Posts Tagged ‘Robots’

Posted: January 7, 2013 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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NAO Next Gen : the new robot of Aldebaran Robotics

(by AldebaranRobotics)

Posted: December 26, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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Advanced humanoid Roboy to be ‘born’ in nine months

Meet Roboy, “one of the most advanced humanoid robots,” say researchers at the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory of the University of Zurich. Their 15 project partners and over 40 engineers and scientists are constructing Roboy as a tendon-driven robot modeled on human beings (robots usually have their motors in their joints, giving them that “robot” break-dance look), so it will move almost as elegantly as a human. Roboy will be a “service robot,” meaning it will execute services independently for the convenience of human beings, as in the movie Robot & Frank. And since service robots share their “living space” with people, user-friendliness and safety, above all, are of great importance, roboticists point out. Which is why “soft robotics” — soft to the touch, soft in their interaction, soft and natural in their movements — will be important, and Roboy will be covered with “soft skin,” making interacting with him safer and more pleasant. Service robots are already used in a wide variety of areas today, including for household chores, surveillance work and cleaning, and in hospitals and care homes. Our aging population is making it necessary to keep older people as autonomous as possible for as long as possible, which means caring for aged people is likely to be an important area for the deployment of service robots, roboticists say. To speed up the process, the AI Lab researchers set a goal to build Roboy in just 9 months (the project began five months ago). Roboy will be unveiled at the Robots on Tour March 8 and 9, 2013 in Zurich. To make this ambitious schedule possible, they decided to finance the first grassroots robotics project via crowdfunding. To participate, see Make Roboy your friend. You can also friend Roboy on Facebook. By announcing the birth of a humanoid baby robot, we are not implying any relationship to a current holiday and certain Futurama episodes — get that idea out of your head! BTW, Roboy just accepted my friend request. That’s not something you see every day. —- Ed. (via Advanced humanoid Roboy to be ‘born’ in nine months | KurzweilAI)

Posted: December 17, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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A future where robots are as common as cars – and cheaper – is on the way. This is according to Prof. Hiroshi Ishiguro, named one of the top 100 geniuses alive in the world today, who has devoted himself to creating robots so humanlike it’s hard to tell the difference. “In the future, our lives will be full of robots,” he says. Ishiguro’s lecture about the possibilities for the relationship between humans and robots attracted a packed audience. He compared the evolution of robots to the evolution of cars. “Once we have developed practical robots, we can spend more and more time building autonomy,” he said. Autonomous androids which look just like you could conduct your business, attend conferences, and go shopping on your behalf, while you sat in the comfort of your home. A camera would monitor your facial expressions and your android’s face would mirror your expressions. Ishiguro says there is even a psychological phenomenon whereby, if someone touches your android, you feel it. “It’s a very tactile sensation,” he says. Ishiguro has previously left his twin android, developed at a cost of $1 million, to deliver pre-recorded lectures at his place of employment, Osaka University in Japan, while he went overseas. He also – when doubled booked for a conference – emailed the conference organisers to say that he would have to send his android to one of the events. Both conferences replied: “We want the android!” Ishiguro has subsequently developed androids at a cost of $100 000 – the price of a luxury car. They look and feel just like humans – with very realistic skin, hair and facial and body movements. (via A future full of robots)

Posted: December 16, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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Would it be possible to integrate biological components with advanced robotics, using biological cells to do machine-like functions and interface with an electronic nervous system — in effect, creating an autonomous, multi-cellular biohybrid robot? Researchers Orr Yarkoni, Lynn Donlon, and Daniel Frankel, from the Department of Chemical Engineering at Newcastle University think so, and they’ve developed an interface to allow communication between the biological and electronic components*, described in an open-access article in Bioinspiration & Biomimetics journal. One of the major challenges in developing biohybrid devices is in the interface between biological and electronic components. Most cellular signals are simply not compatible with electronics. However, manipulation of signal transduction pathways is one way to interface cells with electronics. So the researchers genetically engineered protein cells from a Chinese hamster ovary to produce nitric oxide (NO) in response to visible light. Here’s how: 1. They genetically engineered the nitric oxide synthase protein eNOS by inserting a light-oxygen-voltage (LOV) domain into the gene. This created a photoactive version of the eNOS protein that could produce NO in response to excitation by visible light. 2. They attached these mutant cells to a nickel tetrasulfonated phthalocyanine (NiTSPc)-modified platinum electrode that detected the NO and converted it into an electrical signal. In summary: they converted an optical signal into a chemical signal (NO), and converted the chemical signal into an electrical signal. This signal could, in turn, be used to control a robot. Unlike solid-state photodetectors, the cells have the ability to self-reproduce and the potential to combine input signals to perform computation. With rapid advances in synthetic biology, manipulation of metabolic pathways to integrate with machinery will some day allow the development of advanced robotics, the researchers suggest. (via A step toward creating a bio-robot hybrid | KurzweilAI)

M icro flying robots are vehicles that are less than 1 meter in size and weigh less than 1kg. Potential applications of these robots are search and rescue, inspection, environmental monitoring and potentially, one day, food delivery. They can also compliment human intervention in all those environments where people cannot go such as a searching for survivors in a damaged building after a natural disaster. For these applications, today’s flying robots are still tele-operated by expert professionals. In order to be truly autonomous, current flying robots rely on GPS or motion-capture systems. Unfortunately, GPS does not work indoors, while motion-capture systems require prior modification of the environment where the robots are supposed to operate, which is not possible in environments that are still to be explored. Step in Davide Scaramuzza, Professor of Robotics at the Artificial Intelligence Lab of the University of Zurich. His idea consists of using only the cameras on-board the robot to control navigation autonomously. According to Scaramuzza, cameras can function for a robot just as our own eyes do. They allow the robot to perceive the environment and safely navigate within it without bumping into obstacles. Additionally, they allow the flying robot to build a map of the environment which can be used to plan the intervention of human rescuers. This process is known as Simultaneous Location And Mapping (SLAM).

Autonomous Flying Robots Will Transform Society According To Davide Scaramuzza

At the DealBook conference today in Manhattan, I asked the executive chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt, where in the world the jobs for a great many people will be. His advice: We have to learn how to “outrace the robots.”

“Given the trends of globalization, automation and demographics, there will definitely be a small number of people who will be very prosperous,” said Mr. Schmidt. The challenge is to let as many people into that class as possible, and even more important, get masses of people educated to a level where they can qualify for work in the new businesses these people create.

Mr. Schmidt was speaking in an interview after appearing onstage at the New York Times DealBook conference. Earlier he, along with Mike Moritz, a partner in the Sequoia Capital venture capital firm, and Clara Shih, the founder of Hearsay Social, discussed how cloud computing’s access to a nearly limitless amount of knowledge and a borderless consumer base would create great fortunes.

Throw in robotics, 3-D printing, and faster telecommunications, and things get tougher for the average worker. Robots may hollow out the factories in China, which count on cheap human labor, and bring manufacturing back to the United States. Those machines will need people to service them, and those people will need to be reasonably skilled.

Eric Schmidt: How We Outrace the Robots –

Posted: December 12, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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We’ve seen bio-inspired hummingbird robots, turtle robots, squirrel robots and more… enough to start an extremely profitable robot zoo. But very few researchers have been able to mimic the human body down to muscles and bones. Researchers at the University of Tokyo are taking bio-inspired robots to new heights with Kenshiro, their new human-like musculoskeletal robot revealed at the Humanoids conference this month. They have added more muscles and more motors to their Kojiro robot from 2010, making Kenshiro’s underlying structure the closest to a human’s form so far. See the new body in the picture above. Kenshiro mimics the body of the average Japanese 12-year-old male, standing at 158 centimeters tall and weighing 50 kilograms. Kenshiro’s body mirrors almost all the major muscles in a human, with 160 pulley-like “muscles”—50 in the legs, 76 in the trunk, 12 in the shoulder, and 22 in the neck. It has the most muscles of any other bio-inspired humanoid out there. (via Kenshiro Robot Gets New Muscles and Bones – IEEE Spectrum)