Feeds

Send in the clowns robots

Rising from the swamp of futility

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

RoboBiz Our trip last week to the Robo Business conference in Pittsburgh confirmed one thing - the vast majority of robotics companies are in search of federal pork. About 80 per cent of the systems on display were small, autonomous vehicles capable of scouting missions, disarming bombs or carrying material.

In this photo retrospective of the event, we'll bring you plenty of military gear, but we're going to start off with the weird, the cool and the useless.

If you missed the stories from last week, have a gander here. Now, on to the photos.

Our first robot is either the weirdest or the most sexually-charged device on display. It comes from Yost Engineering - a small custom hardware and software shop in Ohio. The company was started by a professor who found it tough to pursue projects in a university environment where publishing and not producing was favored.

Shot of a strange Yost contraption that resembles a sex toy

With a straight face, the Yost folks explained that this device could one day be used as a type of robotic octopus arm. It has a number of hinges and can bend in a variety of ways. It also has a camera and light attached to the tip, er, top.

We asked if it had a name and just got a laugh. You can see why.

Shot of the Yost device getting bent

Yost also makes this artificial intelligence oddity. The freak in the hockey mask blinked and opened its mouth, as it tried to answer questions posed by Robo Business attendees. Yost has developed some manner of natural language system that lets the robot learn over time. It seemed to work okay.

Yost's hockey mask robot

If you have $450,000 to spare and illegal aliens in the neighborhood are really getting you down, then have a gander at this baby from Skeyes Unlimited.

Yes, the world of aerial surveillance has really opened up with systems like these that take the "hard" out of hardcore snooping. This unmanned chopper can cruise about 60 miles roundtrip on a single tank of gas and deliver "real-time 3D aerial mapping." We're told that the unit can be used for border patrol or by companies that want to monitor, say, a pipeline and make sure no one is messing with their tube.

Photo of a surveillance helicopter

The FAA has fired up some experiments to determine just how safe these autonomous paparazzi really are. "The lack of FAA clearance is one of the barriers for commercial use right now," a Skeyes spokesman said.

No kiddin.

Don't want to go whole hog and buy the mini-copter? No problem. You can walk around with this surveillance system on a stick.

We're thinking a collection is in order to get one of these for Dvorak.

On we go.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
Relive the death of Earth over and over again in Extinction Game
Apocalypse now, and tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.