DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) Begins

The DARPA robotics challenge aims to jump start the development of humanoid robots that can do dangerous tasks that right now can only be performed by a human. DRC will provide funding for the participating teams and an expected $2 million prize to the winning team.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is part of the United States Department of Defense and is charged with promoting development of new technology that can aid the military.

The DARPA Grand Challenge of 2004, 2005, and 2007 offered $1 million and $2 million prizes for cars that could drive themselves and led to the development of the Google Self Driving car.

Visit DARPA Robotics Challenge web site

humanoid robot photo

Living with Robots

Yesterday at the Sundance Film Festival Honda debuted”Living with Robots” a short documentary and the sixth installment in its series “Dream the Impossible”.

This film talks about how far Honda has come with its humanoid robot ASIMO (Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility) in the past twenty years

When the ASIMO program started, creating a biped walking robot seemed an impossible task. Today ASIMO walks well, although it will certainly improve as time goes on.

Honda’s focus has now shifted toward the Artificial Intellegence aspect and is working hard on making ASIMO smarter.

Watch the film here.

ASIMO Humanoid Robot

Visit us a roslyn-robot.com

Honda Asimo Robots Work as a Team

My last post was news about Toyota’s violin playing robot, today we get news from Honda that their Asimo robots have been made more intelligent, and two can work together as a team. Was this news released in response to Toyota’s robot getting so much press? I don’t know, but things seem to be heating up.

Anyway, here is the scoop from Honda

Two of Honda’s Asimo Robots working together

Although Honda’s Asimo robot first appeared in 2000, it is the latest in a series of constantly evolving models, which began with the E0 over twenty years ago

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Toyota Unveils Personal Robots

Toyota expects to have a new line of robots available for use sometime shortly after 2010. It sees a future for these robots in elder care, hospitals, industry and homes.

Toyota plans to open a robotics research facility next year, and double the number of engineers that is has working on robotics over the next three years.

During a presentation for the press last week, Toyota’s new violin playing humanoid robot performed.

Have a look

They have several other models. One that I think is cool is the rolling model. It is a humanoid like robot, although it has two wheels  instead of legs. It is able to balance on the wheels, scurry quickly around the factory floor and use its arms to pick things up and carry them.

Toyota two wheeled humanoid robot

iSobot “World’s Smallest Humanoid Robot”

Is iSobot a toy? Maybe, I don’t really think it is going to simplify your life. You can however control it via an included remote, and chain commands together and record them to make the iSobot perform.  It is certainly entertaining.

It can balance on one leg, and if you knock it down it can almost always get back up. It has 17 servo motors (I think), and some voice recognition capability

iSobot

At under $300 this makes a great gift.

The second half of this video will give you an idea of what this robot can do.

Want one?

You can get it here:  http://www.thinkgeek.com/geektoys/rc/9520/?cpg=61H