All On Robots Blog

Welcome to All On Robots blog! Let me shortly describe you what can be found here. First, this is not an ordinary "blogger blog". I won't rant here about everything I hear. OK, maybe a little, this is a blog after all.

Still, the main idea is that here you'll find news about allonrobots.com - what pages have been added or updated, what features I have in mind for this site, what I'm currently working on, etc. But that's not all, there are some other directions for this blog too.

The second direction is general robotics news. From time to time I read something interesting about robotics that I can't currently make a page for due to different reasons - either these are "only" news and there's no point in making a page for it, either it's something that will, eventually, end up as a "hard" page if it proves worthy.

The third direction is everything else. OK, not everything but things that you could be interested in that aren't necessarily robotics news. These could include discounts and new items at robotics shops, some rumors that aren't necessarily news and other things like that.

I'll try to stick to posts related to robotics or specifically this site, however, maybe I won't be able to hold off all the time and something not-really-robotics-related will sneak in from time to time. So, if you want to follow this blog you can do it here or you can subscribe to its feed. If you want to comment on something you can do it using the Contact me form.

Udoo

Udoo is a quite ingenious single board computer. It combines in one package the small form factor and embedded nature of the famous Raspberry Pi with the expandability options of the Arduino platform.

Continue reading "Udoo"

Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi took the world by storm. Suddenly single board computers jumped out of being a highly niche product to something that a lot of people are talking to and are interested in.

Continue reading "Raspberry Pi"

Beagleboard and Beaglebone

Beagleboard and Beaglebone are two related single board computers that have seen great development through recent years. The project has grown from a simply interesting project into a powerful development platform.

Continue reading "Beagleboard and Beaglebone"

Industrial robots

This article is about industrial robots in general.It includes information about their types as well as some important issues that should be addressed when choosing a robot.

Continue reading "Industrial robots"

Robots App Store

It's of course fun to create applications for your robots. However, robots are becoming more and more wide-spread. Thus more and more robot users won't be able or willing to code themselves. Afterall, if you need a certain additional functionality for your smartphone you probably aren't going to write the code yourself, you'll just get an app for that.

So how do you get an app for your robot? You can search different robotics forums including ones dedicated to your particular robot. Maybe you can find someone who has already written an application that does what you want. It's quite a hassle though. This is where robots app store comes in.

Imagine that getting a new application for your Bioloid was as easy as getting an application for your android phone. This is exactly what Robots App Store is seeking to provide. Well, see for yourself - Robots App Store Infographic

iRobot Roomba

iRobot Roomba is the most successful and renowned of all robot vacuum cleaners. The development of these robots has been quite remarkable too. If you want to know more about these robot vacuums, read on.

Continue reading "iRobot Roomba"

MABEL

Bipedal robots are usually pretty clumsy or slow or both. You probably know ASIMO’s slow and careful gait. With such a background humans’ abilities on two legs seem pretty stunning.

Researchers at the University of Michigan have decided to rectify this situation and create a robot that could exhibit in robotics world yet unsurpassed bipedal abilities. Thus MABEL was created. Today it’s supposedly the fastest robotic bipedal runner.

The video below shows its ability to traverse terrain. It does a really good job noting that the robot doesn’t “see” the terrain change. Instead it modifies its walking behavior on the fly.

Someone notify me please when a law prohibiting videos with robots suffering in accidents comes in force. Then I’ll have to delete this post.

via Live Science

Wave glider

Sounds a bit like a surfers’ song. Yet, it’s a robot that does just that - glides. While unmanned boats may seem like a pretty ancient concept with Tesla’s radio controlled boat being one early example wave glider is a quite different concept.

It’s an unmanned maritime vehicle that uses wave power for propulsion and solar power for onboard electronics. This basically means that in theory the robot could autonomously travel the seas and collect data for ever.

Of course there probably are maintenance jobs that have to be carried out from time to time. However, bearing in mind that many possible robotics’ applications are hindered because of lack of affordable and long lasting power sources, wave power seems the right way to go, especially if we’re talking about maritime data collection probes.

via FastCompany

Liquid Robotics

Robots could help treat autism

I' ve written previously about robots used in different therapies. Often therapies that use robots work in a similar manner as therapies that use animals. Only, robots are a bit easier to predict and arguably a bit safer too.

In this case the idea behind this therapy is that autistic children can communicate more easily with technology than with humans. The robot used is Nao by Aldebaran robotics. First experiments seem promising as improvements in communication are evident not only with robots but with humans too.

via wbir.com

iRobot Scooba

Roomba's sibling irobot Scooba although pretty similar in looks does a job that's related yet quite different. It's a floor washing robot that can do this particular chore so you don't have to. At the moment there are few different models on the market.

Continue reading "iRobot Scooba"

A "real" Hexbug

You now what Hexbugs are, don't you? Hexbugs are those small, cheap (relatively) and simple (again relatively) robotic bugs that avoid obstacles and respond to loud sounds by changing direction.

What if you fitted a real bug (or a cockroach, for example) with Hexbugs' electronics? Would it work? A few geeks.. umm.. I'm sorry - scientists and entrepreneurs have shown that you can control a cockroach using Hexbug "brain".

Rest assured - no cockroaches were injured in making of this video. After the experiment all cockroaches were returned in their habitats and continued to live happily ever after. Well, maybe they had a mental trauma and other cockroaches now consider them weirdos because of their alien abduction stories but that's all!

via PCAuthority

Will a robot take your job?

This is a recurring topic whenever social impact of robotics is discussed. Will robots take peoples' jobs? And what will happen then? Have you ever thought whether your could be replaced by a robot? If you're a pharmacist, a store clerk, or even a lawyer - it could be the case according to an article by Business Insider .

Of course robots are a minor part of this. In my opinion a more correct heading would be - jobs replaced by technologies. Still, both are true - more and more jobs will be replaced by technologies and times when robots will be able to replace humans as universal workers have yet to come.

And of course there are people for whom this is good news. People who create robots and technologies, as well as people who do maintenance jobs will have more and better job opportunities every time devices replace humans.

Robots at the Fukushima power plant

During the Fukushima crisis many tech bloggers wondered why there are no reports of the Japanese using robots at the "rogue" power plant to settle the situation. You know, robotics are heavily embedded in the Japanese culture and thinking. Or so other nations often think about them.

Reasons of this "lack of robots" were mentioned many. From notions that it's exactly because of Japanese way of doing important and responsible things to explanations that the Fukushima power plant is too old and was not built with robotics in mind.

However, now it's known that there is a robot deployed at the disaster site. Monirobo (Monitoring Robot) is a robot designed specifically for operating in highly radioactive environments. It can be remotely controlled and it is mainly used to collect samples and monitor the situation.

via (NewScientist)

Can robots develop mental illnesses?

A study by Lipson and Zagal at University of Chile, Santiago suggests that intelligent robots *could* develop mental illnesses, neurosis, or other symptoms if certain level of self-awareness is reached. They created a robot with two controllers thus simulating bi-polar brain.

One controller was given a specific task and the other controller had to model how well the first controller did at achieving the goal. When the rules was reversed for the first controller, the second was able to adapt fairly quickly thus demonstrating a certain level of metacognition (ability to think about one's thoughts).

What this has to do with mental illnesses? The same robot exhibited something similar to the lost limb syndrome when one of it's four legs was removed suggesting that the more self-aware the robot is, the more unusual and unpredictable behavior is possible.

Of course, this is disputable, so I encourage you to read the full article on this topic at planetsave.com and join the discussion!

All new Scooba 230 is here!


Photo courtesy of iRobot.

The new tiny version of Scooba is now here! Well it "kind of" is here. You won't find it by going to iRobot Store and searching around though.

If you receive iRobot iNsider e-mail notifications then you're probably aware of this. If not - I'll take the liberty and share the link with you too!

Here it is: Scooba 230 pre-sale

Cheers, Ian.

p.s. If you don't know what Scooba is, or want a little bit more information on the robot itself don't worry, I'm working on a general Scooba article right now.

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