DARPA Manlike Pet-Proto Robot

DARPA continues to improve their robots. Remember that walking military machine? By the way, you will soon be able to control it by MYO gesture device.

This time, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) showed manlike robot, which walks pretty much like we all do. Its name is Pet-Proto.. Wait.. Pet??! Nice doggy, come here.

DARPA PetProt Robot


Check the video yourself. This “pet” walks, then starts to jump, run and even able to avoid obstacles (using “hands” to hold its position in space). He is able to balance and leap across narrow terrain, make own decisions and choose the safest and quickest way.

One thing missing from turning it to the perfect war machine -— Terminator. These are canons and rifles, but I do not think these guys are far away from upgrading their “pet” 🙂

Though initially, robot’s functions will be limited to the robotic aid to victims of natural disasters and making repairs in degraded environments.

Next prototype from DARPA will be called Atlas, let’s see what it can.

IllumiRoom Game Project From Microsoft

Microsoft presented IllumiRoom Project at CES, special technology designed for gamers. It utilizes TV, projector and Kinect to create an extended view, while you are playing.

System first scans your room to make note of the furniture and its location. This is needed to distort the picture properly according to room’s geometry and objects’ shapes.

Microsoft Illumiroom Shooter

The result is an augmented reality processed onto your surroundings, while you play favourite shooter or Super Mario 🙂 Field of view is expanded and an added feeling of motion is induced.

Peripheral vision will help you to battle enemies, for sure. Of course, you are still focused on TV, but your sight angle is pretty much the same you have in real life. This is a good example of game world moving forward, without using virtual reality helmets.

Also, technology should be good for different educational presentations for children – planetarium or sea views. Main action is on the screen and flying stars around make it much more real.

Video is said to be “live” without any special effects. Some parts of it reminded me of that cool light shows on buildings, when windows are “crushed”, walls are “falling” down etc.

Now, main question is whether this technology is able to utilize existing projectors? I doubt so, really. Remember, it scans your room? So, there should be a transducer to receive back and use all this data. I believe, Microsoft will have a special device for IllumiRoom, but will it be affordable for an ordinary gamer?

More details should be available at the CHI 2013 event held in Paris on 27th April. Probably, IllumiRoom will be integrated with the future updates of Xbox 360? (maybe 720 model?). Hope it does not stay as a concept for the next 5 years.

Walking Military Robot – LS3

Anyone afraid of robots? Well, not those funny vacuum machines or Transformers from our childhood. Reality is that robots now look like computer animation, but you can ride some of them 🙂 And command with your own voice, not a keyboard or joystick.

Military Robot Darpa

This, em, “bug-donkey” is a new prototype by the Boston Dynamics and its codename is LS3. It is capable of carrying 400 pounds (~180 kg) of goods for up to 20 miles (~32 km) and can be guided just by your voice. Commands can be transmitted using radio. Awesome piece of technology.

And I am sure I know your first question – “Is it possible to deploy turrets?”. Seems, no problems with that, though creators (DARPA – Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) avoid this kind of rumours.

In addition, LS3 can move precisely over rough terrain, has the ability to maneuver in an urban environment and stand up after falling. Another useful capability is to become an auxiliary power supply – kind of a huge battery pack. You are able to recharge smartphone and iPad 🙂

DARPA program manager was already very pleased with results of the testing conducted together with Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory (MCWL) and mentioned that results exceeded expectations. Overall, testing is planned to continue through the first half of 2014. Robot is equipped with night vision, of course, and climbing hills is not a problem.

Read More…

Virtual Astral Projection

Ever wanted to feel the wind of Everest? Or maybe heat of the blow, while helping teammates to fight the enemy? Soon, in every household 🙂

Folks from the Ikei Laboratory of Tokyo Metropolitan University are developing a virtual body technology, which fools not only your vision and hearing, but also emulate smells, wind breeze and movements. It has been unveiled at the Digital Contents Expo 2012 in Tokyo last October and consists of a special chair, helmet and some weird cables 🙂

Virtual Astral Projection

To speak frankly, system does not allow input (at least at the moment). You have to relax and enjoy someone else’s feelings and not everyone can accept it. You are in other person’s body, so it is more like watching an “extra 3D movie” (these cinemas have funny names like 4D, 5D, 5D etc.), than playing a game yourself and control the result.

Or, it can be called a “virtual astral projection” as you kind of inhabit another person’s body, though cannot do any silly things.

Read More…

Start Of Something New

Ooook, this looks quite empty at the moment, but as I learn about WordPress customization, blog will be developed further.

What will it be about? Well, main topic for news, discussions, thoughts is augmented reality and how it is going to affect our life in the nearest future. Like it or not, we already face it and it is better to know more, than make wrong decisions.

Also, some occasional posts on everything, regarding integration of human nature with technology (this can be cyborg prototypes, Google self-driven cars etc..), technological singularity and much more.

Stay tuned!

 Scroll to top