Happy holidays! And if you're like most people, you still haven't started shopping. But our web crew has come up with some nifty robotic toy sites that will get your credit card hot. There are some big-kid toys at these sites, too!
Robo Toys has just about every robotic toy imaginable, including the old Transformers and videos about robots (Danger, Will Robinson!). The site at http://www.robotoys.com features robot kits and even the latest robot pets.
Or try the Robot Store at http://www.robotstore.com . They offer a garage sale of kits, books, videos, and electronic products. A hard copy catalog is also available. The site links up to robot clubs and has a comprehensive calendar of robotic events, as well as a message board.
Robot Books at http://www.robotbooks.com offers more than books, including kits, magazines, and movies. We were intrigued with Stiquito, a introduction to robotics that includes a kit for a six-legged walking robot. There's also a section called Advanced Robots that links to a pretty interesting book on the creation of a humanoid robotic soccer team by the year 2050. There are all kinds of add-on kits, including one for machine vision, a RoboSports set, and Star Wars developer kits.
Are they robots or androids? We're not exactly sure. Each talking, gesturing Geminoid looks exactly like a real individual, starting with their creator, professor Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University in Japan.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.