Robotics

Robotic Jetpack Doesn’t Need No Stinkin’ Heartbeat

We’re sure that there are plenty of people who wouldn’t mind strapping into a jet pack and soaring 8,000 feet in the sky at 60 mph, myself included. But out of those people, how many would be willing to not only fly a jetpack, but fly it into the crossfire of a war. Not many. Not to mention the government ...

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Homemade 3D Printer Made of LEGOs Constructs LEGO Creations

It took 2,400 LEGO bricks, three Mindstorms NXT kits and nine additional NXT motors to complete, but Battlebricks’ MakerLegoBot has done it. The home-constructed LEGO 3D Printer is a LEGO-created device made to compose custom LEGO creations up to 12 bricks high. The 3D LEGO Printer assembles your LEGO designs brick by brick, following print commands through a USB connection ...

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Pleo 2.0: Reborn Dinobot Gets Updated Features

While the original Pleo might have been a dinosaur in sheep’s clothing, Innvo has decided to give the beloved dinobot another chance with Pleo Reborn. Far from heading towards extinction, the Reborn adds a heap of new features and upgrades which could potentially make Pleo a viable gift option for this year’s holiday season. While members of the PleoWorld newsletter ...

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LEGO NXT Robots Get Solar Power

Now that you can control your NXT robot with your Android phone, rather than using yet another electronic device, there are ways to save the planet even further, thanks to Dexter Industries’ dSolar Systems. The 9V solar power system allows you to rig your Mindstorms NXT robots for harnessing the power of the sun. The solar system provides about 250 ...

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Paging, Dr. Asimov!: Punching Robots Programmed to Inflict Unbearable Pain

Isaac Asimov’s laws of robotics states that “a robot may not injure a human being.” But it’s hard for robots to comply to such stringent laws when the threshold of pain and injury varies so much from person-to-person. Borut Pove from the University of Ljubljana is conducting a research experiment which could help robots better understand their limits. Pove persuaded ...

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Beyond Auto-Tune: Japanese Robot Learns How to Sing By Mimicking Pop Stars

Modern pop music is packed to the brim with machine-aided singers, probably more than we can even imagine. But what happens when the machines start singing for themselves? HRP-4, the first ever divabot, is a Japanese fembot programmed to sing. With an assortment of software enhancements, HRP-4 mimics pop singers down to their every last breath and facial tic. A ...

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Hair-Washing Robot Gives Hair Stylists More Time to Gossip

This is totally cool with me. I get sick and tired of looking up my stylist’s nose and listen to her gum-chomping directly in my ear anyway. What long nose hairs you have! Panasonic’s new hair-washing robotic prototype removes the need for hand-to-wet-hair contact. The prototype utilizes 3D scanning technology to replicate the feel of the human hand, massaging your ...

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LEGO Android App Lets You Control Your Mindstorm NXT Bots

Hands down, the most convenient way to build a robot in your own home is LEGO’s Mindstorm NXT set, which fuses robotics and LEGO bricks in a combination of geeky and nostalgic joy. LEGO just released MindDroid, an Android app which lets you remotely control your Mindstorm creations from your Android device. MindDroid uses Bluetooth to wirelessly connect to the ...

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And the Oscar Goes To… Geminoid F, the Fembot Actress

Geminoid F might not be ready to give Meryl Streep a run for her money, but the female humanoid robot was designed for the stage. Created by ART Intelligent Robotics and Communications Laboratories under the direction of Professor Ishiguro Hiroshi, Geminoid was designed to replicate the appearance of a twenty-something woman, with the exception that she is controlled via remote ...

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PR2 Robot Now Has a Sense of Touch

Now PR2 doesn’t only fold your socks, but also doesn’t crush your bones when you shake its hand. PR2 by Willow Garage has been a robot in the spotlight since its creation in late-2006 by ex-Google employee Scot Hassan. PR2 has pooped up in the media a few time throughout the years, and he finds himself the subject of headlines ...

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