How many Harvard University researchers does it take to smoke a beef brisket? Turns out that the answer is 16.(more…)
Humanoid robot walking is difficult, much more difficult than most people think. We assume that it’s easy because we, and most people we know, can do it without thinking. But we forget all the months, even years, of practice, trial and error, bumps and bruises, that we put in as children before we got to the point where we could walk smoothly without effort and without having to focus on what we were doing.(more…)
Fascinated by robots as a young child, Yuki Nakagawa, founder and CEO of RT Corp, has been involved in Japanese humanoid robotics and robots in the home for almost her entire career. Her life’s mission is to improve and enhance people’s quality of life through the use of robot technologies.
This July she’ll be sharing her unique observations, insights, know-how, and vision for the future at Innorobo 2015 in Lyon, France. It’s a rare opportunity to meet and interact with a Japanese expert in the field to gain insight into why Japan has earned a high reputation for human/robot interaction and co-working, and to talk about what the future may hold.
People are always asking me if I think that 3D printing will become pervasive, if the average person would have any need or interest in printing out items. Being a strong believer in the proverb that “Seeing is believing”, I think this video that shows a Boise, Idaho father and daughter printing a custom wall outlet cover at their local public library says it all:
Of course, there will be those readers that question whether or not government funds should be provided to libraries for services like this - but that’s a totally different debate.
Given all the video and photos I process, it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that my next computer purchase will be the new Mac Pro. Even though it’s a bit pricey, the speed and processing power it is expected to deliver will improve my output and efficiency considerably.
So, it’s good to know that the Mac Pro assembly is being done in the U.S. Although I fully understand that it won’t mean a lot of jobs being repatriated from off-shore to the States, every little bit helps. And, it’s judicious application of robotics and factory automation technology that makes it both cost effective and good business to do the assembly Stateside.
Here’s a look at the Mac Pro manufacturing and assembly process:
How many start-up CEO’s do you know that host a podcast? Not many, for sure. As of today you can add Bre Pettis, the CEO and co-founder of Makerbot Industries to that short but illustrious list of podcasting CEOs.
In the inaugural episode of the new MakerBot Explorers podcast, Bre interacts with Corey Renner, Tom Burtonwood, and Thomas Lipoma to find out what they’ve been doing and creating with their Makerbot 3D printers.
NEC is promoting PaPeRo Petit, the new mini-sized implementation of their well known but little utilised PaPeRo service robot, and the PaPeRo Partner Program.
The PaPeRo concept, which featured built-in cameras, 8 microphones with direction detection, touch sensors, voice recognition, and other interactive features, was quite innovative when it was first announced many years ago. Now it seems a bit dated.
To refresh interest in PaPeRo, NEC announced that the system’s API will be disclosed to application partners, and that the system has been enhanced with substantial ‘cloud’ functionality. Their business plan projects 10 billion yen (USD$100 million) in total sales volume over the next three years, which has to be a typo since there way too many zeros in that number. They are targeting 100 companies as development/marketing/sales partners with the program.
PaPeRo Petit is roughly half the size of it’s larger older brother, the PaPeRo R500, and stands 24 cm tall while weighing in at 1.3 kg.
According to the NEC presentation material, the voice recognition reliability has achieved 90% on average, which they feel makes it practical for use in real world applications. I haven’t seen similar performance statistics for SIRI or Dragon Dictate, but based on my own experience, their performance is much better than 90%.
Here’s the earlier PaPeRo version (circa 2008) in action: