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Forget Drones: Google Explores Robot Delivery

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Legged robots from Boston Dynamics can navigate a home, and even deliver a parcel, using advances in manipulation and vision.

Will Knight writes: The nimble-legged robots under development at a secretive Google subsidiary are getting ever more capable and clever.

At a conference in Barcelona this week, Marc Raibert, the CEO of Boston Dynamics, which specializes in dynamically balancing legged machines, demonstrated some of the progress his researchers have been making.

CAPTION: CAMBRIDGE, MASS.--9/11/2004--BostonDynamics president Marc Raibert with the robot "Big Dog". CREDIT: JODI HILTON FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES

“Many people are talking about drone delivery. So why not just plain legged robots?”

— Marc Raibert, the CEO of Boston Dynamics

Raibert demonstrated Spot Mini, the company’s latest four-legged robot, which is about the size of a large dog. Boston Dynamics has previously shown videos of Spot Mini operating in a mocked-up home—climbing stairs, opening doors, and even emptying a dishwasher using its gripper. The robot features a neck-like appendage and gripper that enables it to do simple, but potentially useful, manipulation tasks.

The robot is partially automated. A Boston Dynamics engineer steered a Spot Mini onto the stage during Raibert’s talk at the Neural Information Processing Systems conference. But the robot figured out for itself how to perceive and navigate the steps up to the stage, and then, once given the command, located and picked up a can from a table.

Legged robots could potentially be better than wheeled bots at navigating messy human environments, although the research robots under development at Boston Dynamics remain prohibitively expensive for now, some costing more than $1 million.

Boston Dynamics has built a reputation for developing robots capable of walking and running, even across treacherous ground using dynamic balance; that is, by constantly moving to maintain stability. The company has honed the technique over many decades to produce several stunning machines  (see “The Robots Running This Way”). It makes a much larger quadruped, called Big Dog, which has been tested as a military pack mule, as well as a humanoid, Atlas, which took part in a robot rescue contest organized recently by the Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency (see “Why Robots and Humans Struggled with DARPA’s Challenge”).

As Boston Dynamics explores potential applications, it’s clear that manipulating objects while balancing this way will be a key focus. “Mobile manipulation is our next grand challenge,” Raibert said during his talk. Read the rest of this entry »

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New journal Science Robotics is Established to Chronicle the Rise of the Robots

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Devin Coldewey reports: Robots have been a major focus in the technology world for decades and decades, but they and basic science, and for that matter everyday life, have largely been non-overlapping magisteria. That’s changed over the last few years, as robotics and every other field have come to inform and improve each other, and robots have begun to infiltrate and affect our lives in countless ways. So the only surprise in the news that the prestigious journal group Science has established a discrete Robotics imprint is that they didn’t do it earlier.

Editor Guang-Zhong Yang and president of the National Academy of Sciences Marcia McNutt introduce the journal:

In a mere 50 years, robots have gone from being a topic of science fiction to becoming an integral part of modern society. They now are ubiquitous on factory floors, build complex deep-sea installations, explore icy worlds beyond the reach of humans, and assist in precision surgeries… Read the rest of this entry »


[PHOTOS] NASA 1965 Space Suit Test Robot


Japanese Robot Makes Sushi in Seconds 

Kawasaki's sushi-making robot. Kazumichi Moriyama/YouTube

Kawasaki’s sushi-making robot. Kazumichi Moriyama/YouTube

The Japanese robotics manufacturer Kawasaki has created a bot that can prepare nigiri sushi in under a minute.

As robots get more advanced, they will likely take over many jobs in the future — including those of sushi chefs.

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For a sneak peak at this impending automation, look no further than a new creation from robotics manufacturer Kawasaki. The robot can make sushi in under a minute.

First spotted by Gizmodo, the video shows a miraculous bot that assembles nigiri, the traditional type of sushi in which a piece of raw fish sits on a little ball of rice.

giphy (77) Read the rest of this entry »


Meet The Army’s New Pocket-Sized Drone

Jennings Brown reports: A recent glimpse at the future of robotic warfare proves tank robots aren’t ready for the battlefield just yet—but soldiers are enthusiastic about tiny drones that can be mistaken for birds.

“We need to be making sure we’re fielding new technology as quickly as we can. It doesn’t do any good if we’re just investing in great technology if we don’t actually get it into the field for soldiers.”

— Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning

Unites States soldiers based in Hawaii spent half of last month testing out cutting-edge robotic prototypes in exercises as a part of Pacific Manned-Unmanned Initiative (PACMAN-I). Members of the 25th Infantry Division controlled air and land drones to determine what technology could actually benefit soldiers. It was the third time in history human that soldiers have collaborated with robot counterparts in a simulated war zone.

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Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning visited the exercise on July 26, a sign of the interest the Army is taking in the battlefield applications of unmanned vehicles. “We need to be making sure we’re fielding new technology as quickly as we can,” Fanning said, in a statement. “It doesn’t do any good if we’re just investing in great technology if we don’t actually get it into the field for soldiers.” Read the rest of this entry »


Knock Knock: Dallas Police Used Robot With Bomb to Kill Ambush Suspect

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Erik Ortiz reports: Police in Dallas used a robot with an explosive device to kill a suspect involved in a coordinated ambush against officers.

“We saw no other option but to use our bomb robot and place a device on its extension for it to detonate where the suspect was. Other options would have exposed our officers in grave danger.”

— Mayor Mike Rawlings

The suspect was holed up inside the El Centro College parking garage for several hours overnight Thursday before police moved to “blast him out,” Mayor Mike Rawlings said Friday. The negotiations with the unidentified suspect had stalled.

“We saw no other option but to use our bomb robot and place a device on its extension for it to detonate where the suspect was,” Rawlings told reporters. “Other options would have exposed our officers in grave danger.”

The mayor said the suspect was killed by the device, and disputed earlier reports that he might have shot himself.

At least three other suspects were involved in the attack on officers during a protest Thursday night about police-involved shootings elsewhere in the country. Five officers were killed and seven others were injured, as well as two civilians.

Typically, police forces have bomb squads that employ remote-controlled robots for dismantling explosive devices.

But using robots with explosives or munitions to root out or even kill suspects appears far less routine…(more)

Source: NBC News

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The first suspect in the Dallas police shooting was identified as Micah X. Johnson, 25, the Los Angeles Times reported. Johnson was a resident of the Dallas area who had no ties to terror groups or a criminal history. Law enforcement said he has relatives in Mesquite, Texas.

Five police officers were killed late Thursday by shooters during a peaceful protest over the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile earlier this week. Dallas Police Chief David Brown said negotiations with one suspect broke down early Friday and a bomb robot was used to kill the suspect. Read the rest of this entry »


Meet ‘Jia Jia’: China Develops Home-Grown Human-Like Robot

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China’s University of Science and Technology released a human-like robot that is comparable to Japanese models seen in the past on Friday. Not only does it have the face of a beautiful woman, it also capable of interacting with people next to “her.”

Named “Jia Jia,” the face of the life-sized robot is drawn from five attractive female students from the university. Equipped with basic functions, such as making conversation, facial expressions, as well as gestures, it’s apparently more than Siri with a pretty face.

The University also added the robot is “the first of its kind in China”.


[VIDEO] Atlas the Humanoid Robot in Action

Atlas the humanoid robot can trudge through snow and overcome physical challenges from its developers at Boston Dynamics, a unit of Alphabet Inc.


[VIDEO] Japan: Odaiba’s Huge Gundam Robot Lights Up for the Winter Season

The full-scale Gundam statue in Odaiba, Tokyo, has a fresh look, with a projection mapping presentation made especially for the winter season.

Source: The Japan Times


[VIDEO] Owners Must Agree Not to Have Sex with ‘Emotional Robot’ Pepper 

There is a robot on sale in Japan billed as the first humanoid robot designed to live with humans. It has proved to be very popular — however, before you bring Pepper home, you must sign a contract promising not to have sex with it.

The original news story was published at an earlier date. Read more here at IGN.com:


[PHOTO] Dancing With Robot, London, 1937

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Two nude women dance on stage with a ‘robot’ in a show at London Casino, 1937 (General Photographic Agency, Getty)

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[VIDEO] The Coming Robocalypse: Hitachi’s Robot May Replace Warehouse Workers

Jun Hongo reports: Robots are about to make significant progress toward replacing humans in the workplace, particularly in warehouses.

Hitachi Ltd. said Tuesday that it has developed a two-arm robot that can pick up items from shelves in less than half the time required Agence France-Presse/Getty Imagesby existing robots. The company said the new robots were developed to collect items in storage and should be commercially available in about five years.

Other robots have had similar structures, but Hitachi’s new machine is programmed so its parts can work in coordination. The camera on its arm can spot the requested item while the machine is still on the move, which enables it to work more quickly.

“Because of this coordination, it takes about three seconds for the arm to pick up an item once it is in front of a shelf,” compared with seven seconds existing robots need, a Hitachi spokeswoman said.

The robot can pick up a plastic bottle from inside a box using one arm, or carry a box of items using both arms, the company said. It can also use one arm to hold a box and the other to place or retrieve an item. Read the rest of this entry »


Help Fund My Robot Army!

robot-army

An anthology of science fiction/fantasy stories told in the form of fictional kickstarter crowdfunding pitches, using the components (and restrictions) of the format to tell the story. (There is a link to a preview on the Humble page).

I got this bundle recently. This book is original and inspiring (if you have an imaginative mind). Interesting to see how these imaginary kickstarter pitches, with a description, goals and comments, suggest a story. Some titles: The Spirit of Mars: Fund a Sacred Journey to the Red PlanetCatassassins!, A Practical Mechanism for Overcoming the Directionality of Temporal FlowLife-Sized Arena TetrisPrima Nocta Detective Agency Needs You, and many more. Read the rest of this entry »


A Robot Just Passed the Self-Awareness Test

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Roboticists at the Ransselaer Polytechnic Institute have built a trio of robots that were put through the classic ‘wise men puzzle’ test of self-awareness – and one of them passed.

Duncan Geere reports: In the puzzle, a fictional king is choosing a new advisor and gathers the three wisest people in the land. He promises the contest will be fair, then puts either a blue or white hat on each of their heads and tells them all that the first person to stand up and correctly deduce the colour of their own hat will become his new advisor.

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Selmer Bringsjord set up a similar situation for the three robots – two were prevented from talking, then all three were asked which one was still able to speak. All attempt to say “I don’t know”, but only one succeeds – and when it hears its own voice, it understands that it was not silenced, saying “Sorry, I know now!”

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However, as we can assume that all three robots were coded the same, technically, all three have passed this self-awareness test. Read the rest of this entry »


Japan Hotel Features Robot Receptionists

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Interestingly, the robots have been made to look like dinosaurs

 writes: Step aside, receptionists. Robots are coming to get you. At least, that’s what’s happening at a hotel in Japan. Called Weird Hotel, the place of business uses robots in order to cut costs, according to the Associated Press.

“I wanted to highlight innovation. I also wanted to do something about hotel prices going up.”

— Hotel owner Hideo Sawada

The owner of the hotel, Hideo Sawada, says robots are used to boost efficiency, too, and not as a gimmick to attract tourists. Interestingly, the robots have been made to look like dinosaurs. “If you want to check in, push one,” it says in English. The visitor then needs to enter their information into a touch screen. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Pixar Tech Director Alonso Martinez is Building His Own Desktop Robot Companion with Emotional Intelligence

Technical director at Pixar, Alonso Martinez, is currently in the early stages of developing a new companion robot. Mira, as it is currently named, is apparently an exploration into human-robot interaction and emotional intelligence. While currently in the very early stages of development, the small desktop companion is already equipped with some pretty impressive facial recognition and quite an adorable little personality.

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As her understanding of the world and people’s emotions get richer so will her ability to interact with people in a more meaningful way.”

As you can see in the video above, Mira’s favorite activity at the moment is peak-a-boo. Able to realize when you have covered your face, it will light up in excitement like a small child once revealed again making happy blips and bleeps while changing color. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] IT’S ON: Megabots Inc. vs Suidobashi Heavy Industry: USA Challenges Japan to Giant Robot Duel, Japan Accepts Fight!

“Suidobashi, we have a giant robot. You have a giant robot. You know what needs to happen. We challenge you to a duel. Prepare yourselves and name the battlefield. In one year, we fight.”

Japanese engineers have accepted a challenge from an American company to duel with giant robots.

It all started last week when American company MegaBots, Inc. released a YouTube video showing off its 12,000-pound Mk. II robot.

Wearing an American flag as a cape, MegaBots’ Matt Oherlein bragged about the Mk II’s big guns: a cannon capable of shooting 3-pound paintballs at 100 mph. Read the rest of this entry »


First Robot Wedding Takes Place In Japan

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 reports: Japan became the first country to host a robot wedding as people gathered in Tokyo on Saturday to watch two robots — Frois and Yukirin — get married. Sure, Frois and Yukirin may be robots but that did not stop the affair from being a traditional ceremony with cake, dancing, music, and a wedding kiss.

Those who attended the wedding paid roughly $81 — in lieu of a gift, perhaps? — to join the occasion. Those who paid the fee received an official wedding invitation with a picture of the two robots inset in a heart.

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“Pepper, the world’s first robot with feelings, officiated the ceremony in front both robot and human guests. Made of white plastic and measuring less than four feet, Pepper has been created to recognize human voice and facial expressions.”

Read the rest of this entry »


Humanoid Robots as Models: Julie Watai’s Manga & Otaku-Inspired Photography

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Japanese photographer Julie Watai creates manga and otaku-inspired photography, often using humanoid robots as models. Watch TheCreatorsProject‘s exclusive video on her here.

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James R. Hagerty: Meet the New Generation of Robots for Manufacturing

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They are nimbler, lighter and work better with humans. They might even help bring manufacturing back to the U.S.

James R. Hagerty writes: A new generation of robots is on the way—smarter, more mobile, more collaborative and more adaptable. They promise to bring major changes to the factory floor, as well as potentially to the global competitive landscape.

Robots deployed in manufacturing today tend to be large, dangerous to anyone who strays too close to their whirling arms, and limited to one task, like welding, painting or hoisting heavy parts.

“Robots are going to change the economic calculus for manufacturing. People will spend less time chasing low-cost labor.”

— Hal Sirkin, a Chicago-based senior partner of Boston Consulting Group

The latest models entering factories and being developed in labs are a different breed. They can work alongside humans without endangering them and help assemble all sorts of objects, as large as aircraft engines and as small and delicate as smartphones. Soon, some should be easy enough to program and deploy that they no longer will need expert overseers.

“Researchers hope robots will become so easy to set up and move around that they can reduce the need for companies to make heavy investments in tools and structures that are bolted to the floor.”

That will change not only the way an increasing number of products are made. It could also mean an upheaval in the competition between companies and nations. As robots become less costly and more accessible, they should help smaller manufacturers go toe to toe with giants. By reducing labor costs, they also may allow the U.S. and other high-wage countries to get back into some of the processes that have been ceded to China, Mexico and other countries with vast armies of lower-paid workers.

“That would allow manufacturers to make shorter runs of niche or custom products without having to spend lots of time and money reconfiguring factories.”

Some of the latest robots are designed specifically for the tricky job of assembling consumer-electronics items, now mostly done by hand in Asia. At least one company promises its robots eventually will be sewing garments in the U.S., taking over one of the ultimate sweatshop tasks.

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“Robots are going to change the economic calculus for manufacturing,” says Hal Sirkin, a Chicago-based senior partner of Boston Consulting Group. “People will spend less time chasing low-cost labor.”

The changing face

Today, industrial robots are most common in auto plants—which have long been the biggest users of robot technology—and they do jobs that don’t take much delicacy: heavy lifting, welding, applying glue and painting. People still do most of the final assembly of cars, especially when it involves small parts or wiring that needs to be guided into place.

[Read the full text here, at WSJ]

Now robots are taking on some jobs that require more agility. At a Renault SA plant in Cleon, France, robots made by Universal Robots AS of Denmark drive screws into engines, especially those that go into places people find hard to get at. The robots employ a reach of more than 50 inches and six rotating joints to do the work. They also verify that parts are properly fastened and check to make sure the correct part is being used.

At a Renault car plant, robots drive screws into engines—a sign of their progress in handling small parts. Photo: Renault

At a Renault car plant, robots drive screws into engines—a sign of their progress in handling small parts. Photo: Renault

The Renault effort demonstrates a couple of trends that are drastically changing how robots are made. For one, they’re getting much lighter. The Renault units weigh only about 64 pounds, so “we can easily remove them and reinstall them in another place,” says Dominique Graille, a manager at Renault, which is using 15 robots from Universal now and plans to double that by year-end. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] The Future of Remote Work Is Telerobotics

Students at The University of Pennsylvania have created DORA, a robot that both mimics the movements of and sends visual information to a virtual reality headset. Their goal is to give users the experience of actually inhabiting the robot’s body, even if it’s halfway around the world. WSJ‘s Christopher Mims reports.

 


[VIDEO] Toshiba’s Communication Robot Chihira Aico’s Debut as a Receptionist Impresses Department Store Customers

“Humanoid robot capable of expressing various feeling.”

According to RocketNews24, Toshiba has plans to expand its robotics business outside of customer service and into healthcare, especially as companions for Japan’s aging population. Read the rest of this entry »


Robot with $100 Bitcoin Buys Drugs, Gets Arrested

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The robot’s purchases included a Hungarian passport, Ecstasy pills, fake Diesel jeans, a Sprite can with a hole cut out in order to stash cash, Nikes, a baseball cap with a hidden camera, cigarettes and the ‘Lord of the Rings‘ e-book collection

Arjun Kharpal reports: This is the curious story of how a robot armed with a weekly budget of $100 in bitcoin managed to buy Ecstasy, a Hungarian passport and a baseball cap with a built-in camera—before getting arrested.

The “automated online shopping bot” was set up in October last year by Swiss art group, !Mediengruppe Bitnik, as an art installation to explore the “dark web”—the hidden, un-indexed part of the Internet.

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Each week, the robot was given $100 worth of Bitcoin— the major hard-to-trace cryptocurrency—and programmed to randomly purchase one item from Agora, an online marketplace on the dark web where shoppers can buy drugs and other illegal items. The items were automatically delivered to a Swiss art gallery called Kunst Halle St Gallen to form an exhibition.

“This is a great day for the ‘bot, for us and for freedom of art!”

—  !Mediengruppe Bitnik, in a blog post

The robot was christened “Random Darknet Shopper” and its purchases included a Hungarian passport, Ecstasy pills, fake Diesel jeans, a Sprite can with a hole cut out in order to stash cash, Nike trainers, a baseball cap with a hidden camera, cigarettes and the “Lord of the Rings” e-book collection.

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Perhaps unsurprisingly, the robot and his artistic creators had a run in with the law. In January 2015, the Swiss police confiscated the robot and its illegal purchases.

However, three months later, the Random Darknet Shopper was returned to the artists, along with all its purchases except the Ecstasy (also known as MDMA) tablets, which were destroyed by the Swiss authorities.

The artists behind the robot escaped without any charges. Read the rest of this entry »


Vintage Toy: Cragstan Astronaut

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Source:


Industrial Robotics: Why China May Have the Most Factory Robots in the World by 2017

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A perfect storm of economic forces is fueling the trend

Timothy Aeppel reports: Having devoured many of the world’s factory jobs, China is now handing them over to robots.

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China is already the world’s largest market for industrial robots—sales of the machines last year grew 54% from 2013. The nation is expected to have more factory robots than any other country on earth by 2017, according to the German-based International Federation of Robotics.

A perfect storm of economic forces is fueling the trend. Chinese labor costs have soared, undermining the calculus that brought all those jobs to China in the first place, and new robot technology is cheaper and easier to deploy than ever before.

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Not to mention that many of China’s fastest-growing industries, such as autos, tend to rely on high levels of automation regardless of where the factories are built.

“We think of them producing cheap widgets,” but that’s not what they’re focused on, says Adams Nager, an economic research analyst at the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation in Washington. Mr. Nager says China is letting low-cost production shift out of the country and is focusing instead on capital-intensive industries such as steel and electronics where automation is a driving force.

China’s emergence as an automation hub contradicts many assumptions about robots. Read the rest of this entry »


Google Patents Customizable Robot Personalities

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patent that has just been awarded to Google suggests that either could be possible and that we could potentially download different personality types from the cloud.

In fact, if you can’t choose what kind of personality you want for your future robo-pal, it’s highly possible that it might be able to choose for you. It would do this by accessing your devices and learning about you, before configuring a tailored personality based on that information. In addition it could use speech and facial recognition to personalise its interactions with you.

“It’s possible that if you uploaded its personality to the cloud you might be able to transfer it to another robot.”

The original question posed still stands though — you could potentially always choose a specific personality type for your Google robot that represents the kind of person you enjoy interacting with. This personality could even be triggered by specific cues or circumstances that the robot could detect, says the patent, which was spotted by Quartz.

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“Unlike Newton and Stephanie from Short Circuit who were devastated when they believed their beloved Johnny Five had been destroyed, you never need get emotional over or be concerned about the physical destruction of your robot.”

“The robot personality may also be modifiable within a base personality construct (i.e., a default-persona) to provide states or moods representing transitory conditions of happiness, fear, surprise, perplexion (e.g., the Woody Allen robot), thoughtfulness, derision (e.g., the Rodney Dangerfield robot), and so forth,” states the patent.

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“A more concerning concept perhaps though is that a robot could be programmed to take on the personality of a real-world person — the patent suggests a deceased loved one or a celebrity — so that effectively you could get someone to live on after their death in robot form.”

It also suggests that should a cruel fate befall your robot, that might not spell the end of its days. It’s possible that if you uploaded its personality to the cloud you might be able to transfer it to another robot.

Unlike Newton and Stephanie from Short Circuit who were devastated when they believed their beloved Johnny Five had been destroyed, you never need get emotional over or be concerned about the physical destruction of your robot. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Humanoid Robot Has a Sense of Self

The human self has five components. Machines now have three of them. How far away is artificial consciousness – and what does it tell us about ourselves?

Full story here


[VIDEO] 人間かと思った! Wonder Festival: Meet Asuna, the Hyperreal Android

Wonder Festival is a semiannual Japanese convention dedicated to model and figure-building which attracts all manner of pros, amateurs, and cosplayers from across the country(read more)

RocketNews24 

人間かと思った! 日本企業が作った美少女アンドロイド「ASUNA」ちゃんがリアルすぎる


[PHOTO] Vintage Robot: Smoke Break

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Vintage Sci-Fi Paperback: ‘Robots Ruled With Soft Hands, But Men’s Minds Were Enslaved’

Lancer 72-129 (1963). Cover Art by Ed Emsh

Lancer Books #72-129: The Humanoids by Jack Williamson, 1949. Cover art by Ed Emshwiller for 1963 & 1966 edition.

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ご挨拶、人間!Customers at Some Banks in Tokyo Will Soon be Greeted by a Robot

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China to Mass Produce Industrial Robots

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SHENYANG (Xinhua) — China’s first industrial robot production line is expected to start operation in the northeastern city of Shenyang this month.

“China became the world’s largest industrial robot market in 2013 with 37,000 industrial robots sold in the country, accounting for 20 percent of the global market.”

SIASUN Robot and Automation Co. Ltd. will be the first to jump start China’s industrial robot production with an annual capacity of 5,000. Their facilities will produce robots applied in welding, hauling, assembling, stacking, grinding and polishing, according to Qu Daokui, the company’s CEO.

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“Rising labor costs and aging population have prompted the application of industrial robots in China”

He said the production line is undergoing tests and the exact date of operation is yet to be announced. The application of robots has expanded from the high-end industries such as automobile and electronics manufacturing to traditional industries, including metal processing, bathroom hardware, food and drinks, said Qu, who is also director general of China Robot Industry Alliance. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] University of Tokyo Biped Robot Races Toward the Singularity at Record Speed

From JapanJun Hongo reports: A research team at the University of Tokyo has unveiled one of the fastest two-legged robots in the world that can reach speeds up to 4.2 kilometers per hour (2.6 mph).

While many robots are controlled using what is known as “zero moment point” dynamics to balance itself, the new robot uses a combination of a high speed camera and a stabilizing motor so that it can lean forward without tipping over, enabling it to run in a dynamic form, according to Prof. Masatoshi Ishikawa. The robot can even perform a somersault. Read the rest of this entry »


Scientists Devise Swarm of 1,024 Tiny Robots


[VIDEO] Self-Folding Robots

A team of engineers at Harvard and MIT have designed and built a flat-packed robot that assembles itself and walks away. Learn more at http://hvrd.me/A2mM9

YouTube


Japan: World’s First Android Newscasters Are Here to Replace Cable News Hosts

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For Gizmodo, Casey Chan writes: In the future, we’ll get the news from fair and balanced android newscasters that’ll somehow terrify us more than the cable newspeople we have today. These android newscasters are frighteningly lifelike and can interact with humans, read the news and Tweets, tell a joke and basically replace the lousy talking heads on TV.

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The android newscasters were shown off in Japan at the Android: What is a Human? exhibition in Tokyo. At times, the two robots demoed—Kodomoroid and Otonaroid—look and act so real that they seem like human actors pretending to be a robot.

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Japanese scientists on Tuesday unveiled what they said was the world’s first news-reading android, eerily lifelike and possessing a sense of humour to match her perfect language skills. Duration: 01:20

Gizmodo


[VIDEO] President Obama Welcomes Our New Japanese Robot Overlords

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For Breitbart News,  reports: During his visit to Tokyo, President Obama had a chance to meet ASIMO, a Japanese humanoid robot.

ASIMO, an acronym for Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility, exchanged bows with the president before demonstrating that it could kick a soccer ball.

“How about that, that was pretty impressive,” Obama marveled after the demonstration.

Later, during a meeting with students Obama mentioned his meeting with ASIMO.

“We saw some truly amazing robots — although I have to say the robots were a little scary. They were too lifelike. They were amazing.”

TOKYO (AP) — The voice was slightly halting, childlike. “Welcome to Miraikan, Mr. President, it is a pleasure to meet you.”

President Barack Obama bowed, looking delighted.

His greeter, after all, was a 55-inch-tall, give or take, humanoid robot with the look of a diminutive Star Wars storm trooper.

“It’s nice to meet you, too,” Obama said, pausing to watch the robot, named ASIMO, perform during a tour of the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation. Read the rest of this entry »


Vintage Japanese Sci Fi Robot Toy Image of the Day: Battery Operated ‘Thunder Robot’

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thunder-robotFortune Cookie

Thunder Robot 
Asakusa (Japan) 
1950s


Z-Machines and Walking Paper-Bot

Z-Machines, a robot rock band, headlined the fair with several concerts each day.

Z-Machines, a robot rock band, headlined the fair with several concerts each day.

By all accounts Maker Faire Tokyo was a big success. Ian Lesnet of Dangerous Prototypes was there.

Mechanical Paper Model that actually walks. Even the gears are made from paper.

Mechanical Paper Model that actually walks. Even the gears are made from paper.

Ian and his crew took some great photos of the fair. Have a look at the sights and commentary from Ian below and check out all Dangerous Prototype’s coverage here.

Maker Faire Tokyo in Pictures – MAKE


Today In Dystopian War: Robots That Will Harvest Us For Our Organs

John Biggs writes: Welcome to our continuing series featuring videos of robots that will, when they become autonomous, hunt us down and force us to work in the graphene factories of Mars. Below we see Wild Cat, a fully untethered remote control quadrupedal robot made by Boston Dynamics, creators of the famous Big Dog. This quadruped can run up to 16 miles an hour and features a scary-sound internal gas engine that can power it across rough terrain. Wild Cat was funded by the DARPA’s M3 program aimed at introducing flexible, usable robots into natural environments AKA introducing robotic pack animals for ground troops and build flocking, heavily armed robots that can wipe out a battlefield without putting humans in jeopardy.


Next up we have ATLAS, another Boston Dynamics bot that can walk upright on rocks. Sadly ATLAS is tethered to a power source but he has perfect balance and can survive side and front hits from heavy weights – a plus if you’re built to be the shock troops of a new droid army. ATLAS can even balance on one foot while being smacked with wrecking balls, something the average human can’t do without suffering internal damage. I can’t wait for him to be able to throw cinder blocks!

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