Sound-Machines: Computer-Robot-Played Instruments

Sound-Machines made by Festo came play by 2007. The composition is very interesting and was made by Elena-Kats Chernin. Music that touches the borders of experimental, pop-appeal and classical music. Music for robots is, what I think, a very interesting opportunity to enhance the level of computer-based music.

A similar work from the artworld is the computer-played band by Jeremy Boyle. The example showed here is playing the guitar with picks and switches.

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Tags: music, homebrew, sound, sculpture, art, festo, germany, pneumatic
Apr_11:2008 .020200 Comments(0)

Phun - Physics and Artificial Life Simulator

Phun is an interesting software project, that was made by Emil Ernerfeldt. It is some kind of "create and play" suite for making experiments with the physics engine. You got basic elements to play with, and as you can imagine, you also can model robots and artificial life with it. I definitely like the idea of modeling creatures like the above, that uses locomotion and gravity to walk. Emil Ennerfeld reached hid Master of Science degree with this program at the VRLab, Umeå University, Sweden.

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Tags: toy, play, artificial-life, physics, tool, software, sweden
Apr_10:2008 .020200 Comments(3)

Mesicopters

At the Aircraft Aerodynamics and Design Group at the Stanford University I found a image archive web page dedicated to Mesicopters. I'll bet that this one will freak on all of your inspiration. Mesicopters are extreme small helicopters, mostly with four rotors. They can fly and should also be able to do some kind of networked swarm-robotics. At least this concept should not be too difficult to realize, in order to make practical jokes to your neighbors. =)


Example for a mesicopter

Tags: mesicopter, swarm, inspiration, homebrew
Apr_07:2008 .020200 Comments(0)

Micromagic Hexapod has Learned to Draw

The Hexapod V5 from Micromagic slowly grew into my heart. It got an update and with it the ability to draw and even write. He made the shift from being a simple exhibit to becoming a mate.

More Hexapod V5 on Eggshell Robotics here and here.

Tags: hexapod, micromagic, play, mate, cute, indie-labs, walk
Apr_07:2008 .020200 Comments(2)

Robots at Play: Atron Modular Robot

I highly recommend some lingering at the website of the Robots of Play Festival from Denmark. My finding of the day is the ATRON, an extreme good looking modular robot. As you can guess, this is research wonderland. That means: ugly websites with less information, just technical papers and ill-colored PowerPoints. Unless you want it: check this article on the Atron at New Scientist and check out a PowerPoint on it with the basic concept and some pictures. The Atron is - as far as I can see - a brainchild by Hendrik Lund, professor at the University of Southern Denmark. He understands his modular robot as an advanced toys: something like the AIBO, but far more advanced.


Each module has its own computer and communicates via infrared connections

The Festival in Denmark looks really good. The Danish people seem to set the focus just right on robots and play - something we are also heavily into.

Tags: play, festival, modular, demark, swarm
Apr_05:2008 .020200 Comments(0)

Column on Robotics at Phlow.net

For all German readers out there. Phlow.net released a column where I was co-author. It deals with the current cultural change and the state-of-the-art of home-robotics. If you condense all this into one article you will notice that lots of things going on at present. And they all will crawl out of the research-labs one sunny day!

The text is called "Schöne neue Roboterwelt". Have fun reading it!

Tags: independent labs, small-scale, cultural shift, culture, living-with-robots, play
Apr_04:2008 .020200 Comments(0)

Sad, Sad Robot: MIT's builds Nexi

MIT Media Lab is coming again. This time they started to build a new robotic platform, called MDS. It stands for "Mobile, Dexterous and Social". The new Robot they built has the name Nexi. His biggest power is the expression of emotion with his funny plasticface. He got two arms and foot that look a little bit like a Segway.

People at MIT can imagine that the Nexi will be next flagship-project at social robotics to care for the elderly. Maybe Nexi will participate at the Socially Situated Robot Learning project, that is suited for human-robot interaction learning. A very topic of our time. What at least qualifies him is, that he is good at looking sad and wise. And maybe that's the most important skill for being a good robot.

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Tags: mit, social, research, living-with-robots, care
Apr_03:2008 .020200 Comments(0)

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