Archive Page 2


Next gen exo on the market

After I went to Japan about a year ago, I was phoned several times from people who had read an article about the HAL exo scheleton that my travel companions and I saw at Daiwa House in Japan. Most of these asked if I could tell them wether it was for sale in DK, what the price was, and if it could be helpful for them. Sadly I am not a doctor, so I am not qualified to judge each persons condition vis-a-vis the possible use of a HAL. Most of these people were paralysed for one of several reasons.. car accidents, schlerosis and other sad stories. Unfortunately most of the exo scheletons I had seen at the time were created to add extra power to the user, but relied on the user being able to move around to a certain extend by their own power.

Now it seems the next generation of exoscheletons are on their way. On Gizmag you can read about the Berkeley Bionic’s research in this tech which will allow the user to walk even if their own legs can provide any support. This might be great news for a whole new specter of people currently tied to a wheelchair or a bed. I cross my fingers and hope this will be one of those breakthroughs that will prove how robot technology makes our lives better. Click here to read more.

A similar trend is found (also at Gizmag) in the REX which is a sort of a blend between a segway, a pair of stilts and an exoscheleton… or more presicely.. a wheelchair with legs instead of wheels… a leg chair or a biped wheelchair… or something. There is no name for it yet in the common language, but there will likely soon be. This contraption is steered by a joystick but walcks around instead of having the user in a wheelchair. A bit clumsy still, but the potential is immense. In a few years we can only hope that the loss of function in our legs will not be the restraining factor it is today.


BP needs robots

Well.. some people my argue that key elements in the BP management must be like robots with a very cool and uncaring mindset. But that’s not the only way BP can benefit from Robots. The tedious task of collecting all the oil spill from this summers giant accident could for example be done by a herd of self-organizing robots equipped with a susbtance able to bind to the oil and thereby ‘eating’ it from the surface.

Now if we could only teach it to go and fetch the german tourists when they float to open sea on their air matresses…

Read more about this robot by clicking on the picture.


Two latte, a green tea.. four bananas and a blowdryer??

One of the things from Japan that really stands out in my memory is not the shrines or the funky clothes people wear… it is the noumerous vending machines making cold (and now hot) coffee available on allmost every corner or train platform. I rapidly got addicted to a small blue can of Mountain Blue coffee spiked with loads of cream and sugar… the caffein/sugar kick was highly addictive… From my first to my second visit to Japan they introduced hot cans as well, and now they have gone even further.. as you can see in this article on CScout and this article on the same page. One can only guess what will be next… pets spring to mind… or perhaps robots?


Lend a hand..

In this previous post I mentioned the work of making a robotic prostetic hand… just like the one Luke Skywalker gets in Star Wars episode IV. Now several companies have released commercial editions of prostetic robotic hands – one of them being the bebionic hand. This hand allows the user different types of grips and aut0matic adjustment of the grip in case what you are holding is slipping out of your fingers. Sort of like an intelligent power steering of the hand – and something I would love to have so that i would stop spilling coffee in my keyboard.It is also able to feed pressure information back to the owner/host or whatever the rigth term should be… and good news for the ladies.. it comes with a range of accessories.. unfortunately of a more technical nature – not rings, bracelets and replaceable nails.. maybe that will come in a later edition.  

Go create… YouBot

Ít is time… sign up pronto for this years RobotSummerCamp. See the newspost at the RoboDays website for more info.

Age group 13-16 – lot’s of fun – five days in Odense at a VERY low price.


Robots that move…

How should a robot move? The most famous example is R2D2 and C3P0 from Star Wars.. one biped humanoid walking robot, and one with wheels (and the occasional jet-burst). We also see examples of flying robots or authonumous devices – however the issue here is in a 2D situation.

Actually most robots don’t move around – but in case they need to, the easiest way is to equip them with a number of wheels or caterpillar tracks – as we know so well from playing around with Mindstorms. Walking on two or more feets introduce new balance issues but is possible. 

Once you got the moving part down – the next issue is to get the robot to go where you want it to go. In traditional robot education we have the task of following a line on the ground – thereby gathering information from the souroundings and adapting / steering accordingly. Simple but not always easy depending on the situation.

Now the same principle has been put into use in a nano-sice robot. Since this sice does not give you the possibility of wheels, the choice has fallen on legs – but with a ‘track’ or line with guidance information to guide the bot on it’s path.

Read more about it at gizmags article.


Destroy destroy…

At the RoboLab at University of Southern Denmark we have a couple of lawn mover robots that have been modified to be controlled by wii controllers, GPS or other means of control. It’s a world of fun driving one of those buggers around… now THIS however will be the ultimate toy for robotgeeks. If anybody have seen roboone, imagine what you guys could do with a.. tadaaa DEMOLITION ROBOT… the name itself is beyond cool…

It’s even controlled by bluetooth so it should be no problem hooking it up to a wii balanceboard or an iphone with a nifty little custom build interface like the one they have made for a snake robot in the lab. Finally we would hook it up to an exosceleton and world domination would be at hand…