Robotics

Dancing Bieber-bot a six-figure spectacle

Dancing Bieber-bot a six-figure spectacle

Pop fop Justin Bieber's show-stopping CES 2012 appearance is believed to have cost toy manufacturer Tosy a six-figure sum, according to insiders, meaning the firm will have to sell plenty of $200 robots just to cover the singer's fee. Exact details of the Tosy deal have not been revealed, but Bieber apparently pocketed more than $100k for the brief appearance alongside the mRobo Ultra Robot, The Daily was told.

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Rebound Rumble pushes robotics development with will.i.am and Bill Clinton

Rebound Rumble pushes robotics development with will.i.am and Bill Clinton

Robots playing basketball, with former US presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, along with will.i.am and Segway inventor Dean Kamen in the audience, sounds like the setup to a bizarre South Park joke, but it's actually the kick-off of Rebound Rumble. A brand new game designed to encourage robotic development, Rebound Rumble sets two alliances - each consisting of three independently controlled 'bots - against each other to score points through a cluster of basketball hoops.

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DIY Robot Avatar pets cat through Kinect and Wiimote power

DIY Robot Avatar pets cat through Kinect and Wiimote power

Take one Nao robot, a Kinect sensor bar, a couple of Wiimotes, a treadmill and a head-mounted display - oh, and a patient cat - and you can do what software engineer Taylor Veltrop has achieved: use a remote robotic avatar to pet your kitty. In a new video demo, Veltrop shows how he can remotely control the 21-inch tall robot, walk it around his kitchen, grab a brush and groom his cat.

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Asterisk insect robot demos prey-grabbing talents

Asterisk insect robot demos prey-grabbing talents

Humans, this is your fate: scooped up by a terrifying, insectile robot and dumped into the organic power-reclamation unit or, if you're lucky, the breeding vats. Researchers at Osaka University have developed an omni-directional robot called Asterisk, capable of grabbing and carrying prey DigInfo reports, and perfect for when the AIs revolt and begin to see us as the fleshy Duracells we really are.

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Google X labs plan robot researchers to map the future

Google X labs plan robot researchers to map the future

Google could release a fleet of autonomous data collection robots, supplanting its current Google Street View cars insiders suggest, using robotics and AI research from the search giant's mysterious Google X incubator labs. The high-tech exploratory 'bots - which would build on Google's self-driving cars - are one of several outlandish projects currently underway among the company's more prophetic engineers and developers, according to an NY Times piece on the clandestine R&D facility. Other avenues apparently include space elevators and the "web of things" where meshes of network-enabled objects, potentially as mundane as tableware, can communicate online.

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ASIMO goes autonomous: Honda robot divorces operator

ASIMO goes autonomous: Honda robot divorces operator

Honda's ASIMO robot has been given a new round of upgrades, slimming down and gaining the ability to autonomously monitor and interact with its environment, out of the control of a human operator. Advanced balancing - including quick reactions when ASIMO senses it's falling - together with an array of sensors that track physical objects and moving people, and predictive response algorithms that can independently decide on the next course of action all come together and shift the robot another step closer to integrating into a public environment.

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PETMAN humanoid robot ready for the US Army

PETMAN humanoid robot ready for the US Army

Known for developing the quadruped robots the BigDog and AlphaDog, Boston Dynamics has unveiled a new addition in the form of a biped humanoid robot called the PETMAN. Although still sporting a flashing red light in place of a life-like head, the movement and capabilities of the PETMAN is eerily human-like, walking, squatting, doing push-ups and even resisting efforts to push it off balance. See for yourself in the video after the cut.

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Ultima Online creator runs his studio remotely with a robot named Mini-Me

Ultima Online creator runs his studio remotely with a robot named Mini-Me

If there was one day this month that I would call the oddest for news, it would be today, ladies and gentlemen, and the show goes on with a robot that takes the place of Ultima creator Richard Garriot at his downtown Austin game development company Portalarium. If you've seen the show Big Bang Theory or are familiar with the Qbo open-source robot (with Android) you know that the idea for having a robot surrogate doing all your daily activities for you isn't a brand new idea. Indeed it wasn't even Garriot who made the robot in question here, he's simply using it. Instead its the combination of the fact that the creator of one of the most famous online multiplayer games has a robot doing his bidding and the fact that he once had it represent his mother at his own wedding.

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