Sunday, September 20, 2009

More Human Than A Humanoid-Domestic Robot

Many designs for domestic robots are guided by mechanical limitations and forms. That is why humanoid robots have a tough time to mimic human movements and that is something that is important to have if they will interact with us. The ECCEROBOT (Embodied Cognition in a Compliantly Engineered Robot) is a three-year project funded by the 7th framework programme of the European Union (ICT-Challenge 2, "Cognitive Systems, Interaction, Robotics") that is working on having robots be more like us than a machine. One spin off of ECCEROBOT is the robot named CRONOS (pictured here), created by the University of Essex to investigate robot consciousness through internal modeling. What makes this robot stand out is the materials used in order to have it closely model the human movement.

The skeleton for CRONOS was made from "polymorph" (a type of plastic that is easily shaped at 140 degrees Fahrenheit) giving its bone like color. The actuator system was made from screw driver DC motors, kite lines and shock cords in order to provide CRONOS with the unique human like movement. The ECCEROBOT project will definitely bring us closer to an NS-5 style of humanoid robot that will look and move like us. Watch the short video for a brief on this very interesting project.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Evolution Of The Great Lego Mindstorms NXT

Are you a robot geek? If so, you should probably already own a Lego Mindstorms NXT kit or have plans to do so. This is one of the best entry robotics kit available today! It is relatively economical for what it can deliver in countless hours of fun and potential inventions waiting to be created by you. I actually own one of them and enjoy it to the max and the latest version (Lego Mindstorms NXT 2.0) came out this past month. What I find interesting is how Lego has come about on creating the NXT series and how they really integrated the Lego Mindstorms community into creating the latest versions. Here is a video of Day 2 of Google I/O 2009 conference where Stephen Canvin (Lego Marketing Manager) talks about this. Enjoy and start creating something new!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Karcher RC3000 Sold for America?

Karcher pulled out from selling their domestic robot Robo Cleaner 3000 (RC3000) from America some years ago. Many American consumers have come to appreciate the workmanship and uniqueness of this nice little floor cleaning robot but were unable to purchase it for this market. The great news is that Karcher is able to sell their RC3000 robot directly from Germany! One of these gems can be directly delivered to your home for approximately US$1550 (this price already includes S/H charges to the U.S.A.). This version of the RC3000 is made to work on 110V NEMA 5-15 systems found in many North/Central and South American countries. The following is the link to order this nice domestic robot directly from Karcher:

Karcher RC3000 - 110V America Model

They currently list it for €1280.39 Euros but this price includes the 19% VAT (European Union Tax) that people in America do not have to pay. Contact them to get shipping and handling fees to your specific country in America:

Kärcher Shop & Service Schreiber
Franz-Claas-Straße 12
D-33428 Harsewinkel

Tel.: +49 (0) 5247 - 98 588 - 0
Fax: +49 (0) 5247 - 98 588 - 19

Some of you may see this as a high priced floor cleaning robot but it is worth the price for the only current fully automated robot in the market! Let us know your opinion if you get to purchase one or already own a RC3000 in America.