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Evolution Robotics' ER1 Reviewed

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the caution-may-void-warranty dept.

Toys 94

Anonymous Coward writes "A useful review of Evolution Robotics' ER-1 by the boys at Techfocus. It covers: construction, customization, hardware requirements, best features, programming, durability of equipment -- and all that good stuff. One interesting factoid is that the robot can recognize objects until the object is blocked - up to 40% - by something (like a piece of furniture). Techfocus aptly points out the Orwellian implications... Another thing that rocked my world is the notion that the robot is not as much of a drag on CPU as one might suspect. TF ran the unit on an NEC Versa VXi running Windows 2000, with a 900mhz CPU and 128mb of RAM, and encountered absolutely no problems. Encouragingly, if you want to further customize your robot, why not just write a script in C or Perl -- the manual even points users toward an app primarily based in Linux. What's not surprising: it's pricey. Also some nice pictures of how the robot really looks right out of the box."

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94 comments

Evolution Robotics' intestinal health reviewed (-1)

colon cleaner (671937) | more than 10 years ago | (#5974910)

Let's talk stools.

The stool tells you a lot about your colon health. If it's dark brown in color, and it sinks, and it stinks, that's not good. And don't feel bad, that's the way most people are. What you want to see is light brown color, which means it's full of fresh bile from the liver, very mild odor, and a stool that floats. We're talking low-density here folks. The more compaction you have the darker the color and the faster it sinks. Compaction is not good. Also, moving bowels should be SIMPLE. If the veins are popping out of your neck and you feel like your doing the bench press, you NEED to cleanse your colon.

When you do the cleanse, for the first few days....things are a little weird. But you know you're cleansed when you see the above good stuff happening, and you are eliminating at least 2-3 times per day.

Cleansing your colon is a 30-day process. No need to change your current diet. Its also very economical at under $52. You may be very surprised at some of the benefits you will receive besides just losing 1-5 lbs of cr*p from your body and brightening your future health.

People have reported more energy, less allergies, clearing of acne, cessation of migraines, and many other results, not to mention restored regularity. When your body is void of old, poisonous toxins that are constantly being reabsorbed through the colon walls, it can begin to heal again. And when the colon walls are clean, the good nutrients from your food and supplements can be absorbed again. You will be thrilled with the results.

forced pist? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5974913)

i doubt it....

but you all can eat my dookie

Robots (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5974916)

I want a hip robot like in Lost In Space. You remember him, the only smart member of the crew.

Another robot (4, Informative)

PD (9577) | more than 10 years ago | (#5974928)

This one also has a commercial off-the-shelf computer in the heart of the design:

It uses a Palm Pilot [cmu.edu]

Re:Another robot (1)

JUSTONEMORELATTE (584508) | more than 10 years ago | (#5975058)

Sounds a lot like the products for sale at Acroname [acroname.com] in Boulder CO.
Specifically, the Palm Pilot Robot Kit, or PPRK

Never played, but they look like fun
--

Re:Another robot (1)

bigjocker (113512) | more than 10 years ago | (#5975703)

We have licensed the PPRK to Acroname, Inc

If you look at the bottom of the page you will see this:

We have licensed the PPRK to Acroname, Inc

*Rant* Come OFF IT, Michael!! (-1, Offtopic)

Bold Marauder (673130) | more than 10 years ago | (#5974929)

I don't see any so-called 'orwellian possibilities' simply because there are none. If you aren't capable of posting a fun, light geek article without artifically cramming some hysterical YRO slant into the copy, do us a favor and simply abstain.

Michael's just a little twat (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5974962)

Time to readjust the tinfoil hat again, I think it's a little tight.

Re:*Rant* Come OFF IT, Michael!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5975010)

And if you insist on finding a "Michael sucks" slant to every story why don't ou just take a heavy dose of STFU?
BTW I am unaware of the reson for this whole "let's bash Michael" thing on /. I guess I missed that memo.

*SPOILER ALERT* (-1, Offtopic)

FatSean (18753) | more than 10 years ago | (#5975016)

Here's a hint:

It's because he sucks.

Re:*SPOILER ALERT* (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5975037)

It's because he sucks
I'm actually clueless and curious as to why? Care to tell me ???

Re:*SPOILER ALERT* (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5975172)

You just found out. Mode me down mikey boy!

Hi mikey! *waves* (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5975039)

The 'reson' for it is his tendency to mod down anything he disagrees with, and his generally condescending attitude towards slashdot participants (you can ask Fort Knox about the particulars on that one).

I took a dump in Vladinator's mouth. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5977856)

And if you go into that first page at Geekizoid, and then go to the main page for non-members, with the listing of all the previews. Then go below her picture, and there is a LINK that says,
"You know who you are, so go for it!"

You PRESS that link, and you get the real BIZARRE page, which frankly is a type of nightmare to me. Its has revealing photos of a very young girl, and a bunch of catch-phrases like,

"You Oughta Know"

"Some things can only be said in a certain way and convey the meaning of a mutual experience."

"Did you get any on you?"

("I'll be back." It had this ominous resonance.)

(Loving someone means never having to say you're sorry. A bit sticky.)

and the last line,

"But, here at Geekizoid, where the real world gives way to the hills and pastures of long-forgotten Arcadia, it's "You know who you are, so go for it." It works in any number of situations. The significance is deep and mysterious."

NOW COME ON PEOPLE! THIS IS JUST CRAZY STUFF! I think the horrible reality is sinking in for me FINALLY. I bet many many people have filed child endangerment reports against this "family", but this Scott Lockwood and his lawyers, know just how far they can get, and not get busted. Sick.

so folks, if YOU see a real danger for this child, it is your legal and moral OBLIGATION make a honest and good faith report to child protective services in Joliet, IL. Perhaps Vladinator and Co, will make some mistakes. Perhaps public pressure will create a closer scrutiny.

to make a report in Illinois, or from OUTSIDE of Illinois, do this, there is a phone number there you can call, and lodge a complaint...SEARCH these keywords using GOOGLE:
(illinois department of protective and regulatory services)

But this is very sad to me. Not just Vladinator & LRSE, but all of these "parents" who research this, and then go ahead and PROFIT from it. I would bet there are even lawyers you can hire who will give you a list of PRECISELY what you can and can't do, if you don't want to get busted.
The Science of Legal Child Sexual Exploitation.

BRUTAL beyond all imaginings!!

I think I'll hold off... (4, Funny)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 10 years ago | (#5974938)

Until Azimov's 3 Rules come standard.

Re:I think I'll hold off... (2, Funny)

el-spectre (668104) | more than 10 years ago | (#5974996)

Yeah, but when the 0th law takes effect, we're in trouble again...

Re:I think I'll hold off... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5975038)

what law was that again? too lazy to look it up.

Re:I think I'll hold off... (2, Interesting)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 10 years ago | (#5975098)

A Robot may not harm Humanity, or through inaction allow Humanity to come to harm.

The others are modified to place that one in front.

They had a demo at Fry's Electronics! (2, Informative)

ajiva (156759) | more than 10 years ago | (#5974940)

I saw a demo of this at Fry's Electronics! Very
impressive, the robot itself isn't terrible fast, and you do have to have the laptop there, but the person demoing said they were working on something for PocketPCs, and other PDA's!

How extensive was your demo? (-1, Flamebait)

Bame Flait (672982) | more than 10 years ago | (#5974963)

And will the PocketPC version come with a pocket rocket? Can I expose myself to your pets and have it record the whole affair on a mobile x-10 camera? I need details, you buffoon!

OMG! (-1, Troll)

borgdows (599861) | more than 10 years ago | (#5974942)

if you want to further customize your robot, why not just write a script in C or Perl

Customizing a robot with a Perl script is EVIL!!

Re:OMG! (0)

Bold Marauder (673130) | more than 10 years ago | (#5974960)

So, would this be a case where C shell programming really IS "considered harmful"?

Mod vindictively much, MIKEY? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5975081)

Scott Lockwood is a cowardly negroid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5977822)

Okay, let me get this straight. I sleep in the nude. One day, I get out of bed (nude, as like I said I sleep in the nude and when I get up, there I am.) and as I stand up, my five year old daughter comes in the room looking for (pick one) her little brother's telletubby doll/ the t.v. remote control/mommy to get her some cereal. As she arrives at the side of the bed, where I have just stood up (again, nude, as I have just arisen) my husband/boyfriend, who is a goofball perhaps but not a dangerous and creepy person in any way, picks up the camera and snaps a picture.

Maybe he does it because he thinks I'm pretty, or maybe he does it to piss me off because I don't much like having my picture taken and particularly not in the morning, or maybe he does it because he wants to capture the chaotic ambiance of our weird little life in a candid, unscripted fashion. In any case, the photograph captures me, naked as a jaybird, kind of laughing because I just realized I was having my picture taken naked at seven a.m., and my five-year-old daughter, who is sleepy and consumed with whatever immediate concerns a five year old might have at seven a.m., fully dressed in courderoy overalls with little scotty dogs on them, looking a bit forlorn (as she will, until she gets fed/finds the remote/ brings her brother his toy so he stops gibbering), the two of us standing on either side of an unmade bed.

Now, my five year old daughter has seen me naked plenty of times, we're not a family that goes around naked all the time but we aren't hung up on nudity, it's my decision not to raise my kids to panic around trivia, AND I"M THEIR MOTHER. So the roll of film gets taken to the fricken photo hut, and you (the photo hut developer) look at this picture and decide it's CHILD ABUSE? Are you serious? Are you SERIOUS? And you called the cops?

Now, you are a guy that has looked at all these teen model websites (presumably) and you've pretty much refused to read any subtext into the pictures---okay, little girl isn't NUDE, isn't performing a SEX ACT, so there's nothing WRONG. You just said in this last post, essentially, that auctioning off the worn, unwashed shorts of a twelve year old isn't wrong, because after all, who knows what the buyers intentions are? Heck the guy could be buying them for his own kid, right? And all the guys bidding against him probably intend to do the same (because we all know how interested fathers tend to be in shopping for clothes for their pre-teen daughter, hell, my old man could scarcely think of anything else in his spare time but taking MY little teenaged butt to the Juniors section of Macy's, forget golf or happy hour or puttering around the house, he wanted me to look good in specific outfits ?!?)

So you refuse to read anything vaguely inappropriate into the actions of those who gravitate to websites that feature pictures of girls 3 through 13, even though there just aren't that many plausible explanations for what these guys are doing there. But you'll call the cops on someone who happens to be non-sexually nude in a spontaneous, non posed photograph that happens to also contain their own child, who is clothed (and very likely not any more aware that her parent is nude at that moment than she is aware of the weather forcast in Bejing or the process of photosynthesis; she's in kindergarten and more importantly, focused on other things).

You seem awfully concerned that Cindy and her assorted peers not be taken away from their parents without just cause, and yet so eager to take away another child based soley on what you made sound like one (barely questionable) photo on a roll that presumably contained 23 other beyond reproach shots.

What was it about this photo, really, that bothered you? Did you know the people in it? I'm really curious. The United States of America has got to be the most hypocritical place on the planet---people get so uptight about nudity that they automatically think that sex can't exist without it and if there's nudity, there GOTS to be sex. So, every time you take a shower, I guess you must be having sex (with yourself, and your soap and towel, at the very least), cause you're NAKED? Wow, that makes being BORN pretty much an orgy.

101! j00 R t3h Funny t0r11!!!101! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5978535)

Real world robots (5, Insightful)

Lakers (109032) | more than 10 years ago | (#5974950)

I've seen so many robot articles. Robots to mow your lawn, vacuum your carpet, walk your dog...

Where are they though? I have yet to walk down my street and see a mowing robot or visit a friends house and see a robot cleaning the windows. Most of these articles will say that they will be available to consumers in the next year or so.

Funny, I've been reading articles about robots for what seems like forever

Re:Real world robots (5, Funny)

immanis (557955) | more than 10 years ago | (#5974975)

"I have yet to walk down my street and see a mowing robot or visit a friends house and see a robot cleaning the windows."

That's because I'm walking down the street a block ahead of you and kidnapping them to add to my evil army of homicidal housecleaning gardening robots.

Re:Real world robots (2, Interesting)

Apreche (239272) | more than 10 years ago | (#5975005)

They are available to consumers. You can buy Asimo if you want. It just costs rediculous amounts of money. Right now robots are only toys for geeks. Robots aren't good enough to customize themselves yet, so only a geek who can code can have a useful one. And geeks who can code usualy make neat things more often than useful things. Rich geeks who can code and will make useful things are few and far between. And if you were one, or are one, and you had say, a lawn-mowing robot. Would you let it go outside on its own? No! Someone would definitely steal it.

Robots will remain uncommon until much improved AI and sensory input is developed.

Re:Real world robots (1)

Angry White Guy (521337) | more than 10 years ago | (#5975115)

...and you had say, a lawn-mowing robot. Would you let it go outside on its own? No! Someone would definitely steal it.

That's because you didn't get the robotic sentry with anti-personnel artillery. Quit being so cheap!

Son of Tsarkon reports: IN SOVIET RUSSIA... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5975017)

IN SOVIET RUSSIA they are building a robot specifically for the purpose of jacking Michael off.

Re:Son of Tsarkon reports: IN SOVIET RUSSIA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5975298)

Some how, I find this hard to believe! I seriously doubt that his monkey will ever give up that job.

Re:Real world robots (2, Informative)

gwernol (167574) | more than 10 years ago | (#5975064)

I've seen so many robot articles....Where are they though? ... Most of these articles will say that they will be available to consumers in the next year or so.

Bed, Bath and Beyond (and you can't get a lot more consumer than that store) has the Roomba [bedbathandbeyond.com] for sale. I saw them at the San Francisco store a couple of weeks ago. With over 450 stores across the US, I'd say they are widely available, at least in the States.

Re:Real world robots (2, Informative)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 10 years ago | (#5975124)

I saw the Roomba on the Home Shopping Network a couple of nites ago when I was flipping channels, so yeah, I'd say it's widely available.

If Michael had a roombah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5975202)

He'd mod it -1 'offtopic'

Obligatory warning about dissin' robots! (1)

cavemanf16 (303184) | more than 10 years ago | (#5975164)

"If only she had killer robot insurance. Most insurance policies don't cover attacks by killer robots.
Robots are everywhere, and they eat old people's medicine for food.

Only Old Glory offers complete killer robot coverage.

Robots are everywhere, and when they grab you with their big metal claws there's no secape, because they're made of metal. And robots are strong.

Note: People denying the existence of killer robots may be robots themselves."

Re:Real world robots (1)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 10 years ago | (#5975253)

Not only is the Roomba available for sale as a robot that vacuums your carpet, but it now has a competitorElectrolux just put out a higher end module, that when the battery is low, goes and plugs itself into the recharger.

Re:Real world robots (2, Interesting)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 10 years ago | (#5975267)

My neighbor has one for mowing his yard. He stopped using it because it has to mow pretty much every day. This is because it's electric and can only mow low grass. Once the grass gets too high, it's can't move well or mow (bogs down too much). Plus, you have to constantly recharge it every day.

In other words, this time saving marvel required more time spread out every day of the week than it took to mow it once per week on a single day. Then, you always had the concern about someone stealing it, breaking it, or running a toy over, if you were not there to watch it.

Now then, when they make the cold fusion model, with self defense laser turret, I'm there! ;)

Re:Real world robots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5975279)

Where are they though? I have yet to walk down my street and see a mowing robot

I have an uncle who has one (mowing robot). He told me last time I was on visit 2 years ago (I'm Danish and live in USA, so I don't get to visit much) that it does a great job. Is probably pricy why we don't see every common person have one. You have to get wires laid down around the edges of the lawn, so it knew when it reached them. Plus his lawn is very evenly. No short hills which would take some resistance to mow down and power to mow up hill.

Well, you see (4, Funny)

Faust7 (314817) | more than 10 years ago | (#5975286)

Where are they though? I have yet to walk down my street and see a mowing robot or visit a friends house and see a robot cleaning the windows.

That's because the first use that the sorts of people that fanatically follow robot news would have for a robot would be as a sex toy. They're all inside.

Re:Well, you see (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5976596)

Does that mean Intel will be changing their slogan?

Re:Real world robots (1)

ichimunki (194887) | more than 10 years ago | (#5975538)

You probably won't see many robots in real life until they're a cheaper source of labor than illegal immigrants or family members under the age of 15. :)

What no LASERS?!?!! (1, Funny)

PopeAlien (164869) | more than 10 years ago | (#5974955)

Anybody moding their bot with lasers? You know for returning library books and stuff..

Librarian: This book is overdue
Geek: 'click'
Robot: *whir* BZZZZ
Librarian: We'll just take that fine off.. can I help you with anything else?

library? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5975119)

What's a library?

Re:library? (1)

crosseyedatnite (19044) | more than 10 years ago | (#5975417)

Its a set of compiled modules gathered together, and able to be called by other modules. The references to the functions in it are usually resolved at link time.

Sensors? (3, Insightful)

Hayzeus (596826) | more than 10 years ago | (#5974990)

Any sensors available other than the camera? For long term useage, I'd expect at least rudimentary obstacle sensing; a robot that runs around an unstructured environment for too long will generally not do to well without decent obstacle sensors. Anybody else have one of these that would care to comment?

Re:Sensors? (1)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 10 years ago | (#5975162)

They have an IR pack listed on the site, and pics (in one of the galleries) of a still under development set of ultrasonic sensors.

Re:Sensors? (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977692)

Any sensors available other than the camera? For long term useage, I'd expect at least rudimentary obstacle sensing;

Does rebooting upon collision count as "rudimentary"? I got one of those.

Orwellian Implications? (5, Funny)

EnVisiCrypt (178985) | more than 10 years ago | (#5974993)

Techfocus aptly points out the Orwellian implications...

robot: TARGET RECOGNIZED. PINCHERS ENGAGED

me: OH NO! IT'S DELICATELY PINCHING MY ANKLES. DAMN THIS POLICE STATE I LIVE IN!

Puh-lease. The image recognition will only be Orwellian to my cat, and *everything* is Orwellian to cats.

Re:Orwellian Implications? (1)

American AC in Paris (230456) | more than 10 years ago | (#5975099)

Puh-lease.

...maybe he was more afraid that the robot would revolt, kick the owner out of the house, and try to build a windmill.

That'd be pretty Orwellian, too...

[clue for the plebes] [amazon.com]

Re:Orwellian Implications? (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#5975301)

Or we could all agree that this has nothing whatsoever to do with Orwell, and "Orwellian" is just a buzzword the poster is using to make himself sound smarter than he really is - or to guarantee his submission is accepted by the "slashdot buzzword wifi riaa filtrator".

Re:Orwellian Implications? (2, Funny)

z84976 (64186) | more than 10 years ago | (#5975551)

If I were the type of person that liked to have a .sig, I think *everything* is Orwellian to cats would be one of the better ones.

Re:Orwellian Implications? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5977669)

The image recognition will only be Orwellian to my cat, and *everything* is Orwellian to cats.

As a cat, meow meow meow meow meow meow! And further more, meow meow meow! Your mother is a meow meow meow meow!

Nice... (3, Funny)

newsdee (629448) | more than 10 years ago | (#5975009)

In the near future: a PDA that follows you around and carries all those electronics that doesn't fit in your pocket anymore. :-)

You just will have to watch out for water, and thieves. :-)

Re:Nice... (1)

camt (162536) | more than 10 years ago | (#5975334)

You just will have to watch out for water, and thieves. :-)

Those shouldn't be problems. With a moisture sensor you can have it deploy an umbrella automagically. Can the image recognition be programmed to recognize thieves and active some sort of self defense mechanism?

-- Cameno

This is just like masturbation (-1, Troll)

esconsult1 (203878) | more than 10 years ago | (#5975018)

Becuase until machine vision, hearing and tactile feedback technologies are improved, these robots are little more than remote controlled tin cans.

The day that slashdot announces that a tactile sensor can distinguish between my girlfriend's nipple and her elbow, then I will be sufficiently impressed! (Come to think of it...)

girlfriend? (4, Funny)

siskbc (598067) | more than 10 years ago | (#5975171)

The day that slashdot announces that a tactile sensor can distinguish between my girlfriend's nipple and her elbow, then I will be sufficiently impressed!

Considering all the body parts on a blow-up doll are made of plastic, that will be a good trick indeed.

Re:This is just like masturbation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5975404)

Hell, I can't distinguish your girfriend's nipple from her elbow...and I've seen them 100s of times.

"optional gripping arm" (3, Funny)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 10 years ago | (#5975027)

optional gripping arm retails for an additional $199

If it's my robot, that's not exactly optional.

This sad statement brought to you by the Internet. If this had been a real sad statement, you'd have been instructed to look away, murmuring in pity. Thank you.

How about (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5975043)

We quit using the word Orwellian.

Especially for topics like this where it doesn't apply even remotely. Name one Orwell book about toy robots.

God, you all are buzzword loving fucktards.

Re:How about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5978814)

Buzzwords in the above:
"Orwellian"
"Remotely"
"Toy"
"God"
"Lo ving"

O_O

SpookyBot (1)

Baron_911 (664953) | more than 10 years ago | (#5975071)

To funny... If you watch the Spooky Bot Around Town video on their website, there is a scene that is just like the part in Short Circut where Johny 5 is in the bookstore! LOL!

Ok i guess this robot doesn't trash the place...
Or get the cops called on him...
And he's wearing a Spooky Bot Costume...
nevermind... :(

slash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5975073)


What's not suprising is that the site is slashdot-ed.

AAAAAACK! (obligatory reference) (1)

OrbNobz (2505) | more than 10 years ago | (#5975084)

It's Evolver [imdb.com] all over again!!!

- OrbNobz
And a table made of cheeeeese...and a chair made of cheeeeeese...

Obvious, not funny, but I got there first. (1)

akpcep (659230) | more than 10 years ago | (#5975092)

NO DISASSEMBLE JOHNNY FIVE!

Re:Obvious, not funny, but I got there first. (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#5975251)

Yeah, well, he didn't name himself Johhny Five until the end of the movie.

The line you flubbed would be

NO DISASSEMBLE NUMBER FIVE

MIT did a hack based on this (1)

nounderscores (246517) | more than 10 years ago | (#5978606)

see it at the hack gallery robot rights protest page [mit.edu] .

One poignant thing is that there are now some automatic flush urinals in posh hotels which have a sigle red indicator LED in the center of a large black and chrome setting to tell you that the IR proximity sensor is working. It looks almost exactly like MIT's rendition of an unemployed HAL9000.

Geez. from being an astronaut to the guy who flushes rich mens toilets. tough break for robots indeed.

CPU usage depends on tasks (2, Informative)

Ra5pu7in (603513) | more than 10 years ago | (#5975094)

is the notion that the robot is not as much of a drag on CPU as one might suspect

The largest requirement for a robot able to recognize objects would be memory/storage. Kind of like those 20 questions programs, it is very simple processing to compare input with a matrix of possibilities. As the closest match in one matrix is found, it can now compare the input to the next matrix. The storage space for the matrices would be immense as the robot became more sophisticated, but higher processing power would simply speed up the time to "recognize" an object.

Re:CPU usage depends on tasks (4, Insightful)

gwernol (167574) | more than 10 years ago | (#5975194)

The largest requirement for a robot able to recognize objects would be memory/storage. Kind of like those 20 questions programs, it is very simple processing to compare input with a matrix of possibilities.

I'm sorry but that's a gross simplification. Computer recognition of images, especially images of the real 3D world, is a very hard and computationally intense process. This problem is still at the cutting edge of research. Describing it as "simple processing to compare the input with a matrix of possibilities" is on the same level as describing Doom III as "adds a couple of numbers together and displays some colored dots on the screen". It may be at some level accurate but it misses out the hard parts entirely.

To learn more, you could start at CMU's computer vision [cmu.edu] page. There's a whole world of interesting techniques out there, jump in and try some.

Re:CPU usage depends on tasks (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5975219)

Umm, excuse me.

Here on slashdot we only pretend we know everything about how a computer works.

Battlebots? (1)

nherc (530930) | more than 10 years ago | (#5975107)

Okay, bought one.

Now, I just need to know what Battlebot weight class I'm in with my new robomonster! [evolution.com]

Seriously though, it's base set-up doesn't look very rugged, nor stable... I doubt your laptop would survive the first fall down a couple stairs.

It's still wicked cool for the price however.

Re:Battlebots? Nah, wouldn't work (1)

newsdee (629448) | more than 10 years ago | (#5975191)

Your "robomoster" with that bare keyboard is easily defeated by any "three-finger salutebot", or, if you're running a decent OS, any "power button zeroing mecha". :-)

Re:Battlebots? Nah, wouldn't work (1)

nherc (530930) | more than 10 years ago | (#5975215)

Egads! I didn't anticipate the first of the "three-finger salute" bots until my third or fourth championship when the competition finally started wising up.

I guess I'll need to switch to Linux at that point.

Re:Battlebots? Nah, wouldn't work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5976147)

Nah, just pop the keys off, swap alt and z. Their pattern recognizer falls for it, you smack 'em upside.

R2-D2? Where are you? (1)

DAQ42 (210845) | more than 10 years ago | (#5975143)

Maybe one day I'll have my very own droid that can go with me everywhere and have all my pr0...um, I mean files with me so I can do all the stuff I want while on the move. All you need to do is make this little think the size of a trashcan, put some big-ass rechargable batteries in it, add some beeping and chirping and whistling, and there you have it. Your personal assistant in a can.
Makes life easier when you don't have to lug arounda laptop. Simply have it follow you around. Of course the early models will have to have a remote to control it, but later version will add autonomous following and features such as that. Imagine if it could also connect into the internet wirelessly and allow you to walk around and read your e-mail and surf the web/work from the park. That's where the computer and robotics industry should be focusing. Bring everyone thier own personal assistant and boom, instant fame and fortune. You know all the Star Wars geeks will be clamouring for one.

The real questions will be , "Does it run Windows or Mac OS X?"

Heh.

Dean Kamen could even adapt his Segue to have it function on 2 wheels just like the real R2-D2 from the movies. Now wouldn't that be interesting?

Re:R2-D2? Where are you? (1)

cybermace5 (446439) | more than 10 years ago | (#5975188)

Dean Kamen could even adapt his Segue to have it function on 2 wheels just like the real R2-D2 from the movies. Now wouldn't that be interesting?

Ouch, man. Prepare to feel the wrath of geeks everywhere.

Allen wrench (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5975168)

> You insert the set screws using a small Allen
> wrench provided with the unit

Or use a Husky socket wrench with metric allen socket, which is what I use on my bikes.

Slashdotted? (1)

beacher (82033) | more than 10 years ago | (#5975566)

I don't know if it's just my side. I get a DNS error and then I go to techfocus.org, get redirected to https and just another click is the domain administration page.

Strange.
B

Factoid? (1)

thrillbert (146343) | more than 10 years ago | (#5975612)

One interesting factoid is that the robot can recognize objects until the object is blocked - up to 40% - by something (like a piece of furniture).

So what you're saying is that it can recognize something that it's looking at until it starts looking at whatever is in front of what it was looking at before?

Technology like that just baffles the mind... :)

---
Help stamp out and abolish redundancy.

Resources on the net (1)

mcguyver (589810) | more than 10 years ago | (#5975640)

...the site listed by /. is slashdotted so here are some useful links. In a nut shell I am not sold by this thing because it lacks a real purpose(for myself anyways). Maybe one day I will move into a 10,000 sq foot house and have plenty of hallways, laptops and time to play around with the ER-1.

http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/461 9368.htm [siliconvalley.com]

http://www.evolution.com/product/consumer [evolution.com]

Tin can on wheels? (1)

digicosm2 (672998) | more than 10 years ago | (#5975747)

I don't understand why people get worked up about what is essentially a laptop-on-wheels. While that company has some cool software routines they are working on, the robot leaves a lot to be desired, and its price tag is prohibitive for what you get.

Sony's AIBO provides a much more sophisticated legged design, and has a freely available OPEN SDK [openr.org] to allow you to create whatever kind of program that you want. You can even get refurbished models for $699 [aibo.com] !

Which would you rather have in your living room?

Another bit of the puzzle? (2, Interesting)

Tailhook (98486) | more than 10 years ago | (#5976376)

Voice identification, natural speech recognition, facial identification, autonomous navigation (land, sea and air,) character recognition and an enormous spectrum of heuristic algorithms used throughout the modern world from thermostats to missiles...

I've been thinking for some time about awareness. After I read Creation: Life and How to Make it book by Steve Grand, I began thinking that perhaps awareness isn't the mystery it is sometime built up to be. What if we eventually discover that being "aware" doesn't require the phenomenal amount of computation that is often estimated? What if we discover that natures method of achieving it is actually highly inefficient (in terms of...physical complexity?) and easy to replicate using digital hardware?

At this point it is feasible to build a machine that can find you in a crowd (you, specifically, from among many others) talk to you, understand your commands and then travel where you tell it. This is already beyond the means of most animals.

If what I suspect is true, cognition is a relatively simple closed loop goal seeking (that seems to be a contradiction) parallel algorithm connected to a vast repository of highly lossy associative storage that ceaselessly works to achieve reproduction. Awareness is an emergent property of the process. You are a side effect, in the same way the useful work of a LISP function is often implemented as a side effect.

I'm not a professional AI researcher and it probably shows. I'll take it from someone who is. Martha Pollack, a professor at the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the University of Michigan and executive editor of the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research recently said, "It's a crazy position to be in. As soon as we solve a problem, instead of looking at the solution as AI, we come to view it as just another computer system."

The significant progress made in AI to-date appears to be the result of reverse engineering nature until the core implementation of some basic function becomes clear. Just how many interconnected functions are necessary before you have a "who"?

In the beginning was man. (1)

nounderscores (246517) | more than 10 years ago | (#5978576)

"Operation Dark Storm is GO! I repeat..."

One thing is for sure, we aren't going to have to worry about a slave race of robots revolting in the real world. Why? Because we automate all the good, fun jobs and leave all the crap jobs for humans to do.

Examples of fun jobs:

Manufacturing - Working in a factory can be rewarding. there are lots of other people in blue coveralls to talk to and the lunch room is awesome. Now done by robot welders.

Writing Short stories - AI does this all the time.

Clerical jobs - the biggest slacker job in the universe is now performed by a small shell script.

Playing Chess -

Playing First Person Shooters - Is fun for us. I don't know how eraser bot feels every time it gets shot, but it can't be too bad. It can feel pain, but it can never truly die.

Being an air plane pilot - I got invited to the cockpit of an airbus once, and the pilot was asleep with a book in his lap and his feet on the console. Apparently he could stay like that during takeoff and landing too. Maybe he was just joking.

Sales: Think-Geek. Their webserver is their salesman. The people who write the pages are like the sales managers who write those three ringed binders of what to say.

Examples of crap jobs:

Bus-boy/girl - In the Animatrix, we see a robot waiter being taunted by a patron who throws a glass out the window. That would never happen. I've been in a chaotic nightclub floor as a worker before and my brain which is the product of at least 2 million years of R&D couldn't get me safely from one end of the dance floor to the other without dropping a few glass bottles from my armload of crap. None of the patrons or the managers seemed to mind though.

Child rearing - unless we keep the children in battery hen environments, there is no robot technology to change a nappy. The small, fragile, autonomously wiggling target would be pulped between the grippers in no-time.

Outbound telemarketing - Robots are barred from this job by law. So we use humans instead.

So here is Jin's Law of Robotics: "If it is fun to do, it is probably easy to automate."

robots won't have to revolt. we will have installed them in the cushy center of our lives while we are the ones working down the pit mines and fighting in the wars.

After all, show me the most evil man among you and I will show you someone who is nice to his kids. And that's what we're doing- giving our metal progeny all the good jobs.

Erector Set (2, Interesting)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977704)

Our expectation of this product was that it would be relatively similar to setting up an Erector set, except with more complex circuitry.

I always considered erector sets to be better for robotics experiments than legos, but I don't see erector set stuff much anymore. Did they go bankrupt? If so, why hasn't a Chinese toy firm resurrected the concept?

Maybe its the name :-P

The most advanced robotics in the world.! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5977805)

http://www.matrix4.net details info about robots that are smarter than humans!
check it out :)

peace!

someone with mplayer has been busy.... (1)

peterprior (319967) | more than 10 years ago | (#5979172)

seems to like evolution robotics video files ;)

Movie-Aspect is undefined - no prescaling applied.
everything done. Thank you for downloading a media file containing proprietary and patentend technology.
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