The Gakken Kagaku No Tamago UFO Robots

Japanese is not my first language, that's why am mot able to follow all things from japan correctly. But it seems, that Gakken is an "educational" toy-manufacturer, that does cool stuff with electronics. This sound-reactive toy-bot for example (or look at the Gakken SX-150 synth on Digital Tools).

This toy-bots, called the "Kagaku No Tamago UFO Robots", have a inhabitant inside, that comes creeping out its home and making a little fan-dance. The package of this bot is also a drum (!!), with that you can give commands to the robot. Sound-reactive. Versatile.

PS: I totally get freaked out on Gakken. Just found this wonderful jewel from the 1970 on Wikipedia!

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Tags: indoor, play, sound, reactive, gakken, toy
Feb_23:2009 .020200 Comments(0)

Sleep Dealer - Sundance Winner

It seems that finally a new visionary movie has arrived, that seems to be worth watching: Sleep Dealer. Especially the remote controlled / telepresence robots look cool.

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Tags: robots, cyberpunk, movie, vision, telepresence
Feb_22:2009 .020200 Comments(0)

Robot "reads" autistic children

I am not sure, what to think about this robot. It is a robot, designed to interpret and give help to autistic children. It analyzes parameters like physical activity, heart-rate and temperature and should be able to play with the children and make them learn social skills (the children, not the robots!). Developed by a professor of mechanical engineering at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee this robots gives the promise, that it is eventually better in understanding people with the autistic disorder, than people.

Nilanjan Sarkar researched on measuring physical parameters and humans and is interested enhancing the robot-human interaction. A relative of Sarkar was diagnosed an autistic disorder, so the idea for this robot was born. Rumours say, that everyone should like "Metal Mickey".

He found the physiological data gathered could be used to develop an affective model for each individual that was able to predict emotional states of liking, anxiety and engagement with an accuracy of better than 80 per cent. Even better, he showed that this information can be used in real time to alter the game configuration in ways that significantly increase the children's degree of engagement.

Since I totally have nothing against playing and interacting with robots, I somehow think that the concept of this robot is somehow disturbing. I can't tell exactly what it is. Maybe it's the promise, that this robot will be better in understanding humans with disorders, that other humans could do. On the other side this one could be a helping hand, if the stress levels once again got too high, and especially children like to play. Even with robots.

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Tags: care-o-bot, indoor, homebot, surveillence, play
Feb_19:2009 .020200 Comments(1)

UNITX: Urban robotic delivery system

Well, visions at hand. Vienna artist Michael Marcovici made an interesting design for an "urban delivery system", that is capable of driving in every of out four directions with the speed of 50 km/h (kilometer per hours), as well as delivery good at this speed. In the words of the artist, it will "change the way our economy works today". The so called logibots move in underground tunnels in larger urban areas. In these corridors the logibots are traveling and transporting goods from house to house. The can stack up to 4 boxes with dimensions of 60x60x45 cm. The best things are still to come in this whole concept:

Deliveries will only take 20 minutes on average, no packaging is required, special logibots could offer cooling or freezing services, X-Ray or bomb detection. The implementation of UNITX could change the economy dramatically, the repairing and borrowing of goods will be much easier, and logistics and warehousing would undergo fundamental changes as well; also, the relation between producer and customer could be enhanced radically, with UNITX holding potential for a completely new dimension of service on a much more personal and individual level.

UNITX means United networks international transport exchange and it looks extremely cool.

There are also many other interesting projects on the site from Michael, like giant "Free Tibet" neonlights, that are "Made in China".

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Tags: urban, city, transport, outdoor, austria, art
Feb_17:2009 .020200 Comments(0)

Lego Contraption machine

Well done!!

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Tags: lego, contraption, play, indoor, toy, video
Feb_14:2009 .020200 Comments(0)

Old Glory Robot Insurance

If robots are taking over, there are new things to consider. Insurance, for example. Watch this visionary satire of a TV-commercial on the "Old Glory Robot Insurance". It is from 1995 and made for Saturday Night Live.

"What about robots?" - "Oh, they are everywhere."

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Tags: living-with-robots, insurance
Feb_11:2009 .020200 Comments(0)

Van Rijn: Drawing Etch-A-Sketch robot

A beautiful homebrew robot was made by Let's Make Robots user Ken “BaseOverApex” McMullan. It is reported that this bot is still inspired by the Let's make Robots writing challenge, where you had to build robots that are able to write. The design is very straightforward and utilizes a miniature etch-a-sketch and two motors. Like Ken wrote, the etch-a-sketch is somehow more a "analogue vector-based output device". Word up!

With a custom build software he can write and draw different things. Even portraits are possible - or blanking the whole screen. See all pictures at the robot site. The robot got a strange sounding name "van Rijn". I think this comes from the artist Rembrand van Rijn.

Tags: draw, writing, art, creative, etch-a-sketch, lmr
Feb_08:2009 .020200 Comments(0)

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