Archive for December, 2004

Fly-eating robot powers itself

Now we’ve heard it all - a Robot powers itself by eating flies!

‘Scientists at the University of the West of England (UWE) have designed a robot that does not require batteries or electricity to power itself.

Instead, it generates energy by catching and eating houseflies.

Dr Chris Melhuish and his Bristol-based team hope the robot, called EcoBot [...]

Friday, December 31st, 2004

Robot Edits Video!

‘You unwrapped the new digital camcorder early and made a pest of yourself at holiday parties. Now you’ve got hours of raw footage that nobody would nominate for a Golden Globe.

You could toss the cassettes in a drawer and forget about them, but that would mean all your effort went for naught. You could show [...]

Friday, December 31st, 2004

Soccer-playing robot inventor is 2004’s top KZN matriculant

‘Earlier this year he developed a robot that is able to play soccer of its own accord, an invention that won him third prize at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in the U.S.

Now Izak du Preez has claimed the highest academic accolade among KwaZulu-Natal’s matriculants - he tops the list of achievers with [...]

Wednesday, December 29th, 2004

As robots learn to imitate

‘Can robots learn to communicate by studying and imitating humans’ gestures? That’s what MIRROR’s researchers aimed to find out by studying how infants and monkeys learn complex acts such as grasping and transferring it to robots.

“Our main motivation for the project was to advance the understanding of how humans recognise and imitate gestures,” says Professor [...]

Sunday, December 26th, 2004

Robots to conduct operations

‘The KLES Hospital in the city, the biggest in Asia, is getting ready to create one more record. Robots will be seen soon conducting heart operations in the hospital.

Developed countries like US, UK, France and other European countries have adopted the system of conducting heart operations through the robots for last two years. However, in [...]

Sunday, December 19th, 2004

Mind what you say - this robot will know how you feel

‘It is a nice idea: a machine that could determine our emotions purely from our speech. But this is no science fiction dream. Scientists working for a Scottish firm have developed a computer system that can determine mood purely from the way people talk, and are negotiating to sell it to car and computer-game makers. [...]

Sunday, December 19th, 2004

New Osaka shop to promote ‘robot culture’

‘The Kansai region’s first robot specialty shop opened in the Nipponbashi electrical retail district here Friday.

Robot Factory sells advanced robots with a price tag of more than 2 million yen as well as simpler versions for 10,000 yen.

A group of shop owners in the district invested together to open the shop.’

Read more at The Japan [...]

Sunday, December 19th, 2004

Water, robots on Mars get top 2004 honours

‘The conclusive discovery by a pair of wheeled robots that Mars once had vast pools of water and possibly could have harboured life was chosen by the editors of the journal Science as the most important scientific achievement of 2004.

NASA’s two Mars rovers, Opportunity and Spirit, landed on the Red Planet early in 2004 and [...]

Sunday, December 19th, 2004

R2-D2 battles with Robosapien

‘Robosapien, a burping, kung-fu fighting robot, is one of this year’s hot Christmas gifts. But an older, pudgier counterpart–an out-of-production R2-D2 robot from “Star Wars”–is proving a popular item on eBay.

Both robots are supposed to sell for about $100, according to retailers. But Wow Wee’s Robosapien, a “fusion of technology and personality,” as its toy [...]

Saturday, December 18th, 2004

Sony AIBO ERS-7M2 review by PC Magazine

PC Mag reviews the Sony AIBO ERS-7M2 and writes - ‘A realistic and engaging robot dog that engenders affection and is entertaining and useful. The price is steep and setup issues persist, but there is no better consumer-level entertainment robot.

Pros: Realistic motion. Ability to self-charge. Endearing personality. Remote-control movement.

Cons: Wireless setup can be incredibly frustrating. [...]

Saturday, December 18th, 2004

Robot, go forth and multiply - Robot Genes Developed?

‘Korean scientists have created the world’s first “artificial species” - a robot with genes that it can pass on to other robots.

Professor Kim Jong-Hwan, already known as the creator of “robot football”, has developed 14 artificial chromosomes that he says will determine robots’ “personality”.

He believes that within 20 years lonely people will use their personal [...]

Thursday, December 16th, 2004

Sony AIBO ERS-7M2

‘There is no greater testament to Sony’s achievement with the $1,899 (list) Sony AIBO ERS-7M2 entertainment robot than people’s responses when it leaves the room. We tested the AIBO in the office and at home, and when it was time to remove it, coworkers and family expressed a sadness usually reserved for living things. Thanks [...]

Thursday, December 16th, 2004

1,500 robotic submarines now tracking the world’s oceans

‘Scientists’ dream of creating a network of floating robots to observe the temperature and salinity of the oceans has now become reality having hit a key milestone, says the Met Office.

The international Argo Programme began in 2000 with the aim of establishing a global array of 3,000 robotic instruments - known as Argo floats. The [...]

Wednesday, December 15th, 2004

Honda Robot Learns to Jog

‘The walking, talking child-size robot from Honda Motor Co. now manages an easy, although comical, jog - the latest in the Japanese automaker’s quest to imitate human movement.

The 51-inch-tall, bubble-headed robot added a couple of infrared cameras and a sensor to better absorb shock and keep its balance for a steady, mechanical-looking run at a [...]

Wednesday, December 15th, 2004

China develops fish-shaped robot for underwater archeological research

‘The project of underwater bionic robotic fish co-developed by the Institute of Robot under Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics (BUAA) and the Automation Research Institute under Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) has passed the relevant check and test on 5 Dec….

With a black body, the 1.23-meter-long robot is much like a real fish in [...]

Monday, December 13th, 2004

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