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The teleoperation system created by Taylor Veltrop lets him remotely groom his cat

The Kinectimals video game lets players pet a virtual pet on their TV screen, but Tokyo-based software engineer Taylor Veltrop has gone one step further. By pairing a Kinect sensor, a Wiimote, a treadmill and a Nao humanoid robot together, Veltrop has cobbled together a teleoperation system that allows him to groom his real life feline friend remotely.  Read More

France's FRAC Center is hosting an exhibition built entirely by flying robots

We were pretty impressed by the potential of these flying robots when we first covered this story in late November. Now the FRAC Centre in Orléans, France has released a video of the robot swarm in action during its current exhibition. Titled "Flight Assembled Architecture," the live installation showcases a fleet of quadrocopters building a six meter-high tower made up of 1,500 prefabricated polystyrene foam modules.  Read More

The six limbs, symmetrically spaced at 60-degree intervals around its body, give the Aster...

Fans of the sci-fi film Minority Report will no doubt recall the autonomous insect-like searcher robots deployed to find Tom Cruise's character mid-way through the flick. While not as elegant (or sinister) as its film counterparts, the Asterisk robot being developed by the Arai Robotics Lab at Osaka University in Japan does an excellent job of resembling a big, mechanical bug with some interesting skills. After over six years of development, this unusual "limb-mechanism" robot now boasts an impressive array of functions that may soon find it performing vital tasks in numerous areas of society, including search and rescue.  Read More

Roboden electrical cable stretches like human skin

Researchers from Japanese company Asahi Kasei Fibers have developed what is claimed to be the world's first elastic electric cable. Inspired by the extensibility of human skin, the Roboden cable has been initially designed as a wiring solution for humanoid robots and wearable electronics. The stretchy cable could also find its way into personal electronics in the form of power cords or USB data cables.  Read More

RoboBiker speeds along on its mini-bike (Photo: DigInfo.tv)

Riding a bike can be challenging enough for humans, so seeing inventor Masahiko Yamaguchi's remote-controlled miniature robot tooling along on an equally miniature bicycle is quite a thrill.  Read More

The new ASIMO making the Japanese sign language symbol for 'I love you'

Ask anyone what their favorite real-life robot is, and chances are the majority will say “That one made by Honda, that looks like an astronaut.” They will be referring, of course, to ASIMO. The self-balancing, walking bipedal robot is actually the latest in a long line of similar Honda robots, that began in 1986 with one named EO. The company has also created several versions of ASIMO itself, along with multiple copies of each, to the point that there are currently over 100 individual ASIMO robots in existence. Well, as of today, none of those can any longer be considered state-of-the-art. The newly-named Honda Robotics group has unveiled the latest and greatest ASIMO, that sports several new features over its predecessors – including the ability to act autonomously.  Read More

Foxconn's parent company, Taiwan-registered Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., is getting int...

The world's industrial robotics industry will get considerably larger in the near future as Taiwan-registered Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (best known as Foxconn) has announced plans to begin building industrial robots. Its initial plans of building one million industrial robots for its own purposes will nearly double the number of industrial robots in the world (currently The International Federation of Robotics puts that number at 1,095,000). Foxconn is best known as the largest exporter in China, the assembler/manufacturer of Apple's iPad and iPhone and for the extraordinarily high suicide rate of its employees.  Read More

A curious observer watches the biped walk on a treadmill (Photo: Diginfo.tv)

Creating systems that are energy autonomous is a key goal in the development of robotics, and this new walking prototype from Japan's Nagoya Institute of Technology (NIT) is a big step in the right direction. To some, calling this device a robot may be a bit of a stretch, especially since it lacks electricity, motors or computers of any kind, but its entry into the Guinness Book of Records last year shows it can certainly go the distance with its weight as the only motive force.  Read More

Boston Dynamics has released a video of its bipedal humanoid PETMAN robot, performing a va...

If you were tasked with testing clothing that was designed to protect soldiers from chemical weapons, it goes without saying that you wouldn't dress an actual person up in those clothes, then fire chemicals at them. If you just put those clothes on an inanimate mannequin, however, it wouldn't provide any information on how effective those clothes were when in motion, or in a wide variety of body positions. Well, that's where Boston Dynamics' PETMAN (Protection Ensemble Test Mannequin) humanoid robot comes in. The self-balancing clothes-testing machine can walk, run, crouch, and even do push-ups. Today, PETMAN's creators released the first-ever public video of the robot being put through its paces - and it's pretty impressive.  Read More

HyQ the Hydraulically actuated Quadruped robot (Photo: IIT)

HyQ is the Italian cousin of Boston Dynamics' DARPA-funded BigDog. Under development at Istituto Italiano Di Tecnologia (IIT) by a group of researchers led by Professor Darwin Caldwell, this Hydraulically actuated Quadruped robot is being groomed to navigate rough terrain, jump and run at speeds up to 15 km/h (9 mph). Unlike Boston Dynamics' quadrupeds, HyQ is not a heavy-payload machine designed strictly for military applications. Instead, the robot could be used in rescue missions, on construction sites, for forestry applications and whenever there is a need to access areas not easily accessible to ordinary machines. However, before HyQ becomes part of the everyday landscape, it has another important role to play as an open source research platform.  Read More

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