Feeds

Robo Developer Conference in pictures II

Hi! Robot

Security for virtualized datacentres

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.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Voyager 1 now EIGHTEEN LIGHT HOURS from home
Almost 20 BEEELION kilometres from Sol
MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer
And, um, don't sleep with other men. If that's what worries you
Jim Beam me up, Scotty! WHISKY from SPAAACE returns to Earth
They're insured for $1m, before you thirsty folks make plans
ROGUE SAIL BOAT blocks SPACE STATION PODULE blastoff
Er, we think our ISS launch beats your fishing expedition
NASA: Spacecraft crash site FOUND ON MOON RIM
'What fun!' exlaims NASA boffin who found the LADEE
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
BAE points electromagnetic projectile at US Army
Railguns for 'Future fighting vehicle'
OK Google, do I have CANCER?
Company talks up pill that would spot developing tumors
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
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?
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.