There were a lot more robots in the mall this year when I was shopping for Christmas presents. The world just keeps getting more sci-fi, I love it.
“When Mitsubishi put its Wakamaru receptionist robot up for hire last month, it was clearly just a matter of time before the droid would actually find work. On July 11, People Staff, a major temporary staffing agency based in Nagoya, announced it has accepted 10 of the robots as dispatch workers and is ready to send them out to work at businesses and institutions in the Tokai area of central Japan.”
I love the video for the little round one at the bottom.
“The Scarab can run in the dark bottoms of moon craters with its nuclear power source. The advanced sterling radioisotope generator (ASRG) converts the emissions from a radioactive isotope to electricity. According to the article the generator can provide 100 watts of power for 10 years.”
I love that they called it “Scarab.”
“Just in time for the holidays, here comes the Asimo swarm.
Honda Motor has continued to evolve its humanoid robot Asimo and has equipped it with new smarts that lets it work in groups and for one to take over when another is recharging.
Asimo can now operate in an environment with people as well as other Asimos. Robots working together will wirelessly share data such as battery levels and the closest unit to a given task. Each works autonomously based on the networked information.”
“A set of video cameras has also been added to the robot. With four cameras that record the robot’s every move and a hard disk that stores the video feed, human overlords can keep close tabs on Tondon to make sure it doesn’t nap on the job. The cameras can also be used for hallway surveillance, the company says, allowing the robot to double as a watchful security guard as it cleans.”
There are a lot of these being made all over the world now. Some are even available to rent.
“After this, the robots were able to influence the roach clan, convincing them to come out of the darkness and nest in bright areas.”
“In addition to cleaning, Lady Bird can engage in simple conversation with restroom users, thanks to microphones in its “antennae,” speech recognition capabilities and a voice synthesizer. The robot has access to the latest information about traffic conditions on nearby roads, which it can relay to anyone comfortable enough to ask.”
“The friendly-looking Yuki-taro 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.”
“Other new features include a unique pair of Transformer-style legs that allow the robot to crouch on its knees and roll around on an extra set of wheels for greater stability, as well as the ability to lift its feet 3 centimeters (1.2 in) off the ground to step over small obstacles. In addition, a built-in radar system allows the robot to map its surroundings and understand its own position in relation to other objects in the room.”
It’s exactly what it sounds like.
“On July 21, a team of four MOTOMAN machines — two dual-armed MOTOMAN-DIA10 robots and two MOTOMAN-HP3 welding robots — gave a special taiko performance at the nearly 400-year-old Kokura Gion Daiko Festival in Kitakyushu, which is famous for its traditional drumming competition.”
“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.”
“They put a 60 cm-tall robot called QRIO (pronounced “curio”) into a classroom with a dozen toddlers (video here) and programmed it to giggle when its head was touched, to occasionally sit down, and to lie down when its batteries dies. A human operator could also make it look at a child, or wave as one went away. Over several weeks, the toddlers began interacting with QRIO pretty much the same way they did with other toddlers. They’d even help it up when it fell, and when its batteries died and it lay down, they’d cover it with a blanket and say “night, night.” (Awwww….)”
“Congressman Mike Doyle, a Democrat from Pennsylvania’s 14 district and ZachWamp a Republican from Tennessee’s 3rd, announced the formation of a bi-partisan Congressional Caucus for robots.
Congressman Doyle explains that robots are “being used to defend our nation, perform surgery, fill prescriptions, deliver supplies and materials, and even as tools to educate our children…”
“…it is important that we create a forum by which Congress can familiarize itself with the impact this first great technology of the 21st century is likely to have on the lives of all Americans.”
NO BLOOD FOR OIL!
“Robots can get away with things that humans cannot. In the Minami area of Osaka, for example, a humanoid robot dressed in a “sailor suit” high school uniform now works the street as a tout for an adult information center that navigates potential customers to local sex clubs. Humans in Osaka are prohibited by law from engaging in such nefarious activity.”
And here are the nominees for 2006.
“U-Tsu-Shi-O-Mi is an interactive “mixed reality” humanoid robot that appears as a computer-animated character when viewed through a special head-mounted display. A virtual 3D avatar that moves in sync with the robot’s actions is mapped onto the machine’s green cloth skin (the skin functions as a green screen), and the sensor-equipped head-mounted display tracks the angle and position of the viewer’s head and constantly adjusts the angle at which the avatar is displayed. The result is an interactive virtual 3D character with a physical body that the viewer can literally reach out and touch.”
“In a move that could provide a crucial boost to our robotic friends struggling up the near side of the Uncanny Valley, major cosmetics manufacturer Kao Corporation and a Keio University research team led by robotics professor Takashi Maeno have developed an artificial skin that feels just like human skin.”