Photos: Robots on parade

Photos: Robots on parade

Summary: A robot that plays the Violin? ZDNet Australia visited NICTA's Neville Roach Laboratory to see what all the fuss was about. We also discover what other amazing things today's robots can do.

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TOPICS: Emerging Tech
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  • RoboBusiness 2007, an international robotics conference, played host to a motley crew of exhibitors displaying a wide range of products, from military robots to toys for children to "toys" for academic researchers.

    The Battlefield Extraction-Assist Robot, or BEAR, from Vecna Robotics, a division of Vecna Technologies has a dynamic balancing system that allows it to crouch and move across a battlefield at up to 20mph to pick up wounded soldiers and bring them back to medics.

    The robot can climb stairs and lift a person weighing up to 300 pounds (136kg), including any equipment they might be wearing. While not yet in the field, the BEAR prototype is in simulation testing with the US Army. With Kevlar and other materials added to protect strategic parts of BEAR, the robot should cost "the price of a nice car," according to the company, and be in production in about two and a half years.

    Text by Candace Lombardi, staff writer, CNET News.com

    Credit: Candace Lombardi/CNET News.com

  • Carnegie Mellon University announced its 2007 inductees into the Robot Hall of Fame at RoboBusiness 2007, an international robotics conference in Boston.

    For the first time, more actual robots were inducted than fictional ones. The only fictional robot honoured this year is Lieutenant Commander Data, the robot played by Brent Spiner on the TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation.

    Data was honoured for the questions he constantly posed on both human nature and the rights of humanoid robots, said Matt Mason, the director of the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon who announced the inductees.

    Text by Candace Lombardi, staff writer, CNET News.com

    Credit: CBS Paramount Television

  • Domo is the robot developed by Aaron Edsinger, a member of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory's Humanoid Robotics Group at MIT. Edsinger has just completed his Ph.D. He spent three years of his life developing this partner robot to work alongside or aid a person.

    Most of the computer power behind Domo goes to its vision, which are two cameras positioned as eyes on the robot. Domo's "eyes" can detect human faces and track them, in addition to aid it in finding and handling objects. Tapping it on the arm, for example, will prompt Domo to move its arm and look down to see what's touching it and then look up at the person. It responds to human voice commands.

    Text by Candace Lombardi, staff writer, CNET News.com

    Credit: Candace Lombardi/CNET News.com

Topic: Emerging Tech

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