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Picking fruit 21st century style

March 26, 2009 When consuming your five a day of fruit and vegetables, have you ever stopped to consider the back breaking labor and significant resources involved in their production? According to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratories (CSAIL), the robotic, computerized answer to minimizing these factors could be just around the corner. Students at the laboratory have undertaken a project that utilizes robots to take the thinking and manual labor out of producing specialty crops such as fruit and vegetables.  Read More

Unmanned Underwater Vehicle to operate from the torpedo tubes of U.S. Navy Submarines

April 6, 2006 We’ve all held our breath in the movies as the submarine with the good guys in it slides between the mines, touching a chain here and there to heighten the drama. In the future, that scenario will need to be rewritten as it’s likely that an unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) will be fired from the torpedo tubes well in advance of a minefield and scope out exactly where the mines are. Make that the not-too-distant future because Boeing is already into a second round of at-sea tests of its Long-term Mine Reconnaissance System (LMRS). The LMRS is a 20-foot UUV designed to be launched, torpedo-style, from Los Angeles- and Virginia-class submarines and can survey the murky waters ahead for up to 60 hours. Originally planned for use in detecting tethered and bottom mines, the vehicle is designed to gather data and, upon completion, to home and dock to the submarine's 60-foot robotic arm for recovery back through the torpedo launch tube, enabling operators to retrieve data collected and prepare the vehicle for another launch. The vehicle's intelligence gathering capabilities have been sequentially tested and validated.  Read More

Robotics toys get very intelligent.

July 26, 2005 As computer chips get more powerful and cheaper at an exponential rate, we’re going to see toys, cars, shoes, hats and even door knobs becoming surprisingly intelligent. How intelligent? Meet Amazing Amanda. Amanda is a 21” interactive doll that utilises voice recognition, sensory technology and articulated animatronics, so she can play the role of a baby girl more authentically than you’d have thought possible. Like a real toddler, Amanda can show the whole gamut of human emotions including laughing and crying and after an initial five minute bonding session (AKA voice recognition induction session) she even recognises her own ‘mother’s’ voice and responds differently to mum compared with strangers! Amanda can talk, respond to questions and loves to play games and sing songs! She interacts with her food, potty and hair accessories, knows when she is being fed, having her hair brushed and can be programmed to wake at the same time every morning to act as a pseudo alarm clock. She remembers mothers day, birthdays and through realistic animatronics, shows her feelings in her facial movements and voice responses. Does this sound like science fiction? Amazing Amanda hits the shelves in the US, UK and Australia next month with a retail price in the vicinity of US$100.  Read More

Evolution Robotics unveils New ER2 Personal Robot

Evolution Robotics has introduced the ER2 multi-purpose personal robot to showcase its new Evolution Robotics Software Platform (ERSP) which features a new control architecture, breakthrough vision and navigation software components. Evolution Robotics has introduced the ER2 multi-purpose personal robot to showcase its new Evolution Robotics Software Platform (ERSP) which features a new control architecture, breakthrough vision and navigation software components.  Read More

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