Snackbot, A Robot to Serve Snacks

22 04 2012

Paul Rybski from Carnegie Mellon University, with the team of his students has succeeded to design a robot with laser navigation system, sonar sensor and stereo camera eyes named Snackbot. This awesome and marvelous machine is a robot that serves snacks.

CMU team has specially designed this robot for their university where it is working. Students don’t have to go away to get a snack. It is like a vending machine that works on wheels but actually more than that. The main purpose of this robot is to serve the research platform that is formatted to study the long-term interaction of human and robots. It also serves to be more helpful to the human. CMU team completed this project in two years of working and research with cost of $20,000.

Initially Snackbot accepts orders form a website or IM service which is programmed in it. Snackbot was seen by New York Times delivering snack, they reported the robot saying “Hello, I am the Snackbot, I have come to deliver snacks to Ian. Is Ian here?”

Snackbot is designed to work in institutes, offices and same kind of areas to function. It will assist for research of robust autonomous operations. The highlights of this research include to analyzing if the robot navigates through the congested areas, recognize and detect people and learn to recognize the objects autonomously. It’s an amazing and marvelous invention that can be used in several different purposes. I hope CMU team will soon define those purpose for their Snackbot.

How to Make a Humanoid Robot Dance

2 11 2010

Japanese roboticists just showed off a female android singing and dancing with a group of human performers. Video of the entertaining and surprisingly realistic manifestation received millions of views on the Internet. Below we describe that how they did it.

The clandestine behind the dance routine is not the hardware but is software. Certainly, the hardware plays a key role. The AIST humanoids group is one of the world’s top places for robot design. Their HRP-2 humanoids are extensively used in research. Group’s latest humanoids, the HRP-4 and a female variant, the HRP-4C, which is the robot in the dance demo, are even more striking.

But now the leading modernization is new software to program the actions of the robot. The software is parallel to those popularly used in CG character animation. Just there is a need to click on the legs, arms, head, or torso and drag them to the position you want. You make a sequence of key poses and the software produces the trajectories and low-level control to make the robot move.

The software confirms that the robot can certainly carry out the transitions from one pose to the next. If the angular velocity or range of one of the joints surpasses the maximum values, the software adjusts the pose, so that it’s feasible to execute.

The software is also able to observe the robot’s stability. When it produces a trajectory between two key poses, it verifies that the waist trajectory won’t generate instabilities and that foot trajectories will result in sufficient contact with the floor. If a pose is not secure, the software hits upon a parallel pose that would keep the robot in balance.

After creating a series you can preview the ensuing motion on a 3D simulator or if you have and HRP-4C you can upload the code to the robot and watch its dance.

Robots to Get Touchy-feely with Sensitive Artificial Skin

14 09 2010

Here is news for robot lovers that soon robots are going to get so sensitive to touch that they would be able to feel. Stanford Scientists have developed a sensor for artificial skin to be used on robots.

The team formed an electronic sensor by sandwiching an exactly molded, highly elastic rubber layer between two analogous electrodes that can detect the least touch.

The novelty in the new sensor is the use of a thin layer of rubber molded into a gridiron of miniature pyramids. The skinny rubber layer between the two electrodes stores electrical charges like a battery. The width of the artificial skin, including the rubber layer and both electrodes, is less than 1 millimeter.

The rate of density and spring back of the rubber is decisive for the sensor to be capable to identify and differentiate between separate touches in fast succession.

Zhenan Bao, an associate professor of chemical engineering who led the research said,” It detects pressures well below the pressure exerted by a 20 milligram bluebottle fly carcass we experimented with, and does so with unprecedented speed.”

Solar-power ‘Seaswarm’ robots to clean up Gulf oil spill within 30 days

28 08 2010

Scientists may bring a group of solar-powered robots to mop up the Gulf oil spill within 30 days. The Seaswarm robots are being developed by MIT professor Francesco Stellacci.

Researchers believe that a Seaswarm of between 5000 and 10000 self-directed robots with non-stop working could cover a Gulf-sized surface area within one month.

Biderman said, “We say these vehicles are autonomous because they provide their own energy, propel themselves along the surface of the ocean and therefore we don’t need humans to collect the oil.”

The prototype of Seaswarm robot is 16 feet long and 7 feet wide having the weight of 35 pounds. Two square solar boards at the head shove the robot along the water’s surface. When it moves, a thin and flexible conveyor belt covered by oil-absorbing nanofabric revolves to selectively swab oil.

In accordance to the lab, one robot can run for weeks on only 100 watts having a capacity to remove several gallons per hour. They are also equipped with wireless communications to communicate with other robots.  Humans can also operate one robot using a remote control, if required.

Ron Kendall at Texas Tech University said, “Robotic strategies are intriguing, and they create further opportunity to consider responses in the future.”

HERB for Household Chores

2 07 2010

Many women hate to do household work, so there is good news for those women because HERB is going to solve all their problems.

HERB is the abbreviation of Home Exploring Robot Butler. This project is designed by Intel and it is capable to do some fundamental home jobs, for instance, clearing the table, serving meals, dish washing etc.

The manufacturer of HERB has done a great job by designing this technology. You can save your energy and do lots of other work. HERB is the best way to save time and women can enjoy their lives and spend quality time with their family and their personal activities as well.

If you want to take a soft drink from the fridge, just ask HERB; it will drop the can in your palm without extending your hand.

Every woman can enjoy with HERB because at night when you are sleeping, it can clean your entire kitchen for the next day. The era is not far away when robots will be able to do all chores for us and make our life more comfortable and lavish. I will definitely love HERB for household chores.

Lovable Robot USB Hubs

19 05 2010

Robot has been taken over your all worries and will stay happily neutral due to their simple functions. Lovable robot USB hubs are great for all users. Their look is also completely harmless and they look more similar to robots of about 50 years ago. Loveable USB robot is a more sophisticated idea.

This robot has total 4 USB ports, one on each arm and then one on the bottom of each foot. The location of second USB set looking little inconvenient. If you want to use all 4 USB then you need to lay down robot flat instead of letting it proudly stand at attention of your desk. You can get this robot in six different colors and each color has different design. You can take it in red, pink, black, gray, light blue and yellow colors. The cost of each Lovable Robot USB Hubs is $ 18.95.

Mertz Active Vision Robotic Head from MIT

16 04 2010

Mertz is an active vision head robot which is designed for analyzing scalable learning in social context. This robot is designed with the inspiration of human infants learning behavior through observation and imitating other people. Mertz has been designed to place in public venue for long periods of time for consecutive interaction with people and incrementally learning about various correlations. For example the robot can learn to correlate objects and people with frequently articulated phoneme sequences, differentiate among people and their intercommunication habits, learn how to dislikes some people who tend to agitate robot etc.

Mertz has newly gone through a series of experiments where robot is interacted with many people at different public spaces in “Stata Center”. These robots are commonly designed to see what it would be like if robots can display facial expressions. The head of this robot looks like an outlandish baby head rather than a handsomer face. The purpose of this robot is to check the robots expressions like how the robot will react to humans instead of testing human’s response. This robot is capable of 13 degrees articulation in its neck alone. This robot is the creation of “Lijin Aryananda and Jeff Weber” at MIT Media Lab.