bots IN BRIEF
Meet the French Reeti one of the more face-friendly robots
around these days. Reeti talks, moves his face features, houses a
media center PC, and reacts to touch with sensors. This quirky bot
was built for teaching and/or amusement, and can be run on an
iPad/iPod app. Reeti expresses an endless number of emotions thanks
to a flexible skin and 15 degrees of freedom for the neck, eyes,
mouth, and two independent eyes and ears. He gets color on his
cheeks according to his moods.
Reeti’s two eyes are fitted with HD cameras and he has a clear
view and a 3D perception of his environnment. His view allows him
to identify and follow people and objects with the eyes.
Reeti recognizes 10 words, and knows where the
sound comes from. His synthesis speech allows him
to speak. Connected to the Web, Reeti receives
emails, reads for RSS feeds, and the posts on
Facebook, Twitter, or Youtube. His embedded PC —
when connected to a screen — gives access to all
the computer functions (office, multimedia,
communication, etc.). Reeti’s BluRay reader, DVD
burner, and full connectictivity makes him a true
Home TheaterPC (full HD, audio 5.1, etc.).
‘PACK’ING INTO JAPAN
One of iRobot’s Packbots was sent into the Fukushima
Daiichi nuclear power plant to measure the amount of
radiation and oxygen levels in the building. This is a first time
foray into this kind of fray that is also set to check
temperature — although the company sent the bots several
weeks ago. A rep from Tepco claims that it will find if the
conditions are safe for a human to enter.
WHAT THE HECTOR?
The University of Bielefeld’s Department of Biological Cybernetics has unveiled a very cool looking new hexapod robot.
Despite its sleek futuristic appearance, HECTOR (which stands for
HExapod Cognitive au Tonomously Operating Robot) is essentially a meter
long insect. Its control program is based on the distributed intelligence
principle found in insect brains. Like an insect, its exoskeleton is extremely
light and strong, making up only 13% of its total weight ( 12 kg or 26 lbs).
Developed and optimized in cooperation with the Leibniz Institute of
Polymer Research Dresden, the carbon-fiber reinforced plastic shells
deform less than 1mm under a 30 kg ( 66 lb) load. Its joints, too, are
biologically inspired; the unit’s Mechatronics of Biomimetic Actuators
research group contributed a pair of state-of-the-art elastic joint drives
which are being used in each of HECTOR’s 20 degrees of freedom (six
legs x3; body segments x2).
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