Hanging out with Gort, Robby, Roomba and C-3PO

Wednesday, October 12th, 2005
The RoboNexus conference exhibition hall was not too crowded on Friday. We saw a variety of robots from consumer models to entertainment robots to autonomous military robots. iRobot had a large display with their military and consumer robots. Many people were interested in iRobot's consumer productivity robots that vacuum (Roomba) and wash (Scooba) floors. Kathy asked if Roomba could really suck up things like cheerio's or dog hair. The representative dumped out a box of granola into the carpet and Roomba went to work sucking it up. Most of it. I'm convinced that these robots work best if you live in a museum with no furniture and have no children, toys, or pets. Actually, the demonstrations were pretty good. I found the autonomous and remote controlled reconnaissance and rescue robots much more interesting.


Fred Barton was there with his Hollywood menagerie. The girls thought it was neat to see C-3P0 up close. Gort and Robby were in fine form, too.


The girls and I attended several fascinating presentations. One demonstrated the benefits of two-wheel platforms for robotics. (Think Segway). I'm convinced. Much easier to move around and navigate obstacles. Amy and Wendy want to remove the casters from bubble bot and see if we can get him to balance on two wheels.


The other presentation demonstrated a soccer-playing robot. Think of an Imperial Storm trooper about 24" tall. This guy would walk around the field, find the ball, line himself up with the goal, and kick to score. Amazing.

The theme for this year's FLL Robotics Competition is undersea robotics. Amy and Wendy spent some time examining the underwater robot from Santa Clara University. Jeff Ota, Adjunct Professor and Research Associate was very accommodating in showing us how the robot worked.


It was a fun conference. More fun for me, however, was the opportunity to spend some time with my family. It's been really difficult to be away for so long.

Discussion/Comments (2):

Hanging out with Gort, Robby, Roomba and C-3PO

Gort was one bad boy! Very cool.

Posted at 10/13/2005 8:55:22 by Walter

Hanging out with Gort, Robby, Roomba and C-3PO

very cool. Robby and R2D2 are both available at Hammacher Schlemmer (I think they've got roomba too):

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Posted at 10/22/2005 4:20:59 by suttonhoo

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