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The Automated Music Personality or A.M.P.

The semi-autonomous robotic boombox the Miuro has a new big brother. Tiger Electronics, a division of Hasbro Inc. has teamed up with Japanese distributor SEGA Toys to introduce the Automated Music Personality (A.M.P), a 2.4 feet (73 cm) tall black robot that can be hooked up to an MP3 player or iPod and bobs its head and dances while red LED lights on its head flash. The A.M.P. pumps out 12 watts of stereo sound through a 5" mid-range speaker and two high output tweeters while more boom can be added to any song with the dedicated bass boost button. The A.M.P. also features two turntable shaped hands that allow users to be the DJ and use A.M.P. as a virtual mixing deck. The touch pad hands serve as a way to layer different sound effects and scratches over the music with the left touch pad used to add music effects and the right touch pad controlling the audio.  Read More

Modular pipe robot

Scientists at SINTEF are working on a robot that can navigate inaccessible industrial pipes in order to check their condition, locate leakages, and clean the ventilation systems.  Read More

Sega's E.M.A. robot

Somewhat mysteriously dubbed E.M.A, or Eternal Maiden Actualization, this 38cm tall Sega robot was designed to look and move in a distinctly feminine manner, and can seek out nearby human faces for a kiss when in “love mode.”  Read More

Fin-propelled Robofish
 Photo: UW

Scientists at the University of Washington have created a sub-surface robot that uses fins instead of propellers, and is able to wirelessly communicate enough information to move in tandem with other units. The Robofish is roughly the size of a 10-pound salmon and will be used to track animals and map the bottom of the ocean.  Read More

iRobot announces entry into underwater vehicle market

Best known for its ventures in land-based military vehicles and home-helper robots, iRobot has now branched out into the autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) market. The company will commercialize "Seaglider" technology from the University of Washington, a system which assists civilian, academic and military personnel in taking oceanographic measurements at a lower cost than traditional research vessels or moored instruments.  Read More

Jumping microbot
 Photo: Alain Herzog/EPFL

Researchers at the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems at EPFL have developed a jumping robot inspired by the grasshopper. The 5cm model uses a 0.6-gram pager motor and a cam to charge two torsion springs, which trigger a jump from the robot’s 1.3mm carbon rod feet. The 7-gram robot can jump 4.6 feet (1.4 m), more than 27 times its body size, and ten times the distance of any existing jumping robot.  Read More

A toy that's not a toy - the SnoMote

May 28, 2008 Scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Pennsylvania State University are developing a hardy breed of autonomous robots designed to collect critical on-site data that will aid in the understanding of how climate change is effecting the world's ice sheets and therefore enable the creation of better climate models.  Read More

Panasonic's Evolta powered robot

May 26, 2008 Panasonic have sent a 17-centimeter tall, 130-gram robot up a 1738 foot (530m) length of rope suspended next to a 1640 foot (500m) cliff at the Grand Canyon. The PR stunt was designed to showcase the endurance of the Evolta AA alkaline battery, which the Guinness Book of World Records recently recognized as the longest-lasting of its kind. Powered by two Evoltas, the robot reached the top after 6 hours and 45 minutes.  Read More

Research team (left to right): Estibalitz Asua, Victor Etxebarria, Jorge Feuchtwanger and ...

Researchers at the University of the Basque Country have used ferromagnetic shape memory alloys to develop experimental devices that can position objects within an accuracy of 20 nanometers. The devices do not consume energy after being put in place, and have applications ranging from medical science to positioning mirrors in high-power telescopes.  Read More

Honda's Experimental Walking Assist Device

May 19, 2008 The future of wearable exoskeleton devices is not limited to military (or superhero) applications as this experimental walking device from Honda demonstrates. Shown last month at BARRIER FREE 2008 in Japan, the partial exoskeleton uses hip angle sensors and two flat brushless DC motors controlled by an on-board CPU to supplement natural walking movement.  Read More

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