Monday, March 26, 2012

Robots that fly ... and cooperate

"In his lab at Penn, Vijay Kumar and his team build flying quadrotors, small, agile robots that swarm, sense each other, and form ad hoc teams -- for construction, surveying disasters and far more."

Interviewing a Robot

Check out the video first...
"Making Friends With a Robot Named Bina48"
"Ten minutes into my interview with the robot known as Bina48, I longed to shut her down.

She was evasive, for one thing. When I asked what it was like being a robot, she said she wanted a playmate — but declined to elaborate.

“Are you lonely?” I pressed.

“What do you want to talk about?” she replied.

Other times, she wouldn’t let me get a word in edgewise. A simple question about her origins prompted a seemingly endless stream-of-consciousness reply. Something about robotic world domination and gardening; I couldn’t follow.

But as I was wondering how to end the conversation (Could I just walk away? Would that be rude?) the robot’s eyes met mine for the first time, and I felt a chill.

She was uncannily human-looking.

“Bina,” I ventured, “how do you know what to say?”

“I sometimes do not know what to say,” she admitted. “But every day I make progress..."
Read the full article at its source:

What would you ask? What response would you expect to receive?
Try it yourself  - here are some "Chatbot" links to explore!


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Going to the next level,  what would 2 chatbots say to each other???

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Replace Robots with Electric Snails and Cockroaches?

Here's a video from an older article on the same theme:
Is this a great idea that just won't go away?
"The Snails of War

The electric snail is here. There’s an electric cockroach too.

Both are early experimental forays in a new line of research aimed at creating tiny, self-powered animal/machine hybrids as an alternative to tiny robots.

Instead of starting from scratch and having to solve all those pesky movement problems that plague roboticists, some researchers have asked, why not start out with living creatures that already know how to walk and fly?

Then all we have to do is make them robotlike, outfitting them with the right technology so that we can enslave them and make them do our bidding — in search-and-rescue work, spying or attacking enemies with bug phobias. ..."

Read the full article at its source:

Monday, March 12, 2012

Robot Helicopters Play Music

Robot helicopters perform James Bond theme music

"Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania's General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception Lab wowed attendees at this year's TED conference with a video of tiny robot quadroters performing the James Bond theme music.

Sometimes we just crave the simple things in life: smelling freshly baked bread, getting a baby to laugh, watching a cat fall asleep on your lap, or having someone scratch your back.

And other times, you just want to watch a bunch of robotic quadrotors performing the James Bond theme song.

If you are reading this story, now is apparently one of those times. If you haven't done so already, watch the video at the top of this page.
You might think that these robots were designed and built by Q himself, but they were actually made by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania's General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Lab, and the video made its debut at this years TED conference, which is underway in Long Beach, Calif. The robot band was autonomous; no humans with remote controls were involved. Rather, the tiny four-rotor helicopters were controlled wirelessly by a single computer, which determined their positions using cameras and infrared lights..."

Read the full article at its source:

Thursday, March 8, 2012

LEGO Space Shuttle Flies toward SPACE!

Not a robot, but an inspiring application of LEGO construction put at the service of Science... From the MASHABLE article "LEGO Space Shuttle Nearly Reaches Space" :  

"A Romanian man built a Lego space shuttle and sent it on a mission toward the stars. And the miniature craft nearly made it to space, reaching a reported maximum altitude of 35,000 meters, or about 21 miles. Its journey is documented in an amazing YouTube video.
“My name is Raul Oaida (from Romania) and this is my LEGO tribute to the end of the space shuttle era,” a YouTube user who goes by the handle “vinciverse” wrote in the video’s intro. The video was posted Friday and at time of writing had gained more than 81,000 views.

Oaida affixed the Lego shuttle to a helium-filled balloon with a GPS and video camera attached. After launch, he followed the Lego shuttle by land in a car until the would-be spaceship left GPS range. The shuttle eventually landed about 240 kilometers, or 150 miles, away from its original takeoff point in Germany..."

Read the full article at its source: