Showing posts with label Roomba. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Roomba. Show all posts

Nov 22, 2011

Home Robots

Still time to buy a robot for Christmas. While Roomba vacuums your living room, Scooba is scrubbing the bathroom floor, Verro is power washing your pool, and Looj is clearing out your gutters. You can kick back, catch the game, and the house will be spic-and-span just in time for the party. Prices are coming down, too. A few hundred bucks for many and up to a few thousand for the really slick and sophisticated ones.

Millions of home robots have been sold and are busy every day. Ava, an autonomously-guided, mobile robotics platform that has a PC tablet, a smart phone, etc. for its brains. This mobile interface will allow us to become a night watchman, or see things that we currently can not, or anything we can think of, only limited by developers’ imaginations. This and others are all open platform, which means we can do our own programming and teach our bots to do our personal bidding. The home bots are coming and the next generation will be absolutely amazing. We will likely have to wait for a few years, but the trend is up.

Jan 13, 2010


The socialization of robots was an important area of research during 2009. Researchers believe that giving robots social skills will make them better at assisting people in homes, schools, offices, and hospitals. Andrea Thomaz created robots that can learn simple grasping tasks from human instructors who use social cues, such as verbal instructions, gestures, and expressions.

Another robot, made by a group at Carnegie Mellon University, guides conversations by making "eye contact" to suggest that it's time to speak.

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, created a machine-learning program that lets a robotic head develop better facial expressions. By looking in a mirror, the robot can analyze the way its motors move different parts of the face, and create new expressions.

Some robots developed a quirky social skill, knowing when humans are angry. Researchers at the University of Calgary used a headband with physiological sensors to program a modified Roomba (that automated vacuum cleaner) to move away from a user when it detected stress in the form of muscle tension.

Researchers created a robot to check for signs of breathing and to deliver oxygen, if needed. The robot, based on a system originally developed for heart surgery, attaches to a stretcher so the patient can be monitored during transport.

Researchers from Harvard and Yale Universities have developed a simple, soft robotic hand that can grab a range of objects delicately, and which automatically adjusts its fingers to get a good grip. The new hand could also potentially be useful as a prosthetic arm.

Scientists at the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) made a robotic "skin" out of a thin, flexible carbon that changes its resistance depending on pressure. This allows the robot hand to tell the shapes of an object, the amount of force placed upon it, and the direction of that force.

There is even a mini-robot vacuum picks breadcrumbs and more from your table.

Miniature robots will soon see the inside of our human bodies, and will send back images to everyone else, as the Technion company have created one of the world's smallest robots for use in surgery. Reminds me of an old Raquel Welch movie.

The ViRob robot, measuring 1mm in diameter, has been designed to move its way through spaces within the body as small as 3mm wide. It will be able to travel through veins, which can have a width of 6mm, and other passages with ease. It is powered by external magnetic fields and uses its 'arms' to crawl along the innner linings of the body.

A project was launched in 2005 and aims to make available to the general public at an affordable price, a humanoid robot with mechanical functions, electronic, and cognitive worthy prototype research. Nao should be available to the general public soon. It comes standard with basic behaviors, and is slated to become an autonomous companion for the whole family.

Japanese researchers said they have developed a "hummingbird robot" that can flutter around freely in mid-air with rapid wing movements. The robot, a similar size to a real hummingbird, is equipped with a micro motor and four wings that can flap 30 times per second. It is controlled with an infrared sensor and can turn up, down, right or left.