Back in 2003, former Ford executive William Santana Li and former police officer Stacey Dean founded Carbon Motors, a company that designed a purpose-built diesel police car that recently filed for bankruptcy. But they're at it again, this time with a new company and a new invention that looks eerily similar to R2D2: a robotic security guard.
Robots are here to stay, and all signs point to there being more "everyday" mechanized friends that will specialize in doing different things for different people. In addition to its work on the Partner Robot, Toyota is developing a Human Support Robot (HSR) to assist the elderly at home. The cylindrical, 70-pound HSR can be controlled by voice, just like children and grandchildren, and will perform the tasks that children and grandchildren are most handy for, such as picking things up, retrievi
So how's this for a way to celebrate National Robotics Week? Ford has dug up some photos and press releases from the late 1960s featuring "Freddie Ford," a quasi-robot made out of auto parts that entertained crowds on the auto show circuit.
Our sister site Translogic visits the University of Michigan in their latest episode to check out a bipedal robot named MABEL. While other similar robots like ASIMO (built by Honda), and the Partner Robots (from Toyota) have wowed crowds with their ability to walk upright, MABEL advances the technology with a complex system of springs in its knees so that its gait more resembles actual human locomotion. This enables MABEL to actually run like a human, with both "feet" leaving the ground for part
Honda does a whole lot more than just cars. They do motorbikes, ATVs, power equipment, outboard marine engines, personal watercraft, business jets... and yes, even robots. In fact its ASIMO humanoid robot (parodied in a rather disturbingly hilarious episode of South Park) is one of the most advanced in the field of robotics, and it's only getting more so as the Japanese industrial giant has just unveiled its latest iteration.
Toyota and Sony are forming a new partnership to enter a segment rarely tackled by mainstream automakers, the single-seater vehicle market. Back in 2005, Toyota unveiled the i-swing, a concept car that was basically an armchair on wheels. This time around it's making a serious attempt at creating a viable one-seater vehicle, and has enlisted the help of several Sony engineers to help see it to fruition.