January 2006 archive

Jan 31 2006

Alan Cox Breaks with Linus on GPLv3

Alan Cox

After Linus Torvald’s outright rejection of the third revision of the General Public License (GPL) last week, it appears that Alan Cox, the Linux kernel’s unofficial number two man, remains open-minded, sticking by his wait-and-see approach to the revision which will be open to public discussion for most of 2006. Cox spoke recently with ZDNet …

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Jan 31 2006

Robots-Dreams.com Interviews Sean Jefferies

Lem over at Robots-Dreams.com, a great resource for robot enthusiasts and a site I frequent often for news and inspiration, managed to get Australian robot hacker Sean Jefferies, aka Sprocket2Cog, on the phone last week. The two spoke for 45 minutes about how Jefferies got his start in robotics and his work hacking, among other …

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Jan 30 2006

HRP-2 Promet

HRP-2 Promet humanoid robot

Thankfully it seems that when one Japanese humanoid robot meets an untimely end it isn’t too long until another appears on the scene to take its place. Qrio may be headed towards an early grave, but Gizmodo caught an AP article from last Friday describing the HRP-2 Promet, a new humanoid robot being developed by …

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Jan 26 2006

Alas, Poor Qrio! I Knew Him, Aibo.

Sony's QRIO

It appears as though the Purdue University study I reported on yesterday extolling the virtues of robot pets came too late to save everyone’s favorite robo-puppy, the Sony Aibo, and apparently it’s not the sole casualty of Sony’s bottom line. While there has been no official announcement, careful inspection of Sony’s 2005 3rd Quarter Earnings …

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Jan 26 2006

Linus to FSF on GPLv3: No Thanks

Linus Torvalds

Even though the first discussion draft of the third version of the General Public License is only a little over a week old, Linus Torvalds, father of the Linux kernel, has made it clear that the kernel source code will remain under GPLv2. The revelation came in a message Linus posted to a thread in …

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Jan 25 2006

Robot Pets are as Good as the Real Thing

PC Magazine has an article today about a study by the Centre for the Human-Animal Bond at Purdue University’s veterinary school that has concluded that the benefits of having a robot pet are similar to those that come from real pets. It has long been known that human-pet interaction is good for maintaining physiological health …

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Jan 24 2006

Robot Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Announcement

Carnegie Mellon Robot Hall of Fame

In a press release today, Robotics Trends and IDG World Expo announced that the 2006 induction ceremonies for Carnegie Mellon University’s Robot Hall of Fame will be held during the third annual RoboBusiness Conference and Exposition which will take place in Pittsburgh on June 20th and 21st. The ceremony will take place on the second …

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Jan 20 2006

How the Brain Reassembles Visual Input

It happens automatically and so quickly that most people probably never question the process of vision. Although it starts with the eyes, the majority of the work is performed in stages by cooperating layers of neural regions in the brain. As such, the underlying mechanism behind seeing and recognizing objects has long been of interest …

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Jan 18 2006

FedEx Institute Launches Robotics Research Center

FedEx Institute of Technology

The FedEx Institute of Technology at the University of Memphis announced today that they will be launching a new robotics research center focused on developing robot technology with everyday uses. The new research center, the first since the FedEx Institute opened in 2003, will be initially funded by FedEx Corporation with corporate and government sponsorships …

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Jan 17 2006

New JVC J4 Details

JVC J4 Bluetooth robot

Even though it was initially announced in the fall of 2004 at the CEATEC trade show in Tokyo, details about JVC’s J4 Bluetooth-controlled robot have been few and far between. Engadget is reporting today that JVC had the J4 out on display again in Japan recently, and quite frankly the details are still sketchy. The …

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