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Catbots [08 Mar 2011|08:52am]

kris_schnee
http://deviceguru.com/us-military-funds-development-of-humanoid-and-felinoid-robots/

"Boston Dynamics says Cheetah will feature “four legs, a flexible spine, an articulated head/neck, and possibly a tail. It will run fast: faster than any existing legged robot and faster than the fastest human runners. In addition to top speed, the Cheetah robot will be designed to make tight turns so it can zigzag to chase or evade, and it will accelerate rapidly, starting and stopping on a dime.”"

There's just a 3D rendering plus photos of a headless, clunky-looking precursor to the article's humanoid bots.
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Mechanical Menagerie [29 Mar 2010|08:01am]

pikestaff
[ mood | impressed ]

Check out the gallery of Andrew Chase, who has made gorgeous mechanical sculptures of giraffes, elephants, and cheetahs. The cheetah is my favorite... they even have an animation of it running!

2 comments|post comment

Sharon some new LJ icons [05 Mar 2010|03:58pm]

tsuyoto
Just made four LJ icons from the Battlestar Galactica board game. For those of you who turn out to be cylons, feel free to use them.

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Quadruped Robot Development [21 Feb 2010|01:44am]

kris_schnee
http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/10/02/20/048256/DARPA-Puts-32M-Toward-Quadruped-Robot-Prototype
http://www.gizmag.com/darpa-lc3-robot-quadruped/14256/

Here's a report on the continued development of quadruped robots for the military. The earlier "BigDog" prototype was pretty impressive; judging from YouTube videos it was able to walk around and recover from falls, but was clunky and loud.

I'm rooting for taurs. =)
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Uncanny Valley Article [21 Jan 2010|06:22pm]

kris_schnee
http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/robotics/4343054.html?page=1

This article questions the well-known "Uncanny Valley" theory of robotics, by calling it out for how little evidence there is for it. The article also suggests a focus on more specific details like how well the level of realism matches up between elements (eg. cartoon eyes plus realistic skin = bad).
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Robot Beast? [14 Sep 2009|04:39pm]

kris_schnee
http://www.popsci.com/diy/article/2009-08/fire-breathing-robo-beast
From Popular Science: "Meet Lrry, a part-equine, part-reptile fire-breathing monster." Top speed of .6 MPH, but it breathes fire. Maybe this was from Skynet's brief furry phase?
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"Eater" Robot [15 Jul 2009|02:51pm]

kris_schnee
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,532492,00.html

This somewhat disturbing report describes a military robot designed to forage.

"A steam-powered robot that would fuel itself by gobbling up whatever organic material it can find — grass, wood, old furniture, even dead bodies... The advantages to the military are that the robot would be extremely flexible in fuel sources and could roam on its own for months, even years, without having to be refueled or serviced."

Although the concept is interesting, it's not practical. It'd be something like having individual soldiers carry a complete five-star kitchen, each. Why bother building an elaborate fuel generation system into an individual robot, as opposed to having a stand-alone generator that powers any electrical device that needs it? The article's excuse for adding all that dead weight to a robot is that it'll be able to travel autonomously for "months or years". And when will we have a mission where we can't send in support troops or equipment for a robot -- due to secrecy? -- but we *can* send a big clankin' mechanical carnivore?

The proposed "Mars Direct" space colonization system would use a fuel generator on the Martian surface -- not for organics, of course -- but that system would sit there and be available to power a manned habitat and vehicles rather than moving on its own.

This research is probably a descendant of the "SlugBot" concept robot developed years ago. When I learned that some environmentalists oppose wind power because the blades kill birds and bats, I proposed killing both with one stone by making the windmills carnivorous.

In fiction: There's a free, indie PC game with anthro-bunnies, called "Cave Story". (It's very good; Nintendo just picked it up for its Wii system.) One theory of its plot is that its Ridiculously Human Robot characters were designed for long-term autonomous survival, to the point of having recognizable gender. Also, The Onion just reported on the Pentagon's loss of funding for a giant robot dragon, which would have "made destroying enemies both efficient and awesome".
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For your enjoyment [22 Jun 2009|03:10pm]

tsuyoto
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My eye is a camera [18 May 2009|10:50am]

tsuyoto
"Rob Spence looks you straight in the eye when he talks. So it's a little unnerving to imagine that soon one of his hazel-green eyes will have a tiny wireless video camera in it that records your every move.

The eye he's considering replacing is not a working one -- it's a prosthetic eye he's worn for several years. Spence, a 36-year-old Canadian filmmaker, is not content with having one blind eye. He wants a wireless video camera inside his prosthetic, giving him the ability to make movies wherever he is, all the time, just by looking around.

"If you lose your eye and have a hole in your head, then why not stick a camera in there?" he asks.

eyeborg_660x.jpg

Spence, who calls himself the "eyeborg guy," will not be restoring his vision. The camera won't connect to his brain. What it will do is allow him to be a bionic man where technology fuses with the human body to become inseparable. In effect, he will become a "little brother," someone who's watching and recording every move of those in his field of vision...
"
Full article

Thanks to furahi for pointing me to this article.

X-posted to science_porn
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Tweenbots [13 Apr 2009|01:30pm]

kris_schnee
Here is a description of a silly art project involving putting grinning little robots on the streets of NYC. Not to be confused with RealFrogger.
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Japanese Walking Robot on the Moon? [03 Apr 2009|12:51pm]

kris_schnee
Legged Moon Robot:
"TOKYO (AP) — Japan hopes to have a two-legged robot walk on the moon by around 2020, with a joint mission involving astronauts and robots to follow, according to a plan laid out Friday by a government group..."

This is a strange thing to contemplate. On one hand it's just a stunt, a follow-up to existing robot probes. On the other hand, there's something different about the fact that it's to be a bipedal walking robot. Imagine a robot standing up and using its hands to plant a Japanese flag. It starts to look as though space, or the future in general, belongs to the robots.

Meanwhile, there's a report of automated scientific discovery by an AI:
"Adam formed a hypothesis on the genetics of bakers’ yeast and carried out experiments to test its predictions, without intervention from its makers at Aberystwyth University..."
[From another article:] "Just by crunching the numbers -- and without any prior instruction in physics -- the Cornell machine was able to decipher Isaac Newton's laws of motion and other properties..."

Sounds impressive, but there's a warning to give. In "Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies," Prof. Hofstadter described a set of AIs that supposedly did impressive things like discovering Kepler's theory of elliptical planetary orbits on their own. Hofstadter explained that these claims are greatly exaggerated. In the Kepler AI's case, the machine was given mostly-accurate raw data describing the planets' mean distance from the sun and year lengths. The AI then found that polynomial equation for an ellipse fits each planet's data.

This is not what Kepler's discovery was like. Kepler lived in a world where the basic concept of describing reality in terms of math was not yet established, not too long after it was illegal to believe in a sun-centered cosmology obeying impersonal physical laws. Kepler's insight was to help radically redefine our basic understanding of reality, based on the unorganized data and approaches available to him. He might well have done what others did and tried to explain it all in terms of the Bible. In other words, it's not like someone handed him Brahe and Copernicus's data and said "here, find a polynomial equation for this." In fact, Kepler spent time on the wrong track, trying to fit the data to a geometry-based theory that planets fit inside the Platonic geometric shapes. The AI researchers missed the point of what Kepler did. Why did Kepler take so long to make such a "simple" discovery? The researchers said he must've been distracted by sleep and chores! When another study showed that modern college students could do the same thing as the Kepler AI in an hour or so, the same researchers somehow drew the conclusion that this result supported their claim.

So, we should be skeptical of claims about AIs making discoveries on their own. To what extent are they being spoon-fed the data and the exact method to use?
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A useful guide [03 Feb 2009|11:23pm]

tsuyoto
Visual guide to pleasing a robot behind cut - NSFWCollapse )

Thanks to 3catsjackson for pointing this out to me.

X-posted to tsuyoto
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Mental Machinery of Storytelling [31 Jan 2009|02:33am]

kris_schnee
There's a new study with some interesting evidence about what goes on in the brain when we tell stories.

This kind of thing is why I expect any really intelligent AI to be at least partly human-like. The same kind of machinery that'd make it intelligent would also make it capable of some forms of emotion, humor, storytelling, and ability to use contractions.
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Introduction [04 Jan 2009|01:38am]

kris_schnee
Hello. I'm Kris, a writer who's done some AI and game design work as a hobby and who has some stories featuring furry robotics. You can see a couple of them here: the novel excerpt and "Seeds of Doom" (and somewhat in "Beyond the Devilteeth") so far. The artist Craven also did this picture for me. You might also be interested in reading about the time I recently got to meet AI researcher Prof. Douglas Hofstadter, here.

Oh, and have you heard of the Cellular Squirrel?
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Love the robot [30 Jul 2008|06:52pm]

tsuyoto
A robot that "enjoys" being cuddled and stroked has gone on display at London's Science Museum.

The Heart Robot could be among the first robots to signify a new era of "emotional machines" used for medical treatment and enjoyment, according to one of its inventors.

It has a beating heart which rises when the body is shaken, but slows down when treated calmly.

In addition, Heart's eyes flutter in response to touch.

David McGoran, of the University of the West of England, predicts the part-puppet, part-machine creation he helped develop is an example of how robots will increasingly adopt human characteristics.

-BBC News
The article
The official site



X-posted to science_porn
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Robot meme [19 Jun 2008|01:52pm]

robopuppy
Name That Robot
Created by OnePlusYou
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Robomeme [19 Jun 2008|01:48pm]

tsuyoto
[ mood | mechanical ]

Name That Robot
Created by OnePlusYou

X-posted to tsuyoto

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Artificial hand [01 May 2008|04:45pm]

tsuyoto


The article
The gallery
The original post by mackys in science_porn
Cross posted to tsuyoto
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Steampunk rules! [01 May 2008|02:23pm]

tsuyoto
Wish I had this in time for Califur.



X-posted totsuyoto
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How to flirt with another anthroid [24 Apr 2008|12:31am]

azuredoragon
"Hey baby, why don't you drop the 3.5"ers? I've got some external equipment that'll be sure to get you logged off on the spot ;)"

Yeah... umm BYE!
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