Tag Archives: robot

Meet RoboThespian: Are Robots Taking Over the World?

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We’ve seen robots on trade show floors many times over the past few years, but we haven’t seen one quite like the RoboThespian until now. During ceBIT last weekend, I was able to catch up with some representatives from the company behind the machine – Engineered Arts Limited.

RoboThespian is a human-sized interactive actor. This little machine cannot vacuum your carpets or start your car when it’s cold out. It was created in order to educate, communicate, interact and entertain people. The number one goal here is entertainment – making the audience feel a part of the experience.

The robot was designed as a flexible communication medium. They were first introduced in January, 2005 as actors in the ‘Mechanical Theatre’ production at the Eden Project in Cornwall. The audience reacted to these little dancing devices so well that the company knew they were on to something. They began working to bring more features into the mix by adding a web-based interface to control the robot. This allows you to record and upload your own sound and video files to be used with the little guy.

The RoboThespian comes with standard content including greetings and impressions. You can then tailor him to suit your needs by uploading additional content and movements. The team will also work with you to create and program a robot that fills a perfect spot in your company or home. His three main roles are to meet and greet visitors, interact with the public, and perform.

In the video, you’ll see RoboThespian mimicking one of the staff members by way of a Kinect. I gotta admit that it was pretty cool to see the cool cat reciting Hamlet! He did a better job than some of the actors I’ve seen on the big stage.

Math doesn’t seem to be his strong suit, but it was entertaining watching him try to calculate two plus two. He did a much better job at singing… his rendition of “Singing in the Rain” could hit the Billboard Top 40 in no time!

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I seriously want one of these. That’s totally not happening, I’m sure. He probably costs about a bajillion dollars! It does beg an interesting question, though: Are robots going to take over the world? The Engineered Arts team asks this same inquiry:

Is RoboThespian a glimpse of a forthcoming technological utopia, or a dire warning of what may come to be. It is trivial, yet it touches on some profound questions that confront us all. At the very least it’s entertaining.

What do you think? Is our children’s future going to include robots as part of an everyday household?

Vstone Robovie Robot

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The Vstone Robovie, also known as Kumotek KT-X is sold for $1500 and provides for some pretty impressive programmable moves, it’s bluetooth controlled. The robot comes with an easy to use (so they say) programming interface for inventing new moves, triggering more sounds and doing more fun things with it.

You can find more information about this robot and more at the manufacturer’s site.

This video was filmed by Charbax of ARMdevices at CES 2011.

Robo Builder at CES 2011

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Robo Builder is selling this Robot building kit for around $840 which allows the user to build a robot in any of 4 or more configurations, as normal robot, spider, dog or car configurations, and then program it’s movements and it has some sensors too. It takes in average 1 hour to build it for the consumer.

This video was filmed by Charbax of ARM Devices at CES 2011.

Robot Presides Over Japanese Wedding

Every bride wants their ceremony to be the one that guests talk about for years to come. They all hope that their special day will be the best anyone has ever attended. All potential brides turn into crazy women at some point in their attempt to have something truly unique during the festivities. The competition is fierce in this regard. However, one Japanese couple may have taken top honors in the “unique officiant” category.

The I-Fairy is made by a Japanese company Kokoro. The bride, Satoko Inoue, works for Kokoro, and groom Tomoshiro Shibato is a professor of robotics at the Nara Institute of Science and Technology. The I-Fairy is remote controlled by one of the attendants at the 50-guest wedding. It does talk, and has 18 joints in its arms. You can grab one of these for your special day for only $68,000 U.S. dollars.

According to BBC News, I-Fairy, with its flashing eyes and plastic pigtails, instructed the groom to lift the bride’s veil for the customary kiss after the two tied the knot. The couple felt that since they met via robotics, it was only right that a robot perform their wedding ceremony.

Now that, my friends, is cool. If I ever get hitched again, I have got to get one of these little robots. How freaking cool would that be?

Is Having Sex with a Robot Hooker Cheating?

I found an article the other day that made me wonder… is having sex with a robot hooker considered cheating? Will it be at any point in the future, perhaps? I’m not quite sure how I feel about this one – considering it’s not really a possibility yet. Who knows? Well, my friends have a few thoughts of their own:

Uh, I don't know. Ask Ev and his wife: http://www.flickr.com/photos/j…Josh Bancroft

It is cheating: With advanced technology, having sex with a robot hooker is too much like really cheating. For all intents and purposes, you're having sex with another woman. Plus, what if you want to buy your own robot hooker and keep her in the closet at home? It's a thin line between robot hooker and robot girlfriend. – Russellreno

Is having sex with a robot gigolo cheating? – SciFi Ranter Girl

good question. probably not. – Josue Salazar

No different than a dildo, unless the robot is sentient. – mentaleffluvia

🙂 – Mitchell Tsai

no. – Duncan Riley

Reminds me of the anime Chobits. – Oliver Ortega Chua

We don't have a lot of robot hookers in our town. You city people amaze me. – Chris Baskind

I see a movie developing here… – Justin Korn

It is cheating, not because of the realism of the robot, but because of your intentions. – Morton Fox

Morton, what intentions? Is masturbation cheating? – mentaleffluvia

um… do men not care WHAT they have sex with? If the sex is BECAUSE it is a robot hooker then that is a kink yeah? I say no, not cheating, inanimate objects should not be an emotional threat. – Allison

Chris B – Check with your mechanic. You'll be surprised. – Russellreno

Until you can leave your SO to have a emotional relationship with said robot, no. – Dana Franks via twhirl

depends on how long it lasts. I'd like to see that one CHEATERS! – Eric Truman

Only if you get caught. – Jonathon

I think the robot would have to pass the Turing Sex Test before it could be considered cheating. To pass the Turing Sex Test a reasonable person wouldn't be able to tell if they were having sex with a machine or with a human. Of course, what if, at some point robots surpass humans in satisfying sexual desires? – Tad Donaghe

Only if you didn't get the one I told you to get… – PonziPirillo

I'm going to watch *that* Futurama episode tonight – Bwana McCall

I put this post in the “hardware” category for two reasons.

Remote Control Robot: Dalek from Doctor Who

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My friend Willie over at ThinkGeek sent me the new Dalek Robot to play with. If you know much about Dr. Who, you’ll know what a Dalek is. It’s remote control, and fun to play with!

Doctor Who is a guilty pleasure in the US and an obsession in the UK. Amazingly the show is still being produced today with the tenth successive Doctor now in play. Of course we all know the Daleks are the real stars of Doctor Who. With a toilet plunger in one hand and a elongated egg beater in the other, Daleks are some of the deadliest cyborgs in the galaxy. Bitter from being mutated by radiation and stuffed inside an inferior robot body, the Kaled people hate the Doctor (and staircases) and are bent on universal domination… and who can blame them really? Finally you too can act out your Dalek fantasies with these detailed R/C replicas. Each R/C Dalek stands 12 inches high and is happiest when gliding around your home shouting “EX-TER-MIN-ATE!” and hunting for the Doctor. Complete with tank-like controls and digitized grating dalek voices you’ll feel just like you’re in your own low-budget BBC telly show.

Dalek features include:

  • Authentic Detailed R/C Dalek Stands 12″ High
  • Powered Rotating Head
  • Moving Laser Turret
  • Flashing “Eye” Lights and Gun Turret
  • Two Channel R/C with Tank like Controls
  • 8 Dalek sound samples including speech and exterminator gun sound
  • Directly control sound effects from buttons on the remote

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i-Sobot Robot Toy Review

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Awhile back, I had a toy robot that I never even took out of the box. It was huge, and took like 75 D batteries to operate. The great people over at ThinkGeek sent me one of their new i-SOBOTs to play with. This thing is definitely addictive… and now will be a regular part of my show.

The i-SOBOT robot is just amazing and fun. The I-SOBOT is the big brother of the Omnibot robot you may remember from the 80’s. Frankly there isn’t much of a family resemblance. With 17 servo motors and amazing lifelike movement the i-SOBOT is more like a mini version of some futuristic robotic race destined to be our masters. The i-SOBOT can be directly controlled via the included remote to walk and perform dozens of complex motions. He can balance on one leg, do a handstand and get up from almost any position. String commands together to record more complex performances, or you can use the “Special Action Mode” to be wowed by one of i-SOBOTS intricate built in motion routines. i-SOBOT can also understand 10 different voice commands and speaks using over 200 words and phrases.

i-Sobot has Four operation Modes

  • Remote Control Mode Movements can be controlled directly using joy sticks and command buttons. He can also perform hundreds of amazing pre-programmed actions using short button codes.
  • Programming Mode Program a sequence of up to 80 actions, then easily play the sequence back with the push of a button.
  • Special Action Mode Command i-SOBOT to play air guitar, impersonate a movie character, or perform any of 18 pre-programmed special actions.
  • Voice Command Mode i-SOBOT recognizes 10 voice commands, reacting with dozens of appropriate but unpredictable actions.

As far as just playing with this robot, I give it an A+. The only downside I’ve seen so far is the fact that in order to install the batteries, you must have a precision screwdriver. If you don’t happen to have one, you’re…. well… precisionally screwdrivered. So for that fact, I give the setting-up of the i-SOBOT a B. Want to embed this video on your own site, blog, or forum? Use this code or download the video: