60 Beat Game Pad for Drone Control (Video)

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If you happen to be lucky enough to own a AR.Drone (unfortunately I'm not one of the lucky ones - at least not yet) then you'll definitely want to check out the 60 Beat Game Pat controller.

The 60 Beat looks great, to the point that the line between the virtual game world and real world control seems very blurred, or even non-relevant. As DigitalSirup states in the video description, the game pad coupled with your AR.Drone is "sweet and delicous."

Related links: Preview of 60 beat game pad support for Drone Control - YouTube

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Getting Ready for RoboGames 2013 (Video)

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In less than a week we'll be right in the middle of the action at the world's largest open robot competition, RoboGames. It's an absolute blast, but can be a bit trying at times if you're trying to capture both still photos and video footage with dynamic robot events taking place all over the venue at the same time.

In order to capture some of the "b-roll" footage without having to get distracted or stressed out, I picked up a Contour ROAM2 HD action camera. Before going into action, I decided it would be a good idea to run a field test to prove the concept.

As you can see from the video, the camera definitely seems up to the task. I should be able to mount it strategically, turn it on, and let it do it's job while I capture shots or other video with one of my other cameras.

Of course, I'll give it a good workout on Friday, the first day of the event, to work out any bugs.

Related links: RoboGames 2013: Contour ROAM2 HD Action Camera Test - YouTube

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Robot Actors Work Cheap (Video)

Feist  Now at Last  Made in China  YouTube

If you're a film director on a tight budget, why not think about substituting robot actors for their more expensive, and sometimes harder to manage, human counterparts?

I know - you're probably thinking that robots can't express the range of emotions and generate empathy like a (good) human actor can at the drop of a hat. Think again. With a little bit of creativity, insight, and dedication robots can do the trick - especially if they happen to be small and really cute.

The video short, "Feist - Now at Last" was released in July, 2011 and still has lasting value. I also noticed that the robots used in the video are an advanced version of the iSobot humanoid robot created by Takara Tomy several years ago. I said "advanced" because the robots head appears to incorporate a small video camera that was never released to the market.

Related links: Feist - Now at Last (Made in China.) - YouTube

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Great Gymastics Requires Constant Practice (Video)

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One thing that has always impressed me is the Japanese dedication to constant improvement. They keep on striving to improve long after others would have called it quits. A good example is "Hinametetu", the robot builder responsible for the horizontal bar gymnast robot No. 15 Kovacs.

He keeps trying, modifying, adjusting, and retesting his design until he gets it absolutely perfect.

Related links: NO.15,Kovacs-Landing(Challenge ) - YouTube

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PATLABOR-Next Generation

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Something to look forward to for 2014...

Related links: PATLABOR

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Feel Lonely? University of Tsukuba Students Have Your Solution (Video)

Japanese Students Invent  Girlfriend Coat to Hug Lonely People  VIDEO

Are you feeling a little down and alone? Never fear. Enterprising young Japanese students at the University of Tsukuba have invented the perfect answer for you - a 'girlfriend coat'. I kid you not!

You put on the coat, fasten the belt, and then magic happens. The belt tightens and feels just like your girl friend came up from behind, put her arms around you, and gave you a loving squeeze. At the same time, her voice talks to you through headphones telling you how sorry she is to be late.

The students don't have any plans to commercialize the girl friend coat yet. In fact, I'm wondering why they undertook the project to begin with. There is also no word on whether or not any of the students are in a serious relationship or even dating regularly. That remains to be discovered....

Related links: Japanese Students Invent 'Girlfriend Coat' to Hug Lonely People [VIDEO]

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