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Archive for Robots

Botropolis: This week in robots

Posted in Robots by Conner Flynn on April 3rd, 2009

Botropolis: This week in robotsIt’s been a busy week in robotics and we’ve been busy documenting humanity’s eventual downfall over at Botropolis. The road to Judgment day is not just paved with cold steel hands clutching human hearts. They will ingratiate themselves into our lives with cute Pixar movies, geeky robot toys and medical advancements that only advance their own agenda. Here’s just some of what we covered this week:

Doctor Who: Robot sighting on set.

Girl-On-Droid Action: Chicks dig Astromech droids.

Robots and Golf: i-SOBOT becomes a Golf Celebrity Spokesperson.

Flying over Mars: NASA’s Ares UAV.

Gigantic fire breathing robot descends on Japan

Posted in Robots by Conner Flynn on March 29th, 2009

Gigantic fire breathing robot descends on JapanSilly Japan. You are just inviting the wrath of future robot-things with your antics… Perhaps you like having all of your buildings come down around you. Maybe you don’t mind being flame-broiled by robot breath. All I can say is, you brought it on yourself. Having said that, we do really think this freakish robot baby thing in the streets of Roppongi is pretty frakkin awesome.

“Giant Torayan” is a seven meter tall fire-breathing baby-faced harbinger of death. It’s also the work of artist Kenji Yanobe, who clearly has issues that should never ever be explored by any therapist. Ever. It’s a win/win. We get to see all this cool stuff from Japan, they pay the price later at the hands of a vengeful bot or five-hundred.

Botropolis: This week in robots

Posted in Robots by Conner Flynn on March 27th, 2009

The end is nearAs usual, we covered our share of robots over at Botropolis. Some cute, some creepy. They sure aren’t quiet about their presence or their impending killing of us, which is why we have so much to bring your way. Here’s just some of what we covered this week:

Primordial Duel T-Shirt: Robots and monsters battle on a T-shirt.

Carebot: This nurse-bot for the elderly seems awfully controlling…

1/8 Scale ASIMO Action Figure: You can haz Asimo too.

Cardboard robot hits the street: The End Is Near

Robot scratching a cow’s itch: A little lower please.

Cindy Crawford: Robot hygiene.

NSFW: Worst Robot Sword Fight Ever

Alien squid fights a giant robot in Japanese tourism videos

Posted in Robots by Conner Flynn on March 26th, 2009

Alien squid fights a giant robot in Japanese tourism videosHow do you get tourists to visit your land? Make it very clear that there is a chance that a giant robot and squid will battle it out during your stay. That’s apparently what the city of Hakodate, Japan was thinking. They’ve been producing official tourism videos unlike anything we’ve ever seen.

They’re action-packed and feature famous landmarks as giant robots battle a mechanical squid hijacked by aliens. It’s pretty awesome. I don’t know if I’ll visit anytime soon, but I sure enjoyed the flick. First video below.

R2-D2 PC case mod

Posted in Robots by Conner Flynn on March 23rd, 2009

R2-D2 PC case modThe jawas aren’t the only ones abducting droids and tinkering with them. The modder known as Frenkie created this awesome R2-D2 case mod, using an old garbage can and a lot of mad skillz. He really did an awesome job and got almost all of the details.

The droid has a webcam, speakers, LEDs, all the nerd-stuff we like. You can make one of your very own for roughly $150. Hit the link to see how it was made from start to finish.

Modified Roomba detects stress, runs away from its abuser

Posted in Robots by Conner Flynn on March 17th, 2009

Modified Roomba detects stress, runs away from its abuserThis modified Roomba avoids users when it detects high levels of stress. Which is good for it because otherwise it would just be willing to take your abuse if you’re the sick sort that kicks puppies, cute kitties and helpless roombas.

It was designed by researchers at the University of Calgary, who interact with the bot via a headband for gamers that detects how much muscle tension is in your face. The more tension, the more space the Roomba will put between itself and you. The idea is to explore human and machine interaction on an emotional level.

Robotic gardeners tend tomato plants

Posted in Robots by Conner Flynn on March 11th, 2009

Robotic gardeners tend tomato plantsRobot gardeners? Students and researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have developed robots that actually tend to tomato plants, with no human intervention. The plants have soil sensors and can network with the robots, which is a great way of letting them know when they need water or nutrients. The robots are equipped with watering pumps and robotic arms that are gentle enough to pick cherry tomatoes without bruising them.

And so we enslave the plant kingdom with their new robot overlords. It’s a great way to see how it works out with plants first. If you start seeing a bunch of squished tomatoes, plants blackened and burnt, and greenhouses that look like a hurricane hit them, than we will know what they have in store for us.

The Cajun Crawler: A Segway with insect legs

Posted in Robots by Conner Flynn on March 4th, 2009

The Cajun Crawler is a remarkable application of Theo Jansen’s fascinating articulated walking legs. This is really the first-known practical application, designed and built by UL Engineering students. They clam it even has the steering power of a tank if you can believe that.

The crawler moves at about 2 to 3 miles per hour. Which gives you a fair chance to run when you see an army of them with no riders coming at you. It looks awesomely cool and moves amazingly. We’re equal parts in awe and just plain creeped out.

Robotic Crawler carries you away in an earthquake

Posted in Robots by Conner Flynn on March 2nd, 2009

Robotic Crawler carries you away in an earthquakeCheck out the image. You tell me if that isn’t the future of human burial. Robots will carry your corpse directly into your dirt bed, deposit you for your dirt nap and go get another rotting human vessel. It’s probably how they will clean up our bodies when they inherit the Earth. But I digress.

This robotic crawler will soon to be inducted in Yokohama’s fire department. It’s designed to carry a human from the disaster zone to safety. In an earthquake rescue workers can load an injured person in the crawler and that person will be carried from the site to relief operations. It has four wheel belts and can easily move over rubble and other obstacles.

Robot “Fight Club” is hilarious

Posted in Robots by Conner Flynn on February 23rd, 2009

If the first rule of human “Fight Club” is “You don’t talk about Fight Club”, we can safely assume that it’s the same with the robot version.

The date: Wednesday, February 11. The place: A secret underground location. A place where robot enthusiasts gather to compete in one of the most hilariously funny, Robot “Fight Club” sessions ever. The bouts loosely follow the Pro-Wrestling format used by humans. I think that’s what makes it so funny.

The Oboe Robot can help with life after death

Posted in Robots by Conner Flynn on February 22nd, 2009

The Oboe Robot can help with life after deathWe humans are not immortal, so it’s important that we live on somehow after our bodies turn to worm food. As usual, the Japanese can help in their usual creepy way.

‘Oboe’ is designed to hang out with the elderly, so that it can absorb knowledge, experiences and, well everything that reminds you of your loved ones before they die. This way as much of their “essence” as possible will live on. You can see how the future might play out with “Oboe”. We continue to live, in a sense, in robot form.

Wall-E PC casemod is pretty awesome

Posted in Robots by Conner Flynn on February 15th, 2009

Wall-E PC casemod is pretty awesomeWho knew that Wall-E ran on Windows XP? That’s how modder Jonathan Berg enviosioned it when he put together this Wall-E PC mod that features a 7-inch touchscreen monitor inside his boxy stomach.

He did a great job with detail, but it’s kinda shocking to see the bot looking so clean and brand new. Wall-E is made from custom cut Plexiglas, the arms from Logitech speakers, and even sports a webcam behind his eyes. Even cooler, he’s even been outfitted with voice recognition software, so his master can command him by voice.

20 awesome robot cakes

Posted in Robots by Conner Flynn on February 11th, 2009

20 awesome robot cakesWe may have a bit of a problem. See, we might like geek cakes just a little too much. It all started with our compilation of 25 awesome geek cakes back in November. We realized we had a sweet tooth for these artistic cakes. Then in December, we craved more delicious sugary cake, so we rounded up another 25. Some call us addicted, though we can quit anytime we want.

You think we like being all jittery? Getting kicked out of bakeries for asking questions while riding a sugar high? Seeing cakes around every corner? Yesterday I was caught with icing on my collar, then my wife arranged a cake intervention. I told them what I’m telling you: I’ll quit the cake when the cake quits being delicious. I can quit anytime I want. Just one more compilation, then I’m done. Done chasing the Betty Crocker dragon. So, check these out. 20 cool and clever robot cakes from our robot site Botropolis. I also included a few robot cake fails to illustrate how not to make an awesome robot cake. Hit the link for all of them.

The Ponginator shoots Ping Pong balls at 170 mph

Posted in Robots by Conner Flynn on February 10th, 2009

The Ponginator shoots Ping Pong balls at 170 mphThere’s no rhyme or reason to the three story tall Ponginator. It simply exists because it must. Humans must have a gigantic robot that shoots ping pong balls at speeds of 170mph. Inventor, Vernon Graner built this monstrosity together with the Austin Robot Group. It is capable of standing three-stories tall thanks to the attached bucket lift.

This bot makes people crazy. Insane people actually request to be hit by the pingpong ball projectiles that it hurls. This ping-pong shooting King Kong robot was made to promote to the Austin Robot Group and to get people asking questions about robotics in general. It has worked. Because I need to ask how the hell you survive this thing if it goes rogue and pelts you with like 200 balls. Check out a video of the Ponginator in action below.

Cloaca No. 5: The machine that drops a deuce

Posted in Robots by Conner Flynn on February 2nd, 2009

Cloaca No. 5: The machine that drops a deuceCloaca No. 5 is very similar to Chanel No. 5, the perfume. One smells like crap, the other is a machine that actually dumps on command. It’s a “mechanized sculpture” that reproduces the human digestive system in every detail. The end result is just like you and me, the machine produces feces, only when it pinches a loaf it comes out vacuum-packed.

Yeah, a machine that poos. There’s another thing a robot does better then humans. It’s part of an exhibition that’s open until valentine’s day in the universite du quebec’s art, Montreal. Cloaca is made of steel, rubber and glass and is fed twice a day with cafeteria leftovers.