Feeds

Robo Developer Conference in pictures II

Hi! Robot

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Robo Developer show floor

Welcome to our second look at the Robo Developer conference in sunny San Jose. We've got even more mechanical freaks to share this round.

Our first booth today is Willow Garage, which is a privately-funded research lab selling their gear as a "standardized robotics platform" for domestic robots.

Domestic robot from Willow Garage

The bot here is a prototype of the hardware and software they'll be selling. The idea is that the robot is completely modular, so if a buyer wants to put a different arm on the device, it's easily done. If they want to try putting legs on it, well good luck to you.

Willow Garage was founded by Scott Hassan, one of the early Google architects and creator of eGroups, which sold to Yahoo! in 2000 for $412m. I'm told they aren't strained for cash.

Eventually they plan to use the design to build general purpose robots that can perform tasks such as cleaning rooms, serving food and even opening a beer. I swear to god they had a video of the thing opening a beer. My heart is melting.

Modular is hot right now in robotics. Academia, for instance often doesn't have the time or resources to start from square one every time they want to build a robot. So companies such as Schunk sell specific robot parts.

Big robotic hands of doom

Hmm, do I go with the giant gorilla or Doctor Octopus look on my doomsday machine? Decisions, decisions.

The folks at Schunk (ok, let's pause to get it out of your system) — the folks at Schunk tell me they have customers ranging from robotic research, handling toxic waste and the prosthetics market as well.

A robot has also gotta have peepers. We've got facial recognition software at IntelliVision (not to be confused with the Intellivision video game console released by Mattel in 1979):

Set phasers to handsome

And a cheaper form of object recognition for toys and phones from Evolution Robotics.

jeepers creepers

He's pointing a PC camera at a CD cover. The software recognizes various pixel points on an object to identify it. The technology is apparently already in use in Japanese cell phones. A user can point their picture phone at a piece of merchandise, and the software will check its data base to bring back relevant information.

Camera recognizes music, but not quality thereof

The technology will probably arrive in the US and Europe by means of WowWee toys, such as the Robosapien and Roboraptor seen in the previous image's background. Evolution Robotics announced it has made a deal with the toy company to put the visual technology in future toys. They claim it will give the robots the ability to — and I kid you not the CEO said this — chase children around the house.

Surely, the age of man draws near its close.

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE
Shanghai to San Fran in two hours would be a trick, though
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?