Bimbo the Dog never had it easy. First, he was forcefully initiated into a sadistic, subterranean, won't-take-no-for an-answer, candle-headed cabal. Then he was punched in the face by his own creation (among others), and summarily run out of town, where he was taunted by tombstones and other undead entities. *all YouTube links* [more inside]
To paraphrase a character in the film, The Black Hole walks "a tightrope;" if not between "genius" and "insanity," then certainly between "genius" and "banality". If you're looking at this movie as a Manichean exercise between darkness and light, then you can -- for at least a few hours -- entertain the "genius" part of that equation.
Start a home business, get rich quick, win financial freedom! If you watch late-night TV, you've heard it all before. But what's the story behind these slick pitchmen and their dubious schemes? Enter The Salty Droid, your ornery metal guide to the corrupt underworld of scam-marketing scum. This charmingly acerbic bot (owned and operated by mild-mannered Chicago dog-lover Jason Michael Jones [inter-view, long talk + transcript]) is a valiant crusader against the vile con-men who bankrupt the elderly and the desperate with beautiful lies. Exposed so far: A shadowy "Syndicate" of frauduct-pushing personality cults polluting the media with blogspam and woo-woo talking points. Boiler rooms in the Utah desert where telemarketers farm credit from easy targets with cunning, probing scripts [PDF]. Powerful politicians bought wholesale. Believers left to die in fraudulent new-age vision quests. It's a soul-crushing beat, enough to make one feel like a regular catcher-bot in the digital rye. But somebody's got to do it -- preferably someone with plasma nunchucks and titanium skin.
Will a slightly pared down version of the My Keepon, a fuzzy yellow dancing robot, be this year's holiday hit? (For extra added schmoopy, a portion of the proceeds will go to autism research.) Pretty fly for an AI.
With hundreds of millions of variations, Robohash is among the leading robot-based hashing tools on the web.
This is Zombotron. You can scavenge for items and kill the undead in this Flash game. Your less-advanced mechanical brethren may even shoot you on site, as they are only programmed to detect motion. Welcome to Zombotron.
21-year-old inventor Tim Pryde has come up with an alternative to the much-circumnavigated "chuggers" (chuggers previously) ‒ solicitous-but-impossibly-cute robot "Don-8r". [more inside]
"Cubelets is a robot construction kit; by combining sensor, logic and actuator blocks, young kids can create simple reconfigurable robots that exhibit surprisingly complex behavior." Watch the Cubelets Engineering Prototypes demo (1.01) on Vimeo. [more inside]
Claude Shannon and Marvin Minsky collaborated to create the concept of The Ultimate Machine, a device capable of shutting itself off after activation. Out of the numerous and often transparent homages to the invention, a new variant has emerged, with more rigorous defenses. [via]
(notes on) biology, a short stop-motion animation (5.39) by ornana films, features a robot elephant. You have to wait a bit, but it's worth it. Stuff gets good at about 2.25.
Hello, my name is FRIDA. I am a concept, developed as part of the Rosetta project, en EU-funded initiative to support the development of robots. Take a good look at me. I can be very romantic.
"My name is Blinky, and I just want to be your friend!" A well-crafted short film by Ruairi Robinson (slightly gory CGI ending may be NSFW).
Heather Knight is currently conducting her doctoral research at Carnegie Mellon's Robotics Institute and running Marilyn Monrobot Labs in NYC, which creates socially intelligent robot performances and sensor-based electronic art. One of Heather's robots, Data, is an aspiring stand-up comic. He also has a twitter page. Heather and Data were recently featured on Marc Maron's WTF podcast. In addition to working on her robots, Heather also collaborated on the OK GO Rube Goldberg video.
Meet the Geminoid DK, who looks exactly like Associate Professor Henrik Scharfe of Aalborg University in Denmark. If you're wondering why on Earth someone would want an exact robotic double of themselves, besides being TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY AWESOME, the Geminoid is going to be used for researching "emotional affordances" in human-robot interaction, the novel notion of "blended presence," as well as cultural differences (from different continents) in the perception of robots.
Braindriver is a car that allows you to steer, accelerate and decelerate with nothing more than the faint electrical signals generated by the brain.
"A ball-throwing robot with visual feedback" sounds dull, so let's hide the robot arm in a plush seal suit! Now that ball-throwing robot with stereo vision looks like a seal playing basketball! Just ignore the robotic hand coming out of it's mouth, and the un-seal-like movements. (via)
Shields and Yarnell: innovators in the field of robotic movement, exploring the Uncanny Valley through nationwide public exhibits during the 1970's and 80's. They also took requests for other animals, from other animals, performing with someone named Animal. • Lorene Yarnell died in July 2010.
You'd better get the robot those letters so he can be awesome. One of the most technically challenging banner games JayIsGames has developed, Robot Wants Jig is a metroid-ish platformer in which you acquire upgrades by collecting the letters of JAYISGAMES and unlock new areas of the map. A map of the game world is below in case you get hopelessly lost. [more inside]
Jaimie Mantzel has a dream: The Giant Spider Robot Project. First he needed some infrastructure; a Palacial Megadome (with trampoline floor) in the woods, his own hand made road, a Banana Building, and of course his own lumber mill. He also recently started the Adventure Builders Club for anyone else who likes building stuff. Whole lots more videos in his channel. via
One small step for a robot, one giant leap for robot-kind... but not yet. The Robonaut R2 (sic) will have to wait at least another three weeks, as the final mission of Space Shuttle Discovery is delayed.
You've seen them here before: serving ice cream, pole-socking, with teddy bear heads, climbing trees, and sporting hands. But now robots are truly Metafilteranean, because they want to know: Who here likes pancakes? [more inside]
"The boy insisted for months that he wanted to be a robot for Halloween. His sister was a robot when she was his age. We looked at various robot images on the computer and he was most intrigued by Robocop. After I showed him the trailer, there was no convincing him otherwise. He was going to be Robocop."
Meet Actroid-F, the "world's first true Android", unveiled this month at a laboratory fair at Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology. Designed to be used as an observer in hospitals to gauge patient reactions, the robot can replicate surprisingly subtle facial movements. Previously.
Get a grip on this. "It turns out that opposable thumbs aren't critical for getting a good grip. Neither are fingers. Scientists have created a robotic arm that can do everything from serve drinks to draw pictures even though it has no digits. Their robotic hand, which they describe online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is a thin rubber sack filled with coffee grains or small glass spheres. When this hand comes in contact with an object, a small pipe sucks air from the sack, causing it to contract and mold to the object's shape. The contraction is small—a mere 1% change in volume–but was enough to grab most objects the researchers tested." Inside the balloon hand. The robotic mitt. Via: Sciencemag.org
At first, robot wanted kitty. Then, robot wanted puppy. Next, robot wanted fishy. And now, robot wants ice cream.
"I'm doing this for my pride. I'm doing it for the principle of the matter. I'm also doing it because it's going to be awesome to have a robot pony bicycle when this all ends."
"The Home Owner's Association at my building has been leaving me notes asking me to clean up my parking spaces in the garage...Apparently, the rules say that only bicycles are allowed to be stored in these spaces. In the spaces I have: 2 bicycles...and one mechanical pony..." [more inside]
Give up, Robot! a flash game
BEAR Robot Overview. (SLYT).
A gynoid is a humanoid robot designed to look like a human female, as compared to an android modeled after a male. NSFW; includes Photoshop work of famous female faces on robot bodies. [more inside]
A couple decades after the first appearance of Steam Men in the 19th century, and a few years after the word "robot" was coined, one Professor Harry May from London toured around the US with Alpha the robot. The one ton mechanical man was built from a combination of modern inventions that granted Alpha certain skills, from product model and vocal promoter of the automatic electric toaster, to gunslinger. The problem with giving Alpha a gun was that the robot revolted (PDF, via), shooting his master and creator in 1932. After this incident, Alpha became Mary Ann (via), complete with new hair, a dress, and a soprano voice.
Botjunkie fulfills all your robot needs, from balancing, cooperating, dancing, aggressive quadrotors (previously); through other combined or perching flying bots (though the birds object sometimes); to the hideous dancing, crying, kissing, babies of the uncanny valley; to the dextrous everyday pancake, chef and origami bots.
Video of horrific, Japanese maggot-man robot allegedly designed to act as a physical presence during phone calls. More info and photos here.
The Korean DMZ (pdf) / PLZ has been a hot tourist attraction for years, featuring must-see sites like the Third Infiltration Tunnel, Dora Observatory, the Dora Mountain Train Station, the Freedom Bridge and the Imjingak Tourist Site, complete with its statue of Harry Truman. And now, South Korea's border with North Korea -- the most heavily militarized border on Earth, -- will be patrolled by killer robots. [more inside]
Trouble started soon into Hayabusa's treacherous round-trip journey to Itokawa when she lost her companion, Minerva. On arrival, she stumbled and dropped the sample she was sent to retrieve, and we thought the worst when she stopped calling. One accident left her disoriented and unable to find her way, and another reduced her progress to a slow limp. But on Sunday, with unfailing help from home, Hayabusa returns, three years late and seven years after she departed.
Primavera by Victor Novikov. WALL·E checks out the scenery. [slv]
Wildlife photographer mauled by African lion, with pictures recovered from the body. Of course, this is not exactly what it seems, and there are other pictures as well.
Sure, guys, that’s totally based on an elephant’s trunk, and not from an overwhelming desire to have the greatest Comicon outfit ever.
My Robot Friend has just released a lovely video for the acoustic version of 'Waiting' a song he made with Alison Moyet for his new album Soft-Core. The video was created by Liam Stevens. It was made using only paper, pen, and ink and took several months to complete. A true labour of love, and very good too.
Towel folding robot folds towels. Stacking ensues. Robot designer Pieter Abbeel's interesting commentary here.