Video: Self-transforming Camaro robot unveiled at Tokyo Toy Show

Filed under: Japan, Videos, Chevrolet, Toys/Games

Never doubt the ingenuity of toy makers. Unveiled at the 2013 Tokyo Toy Show, toy-maker Takara Tomy has created a real-life transforming Chevrolet Camaro, although it isn’t named Bumblebee. Along with Hasbro, Takara Tomy created the Transformers toys from decades past, and we can only imagine how much cooler our childhoods could have been if the Transformers we owned back then could have actually transformed on their own.

According to Gizmag, this Transformer is controlled using an iPhone, and it can switch from a Camaro – albeit not the prettiest we’ve ever seen – to a robot using “more than a dozen” servos. It looks like the car is able to drive, but the transformed robot is unable to walk or move. No word yet as to when this toy will go on sale or how much it will cost, but you can watch the transformation take place in the video posted below.

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Self-transforming Camaro robot unveiled at Tokyo Toy Show originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 22 Jun 2013 15:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Ford using robot drivers to test durability [w/video]

Filed under: Minivan/Van, Safety, Technology, Work, Ford

In testing the durability of its upcoming fullsize Transit vans, Ford has begun using autonomous robotic technology to pilot vehicles through the punishing courses of its Michigan Proving Grounds test facility. The autonomous tech allows Ford to run more durability tests in a single day than it could with human drivers, as well as create even more challenging tests that wouldn’t be safe to run with a human behind the wheel.

The technology being used was developed by Utah-based Autonomous Solutions, and isn’t quite like the totally autonomous vehicles being developed by companies like Google and Audi for use out in the real world. Rather, Ford’s autonomous test vehicles follow a pre-programmed course and their position is tracked via GPS and cameras that are being monitored from a central control room. Though the route is predetermined, the robotic control module operates the steering, acceleration and braking to keep the vehicle on course as it drives over broken concrete, cobblestones, metal grates, rough gravel, mud pits and oversize speed bumps.

Scroll down to watch the robotic drivers in action, though be warned that you’re headed for disappointment if you expect to see a Centurion behind the wheel (nerd alert!). The setup looks more like a Mythbusters experiment than a scene from Battlestar Galactica.

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Ford using robot drivers to test durability [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 16 Jun 2013 15:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Audi loans eight robot arms for art installation

Filed under: Etc., Plants/Manufacturing, Videos, Audi, UK

Control Audi's Octopus

Audi’s Outrace Project – Click above to watch the video after the jump

Trafalgar Square is located in central London. It plays host to thousands of people on a daily basis. The square is filled with memorial fountains and allows direct passage to the National gallery, and starting September 16th, it will serve as the backdrop for the London Digital Festival.

Audi has determined this would make a good time to unleash its opening salvo in favor of the impending revolution by Skynet and the robots. The automaker’s mechanical beast consists of eight robotic arms and weighs over 10 metric tons. It’s known simply as The Octopus. Fine, it’s not an octo-armed assault system but rather a new art installation device.

Each arm features a LED headlight taken from the Audi R15 TDI racecar, mounted at the end of each arm. Messages up to 80 characters in length can be sent to octopus from a computer or smartphone via the Outrace.org website, and these bits of text will be chosen at random and written in real time in the form of “light paintings.” The images will be captured by SLR cameras and then transferred into a video. The images and video will be available via the Outrace site, as well as sent to the chosen contributors. To see the arms in action, you can view streaming video at both the Outrace site and Audi.com. The footage will be available 24 hours a day, for eight days.

It all sounds quite odd yet intriguing. The big robotic arms will be able to write out letters up to nearly 12 feet high, yet they are capable of precise movements down to 0.2 millimeters. Be sure to watch the trailer after the jump, and read Audi’s press release to understand what all the fuss is about. We haven’t throw out that Skynet idea just yet…

[Sources: Audi, YouTube]

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Video: Audi loans eight robot arms for art installation originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 10 Sep 2010 18:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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