Sunday, October 10, 2004

Robot videos

I was at Fry's, and I saw the $100 Robosapien on sale. Check out these cool videos of Mark Tilden with Robosapien. The second one on the page is really cool! I love that international caveman language that Robosapien speaks. I also happened across Aibo at the Metreon the other time. There seem to be so many robots floating around. This article in Businessweek summarizes the state of the market.
Some of today's most popular entertainment robots are little more than toys, but they're attracting plenty of attention. With 67 preprogrammed moves controlled by a remote, Wow Wee's $100 Robosapiens have been hot sellers at Fry's Electronics and other U.S. stores. At the other end of the price spectrum is Sony's $1,800 robot canine, Aibo ERS-7, which can fetch, respond to its owner's voice, take photos, and find its recharger when its batteries run low.
Check out this video of Asimo going the stairs. From a robotics perspective, it is harder to implement sophisticated movement with bipedal robots than with six- or four- legged ones, not to mention wheeled ones. That they have been able to make Asimo walk down the stairs must violate some law of robotics somewhere :)

Update : updated the post a bit.

[Cross-posted to Zoo Station]

The news from Mars

The news from Mars is that they have fresh evidence that there were significant quantities of water on the planet.
Opportunity was the first to send back evidence that a salty sea once covered the area where it landed, a flat plain known as the Meridiani Planum. Spirit also found signs that the massive Gusev Crater, where it landed, had seen small amounts of water.
Now, recent data sent back by Opportunity suggests the area had a second drenching sometime after the plains dried out, scientists said.
The Martian rovers have been nothing short of spectacular. The guys have been making some amazing discoveries while being controlled from here on earth. That should also be a huge plug for robotics and Artificial Intelligence, in general.

[Cross-posted to Zoo Station]