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Jason Falconer

Mantis, built by Matt Denton of Micromagic Systems, is the largest operational hexapod in ...

The term mad scientist gets thrown around quite a bit, but in the case of one Matt Denton it most certainly applies. His company, Micromagic Systems, has been working steadily over the past four years to design and build a walking robot that's big enough to carry a human passenger. The resulting beast is described as "the biggest, all-terrain operational hexapod robot in the world."  Read More

Close-up: dramatic lighting enhances the look of Activision R&D's real-time character

GDC 2013 (Game Developers Conference) wraps up today after a week of presentations and late night parties. There have been some impressive tech demos shown, like Kojima Productions' FOX engine running Metal Gear Solid 5, but what really got people talking is Activision R&D's latest attempt at photorealistic characters. Check out the lifelike skin and eye shading in the uncanny video after the break.  Read More

Dr. Guero's hobby robot kit balances on nail-like stilts on a park bench

When it comes to the diminutive robot kits you find at hobby stores, most have what can only be described as a primitive sense of balance. If, however, you happen to be an expert roboticist like Dr. Guero (aka Masahiko Yamaguchi), then it's surprising how much can be squeezed out of these pet projects with the right programming. His latest trick is to have his robot balance on a pair of nail-like stilts, which you can see it do after the break.  Read More

The quick body movements of sparring martial artists are tracked by The Captury's software...

Actors may soon say good-bye to those humbling Lycra body suits commonly used in the visual effects industry, thanks to a group of researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Informatics (MPII). They've formed a start-up called The Captury that is set to deliver its proprietary markerless motion capture software later this year. Their software can even capture a costume's surface detail in three dimensions, like the draping folds in a ballroom dress.  Read More

XEMNES, a hobby robot controlled with the 8-bit Nintendo / Famicom pad In a move that brings back memories of the R.O.B. (Robotic Operating Buddy) that was available for the original Nintendo Entertainment System, Japanese hobbyist Izumi Ninagawa has simplified the controls of a modern fighting robot to work with a Famicom (8-bit NES) game pad – which has one of the most basic button configurations around. The NES-styled robot even competed in a robot boxing tournament earlier this year.  Read More

Hitachi's ROPITS' navigation system combines GPS, stereo cameras, and multiple laser range...

Toyota, Honda, and General Motors have been toying with the concept of eco-friendly single-seater urban vehicles over the past few years, and Hitachi has taken notice. Although it may look like a miniature car, Hitachi's ROPITS is more like a robotic wheelchair designed to assist people with difficulty walking (i.e. Japan's growing elderly population). The key difference is that – unlike the concept vehicles demonstrated by the auto makers – ROPITS drives itself.  Read More

Researchers at UPenn's GRASP Lab have replicated how a bird of prey grasps objects mid-fli...

Here's something you don't see everyday: a Micro Unmanned Aerial vehicle (MAV) that can grab objects on the fly with all the elegance of an eagle snatching a fish from the water's surface. Although MAVs and UAVs are increasingly being equipped to pick up, transport, and drop off payloads, we've never seen this incredibly precise form of grasping on the fly replicated – until now.  Read More

People in the foreground (marked in red) are removed from video footage of two musicians

In a development sure to send conspiracy theorists into a tizzy, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics (MPII) have developed video inpainting software that can effectively delete people or objects from high-definition footage. The software analyzes each video frame and calculates what pixels should replace a moving area that has been marked for removal. In a world first, the software can compensate for multiple people overlapped by the unwanted element, even if they are walking towards (or away from) the camera. See the incredible video demonstration after the break.  Read More

HERB brandishes a knife in a futile attempt to separate cookie from creme

The dream of an intelligent robot butler that can do the household chores may still be decades away, but a team of roboticists at Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute is doing their part to make it a reality. HERB – the Home Exploring Robotic Butler – is one of dozens of robots to come out of CMU's Personal Robotics lab, and its latest trick is separating Oreo cookies in a response to Nabisco's Cookie vs. Creme challenge.  Read More

A 3D-printed vase showcases the large build envelope of the Gigabot, re:3D's large format ...

The list of personal 3D printers got bigger today with the successful launch of re:3D's Gigabot on Kickstarter, which raised more than US$40,000 in a couple of days. With so many options to choose from already flooding the market, re:3D decided to go big or go home, resulting in what it calls a "large format" 3D printer that can output more objects in a single batch and much larger individual pieces.  Read More

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