An animated MP3 player that takes the form of the robot--whose name stands for "Waste Allocation Load Lifter, Earth Class"--is available for order from the Sharper Image. (Maybe it hasn't gotten much notice because of the chain's uncertain future.)
After being named world champion of Crave's nonviolent robot tournament, most robots would probably have been content to rest on their laurels, put on a little weight, and settle into a sad, drug-addled existence only to wake up 10 years later and realize that they're out of money, and their fans have moved on. But Honda Motor's Asimo is not like most robots.
After handily taking that title, Asimo has a new role now. He'll be conducting the Detroit Symphony Orchestra on May 13, leading the orchestra on just one song, "Impossible Dream" from … Read more
It's nice to see Japanese scientists developing technology that can actually help the elderly help themselves for a change, rather than creating more robots that ostensibly are designed to minister to their needs but may well have ulterior motives. To wit: Honda is developing a lightweight walking assistance device that can be worn around the hip and thighs to help ease a person's gait.
The mechanism works with brushless motors that get their cues from hip angle sensors and commands from the control CPU, according to press release. Being that this is Japan, however--the land that's headed … Read more
You're making a movie, or a TV show. You've got the awesome concept, you've got the heroic lead, and a staunch band of loyal allies. You've got your evil villain, your cool technology, your amazing gadgets. But there's something missing. The final detail that will really seal the deal on your killer concept. What can it be?
You need a kid. And a robot.
When film and television wonks are putting together a project, audience identification is high on their minds--or at least whatever it is they're using instead of minds. If kids are … Read more
If BattleBots were mashed up with Roombas and rumbled in the backyard, it might resemble the hotly competitive landscape of today's robotic lawnmowers. Robo-mowers like the LawnBott and Auto Mower are always searching for new gimmicks to distinguish themselves, such as going hybrid with solar energy.
But the "Robomow" is taking a different tack altogether, introducing a limited edition that celebrates England's St. George's Day. The custom mower, which bears the St. George's Day cross on its hull, has been named "Sir Cut Alot, Mower of the Roundtable," according to U.K.… Read more
Over the years, I've bought and built a lot of IKEA products: chests of drawers, office tables, bedside stands, media centers, glassware cases, and so forth.
Once, to make a little money, I even hired myself out to build some bookcases for a busy friend.
IKEA, as you probably know, is a furniture-retailing-industry phenomenon; millions of people buy its products because they're generally inexpensive and easy to put together. Plus, they almost universally come with everything you need to get going.
Almost every time I've put together an IKEA product, I've wondered as I sifted through … Read more
Bouncing around the Interwebs today is this hipster T-shirt with 51 (count 'em, 51!) famous and semifamous robots from the hallowed halls of sci-fi movies and TV. We're pretty sure we recognize at least half, but we'd cross the street to get away from anyone who could rattle off all 51 names in one sitting.
The $25 shirt, available in charcoal, black, or red, has already caused some rampant fanboyism, and creator Chop Shop has issued the following update based on a flurry of user comments.
CORRECTIONS: The newly reprinted version of this design has had two amendments. … Read more
SAN JOSE, Calif.--For the gathering of curious onlookers eager to see what a Sony OLED TV looks like on the inside, officials at the Embedded Systems Conference had some bad news: The airline (no, they didn't say which one) lost their stuff. Unfortunately, their stuff included that TV.
Instead, as a last-minute replacement, we got Gibson's Robot guitar, which was scheduled for the teardown treatment later this week. (See our earlier coverage of the Robot guitar here and video of it in action.)
David Carey, president of Protelligent, a company that specializes in taking apart electronics piece … Read more
The idea of a robotic guitar that tunes itself seemed like an interesting concept when it came out last year but, much to our surprise, it generated more than a bit of controversy. That's not necessarily a bad thing for Gibson, which will probably reap the benefits of more publicity for the release of its second model.
In addition to the automated functions of the original, the SG version of the Gibson Robot Guitar is distinguishable by one blindingly obvious feature: It's purple. Not just any purple, but metallic.
Scientists are working to imbue unmanned vehicles with the "swarm" mentality found in some animals and insects, allowing armed robots to coordinate their efforts on the battlefield in much the same way piranhas attack a floundering cow.
The University of Pennsylvania's School of Engineering and Applied Science has received a $7.5 million grant from the military to develop principles of cooperation that mimic biological organisms, then reduce those principles to state-of-the-art algorithms for use in next-generation aerial and ground robots capable of collaborating with humans.
The project, which involves eight universities, will take an interdisciplinary approach … Read more