Category Archives: Robots

Thought for Friday


Table tennis playing robot

Table tennis playing robot: Topio 3.0

Detective Del SpoonerHuman beings have dreams. Even dogs have dreams, but not you, you are just a machine. An imitation of life. Can a robot write a symphony? Can a robot turn a… canvas into a beautiful masterpiece? 

SonnyCan you? 

A wonderful quote from the film I Robot. As those who have been reading this blog for a while know well, I’ve a ‘soft spot’ for Robots, particularly the vintage tin variety. I stumbled on a wonderful index showing hundreds of designs and worth a browse for those who prefer their robots to look less formidable than our tennis playing friend above. There’s also this online catalogue from Jesters.

Horikawa Star Strider Robot

Horikawa Star Strider Robot

For those who want to be more creative try here (via Swissmiss).


Filed under Robots, Thought for Friday

Thought for Friday

Android head. Hanson Robotics

Android head. Hanson Robotics

The Tanhauser Gate

I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tanhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain… 

Bear with me on this one, OK?
It all started yesterday while listening to classic fm in the studio. Wagner’s Tannhäuser was playing and although my taste in classical music leans more toward Vaughan Williams than Richard Wagner I do have a soft spot for this piece.

Later at home I wanted to find out more about Tannhäuser, both the piece of music and the  knight and legend behind it. Wikipedia gave me the information I wanted but also led me in a strange sort of way to quote above. (See I told you to bear with me on this one).

The words are those spoken by the dying replicant, Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer), introspectively says the phrase, during a rain downpour, regarding his own death in the film Blade Runner by Ridley Scott.

Blade Runner poster by John Alvin

Blade Runner poster by John Alvin

Now this reminded me of a TED talk by David Hanson of Hanson Robotics and the incredible work they are doing in the field of androids. (Are you still with me?) To quote from TED: “David Hanson merges robotics and art to design life-like, social robots that can mimic human expression and emotion.”

Well if you made it this far, thank you, you are very patient with my wandering mind. But to close this post here’s another quote, this one from Hanson himself.

David Hanson

David Hanson and friend

“This moment is the Kitty Hawk of androids. We’re seeing the arrival of conversational robots that can walk in our world. It’s a golden age of invention.” David Hanson, in TIME


Filed under Media & Film, Robots, Technology, Thought for Friday

Lipson Robotics revisited

Casco and Western robot models

Casco and Western

Back in August 2010 I wrote about David Lipson and his wonderful robot models. Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while may know that I like robots. Real ones, toy models and all the movie robots from Robbie to R2D2. Recently after exploring Flickr I discovered that David had a Flickr account full of wonderful photographs of his robots and so I thought I would give it a mention here.

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Filed under Robots