Feeds

Robo Developer Conference in pictures II

Hi! Robot

Boost IT visibility and business value

Segway at a robot show? That's roboridiculous

What? Segway is here? Aren't we stretching the definition of "robot" a little thin? Let's keep walking.

From CoroWare, there's the CoroBot (for which The Register gives permission to be confused with Coro, the Latin freestyle singer). The CoroBot is another example of a robot that's meant to be taken apart to suit the whims of the buyer.

Coro-iouser and Coro-iouser

The bot is essentially a programmable mobile platform (as in a raised horizontal surface, not a software platform) with an optional crane claw. Another robot aimed at robotic researchers.

Who are you calling 'simple programming?'

On the demo floor, there were little robots with "very simple programming" to avoid obstacles and hitting each other. Of course this meant they spent the majority of their time slamming into one another at full speed. Robots have excellent sense of comic timing when it comes to malfunctions.

As the show drew to a close, I got the terrible sensation that something was watching me.

No you DIDN'T!

Now, just because something is a fraction of my size doesn't mean I'll just let it give me the stink-eye. In fact when it comes to confrontation I try to make certain they're a fraction of my size.

A closer look at Zeno

This 17" robot prototype is Zeno, a machine built by Hanson Robotics using technology from Massive Software. Massive is a developer of AI simulation software used in films such as the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Ratatouille</cite.

Zeno does the robo-navigation and responding to its physical environment thing — but can also make some impressive facial expressions with his rubbery little head.

Massive and Hansen can do some scary stuff. To the right of Zeno, you'll notice the face of Albert Einstein. That's not CG. That's a robot.

Let me show you why you should be terrified. Korean firm Kaist teamed with the two companies to make a robot that...

You'll just have to see the video. (YouTube warning.)

There's a popular hypothesis in robotics called "the uncanny valley," which was introduced by Japanese roboticist Mashahiro Mori in 1970. The hypothesis states that as robots (or other non-human entities) become more human-like in motion and appearance, they register as more appealing or empathetic to people.

For instance, a robot with a simple face is more visually appealing than a robo-crane on wheels. But only to a point. The uncanny valley is a theoretical drop-off point where the human facade reaches an extremely high level of realism — but still lacks all the subtle mannerisms, motion and details inherent of a true human being. The not-quite-human robot's flaws are then mentally highlighted, making it seem "off" and "creepy," like an animated corpse or body-snatcher.

The hypothesis continues that after a certain point, the empathy curve sweeps back up as the illusion of humanity is more successfully accomplished. Now while Einstein's head may well be leaving the valley, it still does so on the leathery wings of nightmares.

And now his grinning, yet oh-so sinister visage will visit you too whenever you close your eyes. Enjoy! ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency
Experiment aboard ISS shows we should all chill out for cleaner engines
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
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.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.