I've always been fascinated by robots and robotic technology. I'm sure my obsession with things robotic has its roots in my childhood experiences with erector sets. I recently ran across a reference to the Robosapiens robot, took a look at some of the videos and television commercials online, and was hooked. One thing that really surprised me was that the design approach is completely atypical. This robot walks, talks, dances, picks up things and throws them, and does it better than any of the robots I've seen in movies. Yet it's based on BEAM principles - not the usual micro-computer based simulation model. I'm currently exploring the Robosapiens world, and will write a lot more about it in later posts. In the meantime, I ran across a great interview with Mark Tilden, the NASA scientist that invented Robosapiens. While the article predates Robosapiens by several years, he talks at length about his basic philosophy and design approach, including a lot of insight into why traditional approaches have met with consistently disappointing results.
I was amazed when he mentioned a tiny autonomous walking robot designed from Snoopy watch parts since the Lorus is a Seiko brand.
"This is one of the world's smallest autonomous, walking robots. It was, unfortunately, dropped by one of my secretaries, so it'll never work. But it's made out of Snoopy watches by Lorus"