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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Tea time with robot

A humanoid wearing an apron picks up a cup of tea after University of Tokyo Professor Tomomasa Sato drank it during a demonstration at the campus in Tokyo Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2007. In the demonstration led by Sato, a robot with camera eyes made by Japanese machinery maker Kawada Industries Inc. poured tea into the cup and another robot on wheels, shown in this photo, delivered it to Sato, then rinsed the cup after taking it back to the kitchen sink in an experimental room, which includes sensors embedded in the floor and sofa, as well as monitor cameras on the ceiling, to simulate living with robotic technology. Robotics with tea time

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Tokyo Robot Gallery

Japanese engineers have created hundreds of robots for everything from entertainment to mine clearance. One of the pioneers of robotics in Japan is Professor Shigeo Hirose at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, one of the leading robot reseachers in the world. His lab is crammed with prototypes and designs for robots that can walk, crawl, swim and jump. BBC NEWS In pictures: Robot menagerie, Robot lab

Future Combat Robot System

An overview of the US Army´s Future Combat System Vision with unmanned combat robots on ground and in the air. Please notice it´s not a computer game, its a vision!
Army Media Player

Barricade the War Machine in Pittsburgh

Friday, March 2, will be a day of civil disobedience and direct action against the war machine in Pittsburgh. The main action will be an attempt to barricade the National Robotics Engineering Center, a branch of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) that develops robotic vehicles and weapons delivery systems for the U.S. Army and Marines. Barricade the War Machine in Pittsburgh

Balancing robot

Anybots announces the world's first dynamically balancing walking humanoid robot. The robots have been under development since 2001. Dexter balances dynamically, walks and will be able to run. Monty has one fully articulated hand driven by 18 motors and one gripper. Dexter's legs and Monty's arms are driven by compressed air. Driven remotely by a human operator, they can perform a wide range of industrial and household tasks. Anybots is a privately held company located in Mountain View, CA.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Tiny robot reduces need for surgery ::: Pink Tentacle

On February 26, researchers from Ritsumeikan University and the Shiga University of Medical Science completed work on a miniature robot prototype that, once inserted into the body through an incision, can be freely controlled to perform medical treatment and capture images of affected areas. The plastic-encased minibot, which measures 2 cm (0.8 inch) in length and 1 cm (0.4 inch) in diameter, can be maneuvered through the body by controlling an external magnetic field applied near the patient.
Tiny robot reduces need for surgery ::: Pink Tentacle

Microrobot reports from your stomach

Endoscopic capsules, ingestible pill-shaped devices designed to capture images from inside the digestive tract, have been around for quite a while. But Sayaka, an endoscopic capsule developed by RF System Lab in December 2005, has dramatically increased the overall image quality by changing the camera position and enabling the camera to rotate. Sayaka: Next-generation capsule endoscope ::: Pink Tentacle

Osaka Robot Research Center 2011

With the completion of the Umeda Kita Yard Redevelopment Project in 2011, the robot takeover of central Osaka will have begun. This 7-hectare area on the north side of JR Osaka station will be home to the Osaka IRT Research Center (tentative name), which will bring together ten companies — including Citizen, German industrial robot manufacturer KUKA, Panasonic (Matsushita), Murata Manufacturing and others — who will conduct IRT (information/robot technology) research in areas ranging from data communication networks to artificial intelligence to control technology. In an area open to the human public, the companies will maintain ongoing interactive exhibits showcasing the latest advances in robotics, making it an ideal destination for tourists and residents who wish to acquaint themselves with their new overlords.

A Robot for every home 2015?

A group at Stanford University has been working on the problem of creating robots that can peform everyday tasks. Among the tasks they've selected are cleaning up after a dinner party, "fetching a person or object from an office upon verbal request, showing guests around a dynamic environment and assembling an IKEA bookshelf using multiple tools". The first task involves some seemingly simple problems such as finding the dirty dishes left over from the dinner party, picking them up, and placing them in the dishwasher. The group of 10 professors and 30 students have solved a small part of that problem. They've created software that allows a robot to examine an unfamiliar object and determine how to pick it up. They expect it make take another decade to produce a consumer-ready robot that does the job. For more details see the Stanford School of Engineering - Information Technology

Canada's first intelligent home

As the Canadian population ages, the number of people affected by Alzheimer's disease and other dementias is expected to increase dramatically. It is estimated that by the year 2031, more than 750,000 Canadians will have Alzheimer's or a related dementia. Researchers at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute (Toronto Rehab) are leading the way in the development of intelligent, self-adaptive technologies that will enable older adults with cognitive impairments to safely remain in their homes. Toronto Rehab: News & Events

Robotic exoskeleton replaces muscle work

A robotic exoskeleton controlled by the wearer's own nervous system could help users regain limb function, which is encouraging news for people with partial nervous system impairment, say University of Michigan researchers.

Selforganizing Robot Systems

John von Neumann introduced the concept of self-replicating machines more than fifty years ago. But a fully autonomous self-replicating robot system has not been implemented until now. The self-replication robot system utilizes an original unit to actively assemble an exact copy of itself from passive components. This can result in exponential growth in the number of robots available to perform a job, thus drastically shortening the original units task time.

Some research projects of interest:

Europe
Swarm-bots project - IRIDA Artificial Intelligence research laboratory of the Université Libre de Bruxelles

Hydra consortium - AdapTronics Group, Maersk Institute, University of Southern Denmark,
Mobile Robots Group, University of Edinburgh, AI Lab, University of Zurich, LEGO Platform Development

Japan
MTRAN-III reconfigurable robots, AIST and Toyko Tech, Japan
Fukuda Laboratory CEBOT, micro-robotics, Nagoya University
Distributed System Design Group M-TRAN, by Kurokawa, Kokaji, and Murata
Hokkaido University, Japan - Robotic Amoeba

USA
Modular Robotics at PARC PolyBot, PolyPod, Telecube, Digital Clay, etc.
Dartmouth Robotics Laboratory Crystaline, Cellular Automata, Molecular Robots by Rus
Murata Laboratory Satoshi Murata's new research group.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - Tetrobot, a modular reconfigurable parallel robot system
Carnegie Mellon University - I-Cubes
Swarm BotsCarnegie Mellon University - Reconfigurable Modular Manipulator System
Self-Replicating Robots - Robotics Research at Whiting Shool of Engineering, John Hopkins University
Swarm Development Group Wiki - Center for the Study of Complex Systems at the University of Michigan


Cornell Computational Synthesis LabBiologically inspired robotics group in EPFL, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology

Smoke detection robot

Robot manufacturer tmsuk, Kyushu University and the Kanazawa Institute of Technology have teamed up to develop a robot that can sniff out the smells that accompany fire. A public demonstration of the robot’s new abilities was held at Kyushu University on February 21. Source: Pinktentacle

Autonomous snowplow robot

Snowplow robot Yuki-taro is the result of nearly seven years of work by researchers from the Niigata Industrial Creation Organization (NICO), Research and Development, Inc. (RDI), Niigata Institute of Technology, Yamagata University and the Industrial Research Institute of Niigata Prefecture (IRI), who set out to design an environmentally-friendly robot that can operate by itself and support the elderly. The Robot measures 160 x 95 x 75 cm (63 x 37 x 30 in.) and weighs 400 kg (880 lbs). Armed with GPS and a pair of video cameras embedded in its eyes, the self-guided robot seeks out snow and gobbles it up into its large mouth. Yuki-taro’s insides consist of a system that compresses the snow into hard blocks measuring 60 x 30 x 15 cm (24 x 12 x 6 in.), which Yuki-taro expels from its rear end. The blocks can then be stacked and stored until summer, when they can be used as an alternative source of refrigeration or cooling. Source: Yuki-taro autonomous snowplow robot ::: Pink Tentacle

Robot makes money at Casino

San Diego, CA - Barona Valley Ranch Resort & Casino, known for gaming technology, is now the casino to have high-tech cleaning muscle – in the form of the robotic vacuum for commercial use.Developed by floor care innovator Intellibot Robotics LLC, the IV800 has been deployed in Barona’s 100,000-square-foot convention center. SOURCE: Machine Tools Online News for machining professionals

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Building Humanoid Robots

Robots with feelings [will be available] in just 10 years, scientists predicted yesterday. They now claim it is essential to give robots their own emotions if they are to be capable of running independently and efficiently enough to take on a variety of domestic tasks.

Building Humanoid Robots