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Cynthia Breazeal, a robotics professor at MIT, has taken some time off from MIT to launch Jibo. Jibo is a social robot for your home that has facial recognition and can differentiate between different family members.

Jibo can also do things like greet you when you come home or read your email aloud.  Jibo also sports two hi resolution cameras to take pictures for you.  Currently you can pre-order Jibo through the Indiegogo campaign. Check out the video below or go to http://www.myjibo.com.


Raven II, The Open Source Surgical Robot

Team members & Raven II components (Photo: UC Santa Cruz)

The Raven II surgical robot has been developed at the University of Santa Cruz and the University of Washington.  Five of these robots will be shipped to other universities like Johns Hopkins for further research.

Jacob Rosen and Blake Hannaford are leading the research.  Rosen stated:

We decided to follow an open-source model, because if all of these labs have a common research platform for doing robotic surgery, the whole field will be able to advance more quickly

The researchers aim to ship the robots to the other universities by the end of January and start collaborative experiments together and operating the robot over the internet.  The Raven II is expected to cost around $250,000, a lot less than other surgical robots like the da Vinci Surgical System.

The Raven II is based on the Raven I, a robot designed for battlefield surgery and has been funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

Click through for a video.

Link via (CNET)

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Robots to Help Aging Nuclear Plants?

A spherical robot equipped with a camera may navigate underground pipes of a nuclear reactor by propelling itself with an internal network of valves and pumps. Image: Harry Asada/d'Arbeloff Laboratory

The recent crisis in Japan has spurred the United States and other countries to think harder about nuclear power and safety. Nuclear facilities in the US may get a pipe inspecting robot to help them out.

Harry Asada, the director of MIT’s d’Arbeloff Laboratory for Information Systems and Technology and his colleagues are working on a way to inspect the pipes at a nuclear facility.

“We have 104 reactors in this country”, says Harry Asada. “Fifty-two of them are 30 years or older, and we need immediate solutions to assure the safe operations of these reactors.”

The round robots will have a series of valves with openings on either end.  The robot can open and close the valves to use the moving water in the pipe to make it move in different directions.

The robots will eventually be able to pan and tilt the exterior camera and will transmit images in real time using laser optics.

The robots will be used for several excursions or patrols and then break down from radiation.

Link via (Treehugger)


Robot Film Festival

Congratulations to all the winners of the Robot Film Festival,  held in New York City over last weekend.

Shown here is audience favorite is Operation daVinci.

Here are two of the many films we liked.

Me and My Robots by Jay Kila & Ben Jacob Mack

Modern World by David Naylor

if you didn’t make it or missed a film, you can see most of the films at Robot Film Festival on Vimeo.



Robot Dresser

robot dresser

Anthony Prego built this awesome dresser for his nephew.  Checkout more pictures of building the robot dresser. Nice job Anthony!

Link via (Make)