Archives for April 2010

Japanese Robot to Walk on the Moon by 2015

The next step on the Moon may well be taken by a robot.  In a country that produces robots to do almost anything you can imagine, a robot to walk on the lunar surface is not so far-fetched.  The Japanese just may be the next nation to plant a flag on the dusty surface of Earth’s largest satellite.  That is the plan of the Osaka-based “Space Oriented Higashiosaka Leading Association” (SOHLA) which announced its goal of putting a robot on the moon by 2015.

SOHLA consists of six private space technology companies with connections to governmental space research institutions.  The group estimates it will take about $10.5 million to make the project work. SOHLA is trying to build on the success of the satellite it launched into orbit last year, Maido-1.  The bipedal humanoid robot planned for the Moon is tentatively named Maido-kun.

Some think that the mission of this pioneering robot should be more than a simply flag planting ceremony, but even if this machine does not discover any new resources for Japan, it may well show the world that the Japanese have set their sights on laying claim to whatever valuable materials may be located there in the future.  Read the story at the links below.

Image Credit: SOHLA via Popular Science

Story by Jeremy Hsu at Popular Science  "That's one small step for robots, one giant leap sideways for space exploration. …" 

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Via Popular ScienceCrunchGearNODE [JP], and Pink Tentacle

Bipedal Japanese Robot Will Walk on the Moon by 2015
Popular Science
Thu, 29 Apr 2010 15:27:51 GMT

Robot Diet Coach

So, its been a while since that New Year’s Resolution about losing weight fell by the wayside.  What can you do about those excess pounds?  Just to show you that there is a robot for almost everything, here is a one designed to help you get back on track to thinness.  Autom is a robot that works to keep people on their diet.  Its main advantages are that it is a sociable robot that can give personal and positive feedback, while also keeping the dieter aware of daily calorie intake.  There is no instruction book.  Just push a button and the robot searches for a human face and begins to interact.  With the huge market for weight loss products in the United States, this just might be the dieter’s dream.  Read the entire story at the links below.

Cory Kidd with Autom, the robot he reckons will transform losing weight.

Photo: AFP

One inventor did just that and came up with Autom – a robot that will look dieters in the eye and tell them what they need to hear.
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Sydney Morning Herald

Fat chance? The robot that helps you slim
Sydney Morning Herald
Tue, 27 Apr 2010 07:47:36 GMT

Robotic Roaches for Surgery

Here is an article on an idea that definitely raises the ick factor for surgery to a new level. Like something out of Stephen King's Creepshow, robotic cockroaches are being developed which can crawl into patients' bodies and remove diseased organs by dragging them back out through the mouth.  This next step in robotic surgery is being developed by one of Britain's top doctors.

In the report titled, Robot insects to remove organs via patients' mouths, Sophie Goodchild, Health and Social Affairs Correspondent for the Standard, states "Keyhole surgery pioneer Lord Darzi is developing the "bug-bots", which are set to revolutionize scar-free surgery."

The insect bots would enter the patient's body via the mouth and be able to remove tumors or diseased organs by use of a laser.  Then the surgeons can withdraw the surgical bots and diseased parts through the mouth.  So, there would be no scarring on the patient's body.  (I am not sure about the patient's mind!!!)

Seriously, this has great promise for surgery.  Its not just the lack of scarring, it is the fact that this could reach tumors in difficult to reach areas and the patient's should recover much faster.  Of course, you would have to get use to little robotic creatures crawling around your insides.

Read the story at the link below.

via www.thisislondon.co.uk