Kondo Robot just announced a new multi-legged robot kit, the KMR-M6, that incorporates features sure to make it a huge hit with educators, researchers, hobbyists, and avid robot competitors. Based on feedback from their large established user base, Kondo designed the robot to require only two servos per leg using a unique spring and multi-bar linkage approach that provides improved flexibility and stability even while tackling complex obstacles.
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.
’Robot Discussion With Carl Clement (Video)’ continues
The Japanese robot builders are definitely World-Class, even at the hobby level. Their intense focus on the technology, craftsmanship, and quality makes them tough competitors in almost every sector of robotics, except for military/defense applications where the US holds a unique position.
So, if you were an American robot builder who happened to be living here and had the opportunity to compete head to head with the local talent, what could you possibly do to impress them and improve your odds of winning one of the top positions?
’How To Impress Japanese Robot Fans (Video)’ continues
KQED in San Francisco put together an excellent 5 minute mini-documentary on the hackerspace movement featuring Mitch Altman, one of the founders of the Noisebridge hackerspace:
Search out a hackerspace in your community. They are popping up all over the world. Over here, Tokyo Hackerspace is well over a year old and has established a real presence in the community along with serving as a nucleus and gathering point for crafter's, experimenters, and robot geeks. If there isn't a local hackerspace near you already, then seriously consider starting one.
We've been following Taylor Veltrop's work integrating the Kinect with humanoid robots utilizing the Willow Garage ROS system closely, and we weren't surprised when he mentioned last night that he had just finished a new “killer video.”
You may be aware that Taylor was one of the lucky, and extremely capable, developers that were selected to participate in the NAO Developer Program via Robots Dreams. So, it was natural for Taylor to implement his Kinect based master/slave control system with the NAO robot.
But he wasn't satisfied with just to get the basic remote control functions working, he also added a great deal of autonomous operation, to the point that his NAO can act as a remote avatar capable of maneuvering around the room, picking up items from a table, and transferring them to another table across the room. Very, very cool.
How did he accomplish it? Here's the background and details, plus some mind blowing demos like slicing a banana, cutting an onion, playing chess, hammering nails, and getting a tissue out of the box:
Response to the Aldebaran NAO Robot Developer Program has been quite strong, much stronger actually than anyone predicted. And, we have to say that the caliber of the applicants is extremely high. We're definitely impressed.
As of earlier today, the program is still accepting qualified participants. If you're interested, and think you're up to the most exciting robot initiative we've seen in years, then review the requirements and put in for a possible invitation to join the program.
Here's the Nao Developer Program video created by the guru's at Aldebaran: