Tag Archives | Robotics

Japanese Robot Girlfriend

My prediction — in the future, if you do not meet a husband/wife by age 40, you will have the option of being given a robot boyfriend/girlfriend:

Pretty interesting where robotics is going. It will really get interesting with the merging of artificial intelligence, prosthetic development, innovative CPU processing developments, low cost storage (SSD) and a connected Internet…. the next 50 years will allow for some crazy and perhaps scary, developments.

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What Should Robots Smell Like?

thesmellofcontrol1It depends on what purpose we want them to serve. we make money not art looks at plans for several robots equipped with odor-emitting “sweat glands” which both make the machines seem more organic/alive and effect how people react to them:

Three existing industrial robots have been augmented with ‘sweat glands’. Each uses a specific property of human sub-conscious behavior in response to a chemical stimulus: one makes humans about to undergo surgery more trustful, another one makes women working in production line more focused and the third one is a bomb disposal robot that emits the smell of fear.

The contrast between the physical anti-anthropomorphic nature of the machines and the olfactory anthropomorphism highlights the absurd nature of the trickery at play in all anthropomorphism.

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Ultra-Realistic Robotic Mouth Moans Nursery Rhymes

small_bht96voreeoOnce again, the creepiness threshold in robotics has been shattered. Developed by Professor Hideyuki Sawada at Japan’s Kagawa University, this robotic mouth is singing the traditional children’s song “Kagome Kagome”. It’s the most accurate android simulation of human vocal abilities to date, with artificial vocal cords, an artificial nasal cavity, et cetera. It’s designed to somehow help hearing-impaired people improve their speech, and to haunt your dreams.

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Austrian Man Amputates His Hand To Replace It With Bionic One

_52542971_twohandsstillGive this guy a hand for his courage. Won’t someone lend him a hand? … and so on. The BBC reports on our entry into the age of cyborgs, with laser-shooting eye transplants surely right around the corner:

An Austrian man has voluntarily had his hand amputated so he can be fitted with a bionic limb. The patient, called “Milo”, aged 26, lost the use of his right hand in a motorcycle accident a decade ago. After his stump heals in several weeks’ time, he will be fitted with a bionic hand which will be controlled by nerve signals in his own arm.

The patient, a Serbian national who has lived in Austria since childhood, suffered injuries to a leg and shoulder when he skidded off his motorcycle and smashed into a lamppost in 2001 while on holiday in Serbia.

A further operation involving the transplantation of muscle and nerve tissue into his forearm also failed to restore movement to the hand, but it did at least boost the electric signals being delivered from his brain to his forearm, signals that could be used to drive a bionic hand.

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Augment Your Body With Brainwave-Controlled Cat Ears

Completely real and available for purchase now from Japanese startup outfit Neurowear. Being a bionic cyber-feline has never looked cuter. Via Wired UK:

The ears twitch through a range of different positions, which correspond to different brain activity. So when you concentrate, the ears point upwards and when you relax the ears flop down and forwards. Mind control isn’t new, but lately advances have been made to make mass market control devices at affordable prices.

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Meet DONA: The Panhandling Robot (Video)

Cyriaque Lamar writes on io9:

The notion of a panhandling robot may sound like pure fiction, but roboticists in South Korea have worked together with MIT Media Lab to create with DONA, a motion-sensing bot built to solicit street donations.

DONA’s makers are donating the robot’s earnings to fund education in the Ivory Coast, so you won’t feel suckered dropping some won in its collection cup.

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Robotic Clouds Could Help Cool 2022 Qatar World Cup (Animation)

Qatar 2022BBC Sport reports:

Scientists at Qatar University claim to have developed artificial clouds to provide shade for stadia and training grounds at the 2022 World Cup.

The fierce summer heat in the Gulf has led to concerns about conditions for players and fans at the tournament. Temperatures in June and July can reach up to 50 C.

Qatar were announced as hosts in December, and Fifa president Sepp Blatter initially said he expected the 2022 competition to be moved to winter.

But Blatter has since stated that he feels the tournament will go ahead as planned in the summer months. Qatar plan to air condition their World Cup stadia via solar power, and now scientists have designed the ‘clouds’, which can be produced at a cost of $500,000 (about £310,000) each.

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Robotic Cheetah And Other Advanced ‘Terror Bots’ In Development

BigDog robot. Photo: Boston Dynamics

BigDog robot. Photo: Boston Dynamics

Discovery News reports on more nightmare-fuel for believers in the robopocalypse:

A headless metal warrior stomps towards you, shooting. Fortunately, you’ve been training for a marathon and easily jet off to safety down an alleyway. But wait -– now a metal cheeta-bot is after you, racing faster than your puny legs can go. As the space between you and the galloping beast closes, you round a corner, see a door and dive through. It slams behind you. As you freeze, holding your breath, the robotic cat passes by outside with a wake of metallic echoes.

Relieved, you exhale into the dark. A fatal mistake -– outside, another robot has detected your breath and alerted the enemy to your location …

Waking up from this nightmare is a way to save yourself, for now, but in fact all three ‘terror’ bots it featured are based on actual prototypes being developed in California and Boston (though not with directly malicious intentions).

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Robots May Get Their Own Internet

Photo: Lorenzo Natale (CC)

Photo: Lorenzo Natale (CC)

Is this the beginning of machines relying on machines? BBC News reports:

Robots could soon have an equivalent of the internet and Wikipedia.

European scientists have embarked on a project to let robots share and store what they discover about the world.

Called RoboEarth it will be a place that robots can upload data to when they master a task, and ask for help in carrying out new ones.

Researchers behind it hope it will allow robots to come into service more quickly, armed with a growing library of knowledge about their human masters.

The idea behind RoboEarth is to develop methods that help robots encode, exchange and re-use knowledge, said RoboEarth researcher Dr Markus Waibel from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.

“Most current robots see the world their own way and there’s very little standardisation going on,” he said. Most researchers using robots typically develop their own way for that machine to build up a corpus of data about the world.

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