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UAVs were some of the most talked about robots of 2012

The U.S. military's drones – or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) – were probably the most talked about robots of 2012. Every other week it seemed there was some story or other that grabbed headlines around the world, giving them a rather nasty reputation. However, robotics technology is about much more than just killing machines and here are ten noteworthy examples from the past year that prove it.  Read More

Diego-san, an expressive infant robot developed for UCSD's Machine Perception Lab, makes f...

A new android infant has been born thanks to the University of California San Diego's Machine Perception Lab. The lab received funding from the National Science Foundation to contract Kokoro Co. Ltd. and Hanson Robotics, two companies that specialize in building lifelike animatronics and androids, to build a replicant based on a one year old baby. The resulting robot, which has been a couple of years in development, has finally been completed – and you can watch it smile and make cute faces after the break.  Read More

The University of Zurich’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory is building a robot toddler ...

If robots are going to be part of our everyday lives, they’ll need to fit into our homes rather than the factory floor. Few people would be comfortable living with a metal spider on tank treads, so the University of Zurich’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (AI Lab) is building a robot toddler called “Roboy.” Using “soft robotics” technology that mimics the human body, the 1.2 meter (3 ft, 11 in) tall humanoid robot is part of an effort to make robots that people are more comfortable with in day-to-day situations.  Read More

RoboBuilder's RQ-TITAN, optimized for RoboCup soccer's larger 'TeenSize' division, kicks a...

Let's say you're interested in acquiring a large bipedal robot. Commercial options, like Kawada Industries' HRP-4 and KAIST's HUBO cost upwards of US$300K and $400K respectively. Those could break the bank, and building one from scratch is an expensive and time-consuming process in itself. Now Korean robotics company RoboBuilder is offering a pre-built solution that's one-tenth the cost of those robots, and at approximately three feet tall is big enough to compete in RoboCup soccer's "TeenSize" division.  Read More

The University of Tokyo's JSK Lab have developed what could be considered the world's most...

Most human-like robots don't even attempt biological accuracy, because replicating every muscle in the body isn't necessary for a functional humanoid. Even biomimetic robots based on animals don't attempt to replicate every anatomical detail of the animals they imitate, because that would needlessly complicate things. That said, there is much to be learned from how muscle groups move and interact with the skeleton, which is why a team at Tokyo University's JSK Lab has developed what could be considered the world's most anatomically correct robot to date.  Read More

The Kibo robot project will send a small humanoid robot to the ISS in the summer of 2013

Originally announced in early 2011, a small humanoid robot will be sent to communicate with astronauts living in the International Space Station's Japanese Experiment Module "Kibo" in the (Northern Hemisphere) summer of 2013. The robot will feature speech recognition and natural language processing technology developed by Toyota, while delivering twitter and voice messages from Earth to Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata.  Read More

Honda's HEARBO can distinguish between four different types of sound simultaneously

A team led by Kazuhiro Nakadai at Honda Research Institute-Japan (HRI-JP) is improving how robots process and understand sound. The robot, aptly called HEARBO (HEARing roBOt), can parse four sounds (including voices) at once, and can tell where the sounds are coming from. The system, called HARK, could allow future robot servants to better understand verbal commands from several meters away.  Read More

The complete Robi robot can be assembled from parts that come with each magazine issue

The Japanese arm of De Agostini, an Italian-based publishing house known worldwide for magazines that drip feed buyers model components on a weekly basis, has chosen something a bit different for its latest offering. Instead of the traditional model car or boat, the company is letting subscribers build their own robot. After 70 issues, which cost JPY¥1,990 (US$25) apiece, buyers will have a fully assembled Robi that stands 13.4 inches (34 cm) tall and weighs just 2.2 pounds (1 kg).  Read More

Hinamitetu's Horizontal Bar Gymnast Robot 'sticks' a perfect landing

After years of trial and error, a Japanese hobbyist has built a gymnast robot that can perform a somersault off a horizontal bar in his living room and stick the landing. The man, who goes by the handle Hinamitetu on YouTube, built the first version of the robot out of boredom after being laid off from a job back in 2010. Since then, the robot has gone through twelve revisions. Although somewhat crudely made, the robot incorporates sensors to automatically clamp onto the bar, and an accelerometer to determine when to let go.  Read More

CIROS intelligently slices a cucumber with a kitchen knife

Researchers from the Korean Institute of Science and Technology's (KIST) Center for Intelligent Robotics (CIR) demonstrated their household service robot, CIROS, at Robot World 2012. CIROS, the third version of the robot since development began in 2005, is intended to help out around the home by performing simple chores. You can watch it prepare a salad by slicing a cucumber and adding dressing in the video after the break.  Read More

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