Think Robotics Isn’t Taking Over Your Homes Yet? Think Again.

Let’s face it – robotics, as a science, isn’t going anywhere. They have become an ubiquitous, threatening, but in the end, a necessary reality that on the surface threatens to replace everything that we hated about the way we work, live, or play – with some far-ranging consequences, especially when it comes to manufacturing and IT sectors.

But that’s not what this is about. In this age where every invention is driven by technological advancement, it is possible to conceive the unimaginable. Today, the world has smartphones and laptops that can fit into a small pocket, robotic motorbikes that can drive themselves, automatic cleaners that zoom about your house cleaning and smart toilets.

As people’s quality of life improves, more and more families are accepting the idea of installing intelligent toilets into their homes. Not only do smart toilets look impressive in a contemporary bathroom, but they are also beneficial for the users. Here are 5 ways robotics has influenced the way we use our toilets.

1. Robotics Has Lessened Concerns About Plumbing

Traditional toilets are known to have a multitude of plumbing problems. Even the high-quality ones are bound to experience plumbing issues after a while, which can be worrisome for the owner. Plumbing issues range from clogged toilets to bad sewer smells. Smart toilets prevent instances of clogging through embedded features that enable the toilet to sense possible clogging or potential toilet overflow. Through specific technology, a smart toilet also prevents you from flushing the toilet in the event of a clog; this maintains the water levels until you can find someone to fix the issue.Robotics Has Made Cleaning Toilets Easier

2. Robotics Has Made Cleaning Toilets Easier

Some robotic toilets out there are fitted with mechanisms that can self-clean. Such smart toilets are typically embedded with an extra smooth ceramic that’s equipped with zirconium. Zirconium is a coating that averts mineral and waste buildup on the toilet bowl, which makes the self-cleaning process flawless. Some smart toilets also have ultraviolet light features that manage odors by killing bacteria that causes odors and automatic systems that maintain a regular cleaning cycle, so you don’t have to.

3. Robotics Automated Flushing

Smart toilets have features that allow it to flush your toilet automatically. Automatic flushing helps to reduce germ levels, and it also reduces the chances of you falling sick. Parents with small children or potty training toddlers find this feature useful.

4. Robotics Allows People To Monitor Their Bowel Movements

Some manufacturers have figured out a system that allows smart toilets to monitor and analyze the contents of one’s pee for medical reasons. A smart toilet that is linked to an app can send the results of the pee to a doctor’s office for further analysis.

5. Robotics Makes It Fun To Use The Bathroom Again

Thanks to the abundance of extra features included in a smart toilet, peeing has never been more fun. Some standard features of smartphones include foot warmers, emergency flushing capability during blackouts, heated seating, MP3 and Bluetooth connectivity and a massaging bidet wash.

With all the bells and whistles robotics makes for toilets, do you want to know the the best toilet of 2017?
It’s still a long way to come, but there are certainly some strong contenders.

5 Ways on How the Latest Bike Models Integrate Robotics into Their Designs

Bike Models Integrate RoboticsTechnological innovations are transforming the way people live and communicate with one another. Such changes have been experienced in all sectors of life from entertainment to transportation. So it comes as no surprise that the motorcycle industry is filled with new attractions and advanced technologies that have improved the motorcycle production process.

The development of new top-notch technology has allowed companies to design and produce high-end motorcycles that would have been difficult to conceptualize years ago. These new models of motorbikes not only offer increased safety features for the riders, but they also improve the performance of the motorcycles as well.

One area of innovation that has affected motorcycle production immensely is the field of robotics. Robotics refers to a branch of technology that handles the design, construction, and application of robots in day to day life. Robot related research has improved over the years to transform how motorcycles are created and tested.

The result of using robotics for the manufacture of motorcycles has led to a more interactive bike that offers a more immersive experience for the rider. Since robotics has been used for years for the production and assembly of other vehicles, it is about time that motorbikes enjoyed the advances that come along with robotics – man, they’ve definitely outdone themselves, these manufacturers… if you’ve seen some of the most advanced bikes, you’d think they’d start using them for robot battles or something! Here are 5 we can think of off the top of our heads.

Artificial Intelligence

Successful motorcycle company Kawasaki has plans fit a new bike with artificial intelligence technology that was developed by Cocoro SB Corp. The technology will allow the bike to communicate with the rider, recognize the rider’s emotions as well develop a personality that fits in with the rider’s character.

Advanced Sensors

Robotics can also be used to advance sensor technology. For instance, this robotics technology warns you when a car is approaching your motorbike fast, or it suggests the speed that one requires to navigate a sharp turn or bend.

High Precision Gps

Robotics is bound to improve GPS efficiency in a manner that helps riders navigate harsh environments autonomously and semi-autonomously. The technology is also slated to improve high precision satellite navigation that is lacking in most traditional motorcycle GPS tools.

Riding Assist Features

The Riding assist feature such as the one found in Honda’s motorcycle allows the motorbike to remain stable, without the assistance of a human rider. This new robotics technology is created to allow riders to keep the bike steady at low speeds or at traffic stops.

Self Driving Capability

Companies such as Yamaha have produced a high-end motorcycle riding humanoid robot known as MOTOBOT. MOTOBOT is completely autonomous and has calculations that help it steer the bike, just like a human rider would.

Obviously bikes that are decked out in all of these bells and whistles cost you a small fortune – that’s why, on a specifically and not specifically related note, maybe you’d be better off starting with an exercise bike – you know, the one that gets you good workouts, and actually adds value to your life (via indoortrainingbikes.com).
They are just as technologically advanced as these ones. At least for now!

Pursuing Robotics without the Degree

We all know about the shift that companies all the world over are willingly embracing – regardles of whether they operate in manufacturing, in business process outsourcing, or in information technology infrastructure. That is, the large-scale migration towards automation of business processes that can be automated; in doing so, organizations seek to reduce waste and delays in defects.

And in particular sectors, this has entailed the replacement of humans by robots – if not the anthropomorphic robots we see in robot battle leagues on television or in Japanese animes, then in automated assembly lines that consist of simple moving parts and automatons. We see this particularly in electronics and food manufacturing – they look nothing like what we assume they should look like (C3PO and R2-D2 come to mind).

Consequently, more and more people are becoming attracted to this field for a bevy of reasons – that including the interesting and exciting career paths that robotics has to offer.

But can one really dive into robotics without a degree in the same way that people pursue writing or art careers? Not so fast – let’s examine this a little bit further.

Dispelling Misconceptions about the Art and Science of Robotics

Art and Science of RoboticsThe first thing that comes to mind when people think about robotics is that robotics entails building and working with giant, anthropomorphic robots that we’ve seen in the movies and in television slugging it out with bizarre octopus-like creatures, or otherwise those we’ve seen on the Jetsons.

But reality could not be farther from most people’s expectations. Robotics, more often than not, entails that you work with robots that do not look like their Hollywood adaptations. For instance, take the assembly of pressure washers, like those that can blast water at higher pressures with good nozzles. Now imagine trying to automate a very complex and very expensive machine that can do it at 500x the speed and accuracy, and the manpower needed to do that.s

You will most probably end up working on a specific and highly technical part of a whole – and that includes writing control loops, formulating and designing plates, electrical harnesses, and graphical user interfaces. And more often than not, by the time you’ve worked all of that out, you’ve exhausted most of your funding by then, and your client will have you around your throat, because you are way behind schedule – two months past expected delivery date. Not the rosiest picture of the robotics industry, is it?

Well, that’s because it isn’t. Robotics can be a very extremely frustrating career path, contrary to what most people will imagine it to be. And that’s NOT talking about the thousands of dollars you’d spend on a robotics or engineering short course, diploma or degree yet.

The Importance of a Degree

On the other side, it’s almost impossible to get into robotics without a degree or a diploma to some extent – that’s because not only will you need the technical know-how; and granted, even if you’ve had practical experience as a hobbyist, you can’t work in robotics without knowing people who do it for a living – and that’s the reason why you spend thousands in an engineering degree for.

To get to know people who are already working in the field, whether it’s your classmates or your professors who can vouch for you when your future employers come knocking. In robotics, as in any other field, it’s not WHAT you know, but WHO you know.

The Final Accounting

In the final accounting, as with anything, your passion and motivation will decide how your intentions play out – while you can theoretically pursue a career in robotics without a degree, know that the road will be long and hard. Thus, you need to remember why you are doing this in the first place – otherwise you’ll be just wasting time and money. Good luck.

A Brief History of and Some Notable Inductees to the Robot Hall of Fame

Did you know that there is a hall of fame for robots? In case you have been spending too much time in your garage, fixing or installing a brand new garage opener, or working on another woodworking project, there really is a Robot Hall of Fame that has been around since 2003. It was created to recognize robots that have contributed a lot to the society.

Who selects the inductees?

The selection group that picks which robots are inducted to the hall of fame includes writers, designers, researchers, and scholars. They nominate robots anonymously in the following categories: Entertainment, Research, Industrial and Service, and Education and Consumer. The robots who garner the top three ranks in each category are then thrown into an online public voting. The final inductees are decided on which ones get top marks based on 50% of the experts’ votes and 50% of the public vote.

Notable inductees

robot-combatA robot that won the heavyweight championship six times, Biohazard is one of the robots in the inaugural inductee class. Selected unanimously, it is considered to be the most successful in the history of robot battles, with a total of 27 wins and only 3 losses. It was built, designed, and created by Carlo Bertocchini, who is from Belmont, California.

Inducted in 2007, Cassius is a British combat robot designed and built by Rex Garrod. It is known for its pneumatic flipper, which is considered an innovation in the world of Robot Wars.

Also from the inaugural class, Hazard was a Team Delta robot, built and controlled by Tony Buchignani. It participated in the first, third, fourth, and fifth seasons of BattleBots, and showed off its spinning blade on top and other weaponry. It is among BattleBots’ most successful robots, emerging as the victor in the middleweight championships in seasons 1, 3, and 4.

Recognized as the pioneer of the weapon known as the wedge, La Machine was a fast and strong machine that took part in the last three Robot Wars competitions in the United States. One of its signature moves was charging straight to its opponents and causing them to fly into the air. It was the champion of the 1995 BattleBots middleweight class, but finished a runner-up at the 1996 and 1997 heavyweight class contests, losing to BioHazard both instances.

What are honorable mentions?

There are robots that have fallen short of making it to the final list of inductees, but were arguably popular in their own rights, getting votes on at least a quarter of the total ballots in induction years. They are known as honorable mentions, and they are eligible to be fully inducted to the hall of fame in the future.

4 Basic Guidelines on Choosing Speakers for Your Bike

4 Basic Guidelines on Choosing Speakers for Your Bike

Admit it – it’s fun to bring your music on bike runs, whether you are in a group or biking solo. Regardless of how you feel about the added value (or distraction, or even nuisance) of bringing your own super sexy swingin’ sounds on tour, one thing is for certain: you’ll need Bluetooth speakers for certain.

Headphones are clunky, earphones gather sweat, and both make you a prime candidate for getting into a biking accident because of their capability to reduce ambient noise, which we as bikers need to discern what to do next.

What we all really want is to actually hear the speakers when biking, without reducing noise such that we are oblivious to what’s going on around us (and thus increasing the chances of a biking-related accident), while enjoying the pleasure that music universally tends to bring.

Avid cyclists understand the value of listening to your favorite music while biking. Today, one of the best ways to enjoy tunes while biking is through Bluetooth speakers. The price of Bluetooth speakers has reduced significantly with wired speakers selling for a lot less. However, the convenience and the flexibility associated with Bluetooth speakers is well worth the extra pennies. With the market oversaturated by numerous models, it can be a little overwhelming to settle for one model. However, find listed a few guidelines on what to look for in a quality Bluetooth speaker for biking:

1. Sound Quality

choosing-speakers-for-your-bikeYour choice of speaker will be based largely on your cycling route. If your bike route is characterized by loud noises, your sound quality must be superior to enable you to hear your music well. The opposite applies if your route is quiet and peaceful. It is essential to be wary of general purpose speakers that are sold with add-on bike mounts as their sound quality is not superior for riding. Check the voltage and amplifier specifications before purchasing any model to know how powerful your speakers are.

2. The Power Options

Bluetooth speakers either come with reachable batteries or disposable ones. Depending on your preference, each power option has its advantages and disadvantages. Most bike speakers run on disposable alkaline AA batteries with most batteries having a voltage of 3.0 volts. On the other hand, rechargeable Lithium Ion batteries offer a slightly higher voltage of 3.6 V per battery. However, the quality of sound often deteriorates as the battery charges.

3. Case Size

When buying Bluetooth speakers, you want something compact, with a case that is large enough to protect valuables such as phones while riding. It is advised to purchase an additional case to install on your handlebars in case your speakers are too heavy. This way, you will have enough space to store your phone or iPod and your sunglasses in a package that is easy to access.

4. Mounting

The two main ways to mount Bluetooth speakers on your bicycle is through Velcro straps or through adjustable mounts. The Velcro mounts are inexpensive, but they lose some effectiveness when used for some time. Flexible mounts are a better option for most as they offer secure mounting and more convenience with their quick release system.

Product support is necessary for any technological device. So before settling on a particular model, make sure that the warranty is to safeguard yourself from mechanical or environmental damage. Additionally, be sure to conduct research into your supplier. If the vendor or distributor lacks a ‘contact us’ page, it is best to avoid purchasing any speakers from them.

These are just some of the many tips we can give you when it comes to purchasing your own set of Bluetooth speakers for biking – but they are the ones that matter the most.

Robot Combat Facts – Overview on the History and Development of Robot Combat

Robot Combat Facts – Overview on the History and Development of Robot Combat

If you love watching sci-fi television shows or movies that feature robots that go up against each other, you will surely like robot combat. A hobby that uses custom-built robots that are designed with various weapons and combat abilities, it is a fun and exciting interest that you can include to your weekend activities after playing foosball on that table with great foosball reviews.

The beginnings of robot combat

The earliest robot combat contest occurred in the 1980s. In 1987, a competition called Critter Crunch was organized by the group Denver Mad Scientists Society, and it was held at the MileHiCon sci-fi convention in Denver.

In 1991, DragonCon in Atlanta hosted its first robot combat contest called “Robot Battles,” which was organized by Kelly Lockhart. A few years later, in 1994, another competition was held, this time it was called Robot Wars, and it was held in San Francisco and organized by Marc Thorpe.

Robot combat on television

A television series called Robot Wars was produced by British TV, and it premiered in 1997. It featured robots going through obstacle courses and taking part in competitive games and simple combat matches. Between 1997 and 2003, the show came out with 151 episodes.

In 1999, Robot Wars’ American counterparts worked with Battlebots, which was a tournament that aired as a webcast. A year later, Comedy Central picked it up and became a weekly program on television. It ended in 2002, after five seasons.

In 2001, The Learning Channel aired a weekly series called Robotica, a show that showcased the speed, power, functions, abilities, and maneuverability of different robots. It had a total of three series and ended in 2002.

In the past couple of years, BattleBots and Robot Wars have been announced to make a return on television. ABC aired BattleBots’ second season over the summer of 2016, while BBC2 announced the return of Robot Wars in 2016.

Robot designs and combat weapons

To successfully defeat an opponent, a robot should possess the right weapons and features that can damage the other, as well as protect itself. Among the most basic weaponry that a robot should have include a rammer, which allows them to repeatedly crash into the other robot to cause damage; saw blades, to slice through the other robot’s armor and other parts; and lifter, to be able to get the opponent off the ground, preventing it from retaliating.

Robot combat weight classes

Robots that participate in combats come in various sizes and shapes, and they are grouped according to their weight. The smallest ones may fall under the nanoweight category, which is for robots that weigh 25 grams, while the biggest ones may fight in the super heavyweight group, which is for 154-kilogram robots.

The Three Key Areas You Need to Strengthen when Working with Robots

The Three Key Areas You Need to Strengthen when Working with Robots

Doesn’t it sound strange when you hear that robotics requires training? After all, robots are supposed to make our lives easier, and not require us to have to strengthen our bodies…right? Well, not necessarily.

Not everybody involved with robotics work with high-precision automatons that do all the manual labor at a push of a button; others who are into this field are into assembling robots for battles. Thing is, robotics, like cars, needs physical power for people to assemble. Robots that are specially designed for combat do come in weight classes; and assembling them does require some physical and manual labor. They don’t always come in small sizes, you know?

Some of these robots can come from 120 pounds (54 kg) to upwards of 340 pounds (154 kg), depending on which weight class (albeit loosely defined depending on the league) the robot is competing in. Assembling these monstrosities will require pushing, pulling, lifting, and hand-eye coordination. Now, that’s not to say that people always work on such large monstrosities, as robots for battle purposes are mainly a hobby for those already in the field, or serious amateurs that are just totally into robots.

But it never hurts to prepare your body and help it be at its best condition, no matter what you’re into, right? This is why we’ve come up with a bunch of suggestions as to what muscle groups stand to benefit the most from weight training in this niche robotic field. Ready to check them out? Let’s roll.

Back Exercises

Pull exercises for your back through the use of barbell rows, dumbbell rows, or rowing machines (for those who need extra stability) are an absolute necessity for building your back muscles and increase your overall strength. Doing a combination of these three exercises can only be beneficial, as long as you focus on proper form; don’t try to lift the weight of the world on your first try, because that’s a recipe for injury. If you have back problems, you may want to try out that rowing machine in your local gym (these rowers really feel like paddling), and do they ever give you a grueling workout. You’ll thank these back exercises when you’re wheeling that super heavyweight masterpiece you’ve been working on for ages for its first battle.

Leg Exercises

As you’ll most probably do some heavy lifting anyway when you work with robots (e.g. for machines, pieces, wheels, etc), it would be a good idea for you to strengthen your legs – because legs are where you’ll be generating most of your power to lift dead weights, right? Furthermore, you’ll find that working your legs truly gives you that burn that you won’t get by just fooling around on the dumbbells. Never skip leg day!

Compound Stretches

Compound stretches ensure that you don’t pull or hyperextend any muscle that shouldn’t be hyperextended for any reason while working on your mechanical masterpiece. Always make it a habit to stretch every time you’re bound to do some strenuous work or exercise; you don’t want to spend weeks on the shelf nursing an injury that could have been easily avoided if you had just taken the time out to stretch.

A New Trend in Drone Technology: Sport

drone-technology-1As more and more technologically-advanced drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles, are developed and engineered, more and more uses and applications for these little marvels of engineering emerge.

Just recently, drones have been used for a new application that’s been all the rage in the United States, receiving funding from major sporting investors, and breaking new ground each day in terms of development, with the goal of turning this endeavor from a mere hobby to a fully competitive and commercially viable sport in the truest sense of the word.

Welcome to the brave new world of drone sports.

High-Speed Stakes

Imagine a quadcopter flying at 70 to 80 miles per hour, navigating tight turns and negotiating treacherous curves, jostling for space and position amongst other racers…until an ill-timed cut sends it hurtling towards a steel wall with no give at all, obliterating it to kingdom come.

It ain’t NASCAR, that’s for sure…it’s first-person drone racing.

Best of all, you don’t need to be a NASCAR driver to participate; all you need is a drone, a camera, and first-person goggles (providing a live feed from the drone) to navigate.

Before you take your Phantom 3 out to race, it must be noted that there are specially-designed drones for racing – an excellent starting choice would be the Eachine Racer 250, which retails at a fraction of a Phantom 3 ($189.99); RotorCopters has a comprehensive review.

A New Form of Aerial Combat

This is a new sport that you wouldn’t use your DJI Phantoms for – an acceptable consideration once you find out that this sport is the equivalent of a demolition derby. Alternatively, it is a fully mechanical, modern-day version of the ancient sport of cockfighting.

A pit is all that holds both drones, as they feel out each other as though they were two roosters aiming to get the best angle to swoop in with a killing blow. The fight is over in seconds, with the losing drone crashing into the ground, with death throes emanating from its motor.

This is a hybrid sport combining the mechanical innovation of drones with the pugilistic nature of a prizefight, with points being awarded for every crash. Instead of a 10-second count, however, fallen drones are allowed a 90-second respite for their pilots to try to fix it before a winner is finally declared.

These drones are built from pre-constructed kits that are available at $400 from the Aerial Sports League; alternatively, a pre-constructed aerial combat drone called the Hiro Quadcopter is available at $650.

A League of Their Own

Drone sports are slowly but surely gaining acceptance into the mainstream. As investment pours in, leagues have begun to form. The Aerial Sports League seeks to be the first officially recognized league for drone combat and drone racing in the United States, and is starting to drum up major investment and support for its cause.

Another league that is focused on being the Formula 1 for drone racing is also on the rise; the Drone Racing League is in the middle of its first season, and, having secured funding from venture capital and enthusiastic supporters, looks poised to make waves in the very near future.

At the rate they are going, it won’t be too long until they gain the recognition they crave and deserve for having been pioneers of a new sporting revolution.

How Robot Combat Started – Information on its History and Progressio

robot-combatFor those who love movies like Transformers and Pacific Rim, their dream of seeing robots battling one another can be a reality by getting into a hobby known as robot combat. Although the machines are only miniature versions and not gigantic ones like in the movies, it is still possible to have a fun and enjoyable time.

History

The first robot combat contest was held in 1987 in Denver at the annual sci-fi convention called MileHiCon. The competition was named “Critter Crunch,” and it was organized by the Denver Mad Scientists Club. Since then, more robot combat events have been held, including the “Robot Battles” in 1991 at the DragonCon in Atlanta and the robot combat event at the 2004 ROBOlympics in San Francisco.

Divisions

Just like boxing, robot combat categorizes competitors into different weight divisions. The general weight classifications are nanoweight (25 grams), fleaweight (75 grams), antweight (150 grams), poundweight (one pound or 454 grams), kilobot (one kilogram), beetleweight (1.36 kilograms), mantisweight (2.72 kilograms), hobbyweight (5.44 kilograms), featherweight (13.6 kilograms), lightweight (27 kilograms), middleweight (54 kilograms), heavyweight (100 kilograms), and super heavyweight (154 kilograms).

Weapons

To have a higher chance of winning, combat robots are designed with weapons that allow them to effectively destroy their opponents. Some of the most common weaponry used for attacks are the rammer, wedge, spinner, saw blades, full body spinner, lifter, stabber, torque reaction, thwackbot, crusher, overhead axe, clamper, dustpan, and flipper.

Of course, there are certain types of weapons that are prohibited as they are deemed to be not very safe. Examples of these are lasers with more than one milliwatt capacity, untethered projectiles, radio jammers, entanglement devices, liquids, visual obstructers, open combustion devices, and halon.

Hall of Fame

In 2003, robot builders established the Combat Robot Hall of Fame to honor the best combat robots in history. They based their selection on the following criteria: how dominant the robots were in their combats, how appealing they were to fans, how advanced and sophisticated their designs were, and how strong and lasting the impact they made.

After 2003, more robots were inducted to the hall of fame every two years. Some of those that made it were Son of Whyachi, Hypno-Disc, Original Sin, and Rust in Peace. Some of the honorable mentions included T-Minus, Anticide, Kronic, Tombstone, Firestorm, Beauty 2, Vladiator, and Road block.

Television

If you live far from the places where robot combats are usually held, you can keep your Luggage on Tour reviewed suitcase in your closet and not have to think for an excellent argument on why you need to spend a lot of money just to attend a convention, as you can watch robot combats on TV via the American show “BattleBots,” which airs on ABC, and Britain’s “Robot Wars,” which airs on BBC Two.