Top-selling Robot Monkey Hits US Store Shelves and Hearts (Video)

monkey robot

RoboGames champion Nick Donaldson seems to live, eat, sleep, and breathe robots. He consistently wins a raft of medals across a wide range of different categories during the annual robot gathering, and has designed all types of robots including LEGOs, multi-legged rescue bots, and even a few that might be difficult to categorize. Now, thanks to almost 10 years of hard work, dedication, and a little luck, it looks like one of Donaldson's cutest robot creations, a robot monkey, just might become the hottest selling robot toy in the US this Christmas.


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Metal Robots Vie For Gold Medals – RoboGames 2011

robogames combat robots

The 8th annual RoboGames attracts teams from around the world to compete in 60 different events - from dancing androids to fire-breathing combat robots and autonomous cars to soccer playing droids.

The San Francisco Bay Area has long been a rich playground where hard working cogs in the startup machine wrestle valiantly in their cubicles with the coding questions of the ages. 51 weeks out of the year, it's humdrum workday solving the world's technology problems.

And then there's week 52 -  RoboGames week...


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Kleekbots – Control Lego Mindstorms Robots with the iPhone (Video)

Wouldn't it be cool to be able to control your LEGO Mindstorms robot creations using the iPhone, from across the room, or across the planet, and to see what the robot sees?

Kleekbots is scheduled to release their implementation as a commercially available product early in 2011. The product plans include one-click sharing, free robot build instructions, live video streaming, and it works on the desktop as well. You can sign up to be updated with the latest release schedules and information via their website.

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2000 Year Old Computer Replicated Using LEGOs (Video)

Although many people automatically think of LEGO's as children's toys, they are actually a great tool for prototyping designs and even replicating mechanisms that would be difficult, and quite expensive, using other methods.

For example, when Jin Sato fell in love with Sony's AIBO robot dog but couldn't afford to buy one, he recreated the robot using LEGO Mindstorms, and dubbed his robo-canine creation “MIBO”.

Now a journalist (Adam Rutherford) and a designer (Andrew Carol) came up with the idea using LEGOs to recreate the world's oldest known computer, the Antikythera mechanism that is believed to date back to 150 BC, over 2000 years ago.

And, while we're at it, here's Jin Sato's MIBO robot dog celebrating it's 6th  birthday:

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LEGO Sales Defy The Economy

image677799092.jpgIn spite of the severe economy and what appears to be a radical and quite negative shift in the general toy market, LEGO just reported amazingly strong sales and profitability.

Net sales for the first half of the year were 4.37 billion Danish kroner, worth $825.4 million in US dollars, compared with 3.55 billion kroner for the first half of 2008.

Profit before taxes for the first six months rose 64 percent to 927 billion kroner or $175.32 million. The improved profit picture was helped in part by higher sales but also by “careful management of costs,” the company said.

LEGO Sales Jump

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Taking Advantage of Gundam

Big poster in Akihabara station promoting a special 30th Anniversary Gundam World 2009 event at Nasu Highlands Park. A smaller segment to the lower left is pimping the LEGO Stadium and the space center located in the same park.

Located a little under 2 hours by Bullet train from the center of Tokyo, Nasu has turned into a popular family resort area, especially for those trying to escape the summer heat and humidity.

When they throw in extra features that speak directly to the otaku's heart (almost always the father in this type of scenario), it's a given that the family will be spending most, if not all of it's summer vacation budget there.

Did we mention that they also have rollercoasters?

-- Posted using the Robots Dreams iPhone.

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Talking About LEGOS, Houses, and Robots…

image298283479.jpgWhile we're on the topic of LEGOs and houses, we should mention that over 3 million LEGO bricks were shipped direct from the Czech Republic to a field in the U.K. We don't even want to begin thinking about how much that must have cost.

It turns out that James May with the popular British television show 'Top Gear' will be using them to build a full-size house. The house will be complete with a staircase, toilet and shower.

Of course, a challenge like that just cries out to be topped, and we know exactly the premier robot/LEGO guy that would be perfect.

We think that Jin Sato, one of the best robot designers on the planet, a LEGO guru, and a ROBO-ONE champion should rise to the occasion and beat the British at their own game. Jin should use 4 million LEGO bricks, and some scaled up Mindstorms components, to build a huge version of his landmark MIBO canine robot, at least big enough to be a companion to the life-sized Gundam currently towering over Tokyo Bay.

Full Size LEGO House

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We’re going to try and avoid the obvious puns, like “To Lego, or not to Lego, that is the question…”, and just cut directly to the chase.

Several readers, including one sharp eyed visitor from Italy, pointed out a striking similarity between the Korean ROBOKIDS product line currently on display at the International Tokyo Toy Show 2009 here and another extremely well known, beloved, but much more expensive product line from Denmark.

Apparently the ROBOKIDS products seem to be the same size, same design, almost the same color scheme, and even have a robot controller unit that closely resembles the original Mindstorms RCX in appearance. However,  according to an English Roborobo representative website the ROBOKIDS system was designed for the education market in Korea, and also includes the ability to scan program cards from a card reader which allows young students to program the robots without having to use a PC. And, the company does offer quite a few robot boards, perpherials, and sensors that we’ve never seen before. 

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