Feeds

Robo Developer Conference in pictures II

Hi! Robot

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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.

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
FORGET the CLIMATE: FATTIES are a MUCH BIGGER problem - study
Fat guy? Drink or smoke? You're worse than a TERRORIST
Rosetta probot drilling DENIED: Philae has its 'LEG in the AIR'
NOT best position for scientific fulfillment
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rockin' boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.