Robots Warm Up for Soccer (Video)


RoboCup 2010 is ramping up in Singapore even as we speak, and while the energy and excitement can't compare to the human version, the eyes of robot enthusiasts and builders world-wide have shifted from South Africa to Singapore.

Yuki Nakagawa, our friend, robot mentor, and founder of RT-Corp is on-site, right in the middle of the action, and filing regular reports. Given her background with Asimo and other large sized humanoids, like Neko Tencho, she has a particular fondness for the "Adult Humanoid" RoboCup category, which explains her video above showing the warm-up practice session.

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Asada Synergistic Intelligence Project Baby Robot Progress (Video)

Looks like the ERATO Research Project group has been making a lot of progress, especially the Asada Synergistic Intelligence Project focused on developing human shaped robots that can communicate complex and a wide variety of movement.

One key objective is to explore motor learning and cognitive development in babies. It's important to understand that the researchers are not trying to develop robots that would replace human babies in any way. Quite the contrary. They hope that by developing robots that can replicate or mimic a human baby's cognitive development process they can discover and validate significant principles that will support similar adaptive learning for future robots that will be able to cooperatively coexist with people in our complex human society.

Here are a couple of videos uploaded by KMoriyama showing the latest project demonstrations in action. The videos were taken earlier this afternoon during a symposium at Tokyo University. First, the “Noby” baby robot:

And, the “M3–Neony” robot:

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Handling A Robot Fire (Video)

The uninitiated might easily assume that when an emergency occurs at a robot event the first line of defense would be an army of fire-fighting rescue robots swooping down to handle the situation and protect mankind.

They might assume that, but they would be wrong….

In all fairness, the incident apparently took place among the Mid-Sized League (MSL) section at the RoboCup 2009 competition, and participants did exactly the right thing by jumping to the rescue. We wonder what kind of disaster/panic would have ensued had the fire had gotten big enough to trigger the automatic fire sprinkler system. 

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Vstone Robot Center Featured

image844480828.jpgThe new Vstone Robot Center is being featured in the current issue of Hiragana Times, a popular magazine for both students of the Japanese language and for Japanese trying to improve their command of English.

According to the article, Vstone was established in 2000 as a specialty camera manufacturer by Nobuo Yamato. As it turned out, one of the company's executives was really into robotics as a hobby, so the company decided to try it's hand, and introduced it's first humanoid robot kit.

Although the robot was fairly expensive, listing at just over 400,000 yen (close to $4,000), the market acceptance was surprisingly strong, amazing every one. Encouraged, the company shifted it's focus from cameras to robots.

Robovie, the most popular Vstone series, was introduced in 2003, and has racked up sales of over 5,000 units so far. That's quite aways behind Kondo, the market leader, but still quite a respectable number.

The new Vstone shop plans to offer training courses and a fully equipped workspace for hobbyists to use fabrication equipment, in addition to robot kit and parts sales over-the-counter and online.

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