Archivio per maggio, 2009


martedì, maggio 19th, 2009

bot acquires iPod touch headgear

da Engadget di Joseph L. Flatley

If you’re a Kondo KHR-2HV
hobbyist and the usual choices for headgear all seem a little too safe,
you might want to check out this next item. YouTube user ‘ogutti’ has
posted a video of the robot he built using an iPod touch for its
control unit and user interface. Details are skint, but apparently the
device uses the Robochan app to program and play back the robot’s
various movements. At the very least, this thing does have a rather
cute animated visage — although it does seem a little too top heavy
for any serious tournament fighting. See it in action for yourself after the break.

Continue reading Video: Kondo bot acquires iPod touch headgear



sabato, maggio 16th, 2009

robot asks for directions

from Engadget by Donald Melanson

The Tweenbots
project already demonstrated that at least some folks are willing to
help a lost robot find its way, but this new ACE bot developed by
researchers at the Technical University of Munich has now ramped things
up in a fairly big way, with it actually asking passers-by for
directions and developing a map as it moves through the city.
Apparently, the robot uses a series of cameras to detect people nearby,
and it then asks them to simply point towards the destination indicated
on its screen, which it is able to recognize, although it does also
asks them to confirm the direction on the screen just to be safe. In
initial tests, that appears to have been relatively successful, with
ACE (or Autonomous City Explorer) able to reach its destination 1.5
kilometers away in five hours after relying on directions from 38
people. But don’t take our word for it. Head on past the break to check
out its people skills for yourself.

[Via Coolest Gadgets]

Continue reading ACE robot asks for directions, purpose in life


venerdì, maggio 15th, 2009

Realistic ‘torso bot’ for researchers and fans of El DeBarge

from Engadget by Joseph L. Flatley

Are you a serious scientific researcher / evil genius
looking for a robot for serious scientific research / "evil genius"
research? Do you need something whose movements more closely
approximates those of the humans who you might wish to help / destroy?
Kawada Industries and General Robotix in Japan (GRX) have teamed up to
develop a little something called HIRO, or "Human Interactive Robot."
Designed to move in a more lifelike fashion that any robot on the
market these days, this bad boy has fifteen degrees of freedom
(including two in the neck, six in each arm and one in the lower back).
It can also carry an object weighing up to 2kg in each arm, and its
finger tip features an operating force of up to 10kgf. If that weren’t
enough, it also includes a head-mounted double-lens stereo vision
camera, two robot hands, two hand cameras, a control PC, and a PC for
information processing. For the OS, this device uses that perennial
favorite of evil genuises everywhere (Windows XP) while it uses
something called QNX for control systems. Available for delivery to
academic research institutes and mad scientist’s hideouts sometime this
fall for a price of ¥7.4 million (just about $77,000) — or, if you’re
on a tight budget, the basic package (which excludes the head-mounted
camera, the two robot hands, and includes a simplified neck) is priced
at ¥5.4 million (roughly $57,000). One more pic after the break.

Continue reading HIRO, the realistic ‘torso bot’ for researchers and fans of El DeBarge


venerdì, maggio 8th, 2009

Robotic hand controlled by compressed air grasps the concept of delicacy

da Engadget di Laura June

The Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory (AKA the RoMeLa Project) at the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech has designed and built a prototype robotic hand
that is controlled and operated by compressed air. Called RAPHaEL
(Robotic Air Powered Hand with Elastic Ligaments), the robot can hold
heavier, solid objects, as well as light or delicate ones such as a
light bulb or an egg. The hand is powered by a compressor air tank at
60 psi and an accordion style tube actuator, with microcontroller
commands operating and coordinating the movements of its fingers. It
uses no other motors, and the strength of the grasp is controlled by a
change in air pressure, making the hand quite dextrous. RAPHaEL —
which is part of a larger RoMeLa robot project named CHARLI — has
already won several awards, including grabbing first prize at the
2008-2009 Compressed Air and Gas Institute Innovation Award Contest.
RoMeLa researchers envision CHARLI one day roaming the VT campus making friends with students and visitors. We look forward to that day, but until then, check out RAPHaEL holding some stuff after the break.

Continue reading Robotic hand controlled by compressed air grasps the concept of delicacy


domenica, maggio 3rd, 2009

NASA’s new e-nose can detect scent of cancerous brain cells

da Engadget di Ross Miller

NASA’s recently developed electronic nose,
intended for air quality monitoring on Space Shuttle Endeavour and
later the International Space Station, has a rather fortunate and
unintended secondary role. In addition to being able to detect
contaminants within about one to 10,000 parts per million, scientists
have discovered it can also sniff out the difference in odor between
normal and cancerous brain cells — not a new use
for e-noses, but certainly one that helps to advance the field. Groups
such the as Brain Mapping Foundation, City of Hope Cancer Center, and
Jet Propulsion Laboratory have been testing the technology and hope it
one day leads to a new understanding of cancer development. We’d also
wager it can accurately detect what cologne or perfume you’re wearing,
another unintended side effect and probably not as fun of a party trick
as it seems.

[Via Slashdot; image courtesy of RSC]

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NASA’s new e-nose can detect scent of cancerous brain cells originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 02 May 2009 11:41:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.