These mechanical bugs can inspect power lines

by Mark R

What we are seeing here is a cable crawler, which is designed to check for cable defects and problems in power lines. Such problems in the power lines can range from overheating to cable noise, and then relay that data to utilities via satellite and cellular phone signals. You can see the solar panels on the thing, which is all right when it is sunny, but it has a backup …

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Robot Fish could help steer fish schools

by Mark R

The other day, I was watching the news about the oil spill in the Gulf, and I had heard that a pelican had been saved. Apparently, the Pelican went in the spill to catch a fish, but a team managed to clean him off. My first reaction was: “Man, why did that pelican go into the oil-infested waters for that fish?” Yes, there are more fish in the sea, but …

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Mecha Fish and Little Dog, films about real robots!

by Mark R

I thought you might enjoy two different advancements in robotics for today. The first is the Little Dog. It really looks more like a beetle, but this DARPA project really shows advancements in robot walkers. Have you ever seen a dog try and navigate obstacles like big rocks on a beach? Well, it kind of looks like the first video here. The only difference is that a dog trips every …

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HRP-2 Promet can stand on one leg

by Mark R

I suppose that as a parent, I am proud of what my children can do. I’ve found that once they learn to walk and talk, they start doing things that are impressive to them but mundane to us. For example, standing on one foot. Sure, we humans can probably stand on the left or right leg interchangeably without even thinking about it, so you might not think it too impressive …

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The Pincher is designed to take out explosives

by Mark R

I know what this looks like. You’re probably thinking that: “Oh no, it is a Star Wars/Terminator/Matrix/Battlestar Galactica/any other science fiction franchise robot that is designed to take out enemies. Are the humans its next target?” Actually, from what I have been reading from my sources, this robot, also known as “Pincher” is designed to disable Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) from a long distance. It apparently uses rockets the size …

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Anybots Avatar Robots

by Mark R

This is a prototype “Avatar robot” from a company called Anybots. It works just like the avatar program in Avatar, but instead of putting yourself inside a giant blue person, you put it in a robot. Okay, the technology isn’t quite there yet, but you can access the avatar robot from the Internet, and this robot known as QB activates its 5-megapixel camera. From there, you can manipulate the “head” …

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Balancing Cube Robot from Zurich!

by Mark R

I realize that the title of this sounds like some low-budget science fiction film from the fifties or the sixties, but is a real thing. I have included a video of this product from Sebastian Trimpe and Raffaello D’Andrea at the Institute of Dynamic Systems and Control researchers. This is the Balancing Cube. Yes, don’t ask me why it called the Balancing Cube is called a cube when it is …

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Japanese wedding officiated by a robot “I-Fairy”

by Mark R

Whenever you get married, you have to plan a lot of things. One of them is who is going to officiate at the wedding. This one couple in Tokyo decided to opt for a robot to officiate, and there is a video of “I-Fairy” in action after the jump. The I-Fairy is made by a Japanese company Kokoro. The bride, Satoko Inoue, works for Kokoro, and groom Tomoshiro Shibato is …

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