Category Archives: Robot

Robot news gathered by real flesh bags.

FoxBot, the Foxconn Robotic Revolution Begins…

Foxconn, manufacturer of many of the world’s favourite gadgets has started its own robotic revolution. The first small step has now been taken with Foxconn recently activating the first batch of 10,000 Foxconn robots or Foxbots.

The trials and tribulations of Foxconn over the last two years could fill volumes. Making the situation worse for  Foxconn everything they try seems to make the situation worse. Installing suicide nets,  exorcisms and pay rises have all failed to ease Foxconn’s HR PR nightmare.

Have no fear though Foxconn’s president Terry Gou is a man with a plan, the first 10,000 Foxbots have now been activated and another 20,000 are due to be installed before the end of 2012, the Foxbot revolution is now underway.

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littleBits of Incredible. The RadioShack Kit of the Future, bringing Duct Tape Robocop to Life…

littleBits, the RadioShack electronics kit of the future has arrived. Consisting of dozens of unique self contained modules or bits that snap together magnetically, joining together to do useful little tasks.

Using littleBits anyone can now build their own electronic gadgets, no soldering or electronics expertise required, thanks to the clever littleBits. Currently the most popular projects consist of turning cardboard cut-out animals and robots into living animated and reacting characters.

There are however many other projects available, projects ranging from handy and amusing to advanced interactive system. What the future holds is only limited by the imagination of the bitsters. All of the projects are free and awaiting download, thanks to the fast growing community.

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The Next Generation Electric Pet. I-SODOG from Tomy, I-SO Cute…

Takara Tomy, makers of all things remote controlled, toys that not only children dream of, have previewed the next generation robotic pet. Unveiled at the Tokyo International Toy Show the Omnibot I-SODOG is a mini high-tech bundle of cute.

The second robot from Tomy, a follow up to their bi-pedal i-SOBOT, I-SODOG the Tomy dog can dance to music, shake hands, learn new commands and even chase the cat while being remote controlled.

Set for release in time for Christmas Tomy’s I-SODOG is the next generation of electronic pet. Far more than a remote control dog, with his own evolving personality and artificial intelligence he is as smart as he is cute.

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Robobees, The Monolithic Pop-Up Robotic Bee…

Miniature manufacturing processes were once solely the territory of Swiss watch makers, hand assembling tiny machines with precision. These types of manufacturing processes has never transferred well to mass production, until now.

A team of Harvard scientists have taken micro sized mass production in a whole new direction. Inspired by origami and fold out books the team has developed an incredible micro machine that requires almost zero human assembly. The Mobee is the first example of such a manufacturing process, a tiny collection of sub millimeter parts that self-assemble into miniature robotic Bee.

“This takes what is a craft, an artisan process, and transforms it for automated mass production,” says Pratheev Sreetharan (A.B. ’06, S.M. ’10), who co-developed the technique with J. Peter Whitney. Both are doctoral candidates at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS).

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EZ-Robot: Will The Real Wall-E Please Stand Up…

Robotics is a burgeoning field, just like computers 30 years ago robotics is moving from the exclusive labs of the of the übernoid to the world of the everyday enthusiast, bringing robotics to anyone with a little curiosity. EZ-Robot, a Canadian company is doing just that, aiming to bring robotics to the masses. The EZ-Robot kit and Wall-E project is just one of the many robots available on EZ’s site, from creepy insect robots to miniature Daleks. Don’t be fooled by Wall-E’s cute face this isn’t just another remote control toy, Wall-E responds to voice commands, plays chase the ball and can even dance to his favorite song. He sighs when you take his ball away and sings when he’s happy.

DJ Sures and his team at EZ-Robot have released the hardware kit and software – EZ-Builder – that will allow anyone to easily construct their very own Wall-E robot, no soldering or programming required. This includes taking advantage of voice recognition, joystick support and camera object recognition.

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My Robot Nation…

Fellow robot fanatics Rejoice!!A brand new source for the objects of our desires has appeared on the web. My Robot Nation’s website has recently opened for business allowing any citizen of the web to design their own Robot and then at the click of a button have it 3D printed.

Designing your Robot couldn’t be simpler, with the latest 3D WebGL interface the site feels more like a character builder in the latest computer game, this is point and click design at its simplest and best. The full 3D view lets you customize every millimeter of your new Robot. Once your satisfied with your creation hit the make my robot button and relax until your custom robot is delivered to your door. When unwrapping your robot you are required to pronounce, like an over-eager Dr Frankenstein, “It has Arrived”.

Built a top the latest web technology – WebGL and HTML5 – which limits to access Chrome and Firefox users at the moment. For Chrome users the My Robot Nation app can be downloaded from the Chrome Store, giving a slightly smoother and faster feel to the application.

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UAV Predator Virus: When Drones Go Rogue…

The world of espionage is full of twists and turns, plays and counter plays. In the latest twist, it was recently discovered that America’s most powerful surveillance tech gadgets, the Predator and Reaper UAVs – Unmanned Aerial Vehicles – have been infected by a keylogger virus. Discovered by the military’s Host-Based Security System the virus has made itself at home in the controller cockpits located at Creech Air Force Base at Indian Springs in Nevada. Most of the Afghanistan and Iraq are missions flown from Creech.

A defence official confirmed to CNN on Monday that the virus had infected the systems that control the drones but it hadn’t interfered with normal operations. Officials would not comment on the specific virus or how the virus had infected the systems.

The most likely source of infection seems to be the removable drives used to transfer data to and from the drones. The drones are in a sense debriefed upon their return, with all of the data collected during the mission unloaded to the removable drives. At some point the removable drives have been connected to the control systems, delivering it’s dangerous cargo. A persistent virus it is too, after each attempt at the cleaning process the virus seems to re-appear, even after 3 weeks the virus is still loitering away in the control system.

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Artificial Skin, Getting That Robotic Touch…

Skin a wonderfully tactile and complex part of the human condition that often goes unnoticed. Scientists this week have demonstrated the most complex artificial skin for robots yet produced. Containing infra-red, heat and accelerometer sensors this is an intelligent hard shell for our robotic creations. Still lagging a long way behind human skin this new robotic facsimile is a huge advancement on previous technology that will eventually be able to include other sensors to enhance our robots sense of touch.

The skin itself is made from a collection of small hexagonal circuit boards – 5 square centimeters each– that are connected to form the skin. Each circuit board contains four infra-red sensors to detect objects within a few centimeters of the skin, six temperature sensors for heat / cold and an accelerometer. The circuit boards have their own processor and communications hardware used to form a network of skin cells.

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Kilobots: The New Swarm to Take Over the World…

Kilobots to take over the world, $14 dollars at a time!? A Harvard University research group – Self-Organizing Systems – have designed and made available an extremely simple and cheap robot capable of working as a collective, a team. Looking like a peice of 1950’s electronics the Kilobot is able to move, sense and react. Is this the most dangerous robot ever invented or an essential tool for investigating robotics ?

Intended to be a research tool for programmers developing control logic for self organising robots, with $14 worth of parts they are cheap enough to allow testing of 1000’s of robots in a swarmcollective group of robots working together -, something even the big research groups like MIT couldn’t afford to do without Kilobot. The Kilobots require a hard surface to operate so we are all safe, until the world is laminated that is.

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