Space. The Final Frontier. These are (or will be) the voyages of a star-shipped robot. Its mission of some unspecified duration: to chat up the astronauts:
"Russia was the first to go outer space, the U.S. was the first to go to the moon, we want Japan to be the first to send a robot-astronaut to space that can communicate with humans."
Quick! Somebody give Robonaut a working mouth!
Japan's Kirobo spacebot performs on video, and piles more robots performing on video: welcome to Video Friday, humans.
Kirobo is not that big and not that strong, but since everything is weightless up there, he should end up just as capable as Robonaut, right?
SparkFun's 2013 Autonomous Vehicle Competition (AVC) looks like it was a huge success, and an equally huge amount of fun. It's amazing what is now possible with DIY autonomous UAVs and UGVs:
[ SparkFun AVC ]
I am not a golfer. I have trouble taking the game seriously when you have such gigantic courses for such a tiny ball. This is what it takes to get me to watch golf:
The 2013 RoboCup competition is underway right now, and Tech United is on the ball with video of some amazing Middleweight competition:
[ Tech United ]
[ RoboCup 2013 ]
Here's an update on AUVSI's Student Unmanned Air Systems (SUAS) 2013 competition:
[ AUVSI ]
I'm not sure how much smaller you can get than a robot that's made out of DNA. Why is it a robot? It can be programmed to deliver a payload to a specific cell:
[ Harvard ]
Another older video that's still worth a revisit are Harvard's TERMES termite-inspired robots:
[ Harvard ]
There's a reason this robot is called Last Rites:
Personally, I'd like to see Last Rites fight Blendo. From behind several layers of plexiglass.
For the record, here is the wrong way to go about poking a humanoid robot with a stick:
[ CMU ]
Project Thunderball. This is just awesome.
The goal here is to recreate the portion of the movie "Thunderball" Where Sean Connery as 007 uses a Jetpack to escape the men chasing him. To achieve this, a super-size quad-copter had to be created to deal with the weight of a mannequin (in this case a very special 2.2lb one). This custom copter is based on the multiwii open source project. It can hover for 8 minutes delivering 1KW+ to the 4 motors. A floating brick in the sky, when not pulling mannequins, it can deliver pizza or 6-packs. There is work to do, the 3D mag heading calibration needs adjustment. Sean needs a face and helmet. Also a decorative jetpack will complete the look. Altitude regulation is not handled well by a barometer, so sonar will be added to the control loop.
Via [ Hackaday ]
Firefighting is one of those dangerous tasks that robots have the potential to be very effective at. As long as you can keep them from accidentally spraying you with water, of course:
[ Purdue ]
How about we end the week with another big fat robot documentary from NHK: "Will Machines Surpass Humans?" Protip: whenever a question is asked in a title, the answer is almost always "of course not." But it's worth watching anyway!
Via [ Robots Dreams ]