Colin Angle on Achieving Growth in Robotics as a Business (Video)

At the INNOROBO event in France last month, Colin Angle, founder of iRobot, explained his view that successful robot business development needs to be driven from the perspective of real customer needs, and why it must be disruptive in nature:

Unfortunately that doesn't bode well for most of the highly techno-geek folks currently involved in robotics since they tend to value the technology much more than the fallible human beings that will eventually buy them. Of course, Angle is exactly on target. Most customers don't by "things" unless the "thing" fulfills a compelling need.


Via: Robotics Trends

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RoboGames 2011 – Shibata's Message & Commitment (Video)


Shibata-san, a ROBO-ONE Champion level competitor and the designer of the Kondo KHR-3HV humanoid robot joined RoboGames 2011 as a key member of the Robot Japan team.

We caught up with Shibata after all the events finished and asked him about his impressions. He was so pleased with RoboGames that without any prompting on our part, he committed to coming back for RoboGames 2012 with a brand new biped robot specifically designed to win at Mech Warfare.

Shibata's friends back home might be a little surprised at how well he can speak English. Just three short days ago he was really hesitant to speak any English. But the three extremely intense days at RoboGames brought out the best in him. Perhaps we should remarket RoboGames as the Ultimate English Language Learning Immersion Course for robot fans world-wide.

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Behind The Scenes At Robot Japan (Video)


Sitting out in the audience, or watching via the Internet, it's hard to get a real feeling for the hard work, dedication, talent, skill, and passion that goes into staging a robot competition like Robot Japan.

So, we tried to capture a few scenes from yesterday's competition so that you get at least a little taste of the excitement and adventure.

The Robot Japan team will be competing, and staging regular demonstrations during the day, at RoboGames 2011 from April 15th to the 17th.

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Robot Japan Set To Invade The US

Robot Japan

In less that two weeks a major contingent from Robot Japan will land at San Francisco airport, rapidly cover the distance to San Mateo, unpack, deploy their robots, and prepare to amaze, delight, and entertain the crowds at RoboGames 2011.

They will be staging regular demonstrations several times a day at their booth in the main hall at RoboGames as well as competing in a host of events including Kung Fu, Freestyle, Robot Soccer, Mech Warfare, and many others. And, they fully expect to return home with their luggage stuffed with RoboGames metals.

You've seen many of their champion level robots on Robots Dreams and on television. Now you can see them in person and meet the builders that created them.

Here are just a few of the robots from Japan that will be at RoboGames from April 15th-17th:



100711 Wonderful Robot Carnival-132

Robot Japan

Robot Pro Wrestling



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Can Robots Replace Baseball Players? Or At Least Their Mascots? (Video)

110403 Dr GIY Robot RoboSpot 007

We stopped by Kondo RoboSpot yesterday afternoon and happened to run into Dr. GIY tuning up the Nagoya Dragons "DOARA" mascot robot. Dr. GIY, one of the earliest participants in ROBO-ONE, a frequent champion, and technical advisor in the development of the Kyosho MANOI AT-01 humanoid robots, is well known world-wide. He was kind enough to spend some time answering our questions and gave us a private demonstration of the robots talents.


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Let's Get Ready To Robot Rumble! Mech Warfare at RoboGames 2011

Giger alien tonemapped

A little over two years ago, just prior to RoboGames 2009, Andrew Alter and a few of his colleagues were toying around with the idea of battling robots, both multi-legged and humanoid. Since they were all dyed-in-the-wool Mech fans, they naturally thought it might be a lot of fun to try and stage a "Mech Warfare" competition.

Their first attempt turned out to be more fun, and much more of a challenge, than they ever dreamed. They did manage to stage some battles and certainly proved the concept. More important, they generated tremendous interest and excitement. Robots stomping through downtown, ambushing the opposing forces, fighting to the death using bullets (air-soft pellets), giving and asking no quarter. The excitement, and the adrenaline/testosterone was so thick you could cut it with a knife. Suddenly the other robot builders started to stand up and take notice. They wanted to play too!


One year later at RoboGames 2010, Mech Warfare had grown up quite a bit. The playing field was professionally constructed and looked just like a real city, albeit in miniature. The bots were better too. Their builders had learned a lot from the first competition and incorporated all their learning into their new creations.

Next month, on April 15th through the 17th, they're going back into battle. But this time there's a major difference. Mech Warfare at RoboGames 2011 in San Mateo will be the first time that battle robots designed from the ground up will take the field. These 3rd generation Mech's are hot for blood and they come completely equipped to win, no matter what. There are already 21 robots officially registered to compete, and there is still a week before the registration closes.

This is one competition you won't want to miss! We'll be there all three days, from the time the doors open until they kick us out at night. Be there!

Photo credit: Giger - Andrew Alter

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Robot Discussion With Carl Clement (Video)

110305 NAO Developer Program Tokyo-20.jpg

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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The Birth of a NAO – First Encounter (Video)

Not all of us can be lucky enough to adopt a new NAO humanoid robot into the family, but thanks to MsPetiteGeek we can vicariously share in the experience. Watch the surprise, excitement, and wonder as she opens the box from Aldebaran Robotics for the first time:

What she didn't mention in the video is that NAO was hung up in shipping/customs for a few days. Thanks to the wonders of modern internet technology she was able to track the robots location all the way from Aldebaran in France, across the world, and into the customs holding area at the airport waiting for the authorities to stamp his passport and let him into the country. So close, yet so far away, and complaining to the customs officials would have only slowed thing down further.

To make matters even more stressful, she was scheduled to get on the bullet train for Tokyo within hours. Would NAO make it in time, or would he arrive after her train left? If she wasn't on hand to sign for the robot would the shipping company send it back to France?

Then, almost at the last minute, fate shined, NAO cleared customs and was delivered direct to her doorstep. Right now, as we write this post, MsPetiteGeek and NAO are riding the bullet train towards Tokyo where we hope to catch up with them later in the week. All's well that ends well. :)


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"Local" Robot Boy Makes Good (Video)

ROBOCON Magazine isn't the Wall Street Journal or Scientific American, but among robot builders and researchers here in Japan it has become the go-to resource for the latest in robot news, behind the scenes event reports, interviews with robotics leaders, and great how-to articles. If you want to know anything about robotics, even how to reverse engineer a complex product, you have to read ROBOCON.

Taylor Veltrop Robot Japan

So, it was great, totally unexpected, honor when Taylor Veltrop. a talented American robot application developer and consultant living in Tokyo, found himself being interviewed as a part of the ROBOCON article on the recent ROBOT JAPAN event.



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