Robotics

Robothespian takes the stage

The uncanny valley is getting crowded. A female-modeled version of Geminoid, roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro's creepy android, is now appearing opposite a human actor in Japan in a short play entitled Sayonaraas in, "sayonara, humans."

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Speedy Micromouse Bot Solves Maze in Less Than 5 Seconds

Micromouse competitions are an attribute to the growing popularity of robotic entertainment. This particular competition in Chubu, Japan appears to be going normally until you hit the 4:30 mark, at which point the EggTorte bot solves the maze in less than five seconds. Its owner probably threatened it with a robotic mousetrap. According to Wikipedia, the world-record for solving a ...

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Actroid-F: Robots are Becoming Scarily Realistic

AIST (Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology) recently opened up their doors to the public for a few days, allowing an inside look at just how ridiculously realistic robots have become. The Actroid-F, developed by Kokoro Co. Ltd and ATR, can mimic the operators facial movements and tics with unbelievable realism. Would I be fooled into thinking ...

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DARPA-made Robot is Basically a Balloon Filled with Coffee Grounds

Coffee has all sorts of untapped potential, as we saw with the Nespresso-powered clocks and radio. DARPA takes a handful of sweet caffeine-assisted glory with this mechanical coffee grounds-filled balloon. I know, it sounds like the leftovers of a futuristic Starbucks office party, but the resulting product is actually a helpful gripper which sucks objects into its crushed coffee grounds ...

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Baywatch-esque Lifeguard Robot Shows Off Its Huge, Bouncing Servos

The Hoff might never have been able to seal the deal with Pam Anderson, but Emily, short for Emergency Integrated Lifesaving Lanyard, just couldn’t resist. Literally, it’s physically unable to resist. Robosexuality aside, Emily is good for more than satisfying entries on your bucket list (consider getting to third base with a tubular robot crossed off my to-dos). The four-foot ...

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Japanese Professor Builds Elaborate Humanoid Robot for Killing Wasps

After hearing that one of his friends had been stung upwards of 90 times while trying to exterminate wasps from his property, Professor Sekine of Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan, who was undoubtedly dealing with a wasp problem of his own, decided to come up with an easier way to conquer the problem of painful and potentially dangerous insect stings. Mohican, ...

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Watch Live as NASA Assembles the Mars Rover

NASA has a little treat for all of us robot and/or space junkies out there. From 8 a.m. PT (11 a.m. ET) every morning, Monday-Friday, work begins at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif, as engineers carefully assemble the Curiosity Mars Rover. And you can watch them do it live with NASA’s Curiosity Cam. Other than occasional “maintenance periods” ...

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DaVinci and McSleppy Perform World’s First Fully Robotic Surgery

At McGill University Health Centre, prostate surgery was quickly becoming just a tad too routine. So they decided to mix it up a bit. Paging, Dr. DaVinci and Dr. McSleepy! DaVinci, a widely used surgery bot which allows doctors to operate from a remote location, and McSleepy, the anesthesiologist bot, joined forces to perform the world’s first fully robotic surgery. ...

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ChefBot Shows You How Not to Make a Creme Brulee

Robots can be masterful pieces of art when enough funding, research, knowledge and artistry goes into their designs, but I think it’s important to remember that not all robots are created equal. ChefBot, an entry in SparkFun’s Antimov Competition is not a well-made robot. In fact, he’s down right hazardous. But what he lacks in precision and safety, he gains ...

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EARL the Bowling Bot Takes on Professional Bowler Chris Barnes

EARL, short for Enhanced Automated Robotic Launcher, is an automated bowling robot, capable of chucking a ball down the lane at 10 to 24 mph, with a spin rate from 50 to 900 rpm, plenty to keep up with the pros. Neil Stremmel, the managing director of the United States Bowling Congress, says that EARL is able to “throw a ...

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