RAPIRO Meets Darwin MINI

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Two of the most interesting, and most affordable, humanoid robots that have come on the scene recently are the Darwin MINI (Robotis) and RAPIRO. Both of the new robots have strong/cute personalities and are open-source designs encouraging users to engage, experiment, and learn by doing. They’re extremely user friendly.

Yoshihiro Shibata, a top Japanese humanoid robot designer currently working with Sugiura Machine Design Office, was kind enough to share these side-by-side photos comparing Darwin Mini and Rapiro-

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Kondo RoboSpot Relocating

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For the past eight years, Kondo RoboSpot has been an Akihabara based mecca for humanoid robot enthusiasts and fans from all over the world. The facility has been featured on numerous televisions programs, both in Japan and overseas, and has hosted regular robot competitions including the KondoCup Robot Soccer matches and KondoLand Multi-legged Robot Obstacle Course races. It has been a feature on tours of the Akihabara area. It became one of the ‘must visit’ robot landmarks in the area. 

The company just announced that as of the end of this month, March 31st, the current RoboSpot facility will be closed and will be relocated to the 1st floor of the Kondo corporate headquarters, a few train stops north of the Akihabara location. The new facility, equipped with humanoid robot practice rings, work tables, and fabrication equipment for use by customers, is expected to be open for business sometime in May this year.

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ROBOTIS XL-320 Servo and OpenCM9.04 Controller Evaluation – Phase 2 (Video)

Here's a robot video that I found interesting:



Hooking up the ROBOTIS XL-320 servo and OpenCM9.04 controller, then running a simple test program.
By Robots Dreams
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Génération Robots Introduces Unique NAO Next Gen Offer (Video)

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Génération Robots in France just announced the new NAO Next Gen package that will enable many individual robot developers and small companies to get involved with the NAO humanoid robot. Up until now, NAO sales were limited to a small community of selected academic institutions, members of the NAO Developer Program, and a few key corporate clients. The NAO Next Gen offers are designed, and priced, to encourage a much larger developer community to get involved with NAO.

Here are the program details provided by our friends at Génération Robots:  

 

Meet NAO Next Gen, the most advanced programmable humanoid robot, now available at Génération Robots

NAO Next Gen key features

If you’re interested in service robotics, there are strong chances that you already met the programmable humanoid NAO robot. Since its creation Aldebaran Robotics in 2007, four versions have already been released, the fourth being NAO Next Gen. NAO Next Gen has 25 degrees of freedom, 2 HD cameras, 4 microphones, 2 hi-Fi speakers, runs an Intel ATOM 1.6 GHz CPU, WiFi connectivity, 9 tactile sensors, 8 pressure sensors, a voice synthesizer and an autonomy that can last up to 1.5 hours. You can see NAO showing its key features in the following video

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All of these key features enable him to walk in all directions, talk in 19 languages, detect faces and shapes, protect itself when it falls and localize sound source.  Since building robotics application can be challenging, Aldebaran Robotics created a multiplatform (Windows, Linux and Mac OS) and multi-languages SDK (C++, Python, Java and .Net) to create applications for your NAO Next Gen robot. You can also easily take advantage of NAO’s features by using the intuitive programming interface Chorégraphe (included in the software suite).

Génération Robots unique NAO next Gen offer

Programmable humanoid NAO Next Gen robot has the ability to catch attention, showcase your development skills and engage customers in a creative way. Your company can stand out from the crowd, be seen as an innovative partner and acquire customers with NAO Next Gen.

Until now, only academic, individual developers and a few handpicked corporate clients could acquire NAO Next Gen. The good news is that Génération Robots offers individual developers and small companies an unique opportunity to invest in a NAO Next Gen unit:

  • A NAO Next Gen, 
  • A software suite license including Chorégraphe (Programming graphical interface), Webots for NAO (a 3D simulator) and the SDK
  • A 12 months NAO store (NAO application distribution platform Application Validation service subscription) 
  • A 1 year manufacturer’s warranty
  • An exclusive application “NAO plays football” created by Humarobotics,

Génération Robots close partnership with Aldebaran Robotics started in 2010 when our founder Jérôme Laplace became part of NAO beta testing team. Our company grew and in 2012 our HumaRobotics service team became official training providers for Aldebaran Robotics international customers. We proved our technical and programming expertise by creating among others the famous “NAO plays Connect 4” game in 2011:

 

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To find out more about the «Develop on NAO " offer, join Generation Robots in our booth at Innorobo 2014, the largest European service robotics fair, which runs from March 18th to 22nd in Lyon (France). This is the opportunity to discover our other NAO exclusive applications such as "NAO playing poker.

Génération Robots “Develop on NAO Next Gen” offers range are the following: Essential, Premium and Expert, giving you more licenses (5 for our “Develop on NAO Next Gen-Expert” offer), warranty and NAO store application validation service years (2 years for our Premium and 3 years for our Expert offer).

Develop on NAO offers

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The Duel: Timo Boll vs. KUKA Robot (Video)

Here's a robot video that I found interesting:



Man against machine. The unbelievably fast KUKA robot faces off against one of the best table tennis players of all time. Who has the best technique? Who will win the first ever table tennis duel of human versus robot? Watch this thrilling preview of table tennis and robotics performed at the highest level. The KUKA KR AGILUS demonstrates its skills with the table tennis racket - a realistic vision of what robots can be capable of in the future. Timo Boll, the German table tennis star, is the new brand ambassador for KUKA Robotics in China. The collaboration celebrates the inherent speed, precision, and flexibility of KUKA's industrial robots in tandem with Boll's electrifying and tactical prowess in competition. To celebrate the new KUKA Robotics factory in Shanghai, the thrilling video was a highlight of the Grand Opening on March 11th, 2014. The 20,000 sq. meter space will produce the KR QUANTEC series robot as well as the KRC4 universal controller for the Asian market. As a market leader in China, KUKA aims to further develop automation in the country while providing a modern and employee-friendly working environment. More: http://ift.tt/1lLuvne
By KukaRobotGroup
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ROBOTIS XL-320 Servo and OpenCM9.04 Controller Evaluation – Phase 1 (Video)

Here's a robot video that I found interesting:



ROBOTIS is in the process of releasing theirr low cost/high performance XL-320 servo and OpenCM9.04 robot system. Over the next few weeks I'll be evaluating the product line and utilizing them for a number of new projects.
By Robots Dreams
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Bantam Weight Final – Robot Japan 7 (Video)

Here's a robot video that I found interesting:



Humanoid robot battles at the Robot Japan events are divided into two categories - Feather Weight (under 2 kg) and Bantam Weight (under 3 kg). The basic rules for both categories follow the established ROBO-ONE rule set. This is the final match in the Bantam Weight category at the Robot Japan 7 event held in January, 2014 in the Tsukiji district of Tokyo, Japan.
By Robots Dreams
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Full-Body Imitation of Human Motions with Kinect and DARwIn-OP (Video)

Here's a robot video that I found interesting:



In this video, full-body imitation system for DARwIn-OP is introduced. The proposed system can perform full-body imitation of human motion by humanoid robot. By using straightforward geometry and based on clavicle, the system not only requires less time for computation but also satisfies the mechanical constraints and dynamics consistency feasibly. The motion capture is one of the easiest way to generate humanoid motions. However, there are lots of problems. Often, it requires offline process for building motion database. High computational cost is also a big problem in a small-size humanoid. Moreover, because of difference between human and robot kinematic structure, the original captured human motions are often infeasible movement for a humanoid. In this research, with visual motion captured by Microsoft Kinect Camera and small-size DARwIn-OP humanoid robot, we propose a human imitation system that cleared the mentioned problems.
By AISlabRitsumeikan
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Survival Marathon – Robot Japan 7 (Video)

Here's a robot video that I found interesting:



For the Survival Marathon competition, the start for each robot is delayed by 5 seconds. They run (walk) around the course. If a competitor catches up with you from behind, then your are 'out'. The marathon continues until only one robot is left running.
By Robots Dreams
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Black Tiger – Robot Japan 7 (Video)

Here's a robot video that I found interesting:



Black Tiger is a unique 5-legged robot developed by Iketomu, who also publishes the popular bipedrobotnewsjapan.blogspot.jp news blog. Iketomu has been active in both humanoid and multilegged robot creation for over a decade and is one of the few developers that have challenged top competitions like ROBO-ONE with autonomous robots.
By Robots Dreams
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