Hiroshi Ishiguro's famous robotics laboratory situated in Kyoto, Japan, is looking for an outstanding international scientific engineer that can make a major contribution to their development in teleoperated robotic systems. Demonstrated expertise with state of the art robotics projects is one of their key selection criteria. The exact definition of a 'scientific' engineer isn't immediately clear - at least to me, though they are looking for candidates with experience in hardware/software humanoid robot construction; teleoperation; computer vision, and/or spoken language processing.
The laboratory is world famous for pushing the edge with startling, sometimes almost frightening, android creations including the Geminoid series, Telenoids, and Elfoids. While other robotic researchers tend to shy away from the boundaries of the Uncanny Valley, Ishiguro's laboratory seems to have staked out the territory as their own personal hunting ground.
All things considered, it looks like a real plum job for the right candidate, the opportunity to work with the leading experts in the field and potentially gain a lot of invaluable know-how, experience, and visibility in the robot community.
Moriyama-san alerted us to a press release from SoftEther that shows a lot of promise in harnessing 3D motion capture technology for a wide range of applications including robotics, graphic design, simulations, and other fields. The new product, named "QUMA", which we first posted about back in late 2009, makes dramatic improvements to the user interface for 3D designers. The core concept is so simple and intuitive that we're amazed that someone didn't come up with it before and beat SoftEther to the market.
We spent a wonderful, and learning packed, afternoon with the Robot Japan team in Tokyo figuring out how to teach the Aldebaran NAO humanoid robot to draw Japanese kanji characters in the traditional calligraphy style called "Shodo". It may look simple, but take it from me, drawing the characters correctly, in the right stroke order, and with the proper energy and spirit can be a real challenge, even for a human.
’Teaching The NAO Robot Japanese Calligraphy’ continues
The guys at Laan Labs came up with a novel way to record 3d data from the Kinect then play it back as a 3D augmented reality video on the iPad using the String SDK. It plays on the strength of both devices. The ability of the Kinect to cheaply, easily, and accurately generate 3D data, and the iPad form factor that makes it easy to move around in space to view the 3D image from different angles.
Ever wonder what it takes to build one of the advanced humanoid robot kits like a Kondo KHR-3HV? It turns out to be not all that hard, though the process does require considerable concentration, persistence, and patience.
Total assembly time is typically around 8-10 hours, though you will want to split it up into a few separate work sessions, unless you're really turned on by the thrill of searching for tiny, tiny screws that fell off the table and into the carpet pile.
Thanks to the dedication, and thoughtfulness, of Daniel Stephens, you can peek over his shoulder while he goes through the entire KHR-3HV robot construction and testing process from start to successful finish. Don't worry, Daniel has been thoughtful enough to compress the 10 hour robot build into a much more manageable 6 minute video clip below.
’How to Build a Humanoid Robot (Video)’ continues
Under the heading of "robot business", we were very pleased to see that even in today's extremely challenging business climate, robot ventures are continuing to attract substantial investment.
While increased use of robotics isn't likely to result in a corresponding increase in employment for their human counterparts, contrary to popular belief, it will open up new applications and open the door to exploring new opportunities that were previously considered to be too hazardous, risky, or beyond the keen of available economical technology solutions.
A good example is Liquid Robotics, the creator of marine robotic drones that utilize ocean waves and solar arrays to generate the power required for their operation. These unique platforms are almost totally self-sufficient and can automatically maintain their position in the ocean, kind of the sea-going equivalent of the geostationary satellites positioned in space over the planet.