BOCCO Family Robot Kickstarter Project Successfully Funded

BOCCO The family robot that brings your loved ones closer by Yukai Engineering Kickstarter

I first ran across BOCCO at Maker Faire Tokyo last year, and I have to say that I was a little skeptical about its potential as a product and as a business. Although BOCCO incorporates quite a few communication functions, like delivering a message to your loved ones while you are absent, many other devices that are capable of doing the same things, like smartphones and tablets, already exist.

Yet, BOCCO drew big crowds at Maker Faire, and continued to gain fans and supporters over the months that followed. And, when the BOCCO Kickstarter project launched, a significant percentage of those fans demonstrated their love of the robot by opening their wallets and supplying funding. As of this evening, 20 hours before the project closes, they have already exceeded the original goal of raising $20,000 by a considerable margin.

 

What makes BOCCO so unusual? Why were people willing to fund the project when logically there are already many ways to satisfy the core communication functions with existing technology like smartphones?

BOCCO is emotionally attractive and welcoming. The robot’s ‘cute’ and non-threatening personality makes it perfect for situations involving people that are either too young, or too old, to be comfortable using a smartphone. For example, BOCCO could be your personal remote avatar interacting in an engaging manner with an elderly grandparent living in a full care facility, even if they happened to be a 1,000 miles or more away. BOCCO is fun. BOCCO is friendly. And, BOCCO is caring. When it comes to robots and people, that’s enough - it’s more than enough.

Via: BOCCO: The family robot that brings your loved ones closer by Yukai Engineering — Kickstarter #robotsdreams
More information at Robots Dreams

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RobotWorld 2013: Meet DARwin Mini

The new DARwin Mini humanoid robot from Robotis is about to rock the robot community worldwide, and give some major heartburn to competitors.

Featuring outstanding price/performance, this new robot will make it possible for a whole new sector of users to get actively involved in humanoid robotics whether it's at the educational, hobby, research, or professional use.

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Robot Japan US Tour 2012 at RoboGames – April 20-22nd (Video)

You've seen them on YouTube, now's your chance to experience the thrills and excitement in person. The Robot Japan US Tour 2012 will be staging performances at RoboGames in San Mateo, California this April 20th, 21st, and 22nd.

The daily exhibitions are scheduled to include robot skits, dancing, and will feature Robot Pro Wrestling matches with the top Japanese robot wrestlers going head to head in the ring.

Via: ROBOT JAPAN OFFICIAL SITE

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UK Gadget Show Visits Japan

120311 Gadget Show Robot Pro Wrestling A 1

The popular UK Gadget Show TV program was in Tokyo over the weekend for some hands-on time with our favorite humanoid robots. The geek and high tech gadget lovers program, hosted by Jason Bradbury and Polly Woodward, boasts a dedicated audience of around 1 million viewers.

This particular episode, the debut for the show's new season, is scheduled to hit the airwaves in the UK on April 23rd. I also have some behind the scenes videos that will be posted after the show airs.

Via: The Gadget Show

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BarBot 2012 -Where Robots Get Drunk Enough to Dance the “Human”

bar robot

'In a world where robots and humans struggle together in the fight against boredom... Only one event ends up with the robots dancing "The Human" while the meat puppets (you) end up singing the praises of RoboBartenders.'

BarBot 2012, the 5th annual festival of Cocktail Robotics, is coming up the evenings of March 2nd & 3rd  at the pariSoma Innovation Loft in San Francisco. Doors open to the public at 8:00 pm. Advance tickets are $10 you can pay $15 at the door.

Needless to say, carbon-based humanoid attendees have to be 21 or over with photo ID. Robots and androids won't be carded.

Via: BarBot 2012

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All Japan Micromouse Contest 2011 – Participant Report

120118 All Japan Micromouse Robot Contest 2011 2

Yukimi Hayafune participated in the All Japan Micromouse Contest last year, including making into the final competition in the Freshman Class, which is quite an achievement. She was kind enough to submit this contest report and photos documenting her experience and the event:

The All Japan Micromouse Contest 2011 was held at the Tsukuba Capio building, Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture. It was the biggest micromouse crowd I have ever seen with over 300 participants, friends, and robot fans.

I competed in the Freshman Class. There were 99 competitors entered in the preliminary contest that is used to select the 30 fastest micromouse robots for the final.

[Note: “Freshman” refers to an entrant who considers themselves to be a micromouse beginner excluding those who completed the maze in the past All Japan Contest or the equivalent overseas contests. Also, those who are judged as an expert during the competition by a jury president are also excluded from the category of a freshman.]

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111103 Robot Truck Transformer

It's been a while since Richard Heene has been in the news, but he's back, firing on all cylinders, and pumping what he claims to be a heavy duty truck transformer robot that features everything a truck driving craftsman could ever dream of, with the possible exception of a built-in bar, though anything is possible. Heene's promotional video (see below), which reminds me a lot of Cal Worthington in his TV commercial heyday, lays it all out for you.

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