Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Concept of the robot turns 85 - happy birthday robots

The robot turns 85 - 29-05-2006 - Radio Prague
From R2D2 to the Terminator, robots are a common theme in modern fiction, but not many people realize that the robot was born in Prague exactly 85 years ago. To celebrate its birthday a project last week at the University of Cambridge in England examined the life of robots and their Czech creator.

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History of ASIMO

Honda Worldwide | ASIMO | History

Testimonial site to the Honda ASIMO robot.

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Saturday, May 27, 2006

New teaching and experimental robot

Research group develops mini humanoid robot than can sit up, stand on one leg - MSN-Mainichi Daily News
A miniature humanoid robot that can stand up from a lying-down position and smoothly stand on one leg has been developed by an independent administrative organization in Japan and four venture companies.

The "HRP-2m Choromet," as the robot is called, is 35 centimeters tall and weighs 1.5 kilograms. It was developed jointly by the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) and four venture firms. The robots will go on sale for the purpose of robotic engineering education and research as early as this autumn.

"They are perfect as teaching material to study humanoid robot control methods, and I want them to be used in places such as university laboratories," said Hirohisa Hirukawa, scientific leader of the Humanoid Research Group in AIST's Intelligent Systems Research Institute.

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Sunday, May 14, 2006

Developments in Android Face Technology

The continuing development in face technology is exciting. This Einstein model uses a lighter material and its claimed that this can be driven by two AA batteries'.
Clip from youtube.

Friday, May 12, 2006

NEC's Companion Robot Gets A Virtual Interface

PCMag provides this link. So why this upgrade for 2001 technology? Perhaps it's the need for a standard robot platform for researchers - a gap left by the Sony AIBO...

PaPeRo R100, a one-foot-tall personal companion robot developed by NEC's Personal Robot Research Center, looks pretty much the same as he did when he made his debut at the RoboFesta Kanagawa in 2001.

The pint-sized, 5 kilogram robot recognizes and can speak hundreds of words, can remember faces (up to 10 people), responds to hand gestures and can move about and even dance on its two roller feet. PaPeRo comes with different personalities and capabilities. There's a comedian PaPeRo, a lazy PaPeRo and even a silver, child-care model.

Now there's a virtual PaPeRo, as well.

Users can now interact with the PaPeRo avatar—dubbed "PaPeRo CG"—on their PC and PDA. The computer-generated PaPeRo will interact in the exact same way as the real world version. In fact, anything a user does with the avatar robot on the PC can then be downloaded to the real robot. Then, if the user extends its "conversation" with the real PaPeRo, the conversation can be uploaded to the virtual version, as well.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Experimenting with Robotic Mules

Fascinating set of responses on Youtube for this video of a robotic mule going through testing on different surfaces. Some viewers are finding this very frightening. The ability to recover from a sideways push is something new.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

What do Toy Robots Mean?

The comments on Youtube where we found this video of a real transforming robot reflect the wider reaction. Some just cannot see the point, others just want a new toy. However, it is this continuing interest that drives societies to build the skill set necessary for dominance in the real marketplace 10 or 20 years from now. Where are we in the race, and what incentives, competitions etc. are we really funding? This is more than a matter of toys - this is about developing capability for the next generation of robotics.