Archivio per novembre, 2008


lunedì, novembre 24th, 2008

by Tim Stevens, posted Nov 21st 2008 at 11:15AM

Say what you want about robots being our future overlords and all that,
but we think they’re really just here to boogie. I mean, if all you
wanted to do was get your groove on but some engineer kept programming
you to scare prisoners or little children,
you might go looking for a little payback too, right? Thankfully
there’s MechRC, a 17-servo kit newly available in the Americas that,
despite his menacing visage, should do wonders to soothe human-robot
relations through a vast array of funky moves. Thanks to what looks to
be some easy to use (though sadly not Mac compatible) software,
would-be robo-choreographers of nearly any age should be able to
sharpen their teeth here, and while $599 isn’t exactly impulse-buy
territory, that’s considerably cheaper than many of the other robot kits we’ve covered before — and some
of them can’t even shake their tail feather! MechRC sure can, just
check out the "Evolution of Dance" homage after the break. Judson
Laipply, you just got served!


giovedì, novembre 20th, 2008

Robot, il 2010 è l’anno di Nao

PI – News

giovedì 20 novembre 2008

Roma – Sarà presto sul mercato Nao,
la nuova star nella famiglia di robot umanoidi: l’azienda che produce
il simpatico robottino ha annunciato di essere già al lavoro per
avviare un processo di produzione che porterà nel 2010 il drone alla
vendita su larga scala.

robot, alto circa 50cm, è un piccolo mostro di tecnologia completamente
programmabile dotato di un cuore che pulsa con OS Linux, CPU x86 AMD
Geocode da 500 Mhz, 1Gb di memoria flash e 256Mb di SDRAM. Inoltre si
connette con Wi-Fi ed Ethernet, due speaker, sintetizzatore vocale, due
webcam come occhi, e ben 25 gradi di libertà DOF che gli rendono possibili numerosi movimenti, tra cui la capacità di rialzarsi autonomamente.

Prodotto dalla parigina Aldebaran Robotics il comportamento del dispositivo può essere completamente personalizzato: grazie al programma/interfaccia chiamato Choregraphe "l’intera famiglia sarà in grado di apprezzare l’esperienza robotica" così come si legge sul sito del produttore. Come già detto il robot si basa su Linux e, in maniera più specifica sulla piattaforma Gostai Urbi, molto utilizzata per lo sviluppo di robot.

Nel corso di quest’anno Nao ha guadagnato notevole fama, grazie alla sua partecipazione come piattaforma base al celebre torneo RoboCup, rassegna calcistica che vede diversi automi sfidarsi all’ultimo goal.

Un bel risultato per la neonata Aldebaran Robotics,
nonostante la diffusione sia stata sino ad ora limitata a enti di
ricerca e laboratori. Nei progetti dell’azienda c’è un 2009 intenso e
pieno di lavoro, periodo in cui Nao verrà consegnato a pochi,
fortunati tester, per poi arrivare col ritmo giusto al 2010, anno in
cui verrà messo in vendita al pubblico.

Nonostante i grandi
progetti ventilati dall’azienda, primo tra tutti quello relativo alla
costruzione di un sito web in cui gli utenti potranno scambiarsi
configurazioni e comportamenti, il dispositivo sarà venduto a
un prezzo pari a circa 10mila euro, cifra che – se confermata – renderà
il robot accessibile solo a pochi eletti.

Robot actors

giovedì, novembre 20th, 2008

By Lauren Davis,

2:18 PM on Wed Nov 19 2008,


future of entertainment may not be in Hollywood, but in Massachusetts.
The MIT Media Lab announced this week that it is launching the Center
for Future Storytelling, a research program that will develop new
storytelling technologies. The team envisions a future that includes
robotic actors and improved motion capture, but also increased
democratization and participation, so that stories are told not just by
individuals, but by entire communities.

The Future for
Interactive Storytelling was founded by three members of MIT’s Media
Lab: V. Michael Bove Jr., who studies object-based media and
interactive television, Cynthia Breazeal, who works in personal
robotics and human-robot interaction, and Ramesh Raskar, who cultivates
new technologies in imaging, display, and performance capture.
Together, they are looking at how storytelling is changing and what it
is capable of in a world of advanced technologies and community

According to a release from the newly-formed group:

By applying leading-edge technologies to make stories
more interactive, improvisational and social, researchers will seek to
transform audiences into active participants in the storytelling
process, bridging the real and virtual worlds, and allowing everyone to
make their own unique stories with user-generated content on the Web.
Center research will also focus on ways to revolutionize imaging and
display technologies, including developing next-generation cameras and
programmable studios, making movie production more versatile and

Part of the lab’s work will involve creating more effective robotic
actors and improved blending of human and animated movement in motion
capture, but at the core of the project is finding new ways for stories
to become living, changing products of human interaction. Says Bove:

Imagine what people could do in storytelling if our
rooms and our furniture and our cars and our shoes and everything else
we interacted with could be collecting information as in a diary and we
could play that all back and use that as part of creating stories.

The Center’s work will not be merely theoretical. MIT is partnering
with Plymouth Rock Studios, which is planning to build a 14-soundstage
complex in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 2010. The studio is looking to
produce traditional story-based productions, which it hopes will come
out of MIT’s research.

[MIT and The New York Times]

Robot ticketer

giovedì, novembre 13th, 2008
da Engadget di Joseph L. Flatley

Filed under:

Manufactured by NEC, this new FeliCa
payment terminal (seen here at iEXPO 2008 in Tokyo) is designed for
amusement parks, arcades, or any place where a whimsical touch-screen
device might trick you into spending more money than you normally
would. And if handing control of your e-wallet to an android wasn’t bad
enough, in addition to selling tickets and dispensing data the device
boasts integrated facial recognition for identifying and profiling park
visitors — a feature to be used for determining your demographic
information and pointing you towards appropriate "amusement," such as a
restaurant for Ma or a wave pool for the kiddies. What could possibly
go "worng," you ask? Have you even seen Westworld?