Google buys company that designed robots for Pentagon
Google on Friday confirmed that it has completed its acquisition of Boston Dynamics, the engineering company that designed the BigDog robot for the Pentagon. The New York Times confirmed the acquisition early Saturday morning, noting that it represents the latest move by the search giant into the development of autonomous mechanical machines. Boston Dynamics is the eighth robotics company that Google has bought in the last six months.
Released video shows robot capable of changing wheel, using tools
DARPA has demonstrated the results of its research into creating low-cost robotic hands. A clip released by the agency shows a robotic torso using an ordinary electric screwdriver to remove the screws mounting a wheel to a frame, before removing the wheel and attempting to re-mount a second wheel in its place.
System uses text-to-Tweet commands
Hobbyists at advertising agency Redpepper have demonstrated a way for Apple's Siri technology to be used for interactions in the physical world. The beer-pouring robot, known as Beeri, is actually an RC truck that has been outfitted with an Arduino Uno board and a Wi-Fi radio.
LG vac bot streams video in real time over wifi
LG has announced its latest robot vacuum cleaner, the VR6180VMNC Roboking Triple Eye. The Roboking Triple Eye is an upgraded version of the LG Hom-Bot, which debuted at the CES show in January. In addition to the sensors used to guide the vacuum automatically as it cleans, the Roboking Triple Eye also has three video cameras capable of streaming in real-time by Wi-Fi to a home network. The vacuum can be controlled remotely by PC or smartphone. It also responds to voice commands.
New Erector Spykee robots
Three new models recently joined Erector’s Spykee Skype-capable robot: Spykee Cell, Spykee Vox, and Spykee Miss. Like the original Spykee, the three new robots feature a video camera, MP3 player, loudspeaker, and VoIP capabilities, while the latest versions include an iPod dock in their front. Using a computer, users can control Spykee’s movements remotely to patrol about their houses. As with the first model, users design and build their own custom robot according to their tastes or needs. Pricing for Vox, Cell, and Miss has not been released; the original Spykee goes for $370.