Thursday, December 29, 2011

Connect Your Stuff to the Internet Easily

Want to hook up things to the Web? Maybe you want to get a tweet when your laundry's done, or get an email when the basement floods while you're on vacation. Even if you're good with electronics and programming, these are involved projects. Instead of worrying about wiring or networking code, you can focus on your idea.

A new Kickstarter project (about to close for funding heavily oversubscribed) has a great little device that makes it simple to hook up monitors and receive tweets whenever one of the attached probes send a signal. Moisture, vibration, doors or windows opening and heat can all be detected. The rules are simple to enter, and the price at $99 seems pretty reasonable.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Taking Robotics to the Front of House

Japanese Firms Start Testing Robot-infrastructure Communication -- Tech-On!
Shimizu Corp and Yasukawa Electric Corp opened the "Smart Showroom" demonstration space as the first step of the "Smart Robotics Building" project, which involves the use of robot technologies in intelligent buildings.

The project is aimed at providing various services and comfortable living environment through combination of building infrastructure technologies and robot technologies. Robots will play the roles of receptionist, guide, delivery personnel, cleaners, guards, etc in place of humans. For example, they will approach visitors, attend to and take them to their destinations in the building.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Using Wii controller on Roomba

great video on controlling a Roomba with Wii controller. First step is Bluetooth, to transmit accelerometer input.



The code used to do this has been posted here. What a great project, and the first of a flood of Wii controller uses. I hadn't realised Nintendo used a standard bluetooth signal. This will be big!.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Home Automation part of new Surge





Home Automation Battle is Brewing - News and Analysis by PC Magazine

At CES 2007 this week, wireless home networking products abounded. There's just one problem: There are two competing network standards.

The first to market is the Z-Wave standard, created and promulgated by Zensys, which makes the chips and wireless radios that enable Z-Wave-based communications. More than 150 companies have joined the Z-Wave Alliance, an industry group that promotes the standard.

Competing with Z-Wave is ZigBee, a standard created by the ZigBee Alliance, an industry group with more than 150 member companies. ZigBee is based on the IEEE 802.15.4 standard, but products are only starting to hit the market now.




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Meccano Robot

Spyke the erector set robot is coming. Insufficient details but looks good on surface.

http://www.spykeworld.com/

PCMag saw him at CES and said: "Spyke the WiFi Spy Robot from Erector features video surveillance, a microphone, loudspeaker, 2 motors, digital music player, and a docking station for charging. He can move, take pictures, and hear everything around him and can also be used as a VoIP phone--compatible with MSN, Skype and Google Talk. To control Spyke, use your home computer or any other computer through a WiFi connection to control him anywhere anytime. Look for this robotic espionage for around $250 at the end of summer."

Meccano Robot

Spyke the erector set robot is coming. Insufficient details but looks good on surface.

http://www.spykeworld.com/

PCMag saw him at CES and said: "Spyke the WiFi Spy Robot from Erector features video surveillance, a microphone, loudspeaker, 2 motors, digital music player, and a docking station for charging. He can move, take pictures, and hear everything around him and can also be used as a VoIP phone--compatible with MSN, Skype and Google Talk. To control Spyke, use your home computer or any other computer through a WiFi connection to control him anywhere anytime. Look for this robotic espionage for around $250 at the end of summer."

Saturday, December 02, 2006

iRobot release new development kit





iRobot to Release New Development Software

Robot maker iRobot will release a new open development environment at the company's annual Payload Developers Conference in Arlington, Va., Dec. 5-6.

The new development environment consists of iRobot Aware 2.0 and a new Robot Developer's Kit. Both are aimed at developers who want to create add-on capabilities for the company's versatile PackBot robot. The PackBot is designed to accept a wide variety of sensors, control units and manipulators so that it can handle an equally wide variety of missions. Most PackBots are in use by the U.S. military, but some are entering commercial and municipal service.




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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

News from PC Magazine: Hands On with a Ugobe Pleo Prototype Robot

News from PC Magazine: Hands On with a Ugobe Pleo Prototype Robot: "The eagerly anticipated Pleo robotic dinosaur from Ugobe is getting closer to reality. Company President Bob Christopher took the wraps off one of the first functioning prototypes during a recent meeting in PC Magazine's offices. During the meeting, Pleo walked, made sounds, pretended to be scared, faked a limp, responded to its name, and batted its baby blue eyes."

Thursday, September 14, 2006

iRobot gets dirty


News from PC Magazine: iRobot's Dirt Dog Does the Work (Room)
First living rooms (Roomba), then kitchens (Scooba) and now garages; it seems iRobot is destined to attempt to conquer every room in and around the house. The consumer robotics company (which also has a healthy military robotics business), is rolling out a new garage/workroom sweeper elegantly called the "Dirt Dog."
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Roughly the same size, shape, and weight as iRobot's popular Roomba robotic vacuum, Dirt Dog sheds not hair, but numerous Roomba features that would not work so well in the workroom environment. This single-button workhorse has no vacuum and instead uses two powerful brushes, spinning at a reported 1,000 rpms, to pick up dirt that includes traditional workshop debris like nuts, bots, screws and woodchips. It also has a 20% larger dust bin to hold all that junk. iRobot officials said that it should have about an hour of cleaning life per charge.



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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Robots and Microsoft - will $ make success?

Microsoft knows where the action is - they don't always seem the best of playmates though.

Microsoft Robotics Studio Provides Common Ground for Robotics Innovation: Community technology preview of Windows-based robotics development platform garners broad industry support.
Microsoft’s support for advanced robotics was also in evidence at RoboBusiness when Carnegie Mellon University announced plans for a Center for Robotics Innovation. Established with funding and support from the Microsoft Robotics Group, the center will operate a Web site, http://www.cir.ri.cmu.edu, for hobbyists, academics and commercial companies to share robotics ideas, technology and software. The new center will open by late 2006.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Microsoft wants to drive Robot standard



Rivals Skeptical of Microsoft's New Robot Software
The third annual Robo Business event opened Tuesday morning in Pittsburgh's Station Square with a whiff of controversy, as one established robotics expert dismissed Microsoft's recent foray into the field. 
Just hours after Microsoft announced the beta rollout of its DirectX, Aegia-based Microsoft Robotics Studio (MRS), Evolution Robotics president and chief technical officer Paolo Pirjanian called the concept of building a software robotics standard, without heeding demands and costs of hardware, "a nice academic exercise." Although Pirjanian did not mention Microsoft by name, the implication was clear to the 750 or so attendees.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Asimov Who?

Despite the boring nature of the extract below, this is quite an interesting review of robot safety issues - industrial safety and social safety.

Trust me, I'm a robot | Economist.com
With robots now poised to emerge from their industrial cages and to move into homes and workplaces, roboticists are concerned about the safety implications beyond the factory floor. To address these concerns, leading robot experts have come together to try to find ways to prevent robots from harming people. Inspired by the Pugwash Conferences—an international group of scientists, academics and activists founded in 1957 to campaign for the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons—the new group of robo-ethicists met earlier this year in Genoa, Italy, and announced their initial findings in March at the European Robotics Symposium in Palermo, Sicily.