Posts with the tag "willow garage"


Tech

Five impressive Kinect hacks

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Not even a month into it’s life and the Kinect is already proving to be an exciting new device for makers, designers, and DIY gamers. After electronics supplier Adafruit Technologies placed a $3000 bounty on cracking the device and Héctor Martin claimed the prize, the Internet has been abuzz with demonstrations that illustrate the device’s potential. Though the best is certainly yet to come, we’ve compiled a list of the 5 hacks that most piqued our interest.


Personal robotics designers Willow Garage (featured video) seem to be quickly developing ways in which the Kinect can move from games to more altruistic endeavors. A robotic appendage that mimics the user’s own movements, built on open-source software and available to the general public could revolutionize the home robotics industry.

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Science!

This robot from Willow Garage can choose to not squeeze you to death

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Willow Garage, an engineering firm we’ve featured before, has developed robots with tactile feedback so accurate it can close it’s hand around an aluminum can. This is an important safety measure for when future robots accidentally grab their masters’ neck and begin to squeeze.

Also, for all the ladies out there, say hello to future tech star Inten Joe and his big bad cowlick.

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Science!

Robot Monday: Willow Garage’s beer-fetching robot

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Alright, alright, we know that beer is funny. Whenever you mention beer or alcohol of any kind everyone snickers and gets far too excited and then some frat boy makes some weird cheering/groaning noise and suddenly you’re far more popular than you were two seconds ago.

So, let’s get the stupid beer snickers (HAHA BEER) out of the way right now and focus on the fact that the above robot is astonishing. Willow Garage’s PR2 robot uses a combination of technologies I don’t understand to open a fridge, choose the beer you want, and then bring it to you.

Anyway, here’s how the folks at Willow Garage (great name, by the way)  describe the robot’s functions:

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Futurist

Robot Monday: Pool Shark Edition

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Pretty soon you might be losing your money to a machine at the bar other than a jukebox. The folks at Willow Garage, a robotics development firm, have programmed their PR2 to play billiards. So what do you think? Could you beat the PR2 or would it take the shirt off of your back?

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