Sunday, December 29, 2013

Super Ball Bot May Help Nasa Explore Titan!

Published on Dec 23, 2013

The "Super Ball Bot", under development at NASA Ames, is a robotic exoskeleton designed to land on the surface of Titan without a parachute or airbag. It can then roll about the surface by adjusting its shape. For more information, read

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Japan's Team Schaft Wins Darpa 2013 Robotics Challenge!

Published on Dec 22, 2013
A Japanese-designed robot that can be used in disaster zones has won a contest in the US state of Florida.

16 teams competed in the 2-day DARPA Robotics Challenge that ended on Saturday.

The event, organized by a US Defense Department research institute, aims to set a standard for robotics technology for use in emergency situations dangerous to humans, such as nuclear accidents and natural disasters.

The teams were judged by the performance of their bipedal robots.

The winning robot was entered by the venture firm SCHAFT. The venture has been acquired by the IT giant Google.

SCHAFT's model showed off a steady performance throughout the competition by climbing over a mound of debris step by step. It won first place by a wide margin.

The Japanese team's rivals in the contest included robots from NASA and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as well as teams from Hong Kong and South Korea.

Teams that had excellent performance are awarded funds to be used for developing robots. All teams will participate in the competition's final round in 2014.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Valkyrie: NASA's Superhero Robot

Published on Dec 10, 2013
Meet Valkyrie, NASA JSC's DARPA Robotics Challenge humanoid robot. Learn more:

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Google Buys Walking Robot Creators, Boston Dynamics!

Think robotics isn't going mainstream?  

Google doesn't agree with you!

They just bought Boston Dynamics who's videos we've featured many times.

But what are Google's plans with the company known for making walking robots that can traverse many different obstacles? The world is going to be a very interesting place in 10 years.

Here's some of our favorite Boston Dynamics robots we've seen over the years:


Big Dog


More details:

Google buys Boston Dynamics, the Big Dog of robotics companies

Friday, December 13, 2013

A Day in the Life of a Kiva Robot

Uploaded on May 11, 2011
Kiva Systems founder and CEO Mick Mountz narrates a play-by-play video of how Kiva robots automate a warehouse environment.

Complete video available for free at:


How Robots Think: Why Artificial Intelligence Is Nothing Like the Human Mind

Mick Mountz, Founder & CEO, Kiva Systems
in conversation with Jason Tanz

Mick Mountz is founder and CEO of Kiva Systems. Mountz founded Kiva Systems in 2003, after experiencing the inadequacy of existing material-handling technologies for ecommerce at the grocery delivery startup Webvan. Kiva's integrated order-fulfillment solution employs hundreds of mobile robots and distributed intelligence to enable faster, more flexible ecommerce distribution centers for companies like The Gap, Saks Fifth Avenue,, Staples, Walgreens, and Crate and Barrel. Under Mountz's leadership, Kiva was ranked sixth on the 2009 Inc. 500 list of the fastest growing private companies in the US.

Before joining Webvan, Mountz spent three years as a product manager at Apple Computer, where he helped move new technologies like FireWire, DVD, Fast Ethernet, and 3D graphics acceleration into the standard desktop platform.

He began his career as a mechanical and manufacturing engineer at Motorola. In 2008, Mountz received an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the New England region. He holds twelve U.S. technology patents.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Spy Drone Can See What You are Wearing From 17,500 Feet

Published on Jan 31, 2013
Rise Of The Drones:

A new camera developed by the Pentagon's research arm was highlighted in a recent special on PBS' "Nova" in an episode called "Rise of the Drones." It's a camera system so detailed it can discern specific movements and even what a subject is wearing.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA's) Autonomous Real-Time Ground Ubiquitous Surveillance Imaging System (ARGUS) has 1.8 billion pixels (1.8 gigapixels), making it the world' highest resolution camera. The sensors on the camera are so precise, PBS stated it is the equivalent to the capabilities of 100 Predator drones in a medium city.
In the clip from PBS, it is said this is the first time the government has allowed information to be shared about these capabilities.
"It is important for the public to know that some of these capabilities exist," Yiannis Antonaides with contractor BAE Systems said in the clip, but noted the sensor itself cannot be revealed. "Because we are not allowed to expose some of the pieces that make up this sensor, so you get to look a pretty plastic curtains."

The technology allows the user to open up a specific windows of interest in the camera's view while still keeping up an image of the larger picture (sort of like split screen). Antonaides explained that the colored boxes in the image show that the sensor recognized moving objects. "You can see individuals crossing the street. You can see individuals walking in parking lots. There's actually enough resolution to see the people waving their arms or walking around or what kind of clothes they wear," he said. PBS noted that ARGUS can actually see much more details than just attire. It can see objects as small as six inches. At 2:23 in the clip, Antonaides points out that from 17,500 feet, a white object in the field of view is a bird flying. PBS pointed out that DARPA put a time crunch on creating the camera, which lead Antonaides to look into technology that you probably have in your purse or pocket at this very moment. Taking similar imaging systems used in smartphones and putting 368 together, is essentially how Antonaides and other engineers at BAE Systems created ARGUS. It is this "mosaic" of cameras that allows the system to zoom in on specific sections in extreme detail. As for data, the system stores up to 1 million terabytes a day. Putting this into perspective, PBS notes this is equal to 5,000 hours of HD footage.

"You can go back and say 'I would like to know what happened at this particular location three days, two hours, four minutes ago' and it would actually show you what happened as if you were watching it live," Antonaides said.

It is still classified information whether ARGUS has been used in the field yet.

"If we had our choice, we would like ARGUS to be over the same area 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That's not very achievable with manned platforms. This is where UAVs come in and they're absolutely the perfect platform," Antonaides said.
President Barack Obama's authorization of military aid to the Syrian rebels "dramatically" increases U.S. support for the opposition, the White House said Friday, while acknowledging that it will take time for the supplies to reach fighters struggling in their clashes with Syrian President Bashar Assad.

U.S. officials said the new aid would include weapons and ammunition and comes in response to firmer evidence from the White House of chemical weapons use by Assad's regime.

"There's already material that's been flowing to the opposition and that will continue in the weeks to come," said Ben Rhodes, Obama's deputy national security adviser.

Obama has said the use of chemical weapons would cross a "red line," suggesting greater American intervention. While a small percentage of the 93,000 people reportedly killed in Syria are said to have died from chemical weapons — U.S. intelligence puts the number at 100 to 150 — the White House views the deployment of the deadly agents as a flouting of international norms.

Rhodes said Obama made the decision to authorize military aid to the rebels over the past few weeks. He also defended the president's caution on the issue, saying "these are not steps the president takes lightly."

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
President Barack Obama gestures as he answers... View Full Size

The History of Syria in 60 Seconds Watch Video

White House Confirms Syria's Use of Chemical Weapons Watch Video

Smartphone Controlled Paper Airplane Raises More Than a Half Million Dollars on Kickstarter

Published on Nov 26, 2013

Preorder on Kickstarter

PowerUp Toys has introduced a new form of play by fusing origami classics with state of the art technology. This time we took a big leap forward, by integrating Bluetooth Smart technology into our PowerUp Paper airplane module. Now you can easily control a simple self made paper airplane with your smartphone. Say hi to the World's First Smartphone Controlled Paper Airplane - PowerUp 3.0.

Rethink Robotics: Meet Baxter

Published on Sep 17, 2012
Meet Baxter, a revolutionary new category of Robot from Rethink Robotics that is capable of applying common sense behavior to manufacturing environments. Affordably priced, versatile and safe enough to work shoulder-to-shoulder with people, Baxter robots redefine how small, mid-size and large domestic manufacturers use automation to compete with manufacturers in low-cost regions of the world.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Amazon Prime Air Will Make Home Deliveries Via Drone QuadroCopters

Some day in the nott too distant future, you will be able to place an order on Amazon and have it delivered to your home in 30 minutes or less.  They will accomplish this using inexpensive drone technology.  

Published on Dec 1, 2013
We're excited to share Prime Air - something the team has been working on in our next generation R&D lab. The goal of this new delivery system is to get packages into customers' hands in 30 minutes or less using unmanned aerial vehicles. Putting Prime Air into commercial use will take some number of years as we advance technology and wait for the necessary FAA rules and regulations. This is footage from a recent test flight. See page at

New Security Robots Can Let You Know If There's a Strange Car in Your Parking Lot

These robots from Autonomous Data Machines offer built-in GPS, LIDAR 3D Mapping, Thermal Imaging, Night Vision, Optical Character Recognition, Behavioral Analysis, Audio Recording, Proximity Sensors, and Biological, Chemical, & Radiation detectors.  Everything you'd want in your robot security guard!

The Knightscope K5 - Autonomous Data Machine

Published on Sep 13, 2013
Business Intelligence through Monitoring, Mapping and Securing.