Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Robot Clock

This link was sent to me by my good friend. Thank you for the Robot cuteness, I just love him!


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ali Spagnola - More Robot Paintings

I just love Ali's painting so much, I just had to so more of her robots off.



Print Friendly Option - now avaiable on this blog :)

I know when I have been to a blog and have seen a piece of information that I wanted to keep for future reference, or as a guide, but when you go to print it or save it as a PDF, it just spits out pages of gibberish, the photos are all crammed into one corner. It is just a waste of paper.

To stop this happening here, I have installed a new tool, called PrintFriendly.  So if you open a post you are interested (as a separate post, not in the blog feed), then you will have a couple icons come up, giving you the option to print the post, or save it as a PDF.  All free, and free of ads too.  I hope it saves some hassles as well as saving some trees.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Luna, the Fully Programmable Adult-Size Personal Robot

The future, imagine by sci-fi authors, is ebbing closer. Luna looks great too!

Mystery Robot Revealed: Luna, the Fully Programmable Adult-Size Personal Robot
RoboDynamics CEO Fred Nikgohar wants Luna to do for robotics what smartphones did for mobile computing.
May 14, 2011 1:34:00 AM

That mystery robot that we've been teased about for months now, originally rumored to be something developed by either Apple or Google, is in fact a project by a company called RoboDynamics. It's called Luna, it's a personal robot designed for people to use at home, it's fully programmable, and will start shipping later this year.

As of right now, the embargo has been lifted and we're allowed to tell you more about Luna and how RoboDynamics, in Santa Monica, Calif., hopes that it'll revolutionize robotics in the same way that the PC revolutionized computing and the iPhone and Android are revolutionizing mobile electronics.

Before we get to the overall concept, here's a rundown of Luna's hardware and software specs, which RoboDynamics says is subject to change:

--Processor: Dual Core Atom 2 GHz
--Graphics: nVidia 94000M
--Storage capacity: 8 GB Flash, expandable to 32 GB
--Wireless: Wi-Fi (802.11g), optional Bluetooth via Luna Expansion Port (LXP)
--Cellular comm.: Optional 3G or 4G via Luna Expansion Port (LXP)
--Operating system: LunaOS (includes Poky Linux, ROS, and other packages)

--Display: 8" touchscreen capacitive LCD
--Camera: 8-megapixel primary camera with digital zoom
--Microphone: 3 microphone array with DSP front-end with sound localization
--Speakers: Yes (no specs available yet)
--Sensors: 10-bit wheel encoders, PrimeSense 3D Sensor
--Expansion ports: Luna Expansion Ports (LXP) x 7 [Each LXP comprises standard USB Female Type A and 12 volt and 5 volt regulated power with mounting holes]
--Battery: 12 volt, 26 amp-hour - SLA
--Battery life: Between 4-8 hours
--Charge time: 4-8 hours for full charge
--Size: Height: 5'2" (157 cm) - Base: 22" (56 cm)
--Weight: 65 lbs (30 Kg)

Clearly, this is not some kind of fancy, futuristic new platform. It's got a pretty good computer in it, with a pretty good graphics card. It's got some pretty good sensors, pretty good mobility and pretty good design. All very pretty good. So why get excited?

Because, at least in principle, Luna could do something that no other robot has been able to accomplish: bring a programmable, general-purpose robot to a vast number of home users and establish an ecosystem for developers to create and sell software that gives the robot more capabilities.

Let's use the computer as an analogy. Starting with the Apple II (or thereabouts, our memory only goes back so far), it was possible to buy a computer system that would come out of the box offering immediate usefulness without requiring specialized technical knowledge. And that's what made everybody want a computer: it would immediately make your life better, and furthermore, the ability to teach it new things makes it increasingly useful.

To take the analogy further, and to get closer to the idea behind Luna, think about the iPhone. You buy it because it makes phone calls and you can get the Internet on it, but that's just the beginning. What makes the iPhone (and Android platforms) stand out from other phones is the fact that you can make it increasingly useful, thanks to the app store. And not just that, but making the iPhone useful by writing apps has become lucrative, which makes the iPhone itself more lucrative, and so on.

RoboDynamics CEO Fred Nikgohar wants Luna to do for robotics what smartphones did for mobile computing. He argues that the robotics industry has failed to make home robots (beyond toys, kits, and vacuum cleaners) available to consumers, and that even open-source software platforms like Willow Garage's ROS are still too hard for people without a PhD in robotics. He hopes that "a well-designed, open and affordable personal robot will kickstart a rush of innovation."

We applaud the idea, but we see some hurdles along the way. RoboDynamics had mentioned previously a price tag of around U.S. $1,000, which would make Luna a very competitive offering. To put that in perspective, remember that a TurtleBot or a Bilibot will set you back $1,200. And they're not five feet tall with touchscreens. But now RoboDynamics is saying that the $1,000 is a target price and that the initial model, to ship later this year, will sell for $3,000.

It's still reasonable for the hardware you're getting, but way above the psychologically appealing price point of $1,000, which would certainly entice a lot of people. So whether RoboDynamics will be able to bring the cost down is still uncertain.

Another issue is software. We haven't had a chance to check out the robot's Linux-based operating system, called LunaOS, and we haven't seen Luna's interface system, the SDK, and the Luna App Store that RoboDynamics says will be available. Software, perhaps even more than hardware, will be key to Luna's success. If the robot ships with good apps, and more apps start to show up on the store, Luna's appeal increases dramatically. But so far this is all a big question mark.

In the next few weeks, RoboDynamics plans to release more information about Luna's first edition, as well as future models, prices, and availability (if you're interested, go to their website and fill out the form). We'll report back as soon as we have a chance to meet the robot in person and check out its full capabilities.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Ali Spagnola - Robot Paintings

Ali Spagnola has an interesting site that allows you to request free paintings.  The topics are varied, but she does some super cute robots!  These are my robot love for the week.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

"Alien Robot Attack" Cushions

The other week I was in Spotlight getting fabric, but passing the manchester department I cam across "Alien Robot Attack" cushions.  I fell in love and adopted a pair of them.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Cute Robot T-shirt

This great t-shirt is by Johnny Durham Clothing.

Here is the description for the robot:

"Robbie is the cutest robot in the history of the world, he loves you. I hope you love him back?"

I know I love him!


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Sad but cute robot

I came across this photo recently of a sad robot that looks like he is made from cardboard. I can't help but love him!


Thursday, February 24, 2011

U3-X Personal Mobility Prototype

Honda has used Asimo's ability to balance itself to create a new toy that looks like something out of a science fiction movie, or perhaps Wall•E. The device is not a robot itself, but blends technology with the person in a most amazing way!

Here is more information about it.


With U3-X, Honda rethinks the concept of personal mobility, providing the rider with freedom of movement in any direction forward, backward, sideways and diagonally by simply leaning slightly in the desired direction. The lightweight and compact one-wheeled device also features a foldable seat and retractable footrests. A lithium-ion battery pack provides power for up to one-hour of use and can be recharged by plugging in to a conventional household or office 120-volt power outlet.

Weighing roughly 22 pounds, U3-X uses an advanced Honda proprietary balance-control system which derives from its research into human walking dynamics for the development of the ASIMO bi-pedal humanoid robot. To realize full freedom of movement in all directions, the U3-X also employs the worlds first omni-directional driving wheel system (Honda Omni Traction Drive System) which utilizes a series of concentrically mounted wheels a larger, forward and backward moving inner wheel and a series of smaller sideways moving outer wheels. Diagonal motion is achieved when both forward and sideways moving wheels operate in tandem.

In addition, the compact size and one-wheel-drive design of U3-X was intended to provide user-friendly and pedestrian-friendly operation with low-mounted foot pedals that make it easy for the rider to reach the ground, and a seat height that places the rider at approximately the same eye-level as other people.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Welcome to Izzy's RobotLove

I love robots, I always have. In movies or TV shows I have always been drawn to the man-made constructions, in all their various forms. I have moved on from just admiring them, I draw, pain, photograph, knit and even build replicas of robots.

As I seem to collect or come across interesting pieces on robots or pictures of very cute robots almost weekly, I thought I would start blogging it and share my interest. Enjoy.

In robot love, Izzy