Keio University researchers are taking telepresence to the next logical level with a new “telexistence” robot called TELESAR V, a robotic platform that doesn’t just transport the user's eyes to another location, but also his or her ears and hands as well. The idea is to break through the limitations of time and space to allow a user to actually feel like he or she is present elsewhere via a remotely operated robot that returns three sensory stimuli back to the user.
Talking via a telepresence robot can be a great way to participate in activities when you can’t be physically present, but these systems are expensive, can be tricky to use and aren't really designed for spontaneity. And despite what modern meeting-tacular schedules suggest, some of the most productive discussions in an office take place randomly, via subtle personal communications.
A new robot face can display a realistic virtual visage from any angle, making telepresence somewhat less creepy by using actual human features. Mask-Bot, as it’s known, displays three-dimensional heads on a transparent plastic mask.
A new spider robot moves delicately over uneven surfaces, carefully picking its way across debris, chemicals or other locations where a human — or a clumsier robot — could not safely tread. Unlike other spiderbots we have seen, this German robot is designed to move with care and grace.
Everyone's favorite headless bipedal bot is back, just in time for Halloween. Petman won't be riding any horses around Sleepy Hollow, though - just showing off his moves on a treadmill. Boston Dynamics is developing Petman to test chemical protection clothing for the U.S. Army, and if he's joining the army, obviously he needs to get in shape.
It’s alarming enough when robots ingest plant detritus like twigs and grass clippings. It’s another thing entirely when they can start chowing down on members of the animal kingdom. A pair of prototype robots are designed to catch bugs, a major step on the path toward robots that can hunt, catch and digest their own meals.
Soft robots would be useful for a variety of things — they could grip objects with precision and sensitivity, and they could roll along more quietly than their counterparts with metal exoskeletons. Here is a new one that could do such tasks purely on its own, without any external power source or command center.
When I was your age, to get to school I had to walk uphill both ways, frequently during snowstorms. (It was good exercise.) Imagine walking downhill both ways — how easy that would be! Gravity would be a friend and not a foe! It’s so simple, even this bodyless robot can do it. Its golf club legs can amble in perpetuity, powered by nothing but its own forward momentum.
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are (ostensibly) winding down and military budgets are facing the axe on the home front, but that’s not stopping contractors from building bigger and badder combat-ready robots. Today in badass autonomous military hardware: Mesa Robotics’ Acer, a 4,500-pound mine-clearing, bulldozing, drone-launching, ordnance disposing, pack-muling mini-tank.
Like most machines, Robots are generally built toward a purpose or a set of narrowly defined applications, like automobile manufacturing or explosive ordnance disposal or making doner kebabs. So how do you make a robot that is truly multi-utility, adaptable to any job? You make a robot that can make itself.
San Francisco-based Meka Robotics wants to make robots that are human-safe and human-scale, but their new S2 humanoid head is more anime than animal. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Mechanically, it’s a marvel: seven degrees of freedom, zero-backlash gearing in the neck, high-res cameras in each eye, and eyelids that move with the fluidity of the real thing.
The Museum of Modern Art's exhibition "Talk To Me" explores the complicated interactions between machines and their humans in a fun and fascinating way. Next week, the museum's holding an all-day symposium, open to the public.
It will feature discussions and presentations by curator Paola Antonelli and some 20 other luminaries, including chef Marcus Samuelsson, artist Natalie Jeremijenko, and performer Sputniko.
We have been enjoying plenty of BigDog/AlphaDog videos of late, showing off the Marines’ sure-footed four-legged robot. Well apparently the U.S. isn’t the only country planning to build a pack of quadruped bots. Check out this small South Korean robot dog, prancing quietly around a trade show.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.