robots

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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Oxford University designs robot car

Oxford University designs robot car

Some of the British geeks at Oxford University have developed a new robotic car. It sounds a lot like the robotic cars that Google has been testing around the country for a while now. The Oxford vehicle is an off-road style truck that I thought was a Land Rover, but it an off-roader called the Wildcat. The car from Oxford is called the robotic Wildcat.

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US Army drops $4.8M on 315 Recon Scout XT robots

US Army drops $4.8M on 315 Recon Scout XT robots

The military in all branches is starting to adopt robots and other devices like unmanned drones that can be used to survey a hostile battlefield and keep soldiers out of harms way. There are large robots that can be mounted with weapons of their own to fight the enemy and there are some that are small and meant to help the solider get eyes on a target.

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Desk Pets launches cool TankBot that can navigate a maze

Desk Pets launches cool TankBot that can navigate a maze

I am a sucker for remote controlled toys. I have seen a bunch of RC toys that are controlled by a smartphone recently. Most of that stuff is for the iPhone and I have used a helicopter and an RC truck that you can control from the smartphone. A new toy has turned up from a company called Desk Pets International. The toy is called the TankBot and it's a little gadget that looks like a cross between an army tank and a robot puppy.

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Toshiba debuts new Smarbo robot vacuum to battle Roomba

Toshiba debuts new Smarbo robot vacuum to battle Roomba

Vacuuming really sucks. It's no fun and I think if most of us could find a way to get out of vacuuming the floors at home we would. There are a few robot vacuums on the market already with Roomba being the most common. Toshiba has announced a new robot vacuum for Japan called the Smarbo and it's aimed at home users. The robot has some interesting features and one of the coolest is that it has two CPUs.

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Microsoft’s Surface 2.0 stress testing robot called Patty shown off for first time

Microsoft’s Surface 2.0 stress testing robot called Patty shown off for first time

I never really stop to think much about the testing behind the scenes that goes into perfecting new products, especially the touch screen sort that will be handled a lot by the end user. Microsoft's cool Surface 2.0 screens have a lot of testing that goes into bringing the products to market. To help speed the testing of the Surface 2.0 device Microsoft uses a cool custom robot called Patty to press and fondle the screen.

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Stanford students create robot arm that wields foam sword SLOWLY

Stanford students create robot arm that wields foam sword SLOWLY

If the Jedi were to induct a robotic Jedi master that was gifted with the speed of a sloth, this robotic arm could be the inductee. Engineering students at Stanford have created a robot arm that is able to have a real sword fight with you using foam swords rather than light sabers. The bot senses each time the human blocks an attack and then resets itself for another attack.

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Willow Garage explores ways to allow paralyzed man to use PR2 robot as a surrogate

Willow Garage explores ways to allow paralyzed man to use PR2 robot as a surrogate

Of all the robots that are on the market today, one of the most useful and expensive is the PR2 from Willow Garage. We have talked about the PR2 a few times and the bot is capable of all sorts of things. Generally, the bots are used for research in colleges and elsewhere, but they have more capability than that. Willow Garage has teamed up with a man named Henry Evans that had a stroke at 40 and is now a mute quadriplegic. Generally, a quadriplegic can't move any of his limbs, but after extensive therapy, Evans regained the use of a single finger and the ability to move his head.

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Remote controlled, DIY Android mascot surfaces

Remote controlled, DIY Android mascot surfaces

If you are a fan of the Android operating system, you will recognize the geeky remote controlled robot you see in the photo below. This is the Android mascot and a geek from Taiwan made the bot using some elbow grease, a trashcan, and Arduino among other things. The bot is very cool and the body and head are made from a trashcan that was modded for the project.

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