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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Seems like robots are becoming a lot more prevalent and more sophisticated...

Robot helps lost shoppers

Next time you're all lost in the supermarket, you can count on Robovie to help you find your way.

In a series of demonstrations conducted from January 22 to 24, a souped-up version of ATR’s Robovie humanoid robot monitored people as they passed through a 100 square meter (1,076 sq ft) section of the Universal Citywalk Osaka shopping center. Relying on data from 16 cameras, 6 laser range finders and 9 RFID tag readers installed in and around the area, the robot was able to watch up to 20 people at a time, pinpoint their locations to within a few centimeters, and classify each individual’s behavior into one of 10 categories (waiting, wandering, walking fast, running, etc.).

http://www.boingboing.net/2008/01/25/robot-helps-lost-sho.html
 

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Small military robots gain advanced "sight" for more challenging roles

Intelligent robot vendor iRobot this week licensed Laser Radar or Ladar technology for use in its line of military robots, a move that could result in a new line of machines that can see and operate more effectively in dangerous situations. Such small, advanced robots could be deployed in less than a year, experts said.

Specifically the robot-maker is licensing Advanced Scientific Concepts' 3-D flash Ladar which uses laser beams to scan and process targets. The system has the ability to create a virtual 3D picture of an entire area.

http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/24348
 

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Shape-shifting robot forms from magnetic swarm

Swarms of robots that use electromagnetic forces to cling together and assume different shapes are being developed by US researchers.

The grand goal is to create swarms of microscopic robots capable of morphing into virtually any form by clinging together.

Seth Goldstein, who leads the research project at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, in the US, admits this is still a distant prospect.

However, his team is using simulations to develop control strategies for futuristic shape-shifting, or "claytronic", robots, which they are testing on small groups of more primitive, pocket-sized machines.

These prototype robots use electromagnetic forces to manoeuvre themselves, communicate, and even share power.

http://technology.newscientist.com/...shifting-robot-forms-from-magnetic-swarm.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Dutch unveil robot to fill car gas tank

EMMELOORD, Netherlands (Reuters) - Motorists nostalgic for the time they could sit tight while attendants braved windswept garage forecourts to fill their tanks may yet see those heady days return -- compliments of a Dutch robot.

Dutch inventors unveiled on Monday a 75,000 euro ($111,100) car-fuelling robot they say is the first of its kind, working by registering the car on arrival at the filling station and matching it to a database of fuel cap designs and fuel types.

A robotic arm fitted with multiple sensors extends from a regular gas pump, carefully opens the car's flap, unscrews the cap, picks up the fuel nozzle and directs it towards the tank opening, much as a human arm would, and as efficiently.

http://www.reuters.com/article/technologyNews/idUSL0448185920080204
 

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"Green" robot self-propels through sea

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A seagoing glider that uses heat energy from the ocean to propel itself is the first "green" robot to explore the undersea environment, U.S. researchers said on Thursday.

They said the glider had crisscrossed the 13,000-feet-(4,000-meter-)deep Virgin Islands Basin between St. Thomas and St. Croix more than 20 times since it was launched in December.

http://www.reuters.com/article/scienceNews/idUSN0739211620080207
 

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Japanese robots enter daily life

TOKYO - At a university lab in a Tokyo suburb, engineering students are wiring a rubbery robot face to simulate six basic expressions: anger, fear, sadness, happiness, surprise and disgust.

Hooked up to a database of words clustered by association, the robot - dubbed Kansei, or "sensibility" - responds to the word "war" by quivering in what looks like disgust and fear. It hears "love," and its pink lips smile.

PHOTO GALLERY: Japan embraces robots

"To live among people, robots need to handle complex social tasks," said project leader Junichi Takeno of Meiji University. "Robots will need to work with emotions, to understand and eventually feel them.

While robots are a long way from matching human emotional complexity, the country is perhaps the closest to a future - once the stuff of science fiction - where humans and intelligent robots routinely live side by side and interact socially.

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/robotics/2008-03-01-robots_N.htm
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Snake robots can use their many internal degrees of freedom to thread through tightly packed volumes accessing locations that people and machinery otherwise cannot use. Moreover, these highly articulated devices can coordinate their internal degrees of freedom to perform a variety of locomotion capabilities that go beyond the capabilities of conventional wheeled and the recently developed legged robots. The true power of these devices is that they are versatile, achieving behaviors limited to crawling, climbing, and swimming.

http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~biorobotics/projects/modsnake/modsnake.html
 

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BBQ-smoker-turned-'Robocop' chases off drug dealers

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- It's midnight on the streets of Atlanta, and bar owner Rufus Terrill patrols his neighborhood with a rolling crime fighter of his own creation. Meet "Bum-bot," as Terrill describes it; others in his neighborhood call it simply, "Robocop."

It's a barbecue smoker mounted on a three-wheeled scooter, and armed with an infrared camera, spotlight, loudspeaker and aluminum water cannon that shoots a stream of icy water about 20 feet.

Operated by remote control, the robot spotlights trespassers on property down the street from his bar, O'Terrill's. Using a walkie-talkie, Terrill belts out through the robot's loudspeaker, "That's private property. You guys need to get out of here."

http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/03/06/bum.bot/index.html
 

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Images: Dextre the robot ready for space adventure

On Tuesday, astronauts on the space shuttle Endeavour will have a special Canadian visitor when they rocket off on their trip to the International Space Station (ISS). Canadian Space Agency's Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator, aka "Dextre," is scheduled to be installed by Endeavour astronauts to the ISS later this week. Dextre was built to do maintenance tasks that were previously done during long and sometimes dangerous space walks.

http://content.zdnet.com/2346-9595_22-191557.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
A robotic taxi named robuCAB

According to ICT Results, a EU-funded project named Embounded 'has achieved the twin, and apparently contradictory goals, of making embedded systems both smarter and tougher.' One example is the robuCAB, a '4 seats automated people mover' developed by a French company and built from a 4 wheel-drive electric chassis with on-board PC. This autonomous vehicle follows the kerb and carries several embedded systems, with one camera on the path edge, another device tracking the angle and direction of the kerb, while others control the gearing and acceleration. robuCABs are not totally independent. They move over pre-defined circuits which contain a series of sensors below the ground. But read more…

http://blogs.zdnet.com/emergingtech/?p=861
 

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You have to wonder...
With all these new announcements into robotic technologies, it makes me ask, What aren't they telling us?

Its easy to understand (thanks to movies) that at least a few factions would be working on secret and probably military robotics. Americans are most llikely to be sectretly manufacturing new weapons of mass destruction or something similar. I'm not saying that Americans are the only faction likely to be doing this, any other country could be and are very likely to be as well.
It's just that it kind of freaks me out to be thinking about what might be going on in the scientific military bases of the world...
 
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