I guess most people including me didn’t know about Walt Disney had a strange museum namely as Hall of Presidents. There are ongoing multimedia presentations and most importantly an audio animatronic show of all 43 US presidents. Did I count right? Anyway, Barack Obama robot also made his first appearance in the hall with his special recorded speech at Walt Disney Studios. I put two videos below. The first one is official from Walt Disney and the other one is an accidentally left open camera from the show, possibly will be deleted by youtube soon.
We have not so long ago mentioned Giant Gundam Robot in Tokyo. It seems like Japanese people are really obsessed with their famous comics and anime robots.
This time, Kobe’s turn to build a giant 60 foot tall, 50 tonned statue of Tetsujin-28-go in Wakamatsu Park. Tetsujin means Iron Man in Japanese language and Tetsujin 28-go was a manga published in 1956 featuring a secret WW2 robot to help Japanese army. Later, after the war ends, the robot finds its destiny better fighting against criminals and other bad enemy robots. It is still being built and Kobe proudly waits for its release from the factory.
I guess real old school anime fans would scream out if they had a chance to see a nearly 60 foot size giant RX-78 Gundam robot tower in Tokyo Odaiba Shiokaze Park. It was built to celebrate 30th anniversary of Mobile Suit Gundam, originally a Japanese TV anime series which has become crazily popular also in other media like movies, comics and video games including several rip-offs.
Perfectly authentic Gundam can be seen in this Tokyo park until the end of the summer.
Here are impressive photos of the giant.
I have embedded a Gundam youtube video here to show how it looked like as an anime.
A nice, real looking hexapod application by Kare Halvorsen. This black ant which you would like to feed at home with electricity is quite capable of doing natural looking movements including the parts; legs, head, thorax and abdomen.
The hexapod robot is armed with a mandible which can grab and lift the objects easily. What else to add more? Watch the video below before you start building your own robot !
Actually I had written in one of my previous posts about controlling devices using mental power. Brainloop mental machine was a good example of this technology.
I think you already know about Honda corporation’s famous robot Asimo. Now, their hardworking engineers developed a system to control Asimo using sensors which measure the electrical activity on the brain and the blood flow. Namely, EEG and NIRS. All you need to wear this helmet and think about the several parts of the robot including left-hand, right hand, feet or tongue. Asimo robot will move the part accordingly. It is known that Honda is already investing on brain controlled applications for more than four years.
Such products are still in the early stages and we should wait for an unknown time to see the robot armies clashing each other. (which surely will be operated remotely by evil mind forces)
Manufactured in Japan, Motoman SDA10, the dexterous robot can cook several recipes or assemble a camera with nice programming and thanks to precise arms. On the following video from a Japanese TV, it assembles complicated pieces less than two minutes. Obviously, such industrial robots are already widely used but the amount of precision in recognition of objects and error reduction is the important part in advanced robotics.
The following photos show the same robot while cooking a Japanese dish Okonomiyaki. (Cook what you want in English). The customer gives the order by saying ingredients (I guess) and it knows what to cook by voice recognition. Unfortunately, there is no video yet but I will update the article as soon as one appears.
The robot research laboratory at Chonnam National University has developed a clever robotic plant which can do the same key plant functions like oxygen-producing, humidifying, aroma-emitting, and kinetic functions.
The robot plant is 130 cm tall and 40 cm in diameter and consists of a pot, a stem, and five buds of a flower reminiscent of a rose of Sharon. A national flower of South Korea.
They have put also several motion sensors to make the plant more entertaining. If someone approaches to it, the plant flower buds will go full bloom and the stem will bend towards to the person. The same is valid for sound and light inputs as well for example music or room light.
Actually, there are American and Japanese toys similar to this robot plant, but it is currently accepted as the most advanced one.
Are you interested in robots? This interest level can be from just simply playing with them using remote controls to amateur DIY efforts. There came to my mind several questions when I have read the features of latest Stephen Spielberg Jurassic Park style robo-toy, Roboreptile and needed to compare with the all-in-one robot creation gadget and software platform LEGO Mindstorms NXT.
This cold-blooded monster is interactive with the environment. It has moods like hungry (default), hooded or satisfied and behaves accordingly. Realistic movements including jumping, attacking, tail whipping etc. What kind of sensors do we have? Infra-red for obstacle avoidance, movement detection; sonic sensors to behave accordingly on voices, loud sounds and a touch sensor for human interaction. Pretty cool?
If you always thought that building a robot on such level is almost impossible and requires ultra engineering skills, please read further.
Actually you can create such amazing robo-creatures without any prior knowledge (eventhough a programming experience is useful) using Lego Mindstorms NXT. For example, as you can watch in the following video, this Rubik Cube solver was made completely using this set.
It is a complete system which consists of a brain (programmable module), 519 special Lego Technic elements, sensors (touch, sound, light, ultrasonic) and servo motors and drag&drop software to program.
After writing (or drag&dropping) your program (You can even write programs in well established languages like C++, .Net etc) you can run your robot using a usb or bluetooth from the computer.
There are lots of good books for Lego Mindstorms NXT in Amazon. So, no need to behave like a lonely crazy inventor fighting with the unknown. The creativity is the limit after learning to build several models.
Roboreptile is sold for $49.99 at the manufacturer webstore, Wowwee
Lego Mindstorms NXT is $249.99 at both Amazon and Lego Store. Check the best for free shipping or other discounts.
I have decided to write about latest developments on robots after seeing amazing gadgets.
RoboPhilo is a very advanced robot which costs only $499, It has 20 programmable servos. Control of all major limbs like arms, legs, head and the all joints. If you are a robo-builder you will adore robophilo. It is for all skill levels. See the video below and you will agree to me.
Toyota unveiled two cool robots to team of ‘Partner Robots‘ , one is playing violin and the other assists in personal mobility. Toyota explains the aim of the development of such robots: Giving support for people’s everyday life. They will be used as soon as 2008 in the Tokyo Disney theme park and only will be in practical and commercial use after 2010. They would be perfect guest entertainers. Watch the video below.