Archive for the ‘Robotics’ Category


The Robotarium, kind of like my idea for a “phone playpen” from two years ago.

“Bow before your new chairbot overlords, puny humans!”

Oh dear; it feels like a “silly postings” day today. Perhaps it’s because teaching is over for the summer. Old comics, ascii-art, whatever next? Ah yes; time to unleash the very silly… chairbots!


While musing on the potential of doing funky things with mobile phones, way back in June 2005, I wrote on D’log… “…you could clip it into a little model-car “˜chassis’ and then set it down in a “˜phone playpen’, where it would slowly roam around while “˜nibbling’ at the LED displays of other phones.” Come […]

“It moves!”

Blimey; that was quick. Nary a week after I blogged about the need to support a new wave of steampunk -flavoured crafts, my local county gallery issues a call for submissions. Do you make eccentric clockwork artworks, mechanical sculptures, functioning steampunk crafts, kinetic art, automata, or even art-making robots? If so, the Shire Hall Gallery […]


The Discovery Channel has three new documentaries online about life in the advanced world in 2057, based on science fact and interviews with… “the world’s leading scientists and research institutes”. There are online videos but, sadly, 2007 web technology is not working properly (who knew?); and so the “skip this advert” front page loops back […]

Visual Culture and Bioscience

The U.S. National Academy of Sciences is co-hosting a Virtual Symposium on Visual Culture and Bioscience between 5th – 13th March 07. “Experts from around the world discuss the intersections between the visual arts and the life sciences at this international event, which take place on the Internet. A group of 30 participants – comprised […]

Steampunk androids

A major academic conference on androids during the years 1789 to 1914.

Robots invade B’ham Uni.

Lego! Robots! Er… Birmingham! Tomorrow sees the finals of the UK national autonomous lego robots contest, in the Great Hall at the University of Birmingham.

Digesting 2066

The Economist‘s Intelligence Unit has published a 15-page digest of their informed forecasts for the state of the world in 2026 and 2066. (PDF, 3.4mb)… “…we feel confident of one particular image of the future — of an eccentric figure, talking to his robot, while trying to stay cool in the record-breaking heat of another […]

“Do androids dream of electric humans?”

Fab; a special double-issue of Connection Science about android – human interaction. And this month’s Scientific American has a special 8-page supplement, A Robot In Every Home. Shall we call domestic robots “Aidroid”s?

Pornotopia: Sex and Design

For those planning to hang around the London streets tonight, in their oldest raincoats — the best place for that would seem to be outside the ICA. Since there’s a Pornotopia: Sex and Design talk there at 7pm… “The convergence of sex and design makes perfect sense. Both are compulsively visual and tactile; both offer […]


Any new book by Marina Warner is welcome, and her latest is no exception. Just published by Oxford University Press, several months ahead of schedule, is Phantasmagoria: Spirit Visions. The book examines how our culture has represented ‘the spirit’ and ‘the soul’ in different mediums, ranging from waxworks, to photography and film. She writes… “This […]

“We are the robots”

A new member of the band Kraftwerk, revealed 🙂 Meanwhile, over in Japan…

Institute of Creative Technology

The new Institute of Creative Technology launched yesterday, at Leicester in the English Midlands. It aims to break down the barriers between the arts and sciences. I’d have loved to have heard about this in advance — but it seems the press release was only sent out on the 18th Sept, and they weren’t even […]


Kinetica is a new London museum that’s set to open on the 6th of October 06. Ready to ride the wave of interest in creative robotics, it features examples of machine-based art from the 1920s onwards, plus sound art and video art. (Flash required)


A Linux-powered automatic cat feeder (with video), perfect for the holidays. All we need now is a nifty house-robot that’ll pick up the end-product, when kitty starts using the living-room carpet as a litter-tray — and perhaps also water the hydroponic catnip.


ArtsBot Gent, a “robot talent show” for art-making robots, is calling for entries. It’ll take place in Belgium in late 2006. Talking of robots — a huge stash of old Jack Kirby monster/robot comics.

Microsoft Robotics Studio

Maybe I’ve been listening to too much early Numan, but the new Microsoft Robotics Studio v1.0 preview sounds interesting. There’s a real-time real-world physics engine included, for virtual simulated interaction with your personal robot. Javascript, running in a web browser, controls the test robot at the same time as interacting with a fine-grained RSS-like feedback […]


I’ve had two bicycle punctures in the last few days. Easy enough to repair, if you have the kit and ideally a bowl of water. But with all this talk of ‘innovative design’ with ‘intelligent materials’, shouldn’t I have a set of puncture-proof bicycle tyres by now? I suppose it could be worse, we could […]

Hi, robot

The forthcoming British conference, Robot and Human Interactive Communication: Getting to Know Socially Intelligent Robots has a competition for students. Sketch your idea for a robot companion. Deadline: 15 July 2006. Adding a French Maid outfit to your ‘companion’ robot is probably not a good idea if you want to win, although commercially ‘that sort’ […]