bots IN BRIEF
I’M IN THE NAVY NOW!
About a year ago, Nexi took part in a somewhat silly (but
reasonably effective) demonstration of a robotic role on a US Navy
vessel. Guess the Navy was impressed, because they now own one of
their very own. This Nexi is named Octavia.
The Navy hopes to use Octavia to explore how humans and
robots interact, with the aim of minimizing the amount of time that
humans spend dealing with a robotic interface and maximizing the
amount of information that can be communicated. Octavia specifically
is good for things like this because of her intensely expressive (and
somewhat uncanny) face and head.
SOCCER IT TO ME
In human World Cup soccer watch humans have pretty much
peaked. Really, the only thing about the game that evolves reliably from
cup to cup is the ball. Robots, on the other hand, have no such
limitations. Carnegie Mellon’s small-size robotic soccer team
(CMDragons) has taken another step towards robot domination by
teaching these small size soccer bots the physics of ball movement. A
robot that knows physics is pitted against a robot that doesn’t. The
robots are autonomous and are controlled by a computer that watches
the action on an overhead camera.
Without modeling the physics of the ball, the computer just tries to
position the robots on the ball without taking the movement of the ball into account.A physical model allows the computer
to move the robot predicatively, greatly improving its skill.
The Corpora has started up a
YouTube channel devoted to their open
source robotics project, Qbo. Their
first video shows the stereo camera
GET YOUR ZEN ON
Among the robots that were presented at the
Shanghai World Expo 2010 was Aldebaran Robotics’
NAO (representing France).A large group of them
performed Tai Chi motions in unison much to the thrill
and amazement of attendees.
Cool tidbits herein provided by Evan Ackerman at www.botjunkie.com, www.robotsnob.com, www.plasticpals.com, and other places.
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