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Japanese Couple Wed by a Robot

Satoko Inoue and Tomohiro Shibata bothe looked amazing on their wedding day, but the spotlight was stolen by i-Fairy, the humanoid robot that replaced the priest.

Inoue, the bride, works for the company that produces the i-Fairy robot, and Shibata is a client, so it’s safe to say robots are the reason they began dating in the first place. At his beloved’s suggestion, the groom was more than happy to replace the priest with an adorable robot that rose to the challenge, thanks to some special programming.

The bride said she always felt like robots could play a big role in people’s lives, and she’s glad her experience showed the whole world just that. Representatives of the company that makes i-Fairy said they’re thrilled one of their products was the center of attention in the first wedding presided over by a robot.

Photos by REUTERS

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Robot Sculpture Made from Crashed BMW Parts

What do you do with a totaled 2005 BMW 645Cl convertible? That’s simple, turn it into a kick-ass robot sculpture.

At least that’s what this guy did, after he trashed his BMW, beyond repair. He turned to metal sculptor, Bruce Gray, who used the scrap parts one to create a work of art, dubbed “Robot Sculpture 1” (I dare you to find a worse name).

While the robot’s feet are immobile, it does feature a movable head, movable upper arm and and a forearm that raises, in case you ever want to make a toast,in its presence. Bruce Gray’s robot sculpture is also armed and dangerous, sporting a pivoting energy pulse gun, and a movable joystick/fire button controller.

via GizmoWatch

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Chinese Farmer Creates Army of Home-Made Robots

Wu Yulu, a Chinese farmer, from a small village, outside Beijing, has created a series of 47 robots, out of scrap metal. They can accomplish various functions, from drinking, to walking and even pulling a rickshaw.

Ever since he can remember, Wu Yulu has been fascinated with the mechanics of movement. He always dreamed of building robots that could imitate human behavior, and in 1986, he decided to put his dream into practice. 24 years later, our techie farmer is the proud inventor of 47 home-made robots.

But Wu Yulu has made many sacrifices, in the name of science. He almost lost his wife and two children, after burning down the house, while working on a robot, accumulated great debt, and was even sprayed with battery acid. But like any respectable mad scientist, our man didn’t give up.

And now his effort are finally being rewarded. Mr. Wu has been invited to showcase his scrap metal creations and their functionality, at the 2010 Shanghai Expo. This after already receiving a number of prizes and contracts with universities. But he doesn’t get all this go to his head. he still lives in his modest village house, surrounded by pieces of metal and broken doll parts.

The strangest thing, about Wu Yulu, is he declared he loves his metal robots, more than he loves his own kids. He refers to his rickshaw robot as his 32nd son, and even programmed it to say “Wy Yulu is my dad, I take him out on the town.” How cool is that!

Photos by REUTERS via Daylife

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The Cyborg Plant of Gilberto Espaza

Nomadic Plants is a quirky project of Mexican artist, Gilberto Espaza, that possible symbiosis between vegetation and technology.

This is not Gilberto Espaza’s first such project. Last year, he unleashed his Urban Parasites on Mexico City. The small machines, made from recycled consumer goods, roamed the urban area in search of power sources they could feed on.

This year, the Mexican artist has an even more interesting project prepared. His Nomadic Plants installation focuses on the symbiosis between plants, micro-organisms and technology. A few river plants and bacteria live inside the Nomadic Plants robot, and whenever the life-forms inside it need nourishment, the machine searches the nearest polluted water-source and “drinks” from it.

A microbial fuel cell process decomposes the water’s elements and turns them into energy for the robot, and the rest is used to feed the plants and organisms inside. Gilberto Espaza said he was inspired to create this cyborg plant after reading about the microbial fuel cell that inspired him to take on the theme of environment pollution.

The Nomadic Plants installation is on display at Laboral Art and Industrial Creation Center, in Gijon, Spain, until June 2010.

via We Make Money Not Art

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The Cool Robotic Sculptures of Andrea Petrachi

Italian artist, Andrea Petrachi uses things most other people throw away, to create amazing robotic sculptures.

Milan-based Andrea Petrachi was born in 1975, in the Italian city of Lecce, and quickly began taking things apart. Nobody suspected such a seemingly destructive activity would eventually stand at the base of his artistic genius. He takes old stuff like broken electronics, used toys and recycled materials, breaks them into pieces, and reassembles them as cool robotic sculptures.

Known also as “Himatic” Andrea Petrachi currently works as a video editor for RAI television. Feel free to check out his entire portfolio of unique robotic figurines, on his official site.

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Chinese Cooking Robot Cooks Over 600 Dishes

It’s official, China is trying to get this cooking thing completely automated. A week after a retired engineer presented his DIY robot cook, another springs up .

The students of Yangzhou University, in Yangzhou, China partnered up with an enterprise from Shenzen, to create a fully automated robotic cook. Their result is nothing short of impressive, considering the machine can cook over 600 dishes from Chinese cuisine. All anyone has to do is put in the necessary ingredints, program the robot and weight for the dish to be served.

Bad news for Liu Changfa, the retired engineer who presented his own patented robot cook. Iguess hi dream of selling one to every restaurant in China, won’t be coming true, after all.

Photos by Zhao Jun/Xinhua

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Chinese Engineer Invents Robot Cook

Liu Changfa, a retired automation engineer,from China, needed only one year to create a robot cook, using only rudimentary tools, like hammer and axe.

The Chinese inventor connected his robot cook to a laptop computer and a cellphone that allow to choose preset menus, or program it to cook certain dishes. Vinegar, salt, sugar and all other seasoning is stored in the robot’s chest, and the cooking takes place in its belly, where an induction cooker is installed. With the help of some dedicated software, the dedicated robot can be programmed to add a certain amount of seasoning, or stir a dish a certain number of times.

All Liu Changfa has to do is put the raw ingredients into the pot, and wait for the beeping sound, made by the robot. He has already contacted a Chinese restaurant, which will test the robot cook in its kitchen, and add robot dishes on its menu. More restaurants will shortly follow, says Liu Changfa.

Well, I’d wait a while before adding cooking to the list of automated fields, but this is definitely a step in that direction.

Photos via CNS Photo

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Delilah – The Sexy Typewriter Robot

No, it’s not a typewriting robot, it’s an artistic sculpture made by Jeremy Mayer, out of 50 different typewriter parts.

Inspired by friend Brent Clifford’s paintings of female robots in sexy poses, Mayer decided to take some vintage typewriters apart and reassemble its parts as a the sexy Nude IV aka Delilah. The name comes both from the story of Samson and Delilah and from the women who posed for the artwork, Delilah Brown.

The sexy typewriter robot took Jeremy Mayer 1,400 hours to make, during the past year and it’s now on display at various museums, including Ripley’s  Believe It or Not and Nevada Museum of Art, in Reno. Sexy Delilah can be yours for the modest price of $20,000. Come on guys, it’s art and it’s sexy!

via GizmoWatch

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Giant Gigantor Unveiled in Japan

Two weeks after the Tokyo Gundam statue was dismantled, a new robot statue was unveiled in Kobe, Japan. This time it’s the Tetsujin 28-go aka Gigantor.

This mean looking machine was set up in Wakamatsu Park, Kobe and unlike the RX78 Gundam statue it will remain here permanently. The funds for the construction of Gigantor were not supplied by big-time corporations either. The approximately 1.5 million dollars were raised by local shop owners, in hope that it will bring commerce and people to Kobe.

The city of Kobe was seriously damaged by an earthquake, in 1995, and its population has decreased to around 80% of what it was before the cataclysm. Mitsuteru Yokoyama, a legendary manga artists, was born in Kobe and helped design Tetsujin 28-go.

via Mainichi

Gigantor

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Soccer Robots Compete in RoboCup 2009

The smartest autonomous robots in the world prepare for one of the most important robot competitions in the world, the World Cup of RoboCup.

Brilliant minds from all round the globe build soccer-playing-robots and compete in the RoboCup, to promote the development of artificial intelligence. This year, the weekend-long contest was held in the Austrian city of Graz and the protagonists tried to put on a show worth watching.

The Soccer World Cup for robots is not as young an event as you might think. It dates back to 1993 and, across the years, it took place in countries like Japan, Italy and USA. There are different league matches, from the standard to the smaller than 180 mm league.

In one of the leagues, teams use identical robots, and have the task of developing a software that can allow the machines to move autonomously. The dream of the developers is to one day create an entire team of autonomous robots that can defeat the human winners of the Soccer World Cup.

Photos by Reuters

via Telegraph.co.uk

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Kobian- The Emotional Robot Nurse

Developed by scientists from Waseda University, Kobian can show emotions, perform tasks and is could be the nurse of tomorrow.

Kobian can express seven human emotions using his entire body. To show happiness this amazing humanoid opens his mouth and eyes wide and raises his arms. When it is sad, Kobian closes its eyelids, bends forward a bit and brings one of its arms to the forehead.

Researchers first presented Kobian in 2008 but back then he could only express emotions using its head. Some people complained its reactions were hard to read, so they constructed a more expressive body. Now this amazing robot recognizes its environment and is able to perform tasks.

Designed to take care of the elderly, Kobian might just be the future of nursing.

Photos by AP

via Daily Mail

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Cool Coffee-Making Manga Robot

This isn’t some kind of coffee filter designed to look as a robot. This thing really makes coffee just like we humans do.

Designed by Clockwork,  a Japanese dude who’s into manga and robotics, the coffee-making robot uses 20 digital KRS-788HV servos, a servo motor, both controlled by a PCB located in its head. The photos don’t say much about this little Japanese coffee making robot, but you can see it in action if you scroll to the video at the bottom.

Also head over to clockwork.shikisokuzekuu.net for more pics and info (if you speak Japanese).

via Geek Alerts

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Man Builds Life-Size Bumblebee Transformer

It may not be as cool-looking as the life-size Gundam robot in Tokyo, but, for a home-made statue, this real-life Bumblebee Transformer is pretty awesome.

A big Transformers fan from Lemoore, California, Tom Rhoads decided to build a Bumblebee replica right in his front yard. He started working on the 18-foot-tall statue right after his son was born. Seeing these are financially-troubled times, Tom created the life-size Transformer out of an old Volkswagen Beetle, instead of a brand new Camaro, like in the movie.

Rhoads and a friend worked on this Bumblebee statue for an entire year, then lifted it into position using a crane and reinforced its legs so it wouldn’t fall down.

via Daily Stab

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Tokyo’s Real-Life Gundam at Night

We’ve already posted some photos of the completed life-size RX78 Gundam, during the day, now we though you might enjoy seeing it in action at night.

Just like the Japanese said, the real-life Gundam in Odaiba’s Shiokaze Park has lights radiating from various body-parts, which make it look way much cooler when the sun sets. Check it out:

via Pink Tentacle

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Tokyo’s Real-Life RX78 Gundam

Gundam fans all over the world, rejoice! The life-sized RX78 Gundam robot has been completed and is expecting visitors.

Just like the Hello Kitty Castle in Shanghai, China, might become a pilgrimage site for pink-loving girls, Tokyo’s RX78 could turn into the same thing for robot-anime enthusiasts. Announced back in March, as a way of celebrating 30 years since the debut of the Mobile Suit Gundam anime series, the 1:1 sale Gundam has just been completed.

The RX78 Gundam towers 18 meters, features a movable head, 50 light-radiating points on his body, and shoots smoke from various fiberglass-reinforced plastic parts. The popular mech will be watching over Odaiba’s Shiokaze Park until August 31st. Hopefully they’ll just move it somewhere else after that, because depriving Gundam fans of such a symbol would be a regular crime.

Some might think the RX78 Gundam looks a bit too retro for 2009, but it’s a regular icon in Japanese culture, so choosing what model to build was never in question.

See even more photos at pyunari part 1 and pyunari part 2

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