creator ( www.robo
recently, no attempts
had been made to
publicly discuss the
role of cocktail
robotics as an index
for the integration
innovations into the
to document the
increasing occurrence of radical
hedonism in man-machine
communication.” Imagine that.
But you can stop worrying, because
“RoboExotica is an attempt to fill
RoboExotica generally consists
of a series of events (exhibition,
conference, workshops, music, and
film presentations) held at various
locations in Vienna. But this year,
sometime after the December 4th
kickoff in Austria, it will be presented
in San Francisco, as well, “thus
Artist’s concept of the “ScratchBot”
employing the BIOTACT sensor.
Photo courtesy of the BIOTACT project.
sense of touch, and what could be a
better way to solve it than to learn
from our touchy-feely friend, the rat?
Enter BIOTACT (BIOmimetic Technology
for vibrissal ACtive Touch, www.
biotact.org), a project funded by the
European Union and involving nine
research groups in seven countries.
The goal is to emulate how such
mammals as rats and Etruscan shrews
can rapidly sweep their whiskers
back and forth to gather information
about their surroundings. Thus, a bot
fitted with hundreds of whisker-like
sensors may be able to seek, identify,
and track fast-moving target objects,
even in poorly lit places where machine
vision doesn’t get you anywhere.
The challenge is to develop new
biomimetic computational methods
and technologies that enable the
technology. But the consortium
has been granted four years and
$11.6 million to do it, so the odds
facilitating the already existing
exchange of ideas between the West
Coast’s very much alive technology/
art scene and the RoboExotica
mother ship in Vienna.”
Unfortunately, the US incarnation
will not include the annual cocktail
robot awards, where you can enter a
machine in one of five categories:
serving cocktails, mixing cocktails,
bartending conversation, smoking
culture, and other achievements in
the sector of cocktail culture. To
participate, you’ll have to show up at
the Rote Bar/Volkstheater Wien
.html). The program is still under
development, so check the website
from time to time for details.
Bot Assists Endoscopy
The EndoAssist robotic manipulator.
Photo courtesy of Prosurgics.
Showcase of Robotenders
It’s beginning to look like the
Germanic tribes have a curious
fetish about linking robotics with
such ostensibly unrelated fields as
sociology, philosophy, and art (see
last month’s Robytes). In this vein, the
upcoming 10th anniversary of the
RoboExotica conference recently
came to light. According to the
A contestant from RoboExotica 2007.
Photo courtesy of Roboexotica.com.
This month’s device for taunting
the squeamish is EndoAssist, a robotic
endoscope manipulator offered by
Prosurgics Ltd. Used in invasive
thoracic and abdominal surgery, it is
particularly useful for ardiothoracic,
urological, bariatric, ob/gyn, and
general surgery. Perhaps the most
interesting feature is that the surgeon
controls camera angles simply by
moving his head. Glance left, and the
camera moves left, and so on. You
SERVO 07.2008 9