Robots at Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart CEO Credits Consumers’ ‘Negotiating Power’ In Creating Savings

From the article:Those "hundreds of associates" will all be unemployed soon. It will be fascinating to see what happens as we enter the era of the completely robotic Wal-Mart. See Robots in 2015 for details.


World's smallest fuel cell

Toshiba Fuel Cell Certified as World's Smallest

Specs:For comparison, a AAA battery measures 45 mm x 10 mm in diameter and can deliver about one amp-hour (nice reference page)



Better battery breakthrough?


From the press release:If true, then this should do a lot to help robots, as well as laptops, PDAs, cell phones and electric cars. A 300% increase in battery life would be a huge breakthrough in an industry that normally sees only about a 5% increase each year.



Robotic limb replacements

Military aims for better limb replacements

From the article:The keys to better limbs are precise neural control, lots of small but strong motors and a small power source that can hold up all day. That will be a challenge given the amount of space available in a forearm, for example.



FIRST robotics competition

Last year I was able to go to the FIRST robotics competition in Atlanta. You can read my article on it Here. You can also learn more about FIRST, the robots and the annual competition in this 4-part video:Right about now, the teams of students for this year's competition are finishing their robots and packing them up for regional competitions. There are lots of press releases and news stories starting to surface.

The thing that is amazing about FIRST is that high school students are building highly mobile, articulate and rugged robotic chassis on shoestring budgets. And it is not "one or two" high school students -- it is thousands of them. And they are doing it on a 6-week timeline.

If you want to see videos on this year's challenge, go to this page and scroll down toward the bottom.

If you have a chance to go to the competition in Atlanta or one of the regional competitions, you should consider it. It is pretty amazing.

Here are some of the articles coming out right now on various FIRST teams:


Walking robots

Robot learns to walk like a human

From the article:With a nice photo. See also ASIMO



Humanoid Chassis

Introduction of Human Type Robot, “HUBO”

From the article: "It has 41 joints and motors all over its body allowing it various body movements." See also:


Surgery robots

Robot provides helping hand during prostate surgery

From the article:See also Robotic Surgeons.


Robotic spiders

Jumping spiders! These robots get around

From the article:See also Robotic surveillance.



Robots in the ocean

Technological revolutions in sensors, robotics, and telecommunications allow new views of ocean

From the article:



More on robotic soldiers

US robot troops to go into battle

From the article:That is the stated purpose. But later in the article the true reason comes down to jobs:There is no mention in the article about what will happen to the millions of soldiers and support personnel whose jobs will be completely eliminated by the flood of robots into the military. With this same process happening throughout the economy, it is very unclear what people will do for employment. See also:See also:



Robotic demolition

Hanging Robots to Help Demolish Gutted Tower

From the article:


Thought-controlled robots

Brain-controlled 'robo-arm' hope

From the article:


Walking robots

Rambling robots show human efficiency

From the article:One thing that the Robotic nation article points out is that the humanoid bodyform will be the preferred platform for robots. Part of that is human vanity, and part of it is the fact that the humanoid form makes it easier for robots to "fit in" to the human world -- they will be able to climb stairs, ride escalators, get in and out of trucks more easily, etc. Engineers will figure out things like walking, and then the price of the basic "humanoid chassis" will fall to the point where it is extremely inexpensive.

See also - ASIMO


Robotic platforms

Japan's Robot Developers Go Linux

From the article:

See also The robots are coming, the robots are coming . . ., which has a nice catalog of Linux-based robotic platforms.

See also - Open-platform humanoid robot



Robots on the battlefield

Robots to fight US wars soon

From the article:



Robots at work

Send in the robots

From the article:See Robotic Nation for details.



The details of robotic vision

The Robotic Nation article points out that the main problem with robotic vision right now is the fact that it requires vast amounts of computing power -- power that is not going to be inexpensively available for perhaps 10 to 20 years, but will then be available in abundance. This article is technical, but offers a nice example of why you need so much computing power:

Sorting data in two clock cycles

From the article:


Octopus Arms for robots

Octopus Arms May Point Way to New Robot Designs

From the article:


SmarterChild conversations


From the site:Also:



Digitzed people and the end of doctors

The Doctor Will See Your Prototype Now

From the article:This actually sounds really cool. But what it means is that AI and robots will be taking over the role of doctors even more quickly, putting most doctors out of work. See also:


Haptics: Shaking Hands with a Robot

Haptics: Shaking Hands with a Robot

From the article:See Robotic Nation and Manna for details.


RFID tags on students

Parents protest radio ID tags for students

From the article:



Carnegie Mellon ready for Grand Challenge 2

Carnegie Mellon's Red Team Seeks Two Million Dollar Robot Racing Prize

From the article:See also:See also: Robotic drivers


Cell processor crushes other CPUs

Cell processor to run at more than 4 GHz

From the article:Also interesting: The Quest for More Processing Power, Part One: "Is the single core CPU doomed?"


Scorpion robot for exploration

Walking machine may go where wheeled explorers cannot

From the article:There is a nice video to show its capabilities.


ABB Robots

ABB Australia's - Robot Technologies-Systems

From the article:



Predator vehicles killing people

New videos show Predators at work in Iraq

From the article:From this description you can imagine a very different kind of warfare in the not-too-distant future. Imagine 150,000 soldiers, but they are not stationed in Iraq. They are living in the United States and telecommuting from home. Instead of personaly being on the battlefield, they pilot vehicles remotely that act as their proxies -- planes, robotic soldiers, missile launchers, etc. There is no family stress, no dying in battle, no friendly fire.

Then, as the technology becomes available in 2025 or 2030, all of those vehicles become completely autonomous and no longer need human drivers.

See also: Robotic Attack Jets


Robotic Attack Jets

The Ascent of the Robotic Attack Jet

From the article: See also: Robots and guns



Moore's law and processors

IBM, Sony, Toshiba to reveal ‘superbrain chip’

From the article:See also: Moore's law and discs and Moore's law.



A.I. researchers struggle with human toll of automation

A.I. researchers struggle with human toll of automation

From the article:See also: Robots and jobs



Moore's law and discs

Group aims to drastically up disc storage

From the article:See also:


Armed 'robo-soldier' set for Iraq

Armed 'robo-soldier' set for Iraq

From the article:See also: Fully armed military robots



Taking AI to the next level

Narrowing the gap between computers, humans

From the article:Chances are that the PhDs at Google are way ahead of DARPA on this one...


Robots for the blind

Professor helps create space-age guide dogs

From the article:



Moore's Law marches on

HP Says Hits Milestone in Transistor Successor

From the article:See also: More examples of Moore's Law


Interesting configurations for robots

The U.S. Military Considers Throwbots

Spherical robot provides rolling security cover

The latter reminds me of the NASA "tumbleweed" rover for exploring mars:

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