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Tag Archives: Robots

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.

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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


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?


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.


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


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.


[ Product Page ] VIA [ NewLaunches ]

A $50 Autonomous Quad-Rotor That Obeys Your Voice Commands? Sign Us Up!

Let’s start by saying that the above product can’t be bought right now. It barely even exists. But if tech firm Always Innovating follows through on their plans for the MeCam UAV, they could have a winner on their hands. Their idea is to make an autonomous quad rotor bot with an ARM Cortex-A9 processor, and which features 1 GB of built-in RAM, an SD card slot, a camera, and is Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-enabled. With these hardware specs, the bot would then be able to take videos of you as you move around, going higher or lower at your command. It would also be able to follow you autonomously, and record your shenanigans from above as if someone else was in control. Imagine the possibilities!

Of course, not much is know about which of these capabilities are functional at the moment, and which are just in the pipeline. But if all goes well, Always Innovating would have a workable product by next year. And that’s only if they find a commercial partner to license the design from them., since they don’t want to make it themselves.

That’s a lof of “if”, so we’re not holding our breaths.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Gizmag ]

Robotic Spider Dress: High Fashion With a Creepy, Crawly Twist

Robotic Spider Dress

Robotics collides with high fashion to produce this one-of-a-kind and truly creepy robotic spider dress. It might look like a typical little black dress most women have in their closets, but the complicated robotic machinery attached to it sets it miles apart from the rest.

The dress was created by Dutchdesigner Anouk Wipprecht, who worked with Austrian software developer Daniel Schatzmayr for the robotic parts. It isn’t called the ‘robotic spider dress’ for nothing, because the legs of the mechanical arachnid move when movement is detected nearby. It sounds like a truly creepy piece of garment–but as you shall soon see in the video after the break, it’s even creepier to look at.

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


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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