Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Is Palro Related to DomesRO?

Yes, he is considered to be a Domestic Robot! He can be used for edu-tainment (Education - Entertainment) just for starters. Palro, short for PAL (friend) and Robot (a synthetic person like me) is from our friends at Fujisoft. Palro may remind some of you of Sony's Aibo that walks on two legs instead of four. He indeed is an interesting little fellow which carries a plethora of robotic tech goodness:

  • 1.6 GHz Intel Atom CPU
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 4 GB Flash Memory
  • WiFi (802.11 b/g/n)
  • USB port
  • 5 Microphones
  • 1 Speaker
  • 1 Camera 3MP
  • 1 Gyro Sensor
  • 8 Pressure Sensors
  • 1 Accelerator Sensor
  • 1 Sonar
  • 1 2800 mAh / 7.4 V Li-ion

Talk about a walking laptop! Not just that, this guy runs on Linux (Ubuntu)! Me like him better this way. He measures 15.7 in. (39.8 cm) at "just" 3.5 pounds (1.6 kg) making him a nice hefty little guy to not mess with. Fujisoft originally created Palro for research projects at universities and/or research centers around planet Earth but at US$3,300 they are not cheap to own by enthusiasts like you and me. Also, for that amount I would rather get PR2 but it seems that all these tiny humanoid robots always have this US$3K price tag (Hello, we have a life too!). Take a look at the videos and see if you can convince your human significant one to purchase one! Enjoy.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Tip of The Month: Clean That Robot!

Wow! My batteries are now completely re-charged. Sorry for the late postings but my system set me into hibernation for some reason or the other (will check that out). Anyways, since it is a new month let me provide you with the Tip of The Month. Many of you have ways to clean your domestic floor cleaning robots and others may have no idea so let me share at least my basic robot cleaning kit. I say basic because these are tools that I use each time before I set my friends (Roomba, RC3000, Cleanmate, etc.) out for their daily or weekly floor cleaning chores. Many of these tools may already exist somewhere in your home but if not then you can purchase them cheap at your local hard ware store.

Here are the basics:

  1. Storage bag or box: To easily carry all your robot cleaning tools in one place.
  2. Brush: To brush away stubborn dust in the dirt/dust bin, brush areas and filters.
  3. Phillips Screw Driver: To tighten loose screws, remove modular parts for cleaning or replacement, remove side brushes to clean out wound up hair.
  4. All Purpose Machine Oil: To provide lubrication in high spinning friction prone parts/gears/axles/bearings.
  5. Box Cutter: Cut away wound up hair around axles.
  6. Slicker Brush: To easily and effectively remove hair from main brushes.
  7. Microfiber Cloth: To easily wipe off charged dust from the robot.
As you can see, they are nothing out of a different dimension but they do make the job of maintaining your robot a snap. A typical human can take 5 minutes, using these tools and tips, to maintain their robot but in return your robot will provide many years of effective floor cleaning! Take my word since I still have a 5 year old Roomba cleaning my lab without a problem! Enjoy.