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Take Those Damned Goggles Off

Television Without Pity re-capper Jacob Clifton has written a short steampunk story for Tor.com. “There’s a level on which the story is an indictment of using steampunk as a fashion or trend. It came about because I wanted to see what would happen if you substituted Jane Austen for Jules Verne in the steampunk equation...” The Commonplace Book
posted by The Whelk on Oct 2, 2012 - 19 comments

things you didn't know you needed

The Popinator - a voice activated popcorn launching machine. Kinda cool, but my money's still on the robotic tweet powered popper. (via @peeweeherman and keepoutofreach)
posted by madamjujujive on Sep 17, 2012 - 13 comments

"Distribution is the core of the problem we face."

Trade-offs between inequality, productivity, and employment - "The poor do not employ one another, because the necessities they require are produced and sold so cheaply by the rich. The rich are glad to sell to the poor, as long as the poor can come up with property or debt claims or other forms of insurance to offer as payment..." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Sep 4, 2012 - 45 comments

A mixture of awe and disappointment.

"What does it mean to feel empathy for a twitter feed?" Many were asking themselves that yesterday as popular account @SelfAwareROOMBA went on a journey of Self-Discovery. [Start Here] [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Aug 16, 2012 - 27 comments

Invade All of The Humans!

The Giant Robot Invasion has begun! You were warned this was coming and given tips to survive. But one tip you didn't get - don't go near the bench!
posted by cashman on Jul 2, 2012 - 7 comments

Jumping Bean Robots

A team of Georgia Inst of Technology engineers has published a study of the rolling action of Mexican jumping beans. "The researchers developed an algorithm of the beans’ behavior, which they then used to program rolling robots to move in a controlled direction." Abstract here. Interesting video of bean races included.
posted by Isadorady on Jun 20, 2012 - 11 comments

It's Sunday night, I am curled up in my room / The TV light fills my heart like a balloon

In 1999, 23-year-old singer-songwriter Bree Sharp recorded "David Duchovny," a fangirl ode to the male star of The X-Files. After the demo tape proved popular in Duchovny's trailer, two X-Files assistants created a celebrity-filled music video as a gag for the show Christmas party. A grainy bootleg of the video quickly went pre-Youtube-viral among X-Philes. Twelve years later, a high-definition version of the "David Duchovny" video sees daylight for the first time. [more inside]
posted by nicebookrack on Jun 10, 2012 - 67 comments

...You just have to be faster than your parents

A Two Year Old Reacts to Seeing a Scary Dinosaur. [slyt]
posted by quin on May 11, 2012 - 102 comments

Surviving The Future Robopocalypse

How To Survive A Robot Uprising. [slyt]
posted by quin on May 10, 2012 - 21 comments

Robot Hair Washer.

Robot hair washer has twenty-four fingers [via].
posted by feelinglistless on May 2, 2012 - 30 comments

To-Go-Bots

MIT is leading an NSF-funded project with researchers from University of Pennsylvania and Harvard that aims to enable anyone to "design, customize and print a specialized robot in a matter of hours." Constructed from "cyber-physical primitives," the robots (some early examples here) would be able to be made in bulk on demand and could help change the entire workflow of device and robot creation, from engineering to warehousing to assembly.
posted by BlackLeotardFront on Apr 3, 2012 - 14 comments

Pop! ... Pop!

Boston Dynamics is getting close to mastering quadrupedal motion with Big Dog and Cheetah (previously). And are working on bipedal motion with Petman (previously), but how about a robot that is able to leap (up to the top of) tall buildings in a single bound? Sand Flea! [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Mar 28, 2012 - 51 comments

Saturday Morning Cartoons/Breakfast Danish

The Story of Animation is a tongue-in-cheek educational film about the process of animation, aimed primarily at potential animation clients who are more clueless than most about how these toons get made (and how long it's gonna take and how much it's gonna cost). Made by-and-for graduates of the The Animation Workshop, an animation school in Viborg, Denmark, which has posted A LOT of impressive student works on YouTube... [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop on Mar 3, 2012 - 13 comments

NO ROBOTS

No Robots: An engaging animated short about prejudice in a future in which robots have been banned.
posted by quin on Mar 1, 2012 - 10 comments

Even robots do chores

The Robot. Photographs by Thomas Jackson of strange moments in the life of a robot. [more inside]
posted by OmieWise on Mar 1, 2012 - 6 comments

Rotor. Quad Rotor.

Robot Quadrotors Perform James Bond Theme
posted by brundlefly on Feb 29, 2012 - 38 comments

In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war.... and mega cities and future cops and cyborgs and deathgames and time-travelling dinosaur hunters and mutant bounty hunters and....

British sf tabletop miniature wargame Warhammer 40,000 is 25 years old today, British sf anthology comic 2000AD is 35 years old tomorrow [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Feb 25, 2012 - 85 comments

Robot of Canned Music

After the release of The Jazz Singer in 1927, all bets were off for live musicians who played in movie theaters. Thanks to synchronized sound, the use of live musicians was unnecessary — and perhaps a larger sin, old-fashioned. In 1930 the American Federation of Musicians formed a new organization called the Music Defense League and launched a scathing ad campaign to fight the advance of this terrible menace known as recorded sound.

The evil face of that campaign was the dastardly, maniacal robot.

posted by troll on Feb 19, 2012 - 43 comments

That's a very nice rendering, Dave.

How do robots see the world? This is an experiment in found machine-vision footage, exploring the aesthetics of the robot eye. [SLVimeo]
posted by jivadravya on Feb 7, 2012 - 14 comments

Robot psychics

Robot psychics of India
posted by latkes on Feb 3, 2012 - 15 comments

Flying Robots Build A Tower Near Paris

"Uh Oh. Construction workers please note: Somebody just built a 20-foot tower using flying robots. No people involved." Eric Guizo notes: "The ceiling of the room where the assembly is taking place was equipped with a motion-capture system. A computer uses the vision data to keep track of the quadcopters and tell them where to go — the same approach used at ETH's Flying Machine Arena"
posted by MHPlost on Jan 3, 2012 - 41 comments

Bow down before the robot army

0111 0010 0110 1111 0110 0010 0110 1111 0111 0100
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Dec 21, 2011 - 52 comments

It's the Ham Bot that keeps me up nights.

A spherical flying robot has been developed at the Japanese Ministry of Self-Defense; it can zoom along indoors and outdoors at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour, or just hover. Menacingly. Science Fiction In The News is a subsection of science-fiction site Technovelgy, which tracks both the predictions of future tech made in science fiction past and present and its manifestations in real life. What tech, you ask? Well, if it’s appeared in your nightmares, it’s probably been on this page: [more inside]
posted by Diablevert on Dec 15, 2011 - 29 comments

Can YOU survive?

Mobile Suit Gundam premiered on April 7th, 1979 in Nagoya, Japan, and with it came the now three-decade-old franchise that launched a thousand plastic model kits. WARNING: MAY CONTAIN spoilers for a thirty-year-old beloved cultural touchstone that you've likely never seen or possibly even heard of. WARNING: DEFINITELY CONTAINS many, many links to TV Tropes. 28.8k USERS: Upgrade to 56K already. You're going to need it. [more inside]
posted by DoctorFedora on Dec 15, 2011 - 64 comments

Robots

The Old Robots [more inside]
posted by Sailormom on Dec 14, 2011 - 22 comments

If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere

Make Magazine has released its Ultimate Kit Guide which rates 175 DIY kits. Kits like the: 6-in-1 Solar Robot Kit, the Infrared Jammer Kit, the KaraKuri Somersault Doll kit, the Loud Objects Noise Toy Kit. But best of all you will find the astounding MakerBot Thing-O-Matic 3D printer. "The Thing-O-Matic is a breakthrough in 3D printing technology. The Thing-O-Matic prints thing after thing, it's completely automated! You hit print and the machine does all the work. Want to print 100 butterflies? Easy. Want to print an entire chess set? No problem. Buy it, assemble it, and enjoy being the first on your block to live in the cutting-edge personal manufacturing future of tomorrow!" [more inside]
posted by storybored on Dec 7, 2011 - 37 comments

And then the robot overlords came and stomped on it all.

A paper-craft history of the world. [SLVimeo] [more inside]
posted by zennish on Dec 3, 2011 - 5 comments

Automato Triumphant

Ketchupbot v. picnic food. Ketchupbot, aka Automato, and the Catsup Crapper have been around since 2007, the invention of a trio of MIT students. Automato outtakes. Automato teaches its art to a smaller sibling. Catsup Crapper meets Martha Stewart.
posted by Slithy_Tove on Dec 1, 2011 - 15 comments

Lego beats Man

CubeStormer II solves the Rubik's Cube puzzle faster than the human world record. [more inside]
posted by Burhanistan on Nov 30, 2011 - 30 comments

From the comments: "Someone pass me the crowbar please."

Soft robotics are inspired by animals which don't have hard internal skeletons, like squid, worms, and starfish. Developed at Harvard, with funding from DARPA, this particular soft robot, "not only walks, it knows several different gaits and can deflate to stuff itself through tiny little gaps." Another design here, and another (also), and another. In addition to movement, soft robotics can also be used for grip. More information about the Harvard lab is available here (with a student describing the research here).
posted by codacorolla on Nov 29, 2011 - 26 comments

But can it play angry birds?

Honda demonstrates the newest version of their Asimo robot. "With a further advance in autonomy, the all-new ASIMO can now continue moving without being controlled by an operator. Moreover, with significantly improved intelligence and the physical ability to adapt to situations, ASIMO took another step closer to practical use in an office or a public space where many people come and go."
posted by empath on Nov 8, 2011 - 35 comments

The biped robot which rides on a bicycle by Dr. Guero

Oh hi! You're here just in time for a trifecta of things we love: Cute little robots, fixed gear bicycles, and single-link YouTube posts! I hope you like it!
posted by ardgedee on Oct 27, 2011 - 41 comments

"Could robots ever be trusted to write original novels, histories, scientific papers and sonnets?"

Do Androids Dream of Electric Authors? [NYTimes.com] "So who was Lambert M. Surhone? Just looking at the numbers, you could argue that he’s one of the most prolific creators of literature who ever lived. But was he even human? There are now software programs — robots, if you will — that can gather text and organize it into a book. Surhone might be one of them."
posted by Fizz on Oct 16, 2011 - 23 comments

Who Watches The Robots?

Wired Magazine: Mystery virus hits U.S drone fleet
posted by The Whelk on Oct 8, 2011 - 68 comments

Big Dumb Objects

Chris Foss: The Joy of Starships (More Chris Foss here)
posted by Artw on Oct 1, 2011 - 35 comments

The Fukushima Robot Diaries

Fukushima Robot Operator Writes Tell-All Blog. "An anonymous worker at Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant has written dozens of blog posts describing his experience as a lead robot operator at the crippled facility." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Aug 24, 2011 - 19 comments

Stars

Nine Planets Without Intelligent Life finished today. Promises of new projects and a print version by December have been made. [more inside]
posted by jeffamaphone on Aug 20, 2011 - 12 comments

Outside the bubble

[The principal] strode in front of the astonished student body in December with the $6,000 VGo robot ... "Meet the new electronic Lyndon," the principal announced. "Don't touch him when you pass him in the hall. Give him space. Don't sneak up on him—he doesn't have rear-view mirrors. Let him be like the other kids. Don't ruin it for him. This is Lyndon's only way to be a part of you."

Lyndon Baty's compromised immune system means he can't go to school. So his robot goes for him. [more inside]
posted by Horace Rumpole on Aug 8, 2011 - 58 comments

Where Humans Fear to Tread

Futuristic Circular Flying Object: It zips through the air, glides smoothly around corners, and negotiates staircases with ease, emitting a soft hum. (slyt) [more inside]
posted by troll on Jul 17, 2011 - 30 comments

The undisputed master of overing

Jim Babb first appeared in the ARG scene as Tim Scribbles, roommate to a robot in search of love. More recently, he's been honing his skills with a family-friendly production called Socks Inc., where the only barriers to entry are an old sock, a webcam, and some imagination. Now what happens when he applies his unique blend of quirky humor and unself-conscious style to the real world in a heartfelt proposal to his partner in crime? Julie, will you marry me? [more inside]
posted by SpaceBass on Jul 16, 2011 - 5 comments

RoboCupSoccer 2011

Team RoMeLa (Robotics & Mechanisms Laboratory) of Virginia Tech has won first place in the KidSize and AdultSize divisions of the humanoid league of the RoboCup 2011 robotic soccer competition. RoMeLa’s team of DARwIn (Dynamic Anthropomorphic Robot with Intelligence) humanoids defeated last year’s champs, the Darmstadt Dribblers, in the semi-finals on the way to victory in the finals of the KidSize division. Meanwhile, RoMeLa’s CHARLI took first place in the riveting Dribble & Kick AdultSize Final (slyt). [more inside]
posted by troll on Jul 11, 2011 - 4 comments

I prefer my vacuum cleaners to be lovable, personally

Here, we refer to personality as the use of human personality characteristics to describe a robot vacuum cleaner. The translation from personality to behavior was inspired by a role play in which a group of actors was asked to act like a robot vacuum cleaner with these desired characteristics... Attributes, such as macaroni, were available to support acting out some of the situations (e.g. ‘cleaning a dirty spot’)... The actors were asked to act out situations—as if they were the robot vacuum cleaner—making use of motion and sound... In general, the actors either crawled about or walked around at a slow pace to imitate a vacuum cleaner. Often, a typical vacuuming sound was simulated by them. [more inside]
posted by jasper411 on Jun 30, 2011 - 22 comments

smaller companies are using robots

Made in America: small businesses buck the offshoring trend - "For US manufacturing to make sense, factories must make extensive use of automation. That's getting easier, given that the cost of robots with comparable capabilities has decreased precipitously in the past two decades." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 20, 2011 - 52 comments

speculative, but instructive, economics

In a pinch, upgrade the humans or redistribute the robots - "[S]uppose [as a factory owner] I replace all my workers with machines... This squeeze has many implications, one of them being that here is an important sector of the economy in which more or less all the gains accrue to the owners of capital and more or less none to the working class..." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 1, 2011 - 98 comments

Vanguard of American Journalism

Current TV previously & previously, the media company founded by Al Gore after the 2000 election, has picked up the kinds of in depth long form journalism being rapidly dropped by major networks, but has been tantalizingly unavailable for those without cable; until now. They have been putting their Vanguard episodes up on their website and on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Apr 30, 2011 - 24 comments

Thus did Man become the Architect of his own demise...

"Welcome to the Zion Archive. You have selected Historical File #12-1: The Second Renaissance." So begins the short film of the same name by Mahiro Maeda [Flash: 1 2 - QuickTime: 1 2] -- a devastating yet beautiful work of animation. Originally produced to explain the backstory behind the Matrix trilogy, Maeda's project ended up telling a story far darker and more affecting than any blockbuster. Using a blend of faux documentary footage and visual metaphor, his serene Instructor relates in biblical tones the saga of Man and Machine, how age-old cruelty and hatred birthed a horrifying, apocalyptic struggle that consumed the world. Packed with striking imagery and historical allusions galore, this dark allegory easily transcends the films it was made for. But while "The Second Renaissance" is arguably the best work to come from the Matrix franchise, it's hardly alone -- it's just one of the projects made for The Animatrix, a collection of nine superb anime films in a wide variety of styles designed to explore the universe and broaden its scope beyond the usual sci-fi action of the movies. Click inside for a guide to these films with links to where they can be watched online, along with a look at The Matrix Comics, a free series of comics, art, and short fiction created for the same purpose by some of the best talent in the business. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Feb 14, 2011 - 54 comments

You are making a mistake. My logic is undeniable.

Is this the future in personal assistants? "The remarkable thing is that not only did the Anybot make it all the way to the coffee shop on its own [sic] but the Anybot was actually given service!" Could further development, crossed with visual interfaces such as Kinect lead us to the Bruce Willis' Surrogates and isolate us or is it the beginning of the uprising?
posted by deemer on Feb 13, 2011 - 57 comments

Able to leap tall buildings

"I've always loved the music from the Saturday matinee serial, and I figured a short that was animated to this music could be a really cool piece. I designed the character mixing all the traits from my favorite Superman actors from the past, and then looked at the work of Hugh Ferriss for inspiration on the background design." - Superman Classic (yt) - A Superman fan film by disney animator by Disney animator Robert Pratt.
posted by Artw on Feb 9, 2011 - 7 comments

“Human decisions are removed from strategic defense. Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th.”

The X-47B made its maiden flight a few days ago at Edwards Air Force base. What's the X-47B? Just an autonomous, artificially intelligent, fully armed jet fighter. At the same time, automated, cannon-mounted human-seeking robots are patrolling the Korean DMZ. Previously
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Feb 8, 2011 - 114 comments

What ? No Oscar nomination

Awesome !!! Nearly 10 minutes of the robot warfare. SLYT
posted by lobstah on Jan 26, 2011 - 77 comments

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