June 21, 2014

Tokyo Toy Show 2014: Hello Zoomer Robot Dog (Video)

Here's a robot video that I found interesting: Takara Tomy demonstrated the Hello Zoomer robot dog, the lastest addition to their Omnibot series of robots. By Robots Dreams

Tokyo Toy Show 2014: Takara Tomy Hello MiP Robot (Video)

Here's a robot video that I found interesting: Takara Tomy introduced the new Hello MiP balancing robot, another entry in their well known Omnibot series of robots. By Robots Dreams

'Sunset Overdrive' shows Ubisoft just how easy it is to put female assassins in a game

We're pretty big fans of Insomniac Games' upcoming Xbox One release Sunset Overdrive 'round these parts, but now that love has grown a bit more. In the latest episode of the development team's web series, noticed by Eurogamer, it was revealed that...

Cold Call Pop-In To The FreeSide Atlanta Hackerspace

Freeside Atlanta

I was recently in Georgia for a for a non-HaD reason. This was my first trip to Georgia and it was hot, really hot, something I’m not too accustomed too. They also have nice condition roads there, something else I’m not accustomed too. I did have some free time while down there so I hopped on hackerspaces.org to see what was around. There were several spaces that were within driving distance but Freeside Atlanta was the only one that had an open event while I was available. That was the sole reason for my decision to stop in and I’m … Read the rest

'The Killing' storyline recap sets you up for the final season on Netflix

Netflix has revived The Killing for one final six-episode season, but what if you're not sure about binge watching the first three (already on Netflix, of course) to get ready? A video posted by the service gives you a good peek at some of the...

June 20, 2014

Embrace Wearable Technology and Become a Cyborg!


Bionic man vs Bionic Woman

Bionic Man vs Bionic Woman

Even today’s young people have heard of Steve Austin, The Six Million Dollar Man, and his girlfriend, The Bionic Woman. After separate accidents, each of them was surgically repaired and enhanced by the government and they became secret agents. Steve Austin could run 60 miles per hour, had arms with the power of a bulldozer and eyes that could zoom like a 20x lens. His love interest, Jaime, had similar capabilities like a bionic ear allowing her to hear at low volumes and different frequencies to most humans. Both of these shows were loosely based on the 1972 Martin Caidin novel, Cyborg.

While true cyborg technology was a far cry from reality in 1970s television land, it is no longer all that far-fetched today. In fact, last year Bertold Meyer, a Swiss psychologist, collaborated with the world’s best roboticists and built a totally bionic man for $1 million. This amazing feat underscores just how far technology has come, and also how much more affordable it is than ever before. Cybernetic organisms–cyborgs for short–are beings that have both biomechatronic and organic parts.

Since the 1970s, work on wearable computing has been ongoing. Including people in the computational processing loop will intertwine them with the technology for good. We are seeing these ideas come to life as robotics engineers are developing devices to extend human physical capabilities, or to replace injured bodily parts. Already, technology is available that fixes sight with the use of tiny cameras and electronic signals, while modified hearing aids work by capturing and applying sound waves to restore hearing. These are amazing breakthroughs for the sight- and hearing-impaired.

Concept pieces made of super-strong exoskeletons and tech-embedded clothing are giving humans increased performance abilities and faster healing from injuries.

For skiers and snowboarders, a heads-up display product, Recon Snow, looks like traditional ski goggles, but offers sports enthusiasts navigation views, speed, and altitude; it also connects to a smartphone via Bluetooth, so skiers can answer calls, read text messages, and play music. The manufacturer, Recon Instruments, has also just released a product called Jet, which will gives cyclists voice control and hands-free use.

Fitness bands like Fitbit, Jawbone, Pebble and Shine have exploded onto the scene, and casual exercisers have embraced them as well as serious fitness enthusiasts. Already, we are seeing employers purchasing the devices to help their employees get in shape and save on health insurance premiums.

Google Glass has probably gotten the most publicity, but there are many other devices available on the market which are poised to force smartphones from the forefront of communications. Samsung has released a watch that is compatible with its smartphones, and Apple is working on one as well. Smaller companies are developing and selling many different styles of transmitting rings, bracelets, gesture-controlled armbands, and smart watches. Clearly, a new paradigm shift is at hand: much in the way that tablets and mobile phones displaced personal computers, and in similar fashion to how mobile devices replaced home phones, new wearable technology pieces are becoming mainstream at a rapid clip.


Examples of Wearable Technology

Examples of Wearable Technology


We are excited to announce that RobotShop has just added a wearable technology product category, and will be adding to it steadily as more pieces and devices come to market! You can already find smart watches, smart clothes (at RobotShop Europe), exoskeletons and a bunch of DIY accessories that you can use to create your own application.

The wearable technology revolution promises to move forward briskly because sensors and chip sets are now cheaper than ever before, making it easier for smaller companies to incorporate the latest technology into wearable devices. Though people seem married to their phones today, they might soon be trading them in for a rocking, hands-free watch, bracelet, ring, or eyeglasses that use voice recognition and camera technology to take care of tasks that were once the domain of personal computers. It is a strange new world indeed. A world in which we embrace more and more wearable technology, a world in which we are going to slowly merge with our technology, where flesh and machine will become one. A world full of cyborgs.

June 18, 2014

Out now: The LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Discovery Book

Do you want to learn to build and program robots with LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3? Then The LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Discovery Book is the book you've been looking for. Master the building and programming skills needed to invent your own robots as you work through the book's many tutorials and challenges. Along the way, you'll build a series of sophisticated robots like the SNATCH3R, a robotic arm that can autonomously find, grab, lift and move the infrared beacon.

From the back cover:

LEGO MINDSTORMS has changed the way we think about robotics by making it possible for anyone to build real, working robots. The latest MINDSTORMS set, EV3, is more powerful than ever, and The LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Discovery Book is the complete, beginner-friendly guide you need to get started.

Begin with the basics as you build and program a simple robot to experiment with motors, sensors, and EV3 programming. Then you’ll move on to a series of increasingly sophisticated robots that will show you how to work with advanced programming techniques like data wires, variables, and custom-made programming blocks. You’ll also learn essential building techniques like how to use beams, gears, and connector blocks effectively in your own designs.

Master the possibilities of the EV3 set as you build and program:
  • The EXPLOR3R, a wheeled vehicle that uses sensors to navigate around a room and follow lines
  • The FORMULA EV3 RACE CAR, a streamlined remote-controlled race car
  • ANTY, a six-legged walking creature that adapts its behavior to its surroundings
  • SK3TCHBOT, a robot that lets you play games on the EV3 screen
  • The SNATCH3R, a robotic arm that can autonomously find, grab, lift, and move the infrared beacon
  • LAVA R3X, a humanoid robot that walks and talks
More than 150 building and programming challenges throughout encourage you to think creatively and apply what you’ve learned to invent your own robots. With The LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Discovery Book as your guide, you’ll be building your own out-of-this-world creations in no time!

Requirements: One LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 set (LEGO SET #31313)

You can get the book at your local book store or you can order it from Amazon. You can also order the book along with a free ebook directly from the publisher. When ordering from the publisher, use discount code DISCOVER to get 30% off.

June 15, 2014

Robots Podcast #158: Ethics in HRI

photo of Dr. Laurel D. Riek

In Robots Podcast #158, AJung Moon speaks with Laurel Riek, who is the Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Notre Dame, where she directs the Robotics, Health, and Communication Lab. Dr. Riek's research interests are in human-robot interaction, social signal processing, and health informatics. Her work explores how to build machines that are socially agile – able to sense, respond, and adapt to human behavior.

Read On | Tune In

June 12, 2014

RobotShop Among the Fastest Growing Companies in Canada, 3rd Year in a Row

For the third year in a row, RobotShop is among the fastest growing companies in Canada, ranking 186th according to the 26th Annual PROFIT 500 ranking. In 2013, RobotShop was ranked 151st, while in 2012 we were ranked 63rd. As a comparison, Industry Canada reports there are around 1.1 million active businesses in Canada. Despite this amazing growth, the robotics market is still in its infancy, and as manufacturers make their products more accessible to the masses, the industry is set to explode, with robotic products changing every aspect of our daily lives. Products such as 3D printers and quadcopters are now commonplace, whereas only a few years ago, only people with a robotics background knew what they were.

Profit 500 Canada

2014 Profit 500 Canada

We here at RobotShop strive to carry the latest and greatest robotic products and provide the best service possible, essentially “putting robotics at your service™“. None of this would have been possible without our amazing and passionate customers, who, with their interest in buying or building all things robotic, have allowed us to get to where we are now. We are always interested in getting your opinion and feedback regarding our products and websites and invite you to stay tuned for even more amazing changes we have planned for 2014 / 2015!


May 30, 2014

Robots Podcast #157: Russian robotics

composite photo of speakers at RoboForum

In this Robots Podcast #157, Sabine speaks with Andrew Gryaznov, co-founder of Cubic Robotics and Roman Luchin, founder of TRIK and CEO of CyberTech Labs, about robotics in Russia. They provide us with an inside view on robotics education, innovations and startups in their country. The interview was done live at ROBOFORUM in Moscow in early May, 2014. ROBOFORUM is a cross-disciplinary conference designed to unite the best minds in robotics, including scientists and designers, business people and governors as well as artists, engineers and popular science speakers worldwide.

Read On | Tune In

EV3 and Arduino... together!

Here is something pretty cool if you would like to push the EV3 a little further then it is meant too be.

That's right, our friends at Dexter Industries just released a tutorial on how to connect these two devices http://www.dexterindustries.com/howto/connecting-ev3-arduino/

Let us know in the comment below if by any chance you have played with this combo already or if this is something you are adding in your bucket list?
: . .

May 18, 2014

Robots Podcast #156: RoboRoach

photo of RoboRoach with attached circuit board

In Robots Podcast episode #156, Ron Vanderkley speaks with Bill Reith, an engineer at Backyard Brains. The company is developing RoboRoach, the world’s first commercially available 'cyborg', using funds generated through a successful KickStarter project. Using their kit, you can briefly control the left/right movement of a cockroach from a smart phone using microstimulation of the antenna nerves.

Read On | Tune In

May 03, 2014

Robots Podcast #155: Zero Tillage Robotics

photo of AgBot

In episode #155, Ron Vanderkley speaks with Professor Peter Corke from Queensland University of Technology, about the fast-tracking research that will see robots planting, weeding, maintaining and harvesting crops. The AgBot is a light-weight, golf buggy-sized robot that has been specifically designed to reduce the environmental impact of weeding. It can navigate wheat farms of around 4000 hectares using low-cost sensors, targeting weeds with spray while they are still very young plants.

Read On | Tune In

April 20, 2014

Robots Podcast #154: Henrik Schunk

photo of Henrik Schunk

In episode #154, Per Sjoborg speaks with Henrik Schunk about his company’s work in gripping technology, modular robotics, dexterous manipulation, and this year’s SCHUNK Expert Days (video), the subject of which was service robots. Henrik Schunk joined SCHUNK GmbH as Managing Partner in 2001. Today, he is responsible for management of gripping systems, automated solutions, and mobile gripping systems. Since July 2010, he is also the chairman of the European robotics association, EUnited Robotics.

Read On | Tune In

April 06, 2014

Robots Podcast #153: Termite-Inspired Construction

termite-inspired construction robot

Termites, in their roles as construction workers, are simple agents, using only local information, yet they can build complex structures such as termite mounds. Taking inspiration from such swarm systems in nature, Justin Werfel and colleagues have created TERMES robots that build three-dimensional structures without the need for any leader or prescribed roles. In Robots Podcast #153, Sabine speaks with Justin Werfel about this work, which is a project of the Self-organizing Systems Research Group, a core component of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard University.

Read On | Tune In

March 24, 2014

Robots Podcast #152: EU Robotics Week 2013

photos of Fiorella Operto, Douwe Dresscher, and Roko Tschakarow

In episode #152, Robots Podcast does a bit of catching up, combining three interviews relating to last November's EU Robotics Week. In this episode, interviewer Sabine Hauert speaks with Fiorella Operto, the National Coordinator of the EU Robotics Week in Italy and president of the School of Robotics, Douwe Dresscher, a graduate student in robotics and mechatronics at the University of Twente, who was involved in organizing his department's participation in the event, and Roko Tschakarow, Business Director of Mobile Gripping Systems at SCHUNK, who helped organize a robotics challenge for local high-school students as part of EU Robotics Week. (Sabine herself has just taken on a position as a lecturer in robotics at the University of Bristol.)

Read On | Tune In

March 10, 2014

Robots Podcast #151: Big deals and privacy

photo of Avner Levin, Ryerson University

As part of Robohub's focus series on Big Deals, in Robots Podcast #151 interviewer AJung Moon talks with Avner Levin, Chair of the Law and Business Department, Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University, and Director of the Privacy & Cyber Crime Institute. Their conversation ranges widely, but keeps coming back to recent acquisitions on the part of Google, in particular, and whether they represent something to be concerned about from perspective of customer privacy, or even the potential for cyber crime manifesting physically, via robotics. Levin discusses the nature of his own concern, the state of existing law and policy as regards privacy, and the need for government involvement and guidance in this fast-changing, highly competitive environment.

Read On | Tune In

February 24, 2014

Robots Podcast #150: Dario Floreano

Dario Floreano, with (then) graduate students Peter Durr, Markus Waibel, and Sabine Hauert

Before Robohub there was Robots Podcast. Before Robots Podcast there was Talking Robots. Before Talking Robots there was Dario Floreano, a professor at EPFL, with an idea and a handful of graduate students eager to run with it. In episode #150, Robots Podcast goes back to its roots, repeating the combination from the first episode of Talking Robots, of Markus Waibel (now a senior researcher at ETH-Zurich and heavily involved in the RoboEarth project) interviewing Dario Floreano (now also Director of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research for Robotics, in addition to being head of the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems at EPFL). All episodes of both Robots Podcast and Talking Robots are available directly from the Robots Podcast website as well as from the iTunes Store.

Read On | Tune In

February 08, 2014

Robots Podcast #149: Industry and Society

photo of Personal Intelligent City Accessible Vehicle (PICAV)

In Robots Podcast #149 Per Sjöborg speaks with Rezia Molfino from the PMAR group at University of Genova about how all robots are service robots and some of the many interesting projects she is working on, ranging from challenging manufacturing problems in thin sheet machining (SwarmItFIX) and the textile industry (clopema), to assisted-living vehicles for use in an urban environment (PICAV) and do-it-yourself, practical equipment for demining war zones (Locastra).

Read On | Tune In

January 26, 2014

Robots Podcast #148: Robert Bosch Venture Capital

photo of Jan Westerhues

In Robots Podcast #148, Per Sjöborg speaks with Jan Westerhues, Investment Partner with Robert Bosch Venture Capital in Frankfurt, Germany, where he is responsible for robotic investments. Robert Bosch began as an automotive parts firm, but has branched out into other businesses and now has an R&D staff of 15,000 persons. The company's venture capital operation is not an angel investor, and only ever takes a minority position in the companies in which it invests, but, when approached by a company that has already completed the initial phases of identifying a market and defining a product, and has a prototype and a business plan, Westerhues will locate someone within Bosch's R&D staff with the competence to evaluate the prototype, whether it holds the potential to deliver what the company claims for it, and to ‘talk tech’ with the company's own designers and engineers. The ideal situation for Bosch is that in which their own industrial strength can be brought to bear, perhaps supplying parts for the products of the companies in which they invest, but this is not a requirement.

(I listened to this episode five or six times in preparation for this post, and suggest that anyone interested in venture capital funding do likewise.)

Read On | Tune In

January 15, 2014

Tips To Help You Handle Your Time And Effort Better

Many individuals lose an eye on what needs to be done since they can’t manage time well. This may produce a stressful and anxiety for them. This post is for anyone trying to increase their time management abilities. This piece… Continue Reading

The post Tips To Help You Handle Your Time And Effort Better appeared first on pleobot.

January 13, 2014

Robots Podcast #147: Giulio Sandini & Interdisciplinarity

Giulio Sandini with two iCub humanoid robots

In Robots Podcast #147, Per Sjöborg speaks with Giulio Sandini, director of Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences (RBCS) at the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), about how, having begun his career as a bioengineer working on how the brain controls the muscles which aim and focus the eye, he eventually came to work in robotics, about why interdisciplinary work is important to robotics, and about how diverse teams of engineers, biologists, psychologists, mathematicians, physicists, and medical doctors can learn from each other. Sandini illustrates the point using examples of successful interdisciplinary efforts at IIT, including the iCub and COMAN humanoid platforms, the HyQ quadruped, and their work in rehabilitation robotics.

Read On | Tune In

December 28, 2013

Robots Podcast #146: Lynne Parker, robot teamwork

robots used in research by Distributed Intelligence Laboratory

Lynne Parker is Professor and Associate Head in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK). At UTK, she is the founder and director of the Distributed Intelligence Laboratory, which performs research in multi-robot systems, sensor networks, machine learning, and human-robot interaction. In this episode, Per Sjöborg speaks with Lynne Parker about her work with robot teams.

Read On | Tune In

December 14, 2013

Robots Podcast #145: Paul Oh on DRC

photo of Dr. Paul Oh

In this episode, Sabine Hauert interviews Paul Oh, Director of the Drexel Autonomous Systems Lab at Drexel University. His team, spanning 10 universities, is competing in the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) with the HUBO humanoid made by KAIST in South Korea.

Read On | Tune In

December 05, 2013

Robots Podcast #144: Working with EOD personnel

EOD robot operator with robot

In this episode, AJung Moon talks with Julie Carpenter, who recently received her doctorate in Educational Psychology from the University of Washington, having written her dissertation on the interaction between military Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) personnel and the robots they use in investigating suspicious objects and rendering explosives harmless – primarily PackBots from iRobot and TALONS from QinetiQ. More generally, Julie is interested in emotional attachment issues in human-robot interaction, and how it affects user decision-making in collaborative, sometimes stressful, situations.

Read On | Tune In

September 11, 2013

Guidelines On How To Improve At Writing Your Blog!

It may be somewhat difficult to start a new blog. It will take serious effort to separate your website in the rest since pretty much anybody can set up a blog. Use good seo techniques when making your blog’s readership.… Continue Reading

The post Guidelines On How To Improve At Writing Your Blog! appeared first on pleobot.

September 25, 2011

Java Creator James Gosling Leaves Google for Robotics Firm

James Gosling
Only five months after joining Google, Java creator and former Oracle employee James Gosling has announced that he’s leaving the search giant to become the Chief Software Architect for Liquid Robotics, a new firm that develops robots for maritime applications.

Gosling posted about the move on his personal website:

I’ve surprised myself and made another career change. I had a great time at Google, met lots of interesting people, but I met some folks outside doing something completely outrageous, and after much anguish decided to leave Google.

Liquid Robotics primarily develops Wave Glider, an autonomous robotic vehicle that is packed with sensors, powered by solar panels and wave action, and that uploads the data it collects to the cloud. Gosling described Wave Gliders in the Gulf of Mexico that are being used to monitor water chemistry. According to the Liquid Robotics website, the Wave Glider harvests energy from the environment in order to “travel long distances, hold station, and monitor vast areas without ever needing to refuel.”

Liquid Robotics Wave Glider

Liquid Robotics Wave Glider

March 30, 2011

Wild ride for IRBT as all-time high looms

It seems like just yesterday I was buying scoops of IRBT at $7 a share. Actually it was more like 30 months ago - but iRobot has been on an absolute tear since then. Despite the recession, the company's revenues and profits quickly rebounded and then hit all time highs, and the stock has followed nicely, roughly matching AAPLs performance in that time (without introducing an iPad I might add).

February 05, 2011

Censored by Google

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January 10, 2011

iRobot Noted for Pushing Kinect-Style Technology at CES

iRobot's new robots are getting noticed as early home implementations of Kinect-style technology. Reuters has the story from CES.

January 07, 2011

iRobot introduces AVA telepresence robot at CES (!!!)

Didn't expect this so soon: iRobot unveiled its telepresence robot, AVA. The telepresence robot is compatible with iPads and Android devices and is designed to be ready for APPs. iRobot CEO Colin Angle: "If you can program an iPad, you can program a robot." The new robot has sonar and mapping, and Microsoft Kinect-style technology. Here's PC Magazine's interview on YouTube: Exciting stuff!

January 03, 2011

NEW Roomba 700 Series, Scooba 230 Announced by iRobot (!)

iRobot Corporation (NASDAQ:IRBT) announced today that it will introduce all new models of its Roomba and Scooba lines at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The new Roomba 700 Series robots feature AeroVac II vacuum bin with more power, HEPA filtration, 50% better battery life, and improved dirt detection. The new 700 Series models will cost about double the $249 starting price point for the 500

December 27, 2010

Heartland Robotics snagged $20 million in funding

The robotics field is heating up. Heartland Robotics, the company founded by iRobot godfather Rodney Brooks, announced Nov. 30 that they have secured another $20 million in funding. Can't wait for them to show off their supposedly amazingly cheap and useful products and have an IPO.

Colin Angle disses Neato's XV-11, hints at lawsuits

iRobot CEO Colin Angle gave an extensive interview to GetRobo.com where he praises Neato Robotics as a company and calls their laser rangefinder interesting, but ultimately dismisses the Neato XV-11 robotic vacuum, saying that it does not do as good of a job of cleaning as Roomba, because it treats such things as couch skirts as walls and doesn't then clean under the couch. Angle also said that

December 16, 2010

iRobot Stock Nears $24 IPO price as Roombas selling out, SUGV begins shipping

A couple of pieces of excellent news appears to be juicing iRobot's stock, which has come very close to the initial $24 IPO price, which would be a nice milestone for the company. Boeing, the company that markets iRobot's SUGV product to the military, announced that it has started delivering SUGVs under the low rate initial production phase of the brigade combat team modernization program, with

November 24, 2010

Will iRobot be a takeover target?

Reuters has an article that points out big defense contractors are buying smaller ones to find growth in a tight funding environment. Boeing, iRobot and Northrop Grumman are mentioned as focusing on unmanned systems, an area prime for growth. Link.

October 28, 2010

Colin Angle: "Many, many, many hundreds" of PackBots Killed in Action by Roadside Bombs; Sees Growth in Military Robotics Despite Defense Cuts

Colin Angle iRobot CEO Colin Angle told Forbes magazine that he sees opportunities for continued growth in military robots even with future budget cuts in Defense spending. The company's robots cost a lot less than other military items (ed: like people), and are proven to save lives. Angle said he doesn't have a precise number of how many PackBots have been killed in action by roadside bombs,

Paging IRBT analysts: Why do you ask such terrible questions?

iRobot's conference call this morning was very, very boring, almost tedious, and I blame the analysts. All they seemed to care about were vague questions about "color" for next year's numbers. Nobody had a truly insightful question, including the obvious ones: 1) How concerned are you about the threats from Neato Robotics, Mint Cleaner, Samsung, and are you worried that they are taking share in

iRobot Posts Earnings Call Transcript

iRobot (NASDAQ:IRBT) posted the script for the start of its earnings call on its website. The actual call takes place at 8:30. The text has a bunch of positives, including growth in South America, strong military orders, strong Roomba orders, and a stronger balance sheet. Thx, Potts

October 27, 2010

iRobot Reports Strong 3rd Quarter Results, Ups Guidance Again on Strong Roomba Sales

iRobot Corporation (NASDAQ:IRBT) reported its third quarter earnings after the close, and it was another stellar report, blowing away profit estimates with 27 cents per diluted share and upping full year estimates significantly to 80-82 cents a share, far above consensus estimates of 57 cents. Even that could be too low, given that the company has started making a habit of blowing away estimates.

iRobot Names Human Resources VP

Russell J. Campanello has been tapped as iRobot's new VP of Human Resources. Perhaps this is a sign they expect more growth?

Coffee Balloon Robotic Hand Co-Developed by iRobot

Coffee-Filled Hand This latest invention is, frankly, amazing. iRobot and researchers at Cornell and the University of Chicago with funding from DARPA developed a powerful robotic hand using a simple vacuum, a balloon, and coffee grounds. Here's how it works — the coffee-filled balloon is lowered onto an object that needs picking up. The balloon deforms around the object. Then the vacuum is

BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman, iRobot Partner on Ground Combat Vehicle

With earnings due today, iRobot's been coming fast and furious this week with the press releases. Yesterday, BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman announced they are partnering with iRobot on the new Ground Combat Vehicle. From the press release: "iRobot Corporation (NASDAQ:IRBT) will serve as the unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) integrator and enhance the capability to detect pedestrians and obstacles

October 25, 2010

iRobot gets $1.82 million in Seaglider contracts

Seaglider, iRobot's chief ocean-monitoring robot, has received two contracts worth $1.82 million combined, iRobot announced a few minutes ago. While any contract here is good news, to date the company's multi-million-dollar investment in oceangoing robots has yet to pay off. The company lost out on a major Navy contract a while back. I think there is still potential here, given the Seaglider's

October 23, 2010

Colin Angle interviewed by Wired

iRobot CEO Colin Angle was interviewed by Wired this week and expounded on several topics, including his friendship with Google co-founder Larry Page (Angle was at Page's wedding), who he credits with Google's "gratuitous" robotic vehicle venture, his vision for providing most health care in the home via telepresence robots and sophisticated sensors, and his disdain for robotic toys. Worth a

October 20, 2010

iRobot Playing Key Role Developing Advanced Robotic Arm for DARPA

DARPA's reference robot IEEE Spectrum has a well-done, in-depth report on DARPA's advanced robotic manipulator arm project at this link. The project includes various teams competing to provide the best hardware and software on the project, but iRobot Corporation (NASDAQ:IRBT) is the only private company competing, and one of just two teams competing in both hardware and software categories.

October 18, 2010

Gold-Plated Roomba Robot Shown during iRobot CEO Colin Angle's Visit to Japan

Bling is back, I guess. I never thought I'd see a 24K-gold Roomba, until now. I mean, it's a vacuum cleaner people! Aren't we supposed to be in a recession? Isn't gold at like $1,400 an ounce? 24K Gold Plated Roomba The pictured gold-plated Roomba, which looks like a modified Roomba 560, was shown during a recent visit by iRobot CEO Colin Angle to Japan (Google translated Japanese page). The

October 17, 2010

Next Generation EOD Robots Planned by Navy to Fight IED Threat

The Navy just posted a presolicitation notice that they will be posting preliminary requirements for a key competition for part of the Advanced Explosive Ordnance Disposal Robotic System (AEODRS). According to the notice, they see a family of three robots all sharing the same controllers and software. There will be three variants — a 35-pound "dismounted" one, i.e. soldiers walking without their

October 16, 2010

iRobot Packbot Video Shows Aware 2 Software and Hardware Upgrades

As iRobot announced a $14 million order for upgrades to its FasTac line of PackBots last week, the company released a video on YouTube detailing the many upgrades they have developed, including the Aware 2 software, controllers, various arms, grippers, cameras, lights, and more. Take a look:

iRobot's Maryellen Abreu's run-in with TreeHugger

Maryellen Abreu, iRobot's director of technical support, impresses in this YouTube clip from a customer service forum in which she discusses how she dealt with the infamous TreeHugger fiasco. An iRobot customer service rep told a caller, who happened to write for TreeHugger, to throw a nonworking Roomba in the trash instead of recycling it. She tells the story starting at around 4:07 in this clip

Roomba Sumo Wrestling — in the Baltics

Roomba wrestling in Tallinn, Estonia, via YouTube: Yes, the Roomba phenomenon is global.

October 15, 2010

Evolution Robotics CEO talks Mint Cleaner with Botjunkie

Evan Ackerman at Botjunkie interviewed Evolution Robotics' CEO Paulo Pirjanian about the Mint cleaner, the company's vision for the future, and iRobot's Celestial Navigation Patent for its dominant Roomba line of robotic vacuums. The Mint Cleaner from Evolution Robotics Pirjanian talked with Evan about his idea for building a simple, quiet Swifferbot with advanced navigation capabilities, his

December 25, 2009

NXT Turing Machine

In 1948 Alan Turing described a Logical Computing Machine with the following definition: "An infinite memory capacity obtained in the form of an infinite tape marked out into squares on each of which a symbol could be printed. At any moment there is one symbol in the machine; it is called the scanned symbol. The machine can alter the scanned symbol and its behavior is in part determined by that

October 31, 2009

The Halloween Spiderbot

Halloween Spiderbot

Just in time for Halloween, an amateur robotics hobbyist who goes by the handle WGhost9 posted some video in the Trossen Robotics forum of his latest creation: a six-legged, jack-o’-lantern-headed robot.

The inventor of the robot calls his creation the Creeper2, and has designed it with expansion in mind. “The Creeper2’s large body contains expansion slots for 3 additional servos for adding navigational sensors, a head, small mandibles, or even a camera,” WGhost9 explains in his forum post.

Check out the original post here and watch the video below for more info.

December 11, 2008


Just a cool little tidbit I picked up on while surfing around, someone has come up with a Mindstorms NXT version of the robot WALL-E from the new upcoming Pixar movie! I can't wait to see the flick and this only makes me want to see it even more!Check it out here.

NXT Log Challenge: Bug Bot

A few months ago in April, the LEGO Mindstorms website sported a brand new feature - building contests. The first two contests included a FLL robot and a quadruped walker. Now for the third challenge, LEGO wants to see you build your best bug bot! Your challenge is to design a NXT Insect or a NXT robot that can fight pesky pests.Your insect creations are judged on a few different aspects

New IR Seeking Sensor

HiTechnic has done it again with the introduction of their newest sensor: The NXT IRSeeker. The new sensor does exactly what it is named for: it seeks out infrared light sources. Outfitted with an array of infrared sensors, the IRSeeker has a 135 degree field of vision. With the multiple sensors inside, the IRSeeker can display approximately where and how far away an IR light source is from the

Mindstorms Cellular Bluetooth NXT Control

With the addition of the bluetooth technology in the Mindstorms NXT system a whole new area of control was opened. The guys over at LEGO have introduced bluetooth support for the Mindstorms NXT system in the area of bluetooth enabled cell phones.Recently, LEGO has made available their NXT Mobile Application that allows you to control your robot wirelessly via bluetooth technology. According to

December 23, 2007

Top Five NXT Videos on Youtube

WiigoBotLego Mindstorms NXT SegwaySPC (Self Parking Car)NXT Rubik's cube solver - Final versionDanny's Mindstorms NXT Rubik Cube Solver