, it’s one that still impresses with its athleticism and protection-free contact. One of its components is the scrum: “An ordered formation of players in which the forwards of each team push against up against each other with arms interlocked and heads down.” To train for these, the French rugby federation developed, in conjunction with Thales (an electrical systems company), a sophisticated six-legged robot that goes right up against the players and helps them perfect their technique.

The core reason for its development was to analyze the scrum accidents to avoid any spinal cord injuries to players but later on it was also used for coaching and match preparations for rugby players. As compared to other such simulators this one uses six-axis motion system which responds to the player’s strength input via sensors on the back side beam and shoulder pads.

It has been permanently stationed at the French national rugby training centre in Marcoussis, near Paris, since June 2010, but has lately started making waves again since it was featured in an Adidas ad. So head on over to the rest of the article to see those videos and maybe even follow some more informative links.

Thales-Scrum-Simulator_2

Continue Reading

So It’s Come To This: A Roomba For Cleaning Your Smart Devices’ Screens

atomee-s-2-590x421

Did you ever think you’d see the day we got lazy enough, as a species, to invent a tiny robot whose only task it is to clean the surfaces of our smartphones and tablets? Because, what, wiping is too hard now? Don’t get us wrong, we think the AutoMee S is pretty awesome, but only in a “look at that cute thing moving about on my iPad” sort of way. And we suspect that it’s been created precisely because of its cuteness, especially considering it’s being launched in the Japanese market by Takara Tomy. And we all know Japan likes its kawaii. The AutoMee S measures “67 × 73 × 38mm, weighs 82 grams and is powered by a single AA battery which is good for three hours of cleaning.” It takes 4 minutes to clean an average smartphone and twice as long for a tablet. Like a Roomba, it has edge sensors to prevent it falling off the device, and is programmed to move in random patterns, eventually covering every bit of the surface in its allotted time.

It’s going to hit the market on March 28, in Japan, for 1575 Yen ($ 17) a piece.

atomee-s-3

[ Product Page ] VIA [ NewLaunches ]