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
Aldebaran Robotics, the creators of the well known NAO humanoid robot, obviously have a strong commitment to advancing the state of the art in robotics technology and applications. During the RoboCup 2011 competition in Instanbul they unveiled the 4th generation NAO loaded with new enhancements, improved performance, and features requested and suggested by their rapidly growing user base in leading educational, academic, and research facilities from all over the world.
While the external appearance of NAO V4 may not have changed in obvious ways (don't worry, NAO still has the cute, lovable, boyish character that's made him so popular), the changes under the hood are really impressive and will make it much easier and attractive to users developing robotic applications as well as researchers.
PTC, a world leader in high end computer design software applications, makes their Creo Elements/Direct Modeling Express 4.0 software system available for free download. Featuring real-time realistic 3D modeling, an easy to use and understand interface, simple install, and quick start project capability, the free version supports up to 60 parts. By 'parts', they mean that assemblies designed with the system can have up to 60 distinct components.
According to the version comparison chart on their website, the free version is fully featured including all the basic functionality of the professional level paid system, but doesn't support the features that enable designing sheet metal parts as flat patterns with folds or bending.
It will run on both 32 and 64 bit Windows versions, but there doesn't appear to be Mac or Linux versions. You do have to register for a free PTC account in order to register and use the software, which is totally understandable.
The price is right. Check it out.
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
According to the official Ponoko blog:
"From day one, we envisioned Ponoko creating a platform that would change the rules on who was able to make things and the way things were made.
This goal is being achieved by connecting a network of people who want to design and customize their own products with a network of digital manufacturing technologies that can make products on-demand closest to the point of consumption."
- New board set enables Android developers to create reliable real world solutions incorporating sensors, displays, motors, and robot technologies using Google Android Open Accessory -
San Francisco, CA May 10, 2011:
RT Corporation, a well known Japanese developer of robotic technologies and solutions, today announced its new RT Accessory Demo Kit (RT-ADK)/Accessory Demo Shield (RT-ADS) board set. The RT-ADK/RT-ADS configuration makes it possible for Android and Arduino application developers to add real-world interaction and functionality to their creations, reliably extending the reach of the “cloud” to include sensing and physical action.