Aldebaran NAO Robot Challenges RoboGames Kung-Fu (Video)

nao robot

I mentioned in a post a few days ago that Jay Jay Napalan, a member of the Aldebaran NAO Robot Developers Program had the chance (and the guts) to compete at RoboGames 2012 in several different categories.

Some of the categories he picked were natural choices for the NAO humanoid robot, especially those that required autonomous or AI capabilities. But one of the categories really surprised me.

Napalan entered J2 in the middle-weight humanoid kung fu category where it would potentially go head to head with bruisers like King Kizer, Wimbleton, and KiaNaut. NAO has a well deserved reputation for being more of a 'lover' than a 'fighter', and it would be a shame to see the robots ascetically beautiful white plastic body and face scratched and bruised by the punishment that a middle-weight champion can dish out.

I've been waiting for someone to post a video of J2's RoboGames 2012 matches since somehow I missed the opportunity to record it. But, since a match video hasn't appeared yet, the best I can offer is the J2 practice session video below.

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Affordable 3d Printers Hit The Market…? (Video)

3d printer

Last week I visited the iheartengineering headquarters in Brooklyn and was surprised to find that they have managed to build a rapidly expanding business around the print-on-demand model and unique product designs. Besides their abundant creativity, the heart of their business is a first generation MakerBot 3D printer that manufactures parts as orders come in the door (or over the internet).

It's not unusual for them to keep the printer running for hours, and sometimes days, at a time when orders peak. They've developed some special techniques for producing large parts with some unique fill patterns that I will post more about later.

Most important, the work, and the business model, that iheartengineering is pioneering convinced me that all the buzz about 3D printing generating a rebirth of manufacturing and creativity in the U.S. is much more than just hype. It is a practical and achievable goal, one that may soon be a reality for a growing number of start-ups.

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RoboGames 2012: Mech Wars Hardcore Weapons of Mass Destruction (Video)

120422 robot mech wars shibata 1

Mech Wars HardCore is the only humanoid and multi-legged robot event at RoboGames where the builders are allowed to equip their robots with weapons of mass destruction, including deadly arms like rockets, flame throwers, and other life threatening tools.

This year three builders showed up, and had the guts to actually put their robots in the cage. One from the US, one from Japan, and one from Mexico. It didn't take long to see how the battle would evolve.

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Spring 2012 NAO Humanoid Robot Developer Days (Video)

nao robot developer

Aldebaran just uploaded the Spring 2012 NAO Developer Days overview video providing an excellent overview of the program, participants, and the 24 hour codathon competition.

During the competition participants had just 24 hours to develop a new application for the NAO humanoid robot, then present it to the judges, with the winner receiving a brand new Next-Gen NAO robot.

 

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Bruno Maisonnier – Aldebaran Robotics – “Humanoids to Serve All” – TEDx (Video)

aldebaran robot tedx

Bruno Maisonnier, the founder of Aldebaran Robotics, has a compelling vision of the future - a future that includes humanoid robots that will improve and enhance the quality of life for all. At the TEDxConcorde conference this past January, Bruno and a host of NAO robots took the stage to deliver his vision in an entrancing and surprisingly striking fashion.

Although the video of his presentation below is in French, you won't need to understand any French at all to appreciate the robots performing during the first few minutes.

 

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Endless Robot 3D Prints Full Scale Tables and Chairs from Recycled Waste (Video)

robot 3d printer

OK- all the buzz and furor about small 3D printing technology, like the Makerbot, is great, and it will be wonderful when all of us have the ability to create any necessary, or unnecessary, object at home, at will. But, what's at the other end of the scale - bigger, better, and even more ecological? How about a 3D printer robot that recycles waste of all types and uses it to print big stuff, like furniture? Wouldn't that be cool?

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