We're busy packing for ICRA, but not too busy to provide you with a fun-filled video Friday, filled with fun. And a robotic butt. And a spacecraft trying to escape from a rocket test. And a robotic butt. And dancing and baseball. And did we mention that there's a robotic butt? Because there's totally a robotic butt.
First, a VERY IMPORTANT Public Service Announcement:
To learn more, check out Daniel H. Wilson's excellent book, How to Survive a Robot Uprising. It's Keepon approved!
Via [ Neatorama ]
Robots just don't seem to do that well when it comes to major league baseball, at least as far as everyone in Philadelphia is concerned. UPenn's PhillieBot wasn't especially impressive last year, and now Drexel's HUBO humanoid is responsible for this monstrosity of a pitch:
C'mon guys, you're making us look bad!
Via [ MLB ]
Well, I suppose it was only a matter of time before someone invented a pair of interactive robot buttocks. This is probably safe for work, it's just one of the weirdest things you'll see in a long, long time.
In case you were wondering, this is the work of Nobuhiro Takahashi and the University of Electro-Communications in Japan.
Via [ Kokatu ]
Plastic Pals found this incredible video of a transforming robot that actually transforms from a (fully operational) car to a (fully operational) humanoid and back again:
If you've ever wanted to see a PR2 embarrass itself, here's your chance:
Don't miss Another One Bytes the Dust, either.
This PR2 is spending its weekend at The Tech Museum in San Jose, letting kids interactively program the robot in the same way that we saw back at the Robot Block Party.
Via [ Willow Garage ]
Cocorobo is yet another very expensive and suspiciously Roomba-looking vacuum from Asia, with yet another suite of, uh, unique features thrown in, including remote control, voice recognition, and something about emotions:
Apparently, if you talk to this vacuum every day, that puts it in a "good mood," which is expressed by changes in movement. That's great, I guess, but does it make the robot any better at vacuuming my floors?
Via [ DigInfo ]
This may be a video on how not to flya robotic spacecraft, but as far as testing a robotic spacecraft goes, this is (sort of) exactly what you want to have happen:
[ Project Morpheus ]
Evan Ackerman is a senior editor at IEEE Spectrum. Since 2007, he has written over 6,000 articles on robotics and technology. He has a degree in Martian geology and is excellent at playing bagpipes.