In the CES emerging company space, food got a surprising amount of attention. We all have to eat, so it's a steady market, but food robots? Darn right!
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Nissan plans to deliver autonomous driving technology commercially by 2016, after partnering with the NASA division that developed the Mars rover software and robots on the International Space Station.
Planetary Resources plans to harvest water and other valuable natural resources from near-by asteroids.
Flying robots in space .. all made possible by a Samsung Nexus S.
As the holiday season approaches, you're going to see a lot of big budget video games get massive marketing pushes, from the latest Modern Warfare and Battlefield games to Gears of War 3. Competing in this very crowded space is Resistance 3, the latest chapter in Sony's PS3-exclusive humans-vs-aliens shooter franchise.
Like many folks, I don't go to the movies nearly as much as I used to. Big screen high-definition TVs, DVD players, Blu-ray players, and surround-sound systems, along with the cheap availability of titles on disc and streamed over the net now means that the movies comes to me when I want them, and on my own terms (also, my popcorn is better and cheaper!). However, over the holidays I went to see the Avatar, the James Cameron CGI space-fest. But rather than go see it in standard 2D, I opted for a 3D showing because I wanted something extra. While 3D is interesting (you could say it adds a new dimension to the movie going experience), will 3D make me go to the cinema more?
Having already made some progress in the consumer electronics space by selling Dell computers and value-priced TVs, Wal-mart is expanding its offerings including more Blu-ray players and 1080p HDTVs to watch Blu-ray movies on.The move is thought to be in response to Circuit City's exit from the retail landscape, as Wal-mart hopes to pick up some of Circuit City customers at the expense of Best Buy and online retailers.
Apple is reportedly preparing a service called iTunes Replay, which would allow users to store and stream their iTunes video purchases from Apple's servers to any Web-enabled device.The service, first reported by the Appleinsider blog and confirmed by CNET, would free up the hard drive space of iTunes customers who buy and store large video files such as movies and TV shows.
According to Canadian engineers at Queen's University, there are now more than 8,000 satellites in orbit around the Earth. Of course, if they stop to work correctly, these satellites will not be able to be repaired from the ground and will become space junk. So these researchers have developed a robotic repair system to fix ailing satellites. Right now, they're writing software to track these satellites. Their tracking software would then be used by an Autonomous Space Servicing Vehicle (ASSV) 'to grasp the ailing satellite from its orbit and draw it into the repair vehicle's bay. Once there, remote control from the ground station can be used for the repair.' I'm somewhat skeptical about the idea, considering that the satellites in orbit have been launched by various countries and companies using very different technologies. But read more...
There's more than one way to pick apart the fabric of space and time. You can dig an enormous hole in the ground, fill it with enormous amounts of cash, and send particles screaming to their deaths inside the eyes of giant robots in search of fundamental truth about how gravity works.
According to the Tri-City Herald, WA, NASA engineers in space suits have tested new robotic vehicles for two weeks on the dunes of Moses Lake, WA. These robots could be used on future NASA missions on the Moon and on Mars. According to the newspaper, five robotic vehicles were tested: 'a six-wheeled lunar truck, a six-legged all-terrain vehicle that can carry payloads or astronaut habitats, an autonomous drilling rover, a mapping robot and a crane that can stand on its head to load itself onto a transport.' But read more...
According to a team of engineers at the University of Bath, "jumping is a good way to move over rough terrain, and is considerably easier to design than walking." PhysOrg.com reports that this is why they've designed two jumping robots inspired by animals. They think that their two new robots, Jollbot and Glumper, will help astronauts to during future space missions. As one researcher said, "the cost per kilogram of launching something into space is very large, so jumping robots, which are likely to be light in weight to maximize their own performance, are ideally suited from that perspective." Of course, such robots would also be useful to explore any other places involving traversing rough terrains such as volcanoes.
It is almost certain that a big asteroid will one day land on Earth and provoke a huge catastrophe. This is why hundreds of scientists have attended the Planetary Defense Conference 2007 held this week in Washington, D.C., to try to develop plans to protect the Earth from such an asteroid. All these researchers have lots of ideas, some which look feasible, some not. Some of them want to destroy asteroids with nuclear weapons. Other scientists want to use a robotic tugboat to push a dangerous flying object out of the Earth's path. And others want to send unmanned robots to the asteroid, drill into it and send the debris into space to alter the course of the asteroid. And this is just a sample...
Frank Garvey is the founder and director of the OmniCircus, an art space in San Francisco that houses music, paintings, and robots. From performances inside the OmniCircus to out on the streets of the city, Garvey's robots are meant to incite dialogue about class and the absurdity of a rich society that houses ghettos. Hear from Gravey and see his robots in action. CNET News.com's Vincent Tremblay reports.
In an article about GIS and Robotics, Directions Magazine reports that architects and other professionals can now use spatially intelligent robots to collect interior space data. With such mapping robots, it's possible to capture accurate data for over 10,000 square meters per day and to easily integrate it with your existing software.
Last week, I wrote about the on-board software used to control robots involved in future space missions, such as the ExoMars rover, which should be launched around 2011. But, as reports BBC News, this robot is already trained on Earth, on the slopes of the volcano El Teide in the island of Tenerife to be precise.
In a few years, telesurgery performed by multi-armed robots remotely controlled by real surgeons will become commonplace. Today, Canadian scientists are developing the technology for NASA. Their goal is to build a portable robotic unit that would be used in space missions, war zones and remote areas within five years.
In recent years, our exploration of the Solar System has involved more orbiters and rovers than human astronauts. This trend should continue in the future and this is why we need more 'intelligent' robots. SciSys, a UK company, is developing such software for planetary aerobots such as balloons and new kinds of rovers such as the ExoMars.
Future multi-tiered robotic space missions will associate orbiting spacecrafts, blimps and balloons with ground robots. All these instruments will communicate together and interact with each other. Don't expect to see such missions before a decade or two.
The wisecracking robot from "Lost in Space" won't go on a mission soon, but you could see vinelike creepers and a two-handed helper. Photo: A new NASA space 'bot
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