Robots Resources for the Masses.

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Friday, June 08, 2001

Some pictures : Honda / Asimo

Some pictures : Maidrobot

Some pictures : TMSUK / TMSUK04

Some pictures : SONY / SDR

Go away, dear Kismet; you're not my kismet
By Patricia Pearson

Tourists now visiting Boston can pop into the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, if they're so inclined, and check out an exhibit called, "Robots and Beyond: Exploring Artificial Intelligence at MIT."

Among the other mechanical marvels on display is Kismet, a sociable humanoid robot who looks like a scrap heap with big Mickey Mouse eyes. Kismet is about as humanoid as my dishwasher, but the robot has a flexible rubber mouth stuck to its wires and widgets that can smile, frown, purse in disgust and open wide in surprise.

According to MIT's Web site, Kismet has been designed to perceive "a variety of natural social cues" through "natural and intuitive social interaction with a human caregiver." You have to think the programmers are getting a bit carried away, referring to a machine powered by 15 computers as an object in need of a "caregiver." I could run over it with my Volvo and it wouldn't even notice.

Still, the whole programming effort is modeled on infant development, with Kismet designed less to perform a specific task — such as lumbering around on Mars or lurching down mine shafts — than to be a blank slate that can learn emotional and social behavior by interacting with the environment.

Now, for me, the question arises: Do we really have to have sociable humanoid robots? Don't we have any friends? Are we not getting along with our mothers? Did our beloved Siamese cat die, and we hope to replace her companionship with an object that can get whacked by a speeding Volvo and still smile?


Reality bytes
Broadcast: June 7, 2001
Reporter: David Smith

From the Daleks to R2-D2, the creators of science fiction have invented robots which can think like humans. Stephen Spielberg's new summer blockbuster - Artificial Intelligence - is no exception, with its heart-warming tale of a robot child who longs for love.
But it seems the prospect of an intelligent machine isn't just confined to the imagination.

Wednesday, June 06, 2001

Misc. Links: Personal Robots and Toys

Personal Robots
  • Sony - AIBO / SDR(Sony Dream Robot)
  • Honda - Humanoid Robot P3(Asimo)
  • ATR Media - Robovie
  • NEC - Personal Robot R100
  • SOGO KEIBI - Guard Robo

  • Takara - ROBOPAL Series / AQUAROID
  • TOMY Co. -
  • BANDAI - WonderBorg/ BN-1
  • Kitano - PINP

  • Tuesday, June 05, 2001

    Motorola and Flashline Demonstrate the Ultimate Wireless Lego Robot

    Robots, Reuse and Java(TM) Technology Unite in a Wireless Environment At JavaOne(SM) 2001 Developer Conference

    SAN FRANCISCO, June 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Using a mobile phone to remotely control a robot might sound like science fiction, but it's a reality that Motorola (NYSE: MOT) and Flashline will demonstrate on a LEGO(R) MINDSTORMS(TM) robot at the JavaOne(SM) Developer Conference. The companies have combined the power of wireless technology, Java(TM) development and reusable software components to develop the ultimate wirelessly controlled robot. The companies will demonstrate this achievement in the Flashline booth (#1622) June 4-8 at San Francisco's Moscone Center.

    This demonstration will show how a Motorola i50sx handset with Java technology and "always on" Internet access can be used to remotely control a LEGO MINDSTORMS robot using a component-based application running on the phone. Users can remotely send commands from the Motorola i50sx phone through the Internet to the robot, which will dance, clap its hands, wag its tail, and move around in response. Both the handset and the application use Java(TM) 2 Platform, Micro Edition (J2ME(TM)) technology. The reusable Java-based software components used in this application can be leveraged in other programs, saving developers considerable time by not having to write the software from scratch.


    Tech watch: Robotics is a fast-growing field with big opportunities

    Sunday, June 3, 2001

    Robotics is moving into its next growth phase. Last year, the industrial robot market totaled $1.4 billion, compared with $615 million in 1995. The United States ranks third in robot sales, behind Japan and Western European countries (Germany leads). But, according to the Robotics Industries Association, the use of robots in the electronics industry should grow an average of 35 percent a year over the next several years.

    There are four categories of robotics. The first and largest category is industrial robots used in manufacturing industries for welding, painting and feeding components into machines. These robots are programmable, but not smart. If something goes wrong and an assembly line breaks down, the robots keep moving, accomplishing nothing.

    The second group is personal robots, most of which are expensive high-tech toys. Honda Motor Co. sells Robopal, a 2-foot-tall home security robot that patrols your home, walks up and down stairs and senses danger with ultraviolet sensors.

    The third area is the medical field. T.J. Tarn, director of the Center for Robotics and Automation at Washington University in St. Louis, said one of the most exciting recent developments is the use of robots in surgery. Surgical robots can do everything from tying sutures to moving cameras on voice commands.