Thursday, October 25, 2007

Lunar Mining Robots


"Robotic Prospector Under Development at Carnegie Mellon"
"A prototype lunar prospecting robot called "Scarab" has been developed at Carnegie Mellon's Robotics Institute.
David Wettergreen, leader of Scarab's software and autonomy development, said, "This is a technology development program that is focusing on extracting hydrogen and oxygen from lunar soil." At present, NASA has no specific plans for a robotic Moon mission. (However, other countries are working on it; China is planning a robotic lunar sampling mission by 2017.) ..."

Read complete article at:

Some cool videos of SCARAB in action>>>

Check Out: "CLASSROOM ROBOTICS" (the book)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Downturn Busywork for Automotive Engineers = Robotics Creativity!

The Pivo2 comes complete with a robotic companion -- a mechanical head that bobs near the steering wheel and speaks with what the automaker describes as a "cute electronic voice."
The little robot can detect changes in facial expression and responds by chirping suggestions to the driver to relax, for instance, or to stop someplace for coffee.


"Cutting-edge quirkiness: Designers, engineers are encouraged to experiment"
"The Tokyo motor show hasn't always been the showcase for weird and wacky cars, but it has earned that reputation in recent years. And judging from the roster of concept vehicles going on display this week, it's well deserved.
Scoring high on the bizarre scale is Honda Motor Co.'s Puyo -- a bubble-topped, fuel-cell car with a slightly squishy exterior that can take a dent and recover its shape a bit like a Tempur-Pedic mattress.
Honda said its objective was to create a clean, friendly car "with the feel of an adorable pet..."

Check Out: "CLASSROOM ROBOTICS" (the book)

Friday, October 19, 2007

Major League Robotics

Gary Israel (team Coach - in red on the left) and Dean Kamen (in light blue, front) and student members of Morris High School's 2Trainrobotics team.

Morris High School's Robotics Team Sponsored by The Yankees!
Recently the Morris High School (Bronx, New York) FIRST Robotics Team had the opportunity to show off the team's robot. "2Trainrobotics" (the only New York Team) and four other top teams from New Jersey were invited to the 2007 Gadgetoff event Liberty Science Center in New Jersey. You can view their robot in action at Liberty Science Center below.

Dean Kamen founder of FIRST Robotics came over to thank the team for making the trip from the Bronx. In addition, he told the team that when he was in Washington D.C. recently he met with a person who has agreed to help pitch FIRST Robotics to Major League Baseball. Dean said that he told this lobbyist that the Morris team was already partnered with the NY Yankees. With over 1,500 high school robotics teams throughout the world the Morris team is the only robotics team sponsored by a Major League Baseball team.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Self Driving Cars!

"MIT Students Create Car That Drives Itself"
The Land Rover LR3 is decked out with $400,000 worth of gizmos and gadgets. Fifteen radars, 13 remote sensing lasers -- called lidars -- and six cameras feed a computer that will ultimately drive the car. .."


Check Out: "CLASSROOM ROBOTICS" (the book)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Robots Get NO Deferments!

From: Boston Business Journal
"iRobot gets $8.8M Army order"
"iRobot Corp. said Tuesday it received a delivery order totaling $8.8 million from the U.S. Army.
The Burlington, Mass.-based robotics firm (Nasdaq: IRBT) said the order for 40 iRobot PackBot robots, plus spare parts and equipment, is specifically from the Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training, and Instrumentation, on behalf of the Robotic Systems Joint Project Office at Redstone Arsenal, Ala. .."
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Check Out: "CLASSROOM ROBOTICS" (the book)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Newer and Truer Meaning for the Phrase "My Better Half"?

From: Sify News
"Humans will soon say ‘I Do’ to robots, says scientist"
"London: People might soon be tying the knot with robots, for a British scientist has predicted that androids are the perfect marriage material.
David Levy has been awarded a doctorate by Maastricht University for his thesis entitled ‘Intimate Relationships with Artificial Partners,’ wherein he claims that humans and cyborgs will say ‘I Do’ to each other in the near future.

"Trends in robotics and shifting attitudes on marriage are likely to result in sophisticated robots that will eventually be seen as suitable marriage partners,” Ananova quoted Levy, as saying..."
Read the full article:

Amusing contextualizing ditty: (from AOL Television) - The Jetsons Episode "Wedding Bells for Rosey" (Rosie was the Jetson family's robot maid)
click below and enjoy -
Check Out: "CLASSROOM ROBOTICS" (the book)

Monday, October 8, 2007

Hello, Mr. Chips (Silicon Chips, that is)

Photo from JoongAng Daily

From: Independent Online
"Robot makes teaching debut"
"Children could hardly take their eyes off a new teacher when the instructor entered their classroom. Greeted with intense curiosity by the pupils, the teacher said: "How are you, my students? Let's get started. Have you opened the book?"Although the voice sounded human, the teacher was not. It was a robot named Tiro, which was recently invited for one day to assist a human instructor with a 30-minute English class at Euon Primary School in the central South Korean city of Daejon, 250km south of Seoul..."
Check Out: "CLASSROOM ROBOTICS" (the book)

Saturday, October 6, 2007

If You're Good, Santa Will Bring You This 2 Week Old Hyper-cute Dinosaur Robot :)

"Pleo Delayed Again! Dec 10th Now!"
"If you've been keeping up with the Pleo dino robot as much as roschler, you know it's been a long anticipated robotic toy! Well, it looks like it's delayed again! UGoBe is concerned that the batteries keep overheating when they are charged so the charging system has to be redesigned. They want to get it right! Imagine the excited look on your child's face as their Christmas present pleo goes up in flames! As it is, this robotic dino is sure to be the "hot" Christmas item this year! Amazon is taking preorders for December 10th so you still might be able to get a robotic dino (that doesn't go up in flames hopefully) for your little tike for Christmas! It's only $349.00 and what a bargain that you'll get free shipping! Keep watching that ship date and keep hoping!
Read the full article:
Also>>>> see the manufacturer's (UGOBE) own demo video:
And another cool video>>>>
Check Out: "CLASSROOM ROBOTICS" (the book)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Granny's Robot?

From: Pop City
"Qolt: The Amazing Technology that Helps Seniors Stay Independent"
" Imagine a world where personal robots help the elderly and disabled cook and clean. Where camera- and sensor-rich “smart cottages” provide data to teams of human angels poised to swoop down and intervene when residents need help. Where senior citizens avoid or defer the need for assisted living facilities because of this benevolent monitoring and assistance network..."
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Tuesday, October 2, 2007

If the Issue IS Brain Surgery, Better Get a Robot!

From: Isreael 21C
" Israeli team develops GPS accuracy for keyhole neurosurgery using mini-robot"
"A tiny robot shimmies into position on the skull and reaches out its arm to automatically target the best spot for keyhole neurosurgery. It may sound like science fiction, or the latest animated feature by Dream Works, but it's actually an Israeli-developed mini-robot prototype that is likely to have a major impact on the way keyhole neurosurgery is done in the near future..."
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Check Out: "CLASSROOM ROBOTICS" (the book)

That's MAJOR Domo SIR to you, boy!

From: ABC News
"Robot Diet Coach Keeps You in Line"
"It Feels, It Senses, It Peers Into Your Soul, It's a ... Robot?"
"They say the buddy system works.
Imagine how easy sticking to your diet would be if you always had someone (or something) to keep you in line. It's a phenomenon that may be closer to reality than you think..."

"...Domo's visual system is attuned to unexpected motion -- it locates human faces and locks its gaze into them. While many robots are doing manual work on factory assembly lines, those machines follow a script and are not able to adapt to new situations, the way Domo can. Domo can even place things on shelves and do minor tasks -- all based on what people tell it to do. .."
Read full article:
Check Out: "CLASSROOM ROBOTICS" (the book)

Boing! Boing! Boing! It's RoboStick...

From: New Scientist Blog
"Blazing robot saddles"
"While doing background research for this story about Boston Dynamics' latest robot, called LittleDog, I stumbled across the homepage of Martin Buehler, the company's director of robotics. The page features several very cool looking robot projects. And one, entitled "Robot Jockey Racing", particularly caught my eye. There's not much detail about the project, only this description: "A prototype jockey-ridden hopping robot that controlled forward speed, hopping height, and pitch balance, the jockey did sideways balance and steering."

But you can see a video of the jockey robot in action. It looks like lots of fun, if slightly dangerous. It's a shame they don't seem to have made two, so we could see them race.

Check Out: "CLASSROOM ROBOTICS" (the book)

Can't Afford a Baby Sitter? Here's One for $199.00 and You Own It!.. Catches Burglars, too!!!

From: Associated Press
"Robots Take on Social Tasks"
" Dominated by home-cleaning gadgets, the consumer robotics market is expanding with the arrival of 'bots that can spy inside your home when you're away or arrange virtual meetings of family or friends.
Robotics experts say gadgets introduced Thursday could usher more socially oriented robots into the U.S. market, though they bear little physical resemblance to humans or pets as robots embraced by consumers in Japan and South Korea do..."

"...enables seeing remotely. Spykee the WiFi spy robot, developed by France-based Meccano and marketed in the U.S. by Erector, best known for its Erector Set kits, has tank-style track wheels, two decorative mechanical arms and a camera on top that looks vaguely like a human head..."
Read the full article:
Check Out: "CLASSROOM ROBOTICS" (the book)

Hey, Somebody's Got to Dig for Hydrogen and Oxygen on the Moon...

From: The Tartan
"'Scarab' the robot"
"The Field Robotics Center at Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute has developed a prototype moon rover, 'Scarab.' The robot has the ability to perform the challenging task of lunar prospecting.
The ultimate goal of lunar prospecting is to discover, extract, and utilize resources in the soil of other planets.
David Wettergreen, leader of Scarab’s software and autonomy development, said, “This is a technology development program that is focusing on extracting hydrogen and oxygen from lunar soil..."
Read full artticle:
Check Out: "CLASSROOM ROBOTICS" (the book)