robots

Giant robot fight is on! Suidobashi accepts Americans’ challenge, wants to “punch them to scrap”

Like a lot of people, up until a few days ago I’d never heard of MegaBots, despite the fact that the California-based company has apparently created a pretty amazing (and armed) giant robot. That all changed, though, when the designers of the MegaBot Mark II released a video challenging Japan’s Suidobashi Heavy Industry, the makers of the Kuratas robot, to a duel.

It definitely got MegaBots plenty of attention, and now it’s gone beyond just a cagey PR move. Suidobashi has accepted the challenge, and is spitting back some fighting words of its own.

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A.I. say I do: Japan’s first ever robot wedding?!

Last week, America celebrated the legalisation of gay marriage following the Supreme Court ruling recognising same-sex unions. Meanwhile in Japan, other celebrations of a very different kind were going on– Japan’s first ever robot wedding! Yes, that’s right, two Japanese robots said I do and tied the knot.

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Giant robot fight coming soon? American inventors’ video challenges Japanese counterparts to duel

California-based MegaBots spells out its mission pretty clearly on the company’s website: Giant fighting robots. So far, though, they’re only two-thirds of the way to that goal.

The MegaBot Mark II is clearly a robot, and definitely giant, but it hasn’t really done much fighting yet. Since no one wants to watch giant robots grapple with their inner psychological demons and emotional issues, the Mark II needs an opponent, and its American designers have decided to throw the gauntlet all the way across the Pacific, releasing a video officially challenging Japan’s own currently on-sale giant robot to a duel.

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Engineers teach robot to swing katana at 1,000 foes, hopefully don’t awaken its bloodlust 【Video】

We recently took a look at the latest iteration of the DARPA Robotics Challenge, which showed us how far scientists have come in building sophisticated robots, and yet how far those machines have left to go before they can get from point A to point B without falling down hilariously. But little did we know that while we were snickering at those clumsy creations, another group of engineers were building their own robot that can perfectly perform a severing strike with a samurai sword.

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Monday Kickstart: Watch robots fall down! Laugh while you can until the Terminator shows up

DARPA, or the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is an American agency responsible for some of the weirdest (and coolest) technology headlines you’ll likely ever see. From cloaking devices to wearable jetpacks to thought-reading devices, DARPA is who the US Department of Defense turns to when they want sci-fi weapons.

The agency is also the host of one of the most famous robotics challenges in the world: The DARPA Robotics Challenge. With millions of dollars in prize money available to teams from around the world, you would expect that Japan and South Korea would have some entrants — and you’d be right!

What you might not expect to see what is arguably the funniest “robots falling down” video on the Internet… Click below to laugh at those silly robots. It may be your last chance before SkyNet awakens!

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We thought robots didn’t die! The demise of the AIBO robot dogs and the fight to keep them alive

Remember AIBO, the futuristic pet robot from Sony that amazed us with its dog-like appearance and behavior when it came out in 1999? It was probably one of the first examples of artificial intelligence the general public got a taste of, and we were quite duly fascinated with the antics of the robotic dogs, as evidenced by the fact that the first batch of 3,000 AIBOs sold out in just 20 minutes despite its 250,000 yen (about US$2,100 according to the exchange rate back then) price tag.

But now, more than 15 years down the line, AIBO owners who have become attached to their cybernetic pets, are facing a grave situation — an aging and ailing (or breaking down, in this case) population of AIBOs.

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Here are the 15 most amazing home made robots, tanks, and vehicles in China

China is known as an industrious nation and, after pictures surfaced of one Chinese teacher who built a phenomenal “Iron Man” Hulkbuster replica in his garage, it seemed like the right time to take a look at some of the country’s most impressive home made inventions.

From full size, working airplanes to wooden, yet electronic cars, the Chinese have spent anything from a couple of months to several years, knocking up some pretty impressive modes of transports and robots.

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This restaurant has a new secret weapon: a robot that slices the perfect noodle faster than any human

China has a new celebrity, and it’s not another 7′ 6″ giant who can dunk a basketball or martial-arts master taking center stage in American action movies.

It’s a noodle-slicing robot named Foxbot, who can be found at Dazzling Noodles, an open-kitchen restaurant chain in North China’s Shanxi province.

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Time to get a Gundam haircut at this barber shop guarded by a team of mobile suits

It’s said that barbers’ poles, with their interlaced contrasting stripes, are a holdover from the Middle Ages, with the red and white symbolizing blood and bandages. In those days, the field of surgery was still at such an early stage in its development that the guy who cut hair would also handle operations and amputations. After all, cutting was cutting, right?

In our modern era, though, you’d never think of asking your doctor to take a little off the sides, nor would you trust your hairdresser to remove a tumor. So isn’t it time for barber shops to get a new symbol, like this one in Aomori with a compliment of giant Gundam statues hanging around outside?

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Talking Black Butler anime robot will flirt with you if you ask to kiss, also clean your floors

Up until now, you could say that Black Butler has followed the standard trajectory for a major hit in the anime world. It began as a manga about a suave and sophisticated demon entering into a pact to serve his master in return for the chance to eat his soul once his work is done. Next came an animated TV series, video game, stage musical, and live-action film. Really, pretty standard stuff for a mixed media franchise in today’s integrated otaku entertainment industry.

However, Black Butler is about to branch off into something very few anime, but almost all butlers, are involved with: keeping your home clean, as you can now order an official Black Butler cleaning robot that’ll vacuum your floors and even engage in flirtatious banter when you call out to it.

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Could this creepy old guy actually be…a robot?!

This weird old guy was spotted at the AsiaWorld Expo, an electronics expo held in Hong Kong recently, creepily undressing people with his eyes, as he stared lasciviously at passersby like some kind of RocketNews24 writer on a weekend bender.

Just as people were about to call the police, we presume, it was revealed that the creepy old guy, whose first name is, inexplicably, Ham, is actually just a robot that happens to look like a filthy old lecher…which kind of is maybe almost creepier.

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Get in the Gundam robot! Event lets fans sit in giant Zeta Gundam replica cockpit

While the 1:1-scale Gundam statue in Tokyo is, with good reason, a mecca for mecha lovers, it’s not the only extra-large recreation of combat hardware from anime’s most prolific robot franchise. Clear on the other side of Japan’s island of Honshu, Okayama Prefecture has its own statue, modeled after the MSZ-006 Zeta Gundam.

On one hand, Okayama’s mobile suit isn’t life-size, but it still stands an impressive seven meters (23 feet) tall. Even better, this weekend fans will get to climb into its cockpit.

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R2-D2 is ready to chill with your groceries as a cool talking Star Wars fridge droid 【Video】

It’s kind of sad to think that with the Sapporo Snow Festival over, the event’s awesome Star Wars snow sculpture is demolished and melted. Thankfully, if you’re still feeling the icy allure of epic science fiction and low temperatures, there’s another way to combine the two, and this time in the home, with your very own R2-D2 fridge droid!

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Want your mecha models to look amazingly realistic? Don’t stop at the robot – Make the buildings!

Whoa, hold on a second! We know Amazon Japan now sells giant robots, but we didn’t know someone else had made something this big! This mecha looks like it’s at least twice as tall (and three times as awesome) as the one offered by the online retailer. Don’t you need a permit to build something that huge?

Actually, the only legal paperwork involved in this photo was for model-making supplies, as that’s not a real giant robot, but a scale replica. What’s more, the way it appears to be standing with its head almost in the rafters of the structure housing it isn’t thanks to a mere trick camera angle, but rather the considerable skills of the modeller who also crafted a miniature hanger for his compact mobile suit.

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Tenga toy-themed robots take over Valentine’s Day 【Pics】

At first glance, they seem like Transformers, or perhaps unusually flashy Gundam. Then you notice the color scheme, followed by a number of cylindrical trimmings and its unusual shape. “I feel like I’ve seen that somewhere before…” you wonder to yourself. Then it clicks. “Oh.”

While Tenga toys may not be the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks “Valentine’s Day,” some highly imaginative artists capitalized on the romantic holiday to recast the popular adult products as robots. Don’t think of them as mere joke drawings, however; these creations are the real deal. We take a look at some of the spectacular art below.

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Real horses too much hard work for you? Why not get yourself a robo-horse! 【Video】

A farmer and self-proclaimed invention-addict from China decided to create a more economical replacement for the common horse – one that doesn’t require any food or daily care. While this mechanical horse won’t be winning races any time soon, it does get some points for creativity! See it in action after the jump.

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New Evangelion short anime starts streaming this week, features brand-new mecha

It’s been three years since the most recent installment of the Rebuild of Evangelion, the maybe-sequel, maybe-reboot of creator Hideaki Anno’s massively influential 1995 science fiction anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion. Forever committed to his artistic vision and standards, Anno remains coy as to when the fourth, and supposedly final, Rebuild film will hit theaters, even as fans the world over clamor for its release.

That’s not to say Anno and the team at his Studio Khara, the animation house responsible for the newest Evangelion theatrical features, don’t have anything to show us. Less than two months ago they shared a melancholy vision of protagonist Shinji in a brand-new six-minute animated video. This week, Studio Khara is back again with another short to be released online that promises an Evangelion mecha unit fans have never seen before, with the help of two true industry veterans, one who’s lending his talents to the Evangelion franchise for the first time.

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Move over, humanoid employees: Nagasaki theme park to open futuristic hotel staffed by robots

Once you’ve tired yourself out playing with your rideable 4-metre tall robot from Amazon Japan and experienced the neon assault to the senses that is Shinjuku’s Robot Restaurant show, you’ll also be able to visit a hotel in Japan with robot staff once the new Hen-na Hotel opens this summer.

As well as robot receptionists, porters, cleaners and waitresses, the aptly-named Hen-na Hotel (literally meaning “strange hotel”) in the Huis Ten Bosch theme park, Nagasaki, will also feature a whole host of futuristic technology aimed at reducing energy consumption and human staffing levels, therefore keeping room prices down.

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The Guan Yu Gundam: a story of passion and friendship

Those who are familiar with Chinese history should be familiar with Romance of the Three Kingdoms, an epic that is now considered one of the greatest literary classics in China. Detailing legendary tales from the warring era of the Three Kingdoms, the book itself is full of stories of love, friendship and loyalty.

Fast forward to modern times, where we find three ardent robot fans in China with the spirit of the Three Kingdoms coursing through their veins who came together to create an amazing gigantic Gundam-like statue based on one of the best known characters in the epic – Guan Yu.

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Heads up Aussies, Shinjuku’s insane Robot Restaurant is paying you a visit next month!

Shinjuku’s Robot Restaurant is the stuff of legend the world over. An epic music and light show with a dash of burlesque flair featuring enormous robots, exotically dressed dancers and more neon than the original and 2010 sequel to Tron put together, it’s a must-see for anyone visiting Tokyo and looking for a dose of quintessential “WTF Japan?” weirdness (no, seriously, just check out its website).

But what if you’re not a trust-fund Toby or a highly successful business magnate with the cash to splash on weekend trips to Japan? Those plane tickets don’t come cheap, and Tokyo is known for being on the pricey side, so short of a wealthy aunt popping her clogs or your idea for edible cutlery coming to fruition, you may never have the chance to see this baffling spectacle of awesomeness. If you happen to live in or near Sydney, though, your feet won’t even need to leave terra firma for you to experience it, thanks to a unique event coming up in February.

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