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Tag Archives: Robots

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

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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

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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.

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[ 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

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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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Robots Are Roaming Around San Francisco

The following article is sponsored. -Ed.

Robots are roaming around the city of San Francisco and Los Angeles and perhaps other cities yet not captured. Here is one of several spotted learning how to use the Bart system. Others have been seen crossing the street, hailing for cabs on Hollywood Blvd, getting off subways, and out in the middle of a deserted highway. Among the Brilliant Machines is KITT Knight Rider. See more of the machines at: http://brilliantmach.tumblr.com/.

Robot Tea Infuser

Tea. A good number of geeks are shifting to tea just because their nerves are so frayed from years of caffeine abuse that it’s medically sound to do so. So tea infusers are always popular. Last time we told you about the Mr. Tea Infuser and y’all went all clickety-sharey with it. So how about the Robot Tea Infuser above? He’s got adjustable metal arms so it fits pretty much any size mug and at $12, is cheap enough to stuff into anyone’s stocking this Holiday season.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Technabob ]

Shimi Music Robot Kicks Music Bots Up A Notch

It’s one thing to have a robot shaped music dock that accepts your iPhone and plays some tunes. It’s quite another to have one that does the kind of stuff Shimi does. Developed by a team of roboticists from Georgia Tech, IDC, and the MIT Media Lab, Shimi (once connected to your smartphone) is able to bob its head to the beat, tap its “foot”, follow you around the room using face recognition, and even understand your speech. You interact with it by either asking for a specific song or even clapping a beat with your hands and waiting for Shimi to deliver the closest match from your collection. What’s more, the robot’s abilities are tied to its related smartphone application, meaning that with each update of the software, the bot can gain more features. And since Shimi is the product of the collaboration of some world class roboticists, you’re not looking at some cheap and generic Chinese toy, the complexity and fluidity of Shimi’s movements and abilities has to be seen to be appreciated. The clip below should help.

In the meantime, if you want your own, you can pledge $149 to the Kickstarter campaign and expect delivery… in February of 2013, a little late for the Holidays.

[ Project Page ] VIA [ Engadget ]