Robotic martial artists, security guards, and androids.

  androids anthroform_drones cyberpunk martial_arts patrol psychology robotics site_security swords video

Quite possibly the holy grail of robotics is the anthroform robot, a robot which is bipedal in configuration, just like a human or other great ape. As it turns out, it's very tricky to build such a robot without it being too heavy or having power requirements that are unreasonable in the extreme (which only exacerbates the former problem). The first real success in this field was Honda's ASIMO in the year 2000.ev, which most recently uses a lithium-ion power cell that permits one hour of continuous runtime for the robot. ASIMO is also, if you've ever seen a …

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Granular universal gripper.

  coffee engineering gripper robotics

One of the trickiest things in the field of robotic engineering is getting the manipulators right. Look down at your hand: you probably have five digits, four fingers and a thumb which are articulated and largely independent of one another (modulo a bit of funny business with the ring and little fingers but, as with many things natural variation comes into play here). Each finger folds and rotates in ways that the science of engineering hasn't quite gotten the hang of replicating. Then a group of scientists discovered an insanely simple design: a small sack full of granules and a …

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Remember that quad-rotor UAV?

  huh mall pictures robotics uav

You know, this one?

Here's the consumer version, on sale at Tyson's Corner mall:

This one's controlled with an iPhone app rather than a remote control operating over 802.11, and I have to wonder how hackable it really is, but it's certainly noteworthy.

Housefly-sized tetherless robots created; powered by solar energy.

  housefly insects minibots robotics solar swarmbots swarming tiny

It’s only in the past quarter-century or so that semiautonomous sensor platforms – self-powered robots equipped with cameras, rangefinders, and the like – have really advanced to the point where they’re feasible for field work. Right off the bat, everyone thinks of the UAVs deployed in Iran, Iraq, and elsewhere or sophisticated robotics projects developed by hackers, but why stop there? When you consider practical sensor platforms most of them aren’t subtle: they’re the size of a model airplane or larger, and depending upon the method of propulsion used you might even hear them before you see …

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A backlog of photographs.

  pictures air_and_space_museum bill birthday hacdc in_laws night_vision presentation robotics spacecraft

I’ve been sitting on some photographs that have piled on Windbringer’s hard drive up over the past couple of weeks and finally found the time to get them resized and uploaded.

A visit to the Air and Space Museum on my father’s in law’s birthday.

A couple of photographs taken at P. W. Singer’s presentation at HacDC. There are also a couple of shots of fun with night vision goggles later that evening in that set.

Peter W. Singer at HacDC.

  combat explosives hacdc ied iraq military moblog_fail peter_singer presentation robotics

Forget moblogging. It’s too much hassle to be workable because it never works, and it wrecks my formatting.

 <p>I just got back from <a href="http://hacdc.org/">HacDC</a>, where tonight Peter Singer, author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1594201986?ie=UTF8&tag=antarcticasta-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1594201986">Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century</a><img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=antarcticasta-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1594201986" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin …
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The RepRap build-a-thon in review.

  3d_modelling acrylic critique extruders hacdc hacking hardware hopeful microcontrollers open_house project rapid_prototyping reprap repstrap robotics sanguino tiny_little_pieces tools wireless

The weekend of the RepRap build-a-thon at HacDC started off simply: Lyssa and I went to dinner at Konami. We haven't been out for sushi for a number of months, due to my getting sick there in 2007. However, the food is still good and we enjoyed ourselves. I was unusually popular that night; my cellphone kept ringing every few minutes for various and sundry reasons. After dinner I dropped Lyssa off at home, loaded my gear into the trunk of my car, and headed to Hasufin's to pick him up because we were off to HacDC to help set …

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A blast from the past: Heathkit is back!

  computers geek heathkit hobbies robotics

Children of the 80's will no doubt remember the company Heathkit, which was famous for selling all sorts of kits for the hobbyist, most notably a personal robot called HERO-1. They're still not down and out after all these years - in fact, they're going to be selling another personal robot kit called HE-RObot which will be based on industry-standard Wintel hardware. An advance release of the specs shows that HE-RObot's processor cores will be Intel Core 2 Duo CPUs on a mini-ITX mainboard, 80GB hard drive, USB-based machine management system (whatever that is), CD-ROM drive, multiple infrared sensors, a webcam …

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Snow for sale and more.

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For those of you wondering if winter's ever going to arrive, wonder no more! Someone in Fort Collins, Colorado is selling samples of snow from the blizzards they've been having all season. He's selling ten (10) samples at $0.99us each, shipped in sealed one gallon baggies. So far, he hasn't decided if he's going to pack the in dry ice for preservation.

Just when you thought home aquaria had reached its pinnacle, someone comes along and builds a habitrail for his fish that goes all through his apartment. Hacking home fabrication systems.

Here's an unclassified memo written by the …

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