DigInfo : PC and Phone Controlled Walking Robot

DigInfo : PC and Phone Controlled Walking Robot
“PC and Phone Controlled Walking Robot”
System Akazawa has demonstrated PLEN, a small bipedal walking robot 23cm tall and 700g in weight, using a Macbook Pro. Also controllable using a USB connected PC or Bluetooth-enabled cellphone handset from mobile phone carrier au, the robot has 18 diarthrodial (or freely moveable) joints. In addition to more than 20 preset movements, the user can make new ones using its Windows XP-based motion editor. PLEN can also roller-skate with an attached roller-skating unit. Other attachable accessories include a NiMH-6075 battery pack, a battery charger, and a USB cable. A digital servo and other accessories come available as options. The battery lasts about 25 minutes. System Akazawa has already started accepting online orders for the bipedal walking robot, which went into sale in July. The price is set at 262,500 yen. For the initial round, the company is limited to taking 50 orders with.

Child robot makes debut

The Yomiuri Shimbun

A child-sized android stands up with assistance.

A child-sized android with flexible joints and soft skin developed by the Japan Science and Technology Agency was unveiled Friday at Osaka University, where the agency’s research and development team is based.
The 1.3-meter-tall, 33 kilogram humanoid robot has optical, auditory and tactile sensors. Fifty-one actuators inside its body run on compressed air and enable the robot to make complex movements smoothly.
About 200 tactile sensors are embedded in the robot’s gray skin, which is made of silicon and other materials. The robot can react to its surroundings by blinking and altering its facial expressions.
The robot, which has the physical ability of a 1- or 2-year-old toddler, can turn over and stand up with assistance.
At the news conference Friday, the humanoid moved its hands and feet and turned its eyes.
Its name is CB2, an abbreviation of Child-Robot with Biomimetic Body.


Vivid on-line videos demonstrate Superbot progress
Vivid on-line videos demonstrate Superbot progress
Credit: USC Information Sciences Institute
Wei-Min Shen of the University of Southern California’s Information Sciences Institute recently reported to NASA significant progress in developing ‘SuperBot,’ identical modular units that plug into each other to create robots that can stand, crawl, wiggle and even roll. He illustrated his comments with striking video of the system in action, video now posted on line.




Flytech Dragonfly
You can order the Flytech Dragonfly online at Radio Shack’s web site. Radio Shack currently has exclusive distribution for the Dragonfly but reports indicate that other retailers will be selling it too some time in the near future.
* Flaps its wings like a bug and does not use propellers for main thrust

* Flying time on a single battery charge is about 10 minutes. Unlike the other WowWee robots the battery can be recharged using the bug’s internal charger

* The remote control uses six AA batteries and is also used to recharge the bug which takes about 15 minutes

* It can be used indoors or outdoors and has an approximate range well over 100 feet.

* The controller has two modes, one for beginners and experts. A good guess is that in expert mode you have more control over the nuances of flying the bug than you do in beginner mode, but it is probably harder to fly.

* Requires 6 AA batteries

* Comes with two sets of spare wings and on spare propeller for the tiny propeller used for trim at the end of its tail.