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Japanese robot trolls humans at rock-paper-scissors, sadly wasn't named the UMADBRO 9000 (video)

28 июня 2012 | robots game Japan
Japanese robot trolls humans at rock-paper-scissors, sadly wasn't named the UMADBRO 9000 (video)

Japan got itself in the good graces of many a Futurama fan after creating Bender's ancestor. Then again, another Japanese robotic creation -- one that specializes in rock, paper, scissors -- may actually have more in common with the morally questionable, beer-guzzling bot. That's because this sneaky little future overlord wins 100 percent of its matches by using an oh-so human trait known as cheating. See, the researchers at the University of Tokyo's 4chan, er, Ishikawa Oku Laboratory programmed the "Janken" robot to recognize its human opponent's hand shape and counter it within a millisecond. Adding to the troll factor is the fact that it was unwittingly named the "Human-Machine Cooperation System" because, well, it needs the cooperation of some poor human sap to work its magic. The achievement joins other man-versus-machine milestones, including losses by humans in chess and shogi. Of course, the question now is, what happens if you pit two "Janken" machines against each other?

Juggling Robot Takes on Two Balls With One Very Fast Hand (video)

17 мая 2012 | robots Japan
Juggling Robot Takes on Two Balls With One Very Fast Hand (video)

This high-speed hand and arm combination is coupled to an even higher speed vision system that allows the robot’s controller to plan for catches and throws (up to nearly 2 meters in height) at a leisurely 500 frames per second. The hand has three fingers with two or three degrees of freedom each, while the arm has seven more (although not all of them are being utilized). To be clear, the system isn’t just doing a repetitive motion that results in a series of actions that mimic a juggling behavior: the balls are being tracked through the air, and a series of throwing calculations are made for each and every cycle.

Bots Destroying Appliances: Systematic Annihilation of Helpless Objects Via Robot (video)

16 мая 2012 | robots destroy
Bots Destroying Appliances: Systematic Annihilation of Helpless Objects Via Robot  (video)

When it comes to the subject of hacking, we all have different ideas of what is the coolest. Some prefer bits and solder, some prefer hammers and fire. [Justin Gray] has built a name for himself doing a broad mixture of the two. Mainly known for his fire sculpture bots, [justin] also has a fab shop where he builds electric motorcycles.

Italian Quadruped Robot Goes for a Walk (video)

15 мая 2012 | BigDog robots
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Last week, researchers from the Italian Institute of Technology took their quadruped robot HyQ for a test run outside the lab for the first time. The researchers were anxious to try some new tricks HyQ has learned, including the ability to trot over obstacles without falling. The robot is still a strange headless creature, and though a sensor head is in the works, this quadruped might get even weirder with a new hardware addition: arms. Yes, arms.5/1337066741_clipboard01.jpg[/img][/center]

Robocup - The Humanoid League: Kid Size (video)

23 апреля 2012 | robots Robocup
Robocup - The Humanoid League: Kid Size (video)

Although the Kid Size League represents only a fraction of RoboCup’s annual itinerary, it could easily fill a full-length documentary if you were to visit with each of the teams. This short (under ten minutes) documentary about RoboCup’s humanoid soccer league filmed at the 2011 competition in Istanbul, Turkey is an excellent primer if you’re new to the subject. Includes appearances by one of RoboCup’s founders Manuela Veloso (Carnegie Mellon University, USA), Professor Oskar Von Stryk (Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany), referee Jacky Baltes (University of Manitoba, Canada), and student Taylor Pesek (Virginia Tech, USA).

Dan Mathias of FutureBots Introduces KATE 1.0 (video)

18 апреля 2012 | robots Dan Mathias
Dan Mathias of FutureBots Introduces KATE 1.0 (video)

Dan Mathias is an American entrepreneur and roboticist who has single-handedly built a number of robots over the past few decades, including a pretty impressive full-size bipedal humanoid called ATOM-7XP. In just three months he has managed to build his own version of an edutainment robot called KATE (Kids Avatar Teacher and Entertainer). According to Dan, the idea was to build a bot that military servicemen and women could use to interact with loved ones when away from home, but could also find work as a teaching tool or entertainment robot.

Robo-guard the South Korean correction service robot says 'stay out of trouble' (video)

16 апреля 2012 | robots security
Robo-guard the South Korean correction service robot says 'stay out of trouble' (video)

It sounds like the sequel that didn't even make it to DVD: RoboCop's jaded, rotund, less attractive younger brother, who never made the police force -- and tired of living in his sibling's shadow -- took a job as the next best thing: a prison guard. Well, that might not make the silver screen, but it's certainly reality TV. Meet Robo-guard, the world's first robotic correctional officer. Developed in South Korea, Robo-guard is equipped with 3D cameras that let it observe inmates, while special software looks out for changes in behavior. Should anything suspicious be detected, he'll raise the alarm. A lone wolf, he works his beat autonomously, but can also be controlled manually via an iPad, if human colleagues want to check what's going down. Initial field trials are under way right now, and if all goes well, he'll earn a place in more prisons. Who knows, he may even make deputy one day.

Robotic Octopus Takes First Betentacled Steps (2 video)

10 апреля 2012 | robots octopus IP
Robotic Octopus Takes First Betentacled Steps (2 video)

The holy grail of the whole soft robotics initiative that many research groups are so interested in is, arguably, the octopus. Anyone who has ever seen an octopus in action can understand why: they're capable of some extraordinary maneuvers, thanks to relatively large brains, very fine motor control, and a near-total lack of bones. The Octopus Project is a European, er, project that's working on "investigating and understanding the principles that give rise to the octopus sensory-motor capabilities and incorporating them in new design approaches," and their newest design approach is this fully mobile roboctopus with eight soft tentacles.

Giant scrap metal 'Transformers' rule over Chinese theme park (9 pics)

10 апреля 2012 | Transformers robots
Giant scrap metal 'Transformers' rule over Chinese theme park (9 pics)
Some of the metal sculptures in the Mr. Iron Robot theme park are over ten feet tall — and so what if they aren't official Transformers?! These robots made out of scrapped cars and machine tools would definitely do in a pinch. We know there are other scrap metal Transformers out there. But this story is about the ten-year labor of love that saw a simple metal sculpture business blossom into 600 giant robots that now rule their own theme park in Jiazing City in the Zheijang Province of China.

LEGO Tachikoma: Ghost in the Brick (video)

3 апреля 2012 | LEGO robots
LEGO Tachikoma: Ghost in the Brick (video)

We’re big fans of Peer Kreuger’s work and have featured a couple of his designs. One of his newest toys is an excellent replica of the Tachikoma, the artificial intelligence sidekicks with spider-like bodies in Masamune Shirow’s Ghost in the Shell. This Tachikoma can’t shoot webs, fire guns or have mind-numbing discussions about existence and identity though. It may not be as smart as its manga and animé counterpart, but this Tachikoma is still pretty impressive. It moves on its wheels, but it can also seamlessly switch to walking mode to tackle rough terrain. It can also move its “head” and wave its arms.
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