262 posts tagged robotics
Photos of a Strange, Thriving Humanoid Robotics Movement
Japan is famous for its robotics industry which has developed everything from faceless industrial robots that power factories to cybernetic cats that provide companionship to the elderly. There’s also a subculture of scientists trying to create robots that could pass as humans and London-based photographer Luisa Whitton has captured their stories in a series called What About the Heart? A scholarship provided Whitton with the opportunity to travel to Japan to meet with robotics pioneer Hiroshi Ishiguro, who became famous in tech circles for having built an eerily creepy robotic copy of himself. “I was initially drawn to the uncanny and surrealistic aspect to Ishiguro’s story, and this area of robotics specific to Japan which has a reputation in pushing the boundaries between science, art, and philosophy,” says Whitton. The result is a collection of photos that appear to capture robots in the throes of electronic existential crises. (via Photos of a Strange, Thriving Humanoid Robotics Movement | Design | WIRED)
Robot Linda to meet the public at London’s Natural History Museum
Having a robot around the house might be nice, but not if it keeps stepping on the cat and tripping over the coffee table. This month, the public will get the chance to meet a robot at the Natural History Museum in London that may be a bit kinder to furniture and tabbies. The University of Lincoln’s Linda robot, which will mingle with visitors, is designed to learn about its surroundings and make it easier to work human environments. Looking like a pair of eyes in a fishbowl stuck on traffic cone, Linda is a mobile robot developed by the University of Lincoln’s School of Computer Science. Its name is a reference to “Lindum Colonia,” the ancient name for the city of Lincoln. It’s one of six robots built for the £7.2 million (US$12 million) STRANDS project, which aims to produce robots suitable for working with security guards and staff in nursing homes. Most state-of-the-art robots are given maps of their surroundings, or create them when they begin operations in an area. This works, but human environments tend to change over time as furniture is moved, people come and go, and objects disappear and reappear. These degrade the robot’s map as anomalies build up. The result is that most robots can only operate for a few hours before needing to restart and remap the area. (via Robot Linda to meet the public at London’s Natural History Museum)
MIT’s cooking up robots that can assemble themselves in the oven
It’s 2050, and you’re prepping the oven to bake your next robotic minion while a 3D printer spews out its components. Wait a sec… bake a robot? As strange as that sounds, there’s already a group of MIT researchers developing the technology and the printable materials that can self-assemble into a robot when heated. Since we usually bake food and not robots (and this is all very new), the researchers are experimenting with different materials to find the best option. One is aluminum-coated polyster that folds or twirls itself to form the proper components inside an oven. The other is PVC plastic sandwiched between rigid polyester sheets full of cuts and slits — upon heating, the PVC becomes deformed and the slits close, forcing the whole thing to bend and fold into place. Also, the scientists are looking into developing a system that uses CAD files to create 2D patterns, as described in one of the two papers they published about the research. Obviously, the team’s not going to develop the perfect material and method overnight, but MIT professor Daniela Rus says they ultimately hope to make it possible to create useful robots anytime. (via MIT’s cooking up robots that can assemble themselves in the oven)
If a robot read a novel, how would it feel? You might get a sense from these little jingles. Below are some songs that were automatically created by a series of algorithms that turn the emotions in novels into short pieces of music. If the songs remind you, traumatically, of your untalented little sister practicing piano… well, you can’t say I didn’t warn you. Actually, the origins of the songs are pretty cool, as the Physics arXiv Blog reports. They start with sentiment analysis, a field in computer science that got hot not long after Twitter did. As more and more people started tweeting, computer scientists and companies wanted to automatically process those tweets, to figure out what emotions people were expressing in them. For example, do people feel negatively or positively about… snack cakes? How do people feel about a specific brand, say, Little Debbie? You can see the commercial interest in this. The same techniques computer scientists use to analyze Twitter are also able read the feels in any text. So now it’s possible to automatically read the emotions in novels, too. To make the songs below, two researchers—one of them a programmer and a musician—went one step beyond that. After running novels through a sentiment-analysis algorithm, they created an algorithm that would express those sentiments through music.
Meet Socibot, A Robot That Responds To Your Movements And Moods—Sort Of Like A Real Person Equipped with cameras and facial recognition technology, this machine is pushing the emotional limits of human-robot interaction to its creepy (or is it friendly?) conclusion. (via Meet Socibot, A Robot That Responds To Your Movements And Moods—Sort Of Like A Real Person | Co.Exist | ideas impact)
Marco Tempest: Maybe the best robot demo ever
Marco Tempest uses charming stagecraft to demo EDI, the multi-purpose robot designed to work very closely with humans. Less a magic trick than an intricately choreographed performance, Tempest shows off the robot’s sensing technology, safety features and strength, and makes the case for a closer human-robot relationship. (Okay, there’s a little magic, too.)
We are designing the robots that will eventually kill us
Patrick Tucker, Defense One, qz.com
In the movie Transcendence, which opens in theaters on Friday, a sentient computer program embarks on a relentless quest for power, nearly destroying humanity in the process.
The film is science fiction but a computer…
Want a dog but don’t want to deal with dog poop or allergies or fleas? The Omnibot Hello! Zoomer Dog Robot is the robotic pet you’re looking for.
This man-made version of a dalmatian recognizes over 45 words (English and Japanese), has voice recognition, and can be trained to perform a variety of tricks, including shake, roll over, and play dead. Of course, unlike a dog, Zoomer also comes with a USB cord and needs to be charged for an hour to get twenty minutes of use. Just think of it as a nap… that includes electricit (via Omnibot Hello! Zoomer Dog Robot | GeekAlerts)
#SelfieBot by Orbotix
#SelfieBot is fully autonomous and capable of flight. Forged from cutting-edge technology and programmed with advanced artificial intelligence, #SelfieBot hovers at your side and records your life in high definition. Free yourself from smartphone #selfie limitations. Reserve yours before it sells out.
#SelfieBot. Always watching… for life’s most precious moments.
(by Go Sphero)