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Showing posts from February, 2017

Robots at the Science Museum

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The Science Museum has a fantastic Exhibition on Robots running between 8th February till 3rd September 2017 - well worth a look.

Science Museum's video of highlights



Collections of photos from the exhibition.

Automaton


Figures 1 and 2 are of the James Cox and John Joseph Merlin 1773 The Silver Swan usually found at The Bowes Museum .





Figure 3 is the intricate Automaton Spider (c1604)


A couple of Movie Stars




Humanoids






The heads


Ubtech Alpha 2 is alive and dancing

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Alpha2 is the next stage on from the more readily available Ubtech Alpha 1s, funded through a recent crowd sourcing project. At the moment all I have done is the set it up with an iPad and tried out a few voice commands. It does dance on the slightly creepy command "Dance for me", personally, I am not sure of it saying "master".

So far it looks good and there is plenty to investigate. 





All opinions in this blog are the Author's and should not in any way be seen as reflecting the views of any organisation the Author has any association with. Twitter @scottturneruon

Cozmo - Wall-E has a rival

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I suspect someone from Anki was watching Wall-E (not the first to notice that see verge article http://www.theverge.com/2016/6/27/12007772/anki-cozmo-robot-ai-toy-wall-e-pixar) when they designed Cozmo it sounds, looks a bit like and has cuteness of Wall-E; but resembles the little cleaning robot M-O (which it is hard not to like); all crossed with a cute bulldozer. That is two ‘cutes’ in one sentence – this is a robot has this in abundance. From saying your name, to excitedly tapping the blocks, to victory dances when it wins a game. This is a smart little robot full of a lot of features that are revealed over the days you play with it.

The video from the manufacturer, Anki, above gives some idea of the technical aspects of it.
Anki have already produced an open-source SDK https://developer.anki.com/en-gb that is Python-based.
Powering up Cozmo for the first time and connecting to the App is relatively easy and quickly you are into playing with it (I am trying not to say him or her). 

Robot insect for the home - Antbo

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Robot insect for the home, Antbo, started as a crowdfunded project (see the video below) (https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/antbo-an-insect-robot-anyone-can-build-steam-diy#/) from the DFRobot Robotics. 

This is post is not really a fully review, just some initial thoughts, as I haven't spent enough time playing with it; but what I have seen so far does interest me.



The price during the crowdsource was around the $59-$69 which because of the range of sensors and features does seem reasonable. The screenshot below is taken from the funding website discussing some of the features.



An intriguing point in the literature is the self-learning - using 30 neuron neural network – I would love to have more details of this one.
At the moment I have been controlling it through the iPad app which gives a variety of modes - directly driving; setting it on patrol (first picture below); drawing a path on screen for it to follow (third picture below) and even voice command. All of which it is good fo…