April 4, 2019

Sex robot to give live interview in Utrecht

Filed under: Technology by Orangemaster @ 6:54 pm

For the first time, Dutch sex robot Robin is going to give an interview at the Hashtech talk show in Utrecht at TivoliVredenburg on 8 April.

Part of the discussion is how technology influences love and sex, virtual reality pornography, Tinder, and robot sexuality. Robin will be joined her maker, Niels van der Voort, researcher Elisabeth Timmermans and author Jeanneke Scholtens. The evening will also feature presenters Marcel Bamberg, Thom Egberts and Ruud Schapenk.

According to the group, it will be the first time that Dutch-speaking sex robot Robin will be interviewed in front of a live audience. What started off as a joke eventually became a serious event. The presenters called around and found out that sex robots were being made in the Netherlands, and that one actually spoke Dutch.

Manufacturer Motsudolls hopes to start shipping Robin in the Summer of 2019.

Robin was also the name of a robot in 1980s’ children’s TV-show Bassie & Adriaan, featuring the adventures of clown Bassie and acrobat Adriaan. That Robin had a built-in alarm clock and a radio that could intercept any broadcast between the various villains that populated the series but was probably never invited to talk-shows.

(Link: rtvutrecht.nl; photo by Motsudolls)

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June 2, 2018

Dutch operate robot handing out abortion pills in Belfast

Filed under: General,Technology by Orangemaster @ 3:46 pm

On May 31, a robot was handing out abortion pills in Northern Ireland, an action organised by a collaboration between Amsterdam’s Women on Waves and Women on Web, as well as ROSA from the UK that supplied the protesters. The goal was to draw attention to the fact that abortion is still illegal in Northern Ireland even though it is part of the United Kingdom where it is legal. On June 7 the UK Supreme Court will announce a decision on the issue.

And the robot was operated by a Dutch teenager, accompanied by a Dutch doctor for the pills. Women were given the pill and took it, both in Belfast in front of the courthouse and in Amsterdam at the company event space of Mediamatic, streamed live as well. Although it was a bit slow on the Dutch side according to Vice.com, there was an overwhelming amount of police officers present during the action in Belfast where the police arrested the robot. The robot even filmed its own arrest.

(Links: vice.com and womenonwaves.org)

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May 22, 2018

Amsterdam exhibition has robots interacting with animals

Filed under: Animals,Technology by Orangemaster @ 8:22 pm


Machine Wilderness, an exhibition with Ian Ingram, Driessens & Verstappen, Rihards Vitols and Jip van Leeuwenstein in Amsterdam until 8 July explores together with artists, designers, ecologists, engineers and scientists, the role of technology in nature, which is now ‘a permanent and integral part of our landscapes’.

Machine Wilderness presents work of four artists who develop robotics. They explore how technology engages the surrounding and chaotic living nature. It is a work in progress in which the artists develop new robotic projects for specific ecosystems in Amsterdam’s Amstelpark, and experiment with the interaction between technology and the living creatures in the park.

Visitors will be able to see the artists at work in the park at various stages of the development of the work. Newly developed work and documentation will be added over the course of the exhibition, making it worthwhile to visit the exhibition several times.

Watch the video of a robot that warns squirrels of predators using a ‘tail-flick alarm system’ like squirrels use.

Ian Ingram || Danger, Squirrel Nutkin! (2009) from Ian Ingram on Vimeo.

(Links: naturetoday.com, Photo of Jip van Leeuwenstein’s robot that imitates the oak processionary caterpillar by zone2source.net)

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July 4, 2016

Dutch robots win Robocup 2016 on penalties

Filed under: Technology by Orangemaster @ 9:32 am


Eindhoven’s Tech United team has won the Robocup 2016 in Leipzig, Germany, a team that keeps on supplying us with stories of victory thanks to their sweet robotics.

Their match up was against the Chinese team ‘Water’, defending their 2015 title. Eindhoven was ahead 2-1, and after regulation time, it was tied 2-2. In overtime both teams made it 3-3 and much like some games in Euro 2016, it came down to penalty kicks.

However, Water missed all five shots, nicely stopped by Tech United’s goalkeeper, while Tech United putted one in for the win.

(Links: www.bright.nl, www.nu.nl, Photo of RoboCup2013 in Eindhoven by RoboCup2013, some rights reserved)

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April 4, 2016

Dutch robots on top again in Eindhoven

Filed under: Technology by Orangemaster @ 10:34 am


The Eindhoven University of Technology that keeps on winning prestigious prizes with their football-playing robots took first place in the Robocup European Open held in Eindhoven last week.

According to team coach Lotte de Koning, they made a tactical switch to shoot at the goal faster and more often in the second half to make it a 2-0 victory against Portugal.

And that’s not all. Amigo the robot that usually helps with household chores won some sort of chore competition that consisted of taking orders and fulfilling them. Some 15,000 spectators came and checked out the robots, including 2,000 just to catch the football final.

Team Eindhoven is now in a good spot to come into the Robocup 2016 this June in Leipzig, Germany.

(Link: nu.nl, Photo of RoboCup2013 in Eindhoven by RoboCup2013, some rights reserved)

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March 23, 2016

Robot falcon wins Tech Transfer award in Ljubljana

Filed under: Animals,Sustainability,Technology by Branko Collin @ 5:02 pm

geese-don-deboldA mechanic peregrine falcon was named the best innovation of the year at the European Robotics Forum in Ljubljana this week, Tubantia reports.

The winning robot is called Robird and is made by Clear Flight Solutions from Enschede, a spin-off of the University of Twente. It mimics the flight of the peregrine falcon and is used to keep the air space near airports clear from birds such as geese.

In an interview in 2014 with RTV Noord Holland (see below), CEO Nico Nijenhuis said that real falcons will only hunt when hungry. They also tire quickly. “Once [a peregrine falcon] has made two flights in a row, it’s really tired. [Our robot] on the other hand keeps going. You swap out a battery and it’s good to go.”

Clear Flight Solutions received 1.6 million euro in funding from the Cottonwood Technology Fund last week and is in talks with Schiphol Airport for a pilot project [pun unavoidable]. Nijenhuis told RTL Nieuws last week: “Dutch rules are very strict, but we expect to have our paperwork in order within six weeks.”

See also: Scaring off seagulls with drones in Haarlem

(Photo of geese flying by Don DeBold, some rights reserved)

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December 1, 2015

Spencer the robot helps airport passengers get around

Filed under: Aviation by Orangemaster @ 12:03 pm

Yesterday Schiphol Airport started tests with a robot to help passengers find their gates, which are often missed due to short transfer times, delayed flights, problems getting around the airport and language barriers.

Spencer the autonomous robot guide (see picture in the link) was designed by the University of Twente together with European partners from Sweden, France, Germany and Switzerland for KLM. The robot won’t drive into a group of travellers, but wait calmly until that group approaches it. “Spencer needs to be able to recognise group behaviour and obstacles, such as baggage trolleys as well as respond to unforeseen situations”. Tests are being carried out this week and won’t involve actual passengers just yet, something that will be done in March 2016 with a new and improved Spencer.

I happened to land at Schiphol yesterday on a day where it had closed down all but one runway due to very strong winds. On my flight, which left and hour and fifteen minutes behind schedule and had us in a turbulent holding pattern above Schiphol, many passengers had already missed their connections or had very short transfer times. I can imagine that when you’re in a rush to get the right answer, a robot may not be able to pick up on your stress, a bit like the photocopier that senses your panic and just won’t print. Then you’d want to talk to a human, as already postulated earlier this year by the University of Twente: “a social robot with an overly human appearance creates an unrealistic sense of expectation for most Dutch people”.

(Link: www.kennislink.nl, screenshot from the video Smart Homes)

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March 31, 2010

Breda students invent a walking fridge

Filed under: Food & Drink,General,Science by Orangemaster @ 5:47 am

It all started with a Dutch beer advert featuring a walk-in fridge, which then got a ‘Dunglish’ sequel featuring a miscommunication between an Eastern European building contractor and a Dutch guy who ends up getting a walking fridge. The story continues with a parody on the first advert from another Dutch beer company and now we have four final year students in Breda from Avans Hogeschool who invented the RoboFridge. Watch it dispense soft drinks this time around, but I’m sure beer cans fit in there, too.

(Link tip: dutchnews.nl)

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May 21, 2008

Mark Ho and his robot conquer America

Filed under: Art,Gadgets,Science by Orangemaster @ 9:12 am

Mark Ho is an artist who thought up a bronze robot at a lonely time in his life. Just like in the movies, some rich American now wants to sell his art to the world, after having seen a photo of the robot on the cover of Scientific American.

The Amsterdam student at the Hoge School voor de Kunsten (HKU) has been working almost 12 years alone and in silence on the metal doll that moves like a human. Yesterday, he left for the US to talk to an investor about bringing his product onto the market. “At the HKU, sometime in 1994, we were given the assignment of making an animated figure from aluminium. Everyone knows those wooden dolls on the bookshelves. I wanted to make one from metal, but I had no idea how.”

After figuring out many details and even building his own tools, his first doll is now five years old. It consists of 920 parts and 80 mechanical parts. The creature, that answers to the name Artform No 1, can even move its shoulders. “A person is much simpler than this,” Ho laughs.

(Link and photo depers.nl)

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