Honda's New Asimo Robot Was Revealed Today - Video

Today, Honda's new Asimo robot made its first US debut on the show "LIVE with Kelly and Michael." Asimo showed off its new abilities as well as some new dance moves. For more information on this new model, click here.

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Pocket-Sized Robot Prints As It Rolls Across Paper

Mars-black robot printer
Most of our technology has gone mobile, allowing for our favorite gadgets to travel with us and not remain on our desktops. This goes for phones, televisions, and even computers. One essential device, however, hasn't gone mobile and some could even argue that it's equally as important. It's the printer. However, by combining the technology behind the printer and small, mobile robots, Israel-based Zuta Labs has come up with the solution. Pocket Printer is a small robotic printer that can go wherever you go. It's small, portable, and it's using Kickstarter to land in the hands of the everyday consumer.

 While the robot is small, it still packs the same functionality of a normal-sized printer into a small, portable package. Some of its features include omni-directional wheels for improved printing accuracy, a USB rechargeable battery, Bluetooth, and a printing speed of 1 page per minute. The robot also supports Android, iOS, Linux, Mac, and Windows.

The robot supports both iOS and Android
The Pocket Printer features a rounded design with a sharp corner; this design allows the user to align the robot with the page's corner. Printing then begins when a sliding hatch on the bottom of the robot opens. After the hatch opens, the inkjet is revealed and the robot starts to roll across the paper left to right. The current version of the robot is capable of printing over 1000 pages per inkjet cartridge and run for an hour on a single charge. Although it's currently limited to printing in grayscale, color printing may follow.

SimpleBotics recently contacted Zuta Labs through email. Their future plans for this portable, printing robot include, "adding sensors and maybe even color ink and having it print on any type of service." For now, "the price range will be about $240 retail price for the Mars-black printer." Personally, I believe this robot could revolutionize printing. The Pocket Printer would allow printing to be easier, more accessible, and portable! Visit their Kickstarter campaign for more information. Early backers who back this project now will receive a Mars-black printer for $180!

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Robot Kangaroo Takes A Leap Into The Future

Festo, the Germany-based company behind the robotic 'SmartBird' and 'BionicOpter', has added another robot to their collection of nature-mimicking robots. BionicKangaroo, as they call it, lives up to its name as it looks and hops just like a real kangaroo.

With a height of 36 inches, a weight of 15 pounds, and a body that looks exactly like a kangaroo, the BionicKangaroo is able to lunge forward (or hop) 2 feet in length. It also has a vertical jump of around 1 1/2 feet. See image below.

BionicKangaroo leaping
To mimic the movements of a real kangaroo, the BionicKangaroo follows a sequential order of mechanical operations. First off, pneumatics and elastic bands work together and create tension. The two hip motors then push the robot forward to shift its center of gravity. Once the center of gravity positions the robot at an ideal angle, the pneumatics release the tension stored in the elastic bands and the robot lunges forward. This is where it gets interesting...

The robot has 2 leg motors, 1 tail motor,  multiple sensors, and a compressed air reservoir  
By the time the BionicKangaroo has prepared for the next jump, the pneumatics and elastic bands have already absorbed the energy from the previous jump. This energy is then used for the next jump. This energy absorption allows for the robot to jump again and again. See photo above.

 A wearable band allows for human control
An additional feature of the BionicKangaroo includes human control through a wearable bracelet. In conjunction with the wearer's arm movements, the robot can be controlled to move forward or turn in small circles. More information on this robot can be found on Festo's site.

Original source: FESTO, Images: FESTO

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Drone Gets Hacked, Then Crashes And Injures Athlete

Image source: Browning Media

Package delivery, aerial photography, and emergency response aren't the only things that drones are capable of. In Australia, a drone was reportedly 'hacked' and then sent plummeting to the ground. On its way down, the drone struck a triathlete in the head which caused a head injury.

According to a recent report by ABC, a drone owned by New Era Photography and Film's Warren Abrams was filming the Endure Batavia Triathlon in Western Australia on Sunday. At around 9:00 AM, however, the pilot lost control and the drone was sent crashing to the ground. One of the triathletes, Raija Ogden, said that she was struck on the head by the drone as it crashed. The alleged drone injury required medical attention as the triathlete was bleeding from the head. However, Abrams claims that she fell to the ground simply because she felt frightened by the drone. Another claim by Abrams hinted that the drone was deliberately 'channel swapped.' Essentially, the drone was 'hacked', lost communications with the pilot, and then crashed. Have anything to add to the story? Comment below!

Orignal source: ABC, Yahoo News

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Honda's New ASIMO Robot Will Debut On April 15

Image source: Wikipedia Commons

Honda's ASIMO is one of the most advanced humanoid robots in the world. Its plethora of human-like abilities make it the pinnacle of today's humanoid robots. On April 15, Honda's new version of ASIMO will debut on the talk show, "LIVE with Kelly and Michael."

Stated in Honda's most recent press release, the all-new ASIMO robot will feature improved hand dexterity, faster running speeds, betting jumping, and smoother stair climbing. In addition, ASIMO plans to show off its new and unique capabilities. Signing in both Japanese and English sign language is a new capability that has been confirmed by Honda and will be presented by ASIMO on April 15. Following the debut, ASIMO will later be presented in New York. For more updates and details, please follow us on Twitter.

Original source: Honda

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Watch This Arduino Robot Beat Your Threes High Score

Threes is a mobile-based game that's fun, addictive, and all about matching/adding numbers. Matthew Wegner and Walt Destler are both developers that combined their knowledge to create a smart, puzzle solving robot. The robot is called 'Threesus' and it works by combining Wegner's two-servo design, and an AI program that was written by Destler in C#. So far it works, as the robot has achieved scores ranging in the thousands. Many human players haven't even gotten past 400. Don't worry though, it's normal for robots to be better than us at video games.

UPDATE: Incase you missed the live stream, you can still view it below.

Watch live video from TeamColorblind on TwitchTV

The setup is quite interesting, but I'll explain it in simple, comprehensible terms. To begin, the robot takes screenshots off the iPad and relays it back to the AI program. When the screenshot is received, the program computes and then sends commands to two stepper motors hooked up to an Arduino board and an Adafruit motor shield. With this setup, the robot has been able to reach astonishing scores up to 205k! To follow the developers behind this project please visit Twitch.

Original source: TeamColorblindThrees

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Hexbug Introduces New Creepy Crawling Hexbug Strandbeast

Hexbugs in the past have solely resembled bugs and small organisms. The eight-legged Hexbug Strandbeast is the latest member to the family, but it's completely different from all the others. With the design based off of the famous 'Theo Jansen Walker,' the Strandbeast is truly a one of a kind Hexbug. See video below.

Crawling on eight tiny legs, the Strandbeast offers a faster walking speed than that of the spider. Although not autonomous, it gives the user complete forwards, backwards, and turning control through the small, 2-channel RC controller. Hexbug has released two versions, the normal sized and the XL. For more information or if you want to purchase one, visit Amazon.

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North Korean Drones Found In South Korea, Experts Say They're Like 'Toys'

As first reported by Reuters, two supposed North Korean 'drones' were found in South Korea. While one was found on South Korea's island of Baengnyeong, the other crashed into a hillside north of Seoul. The drones, both of which looked much like 'toys', measured under six feet in length, were made up of Japanese/Chinese parts, and were each equipped with a small camera. These two drones are North Korea's primitive version of the drone so don't get it confused with the Global Hawk or Predator. In fact, their 'drones' do a good job at resembling a few RC planes found at the local hobby shop.

Experts stated that the toy-resembling drone doesn't have to be all that high-tech to get the job done. Kim Hyoung-joong, a cyber defense professor at Korea University in Seoul, recently spoke with Reuters. Hyoung-joong stated that the drone, “is like a toy.” For surveillance purposes, "it doesn’t have to be a high-tech, top-notch military product like Predators or Global Hawk drones."
Thank you for reading and follow us on Twitter for more stories.

Original source: Reuters, AP

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