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sudo apt-get install creepyrobotgirlfriend2.0

The uncanny valley just got deeper. "Treat yourself to the perfect woman."
posted by loquacious on May 27, 2008 - 100 comments

 

Smoke and mirrors

Meet Joules the climate change-sceptic robot. Joules is employed to teach 8-14 year-old school children in the UK about energy use. Joules says: "oil and gas could be in short supply in about 50 years time. The earth is believed to be getting warmer and sea levels apper to be rising. Energy Chest is funded in part by the world's biggest oil company: ExxonMobil. [more inside]
posted by MrMerlot on May 27, 2008 - 45 comments

01010010 01001001 01010000

If you are reading this post on a computer attached to the Internet, you can thank Claude Shannon (1916-2001). It was his work, starting with A Mathematical Theory of Communication, that first enabled humans to extract digital perfection from the analog world by creating the field of Information Theory. Like most computer nerds of his day, who often had to program their computers by moving wires around or even mechanical linkages, he was also an electronics and mechanical whiz who could create a juggling robot and The Ultimate Machine.
posted by DU on May 6, 2008 - 35 comments

There's a robot beneath the fluff.

In Vestimentis Ursum. Designer Matt Kirkland peels off the fur of mechanized stuffed animals to take a look at the robots lurking within.
posted by hydrophonic on Apr 24, 2008 - 25 comments

You have 20 seconds to comply

Putting up a sentry! Commercially available paintball sentry guns. Optional extras include a VR heads up display. If $1399 is too much you could build your own. Watch out for spies! Previously (and slightly more lethally)
posted by Artw on Apr 9, 2008 - 21 comments

Robots in Space

Welcome to the decade of space robotics. Jules Verne, Europe's shiny new automated transport vehicle, docked with the International Space Station today, where Canada's Dextre is flexing her circuits after moving in last month. Meanwhile, the Cadillac of Mars rovers, JPL's humbly named Mars Science Laboratory, is prepping for a fall 2009 journey to the red planet. Are we witnessing the beginning of the symbiotic relationship between robots and humans in space?
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Apr 3, 2008 - 26 comments

Duck-dragons, dancing raccoons, and robots

Inspired by this earlier post, I thought it was time to formally introduce people to Rocky's Boots. [more inside]
posted by wanderingmind on Mar 28, 2008 - 12 comments

BristleBot

How to make a BristleBot You can also make one from a computer chip. [more inside]
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium on Mar 26, 2008 - 22 comments

Suicide by robot.

Suicide by robot.
posted by jbickers on Mar 21, 2008 - 46 comments

Robot Dog

Amazing video of BigDog. Described by its developer, Boston Dynamics, as "The Most Advanced Quadruped Robot on Earth."
posted by qldaddy on Mar 18, 2008 - 106 comments

Phoenix, a robotic spider

Phoenix is sort of a robotic spider, except for the minor detail of only having six legs. It's self-contained, and remotely controlled using Bluetooth. The movements are calculated using an Excel spreadsheet, and it moves beautifully. (via)
posted by Class Goat on Mar 13, 2008 - 38 comments

Crime fighting robots are finally here

Many business owners have struggled with crime in their communities and the impact that can have on their business- but when the police have their hands full, sometimes your complaints just fall through the cracks. One Atlanta bar owner has taken matters into his own hands by building a crime-fighting vigilante robot.
posted by baphomet on Feb 26, 2008 - 70 comments

Robot High School

Bloody balls! Make sure to stick around for the surprise ending. [more inside]
posted by nangsta on Jan 30, 2008 - 14 comments

Lifelike robot helps train doctors in delivering babies

Noelle can't stop giving birth.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jan 3, 2008 - 34 comments

ITAPPMONROBOT

"So, at our meeting earlier, you suggested building a robot. Is that something we can really do?" [more inside]
posted by CrunchyFrog on Dec 18, 2007 - 35 comments

Spirit's Swan Song?

Real robot drama is happening on Mars today. Spirit, racing for her life to find shelter before winter, injured and underpowered after four years of hard labor, may have made her most significant find yet. The broken foot she's dragged behind her for the past two years unexpectedly uncovered evidence of a once-wet Mars with conditions theoretically hospitable for primitive life.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Dec 12, 2007 - 89 comments

Sexy-smelling deceptive robot cockroaches!

Remember that X-files episode? The one with the robot cockroaches from outer space? Well, scientists in Belgium have created robots that act like cockroaches, and are accepted by the real cockroaches because they smell sexy to them. Better yet, the scientists were able to use the robots to change how the cockroaches behaved. [more inside]
posted by gingerbeer on Nov 17, 2007 - 16 comments

Would you like to drive a car?

Perhaps you'll recall DARPA's Grand Challenge where autonomous vehicles competed in a off-road race but most barely made it off the starting blocks? And Grand Challenge 2 where they did the same thing more successfully and also filmed a NOVA special?. Well, they are doing it again, on city streets this time. [more inside]
posted by DU on Nov 2, 2007 - 24 comments

Mitt Romney does not approve of this either

"Darling, I have a headache, why not use your robot?"
posted by bicyclefish on Oct 16, 2007 - 107 comments

Crazy.

You've never heard a box of Stoned Wheat Thins, a big tub of Necco, a little wooden frog, a Tupperware bucket, an empty jar and a theremin sound this good. It's Crazy. No, really, it's Crazy. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Oct 11, 2007 - 19 comments

Robot Sex

The Sex Life of Robots. [NSFW, via Sex or not?]
posted by homunculus on Sep 26, 2007 - 32 comments

Face-changing Robot

The Waseda-Docomo face robot No. 2 is a 3D robotic model of a human face with 56 degrees of freedom. It can mimic any human face with an average accuracy of 3.5mm. Watching it in action is kind of creepy. [via Make]
posted by pombe on Sep 19, 2007 - 19 comments

Customizable Robotic Idol Hatsune Miku

Hatsune Miku is the latest singing sensation to sweep Japan. No, she's not a new idol singer, she's Yamaha's Vocaloid2 software simulating the voice of vocalist Saki Fujita. Currently a #2 seller on Amazon, even at the cost of 15750 yen (about $137). But you don't need to buy the software to appreciate it. Check out Ievan Polka, Fly Me to the Moon, the theme from Princess Mononoke, and more!
posted by CrunchyFrog on Sep 18, 2007 - 40 comments

Dance, baby, Dance!

Keepon, the bot that bounces to the rhythm! "[It] is a small creature-like robot with a soft rubber skin, two cameras in its eyes, and a microphone in its nose. Keepon is designed to interact with children by communicating attention and emotion. It has four degrees of freedom: attention is directed by turning +/-180° and nodding +/-40°, while emotion is expressed by rocking side-to-side +/-25° and bobbing up to 15mm:"
posted by Phire on Aug 22, 2007 - 24 comments

Nightmares of the electric sheep

The first armed robots have hit the streets of Iraq and are now hunting evil-doers with high-powered M249 machine guns. The robots are called SWORDS, which stands for "Special Weapons Observation Reconnaissance Detection System". Army focus groups apparently preferred this acronym over the more obvious PUBE (Predatory Unmanned Battle Engine). The robots are currently being piloted through the streets of Bagdad using remote control. According to an interview on CNET with Chief Army Scientist Thomas Killion however, the army soon plans to make the killing machines fully automatic.
posted by infini on Aug 3, 2007 - 88 comments

just another nice little hobby---everybody needs a hobby, right?

It seems that this gentleman bought a set of musical robots from the defunct Showbiz Pizza restaurant chain. This gent has been reprogramming the robots to sing recent hit songs, rather than the '60s Motown hits they sang originally. He then takes video of these performances, and posts it on YouTube. I guarantee this version of Evanescence's "Lithium" will haunt your dreams (or, perhaps, make you hurl).
posted by metasonix on Aug 2, 2007 - 59 comments

Robotic Insect Takes Off

Miniature Robotic Insect Takes Off Researchers have created a miniature robotic fly that weighs just 60 milligrams and has a wingspan of three centimeters for covert surveillance. Thats progress!
posted by ItsaMario on Jul 22, 2007 - 17 comments

Waiting for Skynet

Clones, Robots and Second-Life... Having solved all other crimes, the Australian Federal Police Commissioner gave us a trifecta of the scary earlier this week. I'd have posted it before but I was waiting for some statement that it was all a fake. Boingboing has it so it must be true! (Caution: lolcats).
posted by ninazer0 on Jul 12, 2007 - 24 comments

Farms Fund Robots to Replace Migrant Fruit Pickers

Farms Fund Robots to Replace Migrant Fruit Pickers
posted by jason's_planet on Jun 26, 2007 - 27 comments

Nazi Robot Attack

Nazi Robot Attack
posted by kirkaracha on Apr 18, 2007 - 57 comments

Surgical robots work under MRI.

New surgical robots are not only capable of working more precisely than human hands, but they have no metal or electrical parts, so will work under MRI machines on tumors that would otherwise be invisible. The NeuroArm will set you back $27 million, but may confer more karma than that trip to space.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium on Apr 17, 2007 - 25 comments

A horror movie in the make

More companion robots! Another in a series (see PARO, previously) of healing toys for Japan's rapidly greying population, Yumel the Healing Partner from Tomy. Like some kind of unholy cross between a Cabbage Patch Kid and Teddy Ruxpin, you can see a promotional clip of the doll here, or read a list of translated stock phrases (thank you Harper's). Also, an interesting article from the Economist about WHY the Japanese love robots so. (Hint: it's Shinto)
posted by ikahime on Apr 3, 2007 - 3 comments

I'm both impressed and disturbed.

It skateboards, it rollerskates it DESTROYS ALL HUMANS! Meet the Plen Robot
posted by delmoi on Feb 16, 2007 - 22 comments

Robot Jazz

Robot plays Coltrane (via)
posted by roll truck roll on Feb 13, 2007 - 60 comments

Bunnies!

Can a Bunny be your friend? Move over Tamagotchi, Move over Elmo. He can talk, smell and has a bellybutton. Strange, but kind of cool...unless they turn into this.
posted by bustmakeupleave on Feb 8, 2007 - 30 comments

Wiimote Controlled Murder Robot

Wiimote Controlled Murder Robot At first, I was sure this was fake, and one of these guys was going to die horribly. But now I'm not sure. If this isn't fake, it's coooooool. (via Gizmodo)
posted by gummo on Jan 25, 2007 - 28 comments

Vintage androids

Karakuri automata are representative of the highest technology in the Edo period (1603 to 1867). Automata were also crafted hundreds of years ago in Europe: The Dulcimer Player by Pierre Kintzing , made in 1772; The Singing Lesson, created by Robert-Houdin; three androids by Jaquet-Droz; the Pooping Duck by Vaucanson (the first link at the top). Ancient robots. The first automaton was created by Al-Jazari: video of his clock. The history of automata [pdf]. Contemporary toy automata. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Jan 14, 2007 - 18 comments

A race of atomic supermen which will conquer the world

An' all the hot cats on the block have been doing it too - c'mon now, honey, I wanna do it with you. Anyone hoping to build their own Death Probe without dismantling the vaccum cleaner or floor waxer can rejoice. The creators of Roomba and Scooba have released a barebones version. Add-on software from Microsoft is available, should more ambitious types decide to pair iRobot's tech with LEGO MindStorms pieces.
posted by Smart Dalek on Jan 10, 2007 - 17 comments

PARO

PARO: Seal Type Mental Commit Robot for Psychological Enrichment.
posted by gottabefunky on Dec 28, 2006 - 18 comments

If I Only Had A Heart

Robot Rights.
posted by jimmythefish on Dec 21, 2006 - 61 comments

Control of a Humanoid Robot By Means Of A Brain-Computer Interface

Dr. Rajesh Rao of the University of Washington has created a brain-computer interface that allows a human to control a small humanoid robot (video link) through brain activity alone.
posted by jason's_planet on Dec 18, 2006 - 19 comments

underwater forest logging with robots

Triton Sawfish - underwater forest logging with robots.
posted by stbalbach on Dec 3, 2006 - 41 comments

Stephen Irwin Movie

Bows and Arrows is an innovatively styled but bleak short movie. Don't make the same mistakes the Caretaker did! [via]
posted by tellurian on Nov 27, 2006 - 2 comments

A chilling precident

Issac Asimov's first Law of Robotics has been broken.
posted by icosahedral on Nov 3, 2006 - 80 comments

Actroid DER2

So, what is an "actroid"? It's an android actor, and you can rent one for $3500 for 5 days, to do presentations at shows or whatever else you want. They come in a number of configurations and wear a variety of costumes. The latest one, Actroid DER2,  is shown on this page in several high quality stills and 3 WMVs (in Japanese; click thumbnails and links immediately below thumbnails). Why is she wearing a "Hello Kitty" T-shirt? Because she was created by Kokoro, a member company of the Sanrio Group, which also does the majority of "Hello Kitty" merchandising. So are they working on a robotic Hello Kitty? If you need me, I'll be hiding under my bed.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste on Oct 7, 2006 - 29 comments

Ubiquitous Robotic Companion is into the Life

The small-sized fondling robot which is developed at the world-wide beginning. Its name is Azzang. I think it's a game of some kind, but it's hard to be sure. Brought to you by IZI Robotics. Via.
posted by owhydididoit on Sep 26, 2006 - 12 comments

Dad's Home and Walk Smash Walk

Sakupen is the online name of a musician/artist who made two of my favorite flash music animations (warning: first link goes to artist's myspace page w/audio). The first one, "Dad's Home" is a mayhem filled coffee buzz set to Cab Calloway's Reefer Man, and the second, "Walk, Smash, Walk" is about a robot whose job is to Walk and then Smash and then Walk some more. Wildly different styles, but both are captivating; large versions of both cartoons can be viewed here.
posted by jonson on Aug 4, 2006 - 8 comments

Garada K7 Jumbo Machinder

Cheap 1.7 million yen toy. When Keiko Nakamoto of the Ishikawa prefecture came across an old vinyl robot covered in a thick layer of dust, she had no idea that she had unearthed only the third known specimen of an item described by Tokyo toy dealers as "the most sought-after item in Japan." From ToyboxDX [toy robot goodness].
posted by tellurian on Jun 1, 2006 - 25 comments

Getting the bugs out (and about.)

Cockroach Controlled Mobile RobotsOverview: an experimental mechanism that uses a living Madagascan hissing cockroach atop a modified trackball to control a three-wheeled robot. If the cockroach moves left, the robot moves left. Infrared sensors also provide navigation feedback to the cockroach, striving to create a pseudo-intelligent system with the cockroach as the CPU. Garnet Hertz, creator of Fly with Implanted Webserver and Cockroach with Wireless Video, has used Gromphadorhina portentosa on three generations of autonomous roachbots (YouTube video and Ars Electronica 2005 gallery).
posted by cenoxo on May 22, 2006 - 29 comments

Robots

RobotFilter: Korea Unveils World's Second Android (YouTube), China manufactures personal robot, Japan's domestic robot, Why the Japanese want their robots to act more like humans. Robot runs over water, robotic tentacle (mpeg), 'baby' robot learns like a human (avi 1,2), Pill-sized intenstinal robot, speedy robot, spider robots. Lego Unveils NXT Robotics Toolset, Lego robot plays Super Mario Bros, Connect Four, solves Rubik's Cube. Building an army of robots, Big Dog, (wmv), Robots break Asimov’s first law. [more inside]
posted by MetaMonkey on May 11, 2006 - 14 comments

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