Robot Magazine – The latest hobby, science and consumer robotics, artificial intelligence

robot magazine robogames issue

Subscribers to ROBOT Magazine are receiving their copies of the latest issue right about now, and the store copies should be in bookstores very soon.

This particular issue, with the Kumotek KT-X humanoid robot on the cover, will prove to be quite interesting and exciting since it includes coverage of robots at the Maker Faire, animatronic dinosaurs, a how-to on programing servos, Arduino Bot Brains, a chance to win a Parallax robot, a look at the latest Kondo hexapod robot, and our detailed coverage of RoboGames 2011.

(Via Robot Magazine - The latest hobby, science and consumer robotics, artificial intelligence.)

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Fanastic Robot Coverage in the July ROBOCON Magazine Issue

ROBOCON robot magazine

The July issue of ROBOCON Magazine hit the news stands yesterday and we were very pleased to see that it featured several articles near and dear to our hearts.

In addition to all the great, and always detailed, technical and event content that ROBOCON is known for, this issue included major articles covering RoboGames 2011, the Robot Japan First event, and Taylor Veltrop's master/slave robot control implementation using the Microsoft Kinect device.

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Aldebaran Robotics Snags Major Venture Investment Funds

Screen shot 2011 06 08 at 6 11 37 PM

It takes a ton of money to create, nurture, evolve, productize, and bring a successful new technology to market. All too often new ventures have fantastic ideas or great technology, but fail to grab the attention of investors with the capital that they desperately need to stay alive long enough to evolve into a viable business.

Aldebaran Robotics, the creator of the NAO humanoid robot, has achieved a lot in the past five short years. The robots performance is definitely world class in the area of robotics it was targeted for. It's already proven the potential of the company's design and vision, but it's still quite a way from being self sustaining.

However, the Aldebaran management team hasn't let that limit their long term vision and passion. Today they announced successful series C round of financing amounting to USD$13 million. It's a major vote of confidence on the part of Aldebaran's investors, as well as a significant additional responsibility for the company's leaders as they pursue making their dream a reality.

 

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Invest 10 Minutes to Improve Robotics for (Your) Future

Robotics survey
Got 10 minutes free to invest in improving the future of robotics?

Angelica Lim, a.k.a. "thepetitegeek" is doing some interesting graduate level research work at Kyoto University on robots expressing emotions and other behaviors normally associated with human beings.

She is also an active NAO Developer Program participant and has put her humanoid robot to good use in developing this well thought-out motion survey.

Take a few minutes, watch the videos, answer the questions, and add any comments you think would help advance her work.

Who knows, sometime in the not too distant future one of Angelica's creations may be the robotic nurse or doctor tending to you in a moment of need....

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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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Robot Discussion With Carl Clement (Video)

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As we mentioned in our previous post, Carl Clement has come up to speed with the NAO humanoid robot extremely quickly. After joining the NAO Robot Developer Program and receiving his robot about three weeks ago he has managed to create some advanced applications that demonstrate the real-world practical contributions the technology is capable of achieving.

Carl was willing to share his experiences with us via Skype the other evening and has given us permission to share our discussion with the Robots Dreams audience. The video below starts with us bantering about the earthquake that had taken place here that afternoon, but be patient. We quickly switch gears and get down to talking robots. :)

 

 

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Boy Meets Robot – Delight, Excitement, and Learning Ensue (Video)

Participants in the NAO Robot Developer Program have started exploring some really interesting and sometimes surprising applications for NAO's technology. For example, in the UK, Carl Clement used the robots ability to visually recognize faces, shapes, and drawings, along with its voice/speech generation, to create a game for his two and a half year old nephew.

The game premise is quite simple. The robot tells the child that it is thinking of a particular animal - like a cow. The child then has to find the cow drawing from a set of animal drawings and show it to NAO. And there is a time limit. If he picks the right animal there's applause and positive feedback.  Here's a short video clip demonstrating Carl's game concept:

 

How did it work out with Carl's young nephew?

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Getting Your Humanoid Robot Under Control – How It's Done (Video)

In previous posts we introduced Taylor Veltrop's master/slave humanoid robot control system based on the Microsoft Kinect, Wiimotes, and Willow Garage ROS. Taylor is also one of the Aldebaran NAO Robot Developer Program participants and immediately ported his control to the NAO humanoid.

 

His implementation was a big hit with all the NAO developers attending the first Tokyo meeting, including the Aldebaran Robotics program leader, and they immediately wanted to try it out for themselves.

 

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