MEDICAL ROBOTICS
Robotic Smart Hand has Feelings


SPACE EXPLORATION
Nasa Tests New Moon Rover


ENTERTAINMENT TECH
AIDA Is Your Dashboard Back Seat Driving Robot


MEDICAL ROBOTICS
PETMAN - BigDog gets a Big Brother


ACADEMIC RESEARCH
Bacteria Are Models Of Efficiency


ENTERTAINMENT TECH
Aikon 2 Robot Sketches the Human Face
February 15, 2010 11:55 PM EST - submitted by Daniel Shope
Featured at London's Kinetica art fair last week, the Aikon 2 project boasts an "inexpensive" robot arm and software that can look at a human face and make a pretty reasonable sketch of it. Video after the jump.

ENTERTAINMENT TECH
Neato Robotic Vacuum Cleaner Challenges the Roomba
December 16, 2009 11:49 AM EST - submitted by Daniel Shope
Anyone who's ever used a Roomba robot cleaner before will know that it bumps into furniture regularly, even mounting curtains if your back is turned. This new Neato uses a Room Positioning System with its lasers, mapping the floorspace in 360-degrees so it doesn't get into trouble against your prized chaise lounge.

ENTERTAINMENT TECH
Food Robot Turns Heads in Tokyo
November 13, 2009 12:25 PM EST - submitted by Daniel Shope
Fanuc Robotic's new high-speed food-picking robot arm, which were the first to pass USDA hygiene requirements are designed to pick primary and packaged food at speeds as high as 120 cycles per minute. Video after the jump.

ENTERTAINMENT TECH
AIDA Is Your Dashboard Back Seat Driving Robot
October 30, 2009 12:41 PM EST - submitted by Daniel Shope
As if you donít have enough distractions while driving, the Personal Robots Group at the MIT Media Lab and MITís SENSEable City Lab have teamed up to create AIDA, a robot that lives in your dashboard, is way smarter than you, and has no compunctions about letting you know it:

ENTERTAINMENT TECH
ROPID Can Jump And Run, Almost
October 28, 2009 06:53 PM EST - submitted by Daniel Shope
Japan has produced many humanoids in the past years, but making them move in one way or the other is usually a challenge. Kyoto-based Robo Garage has unveiled Ropid [JP] today, a mini robot that runs on two legs and can jump as high as 8cm.

ENTERTAINMENT TECH
Nintendo Wii May Enhance Parkinson's Treatment
July 06, 2009 06:14 PM EST - submitted by Daniel Shope
The Nintendo Wii may help treat symptoms of Parkinson's disease, including depression, a Medical College of Georgia researcher says. Dr. Herz tested whether the popular computer game console could improve coordination, reflexes and other movement-related skills.

ENTERTAINMENT TECH
Biosensors Help Build Personalized Amusement Rides
March 14, 2009 10:34 AM EST - submitted by Daniel Shope
Researchers from the University of Nottingham are studying a personalized roller coaster system from Thrill Laboratory, a project by designer Brendan Walker and colleagues. The system measures the heartbeat of riders and also transmits what the face of each person looks like back to central controls. The hope is to be able to adjust amusement park rides to maximize enjoyment without causing too much fear.

ENTERTAINMENT TECH
Emoti-Chair Brings Music to the Deaf
February 15, 2009 10:52 PM EST - submitted by Daniel Shope
Remember that scene in 'Mr. Holland's Opus,' in which Richard Dreyfuss's deaf son turns up the sound on the stereo and sits on the speaker so he can "hear" the sound? Well, researchers at Ryerson University's Centre of Learning Technology and Toronto's Science of Music, Auditory Research and Technology Lab have taken that concept to its logical extreme and built the Emoti-Chair.

ENTERTAINMENT TECH
Start-up warms up personal robots
February 09, 2009 05:45 AM EST - submitted by Daniel Shope
Willow Garage, based in Menlo Park, Calif., is developing a hardware and software development platform for personal-assistant robots, autonomous boats and unmanned cars. The privately funded company, quietly started almost a year ago by eGroups founder and veteran Google architect Scott Hassan, plans to make its robotics software open-source. That way, it hopes to draw a community of developers to build applications in these respective fields.

ENTERTAINMENT TECH
Choice Of Robot Companion Depends On Personality Type
February 05, 2009 04:22 AM EST - submitted by Daniel Shope
The type of robot chosen as a personal companion by participants at the University of Hertfordshire Science and Technology Research Instituteís (STRI) Showcase is likely to depend very much on their personality type.

ENTERTAINMENT TECH
First Humanoid Robot That Will Develop Language May Be Coming Soon
February 05, 2009 04:12 AM EST - submitted by Daniel Shope
iCub, a one metre-high baby robot which will be used to study how a robot could quickly pick up language skills, will be available next year. ITALK aims to teach the robot to speak by employing the same methods used by parents to teach their children. Professor Nehaniv and Professor Dautenhahn, who are European leaders in Artificial Intelligence and Human Robot Interaction, will conduct experiments in human and robot language interaction to enable the robot to converse with humans.

ENTERTAINMENT TECH
Engineering Graduate Student Narrows Gap Between High-resolution Video And Virtual Reality
February 04, 2009 11:43 PM EST - submitted by Daniel Shope
With their immersive 3D capabilities, virtual-reality environments (VEs) provide the kind of intense visual experience that two-dimensional digital televisions could never to live up to. But digital TVs outperform VEs in one important way: They can play high-resolution video in real-time without a hitch, while VEs have trouble rendering the data-heavy video clips at a constant frame rate.

ENTERTAINMENT TECH
Pong-playing robot won't lose, not ever
February 03, 2009 06:21 AM EST - submitted by Daniel Shope
Here's a robot that knows its Pong, and goes about playing it as a wizened old master would chess ó in no hurry. It uses a webcam-head to watch the ball travel between the paddles, and uses solenoid fingers to peck at the two keys required to play. The laptop it's hooked up to functions as its brain, and it seems the only way to win against this relentless opponent would entail holding your hand in front of its eye or taking its arms away from the keys.

ENTERTAINMENT TECH
Robot vacuum is overlord of crumbs
February 03, 2009 05:41 AM EST - submitted by Daniel Shope
This weekend, crunchy snacks are going to be consumed across the country in staggering amounts. All the Super Bowl parties filled with delicious treats can only mean one thing: somebody has to clean it all up. Well, now, maybe not a somebody, but rather, a something.

ENTERTAINMENT TECH
A Talking Robot Sounds Like Humans
February 01, 2009 03:05 PM EST - submitted by Daniel Shope
The Takanishi Laboratory, at Waseda University, Japan, is home for many robotic projects, including a flutist I wrote about a while ago. Today, let's look at a talking robot, the Waseda Talker No. 4, or WT-4. This anthropomorphic talking robot was built to better understand how the human vocal mechanism creates speech. The WT-4 has 19 degrees of freedom (DOF) for lungs, vocal cords, tongue, lips, teeth, nasal cavity and soft palate. With its vocal cords, it can produce Japanese vowels that are similar to human ones. The next version, the WT-5, will have even more sophisticated vocal cords.

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