August 31, 2009

Robots made from sturdy stackable storage boxes

Filed under: Design by Branko Collin @ 8:39 am

Guus Oosterbaan, a Dutch designer living in Denmark, is looking for somebody to take these boxes into production for him.

The boxes can be used to store all kinds of things, and when stacked can be combined into huge toy robots. On his blog, Oosterbaan says that his “kids find it very amusing to build robots that are much taller than them and then knock them over while shouting superhero stuff.”

(Link: Photos: Guus Oosterbaan.)

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May 14, 2009

Robotic safety blanket keeps toddlers busy

Filed under: Gadgets,Technology by Branko Collin @ 9:51 am

The Play’d is “a soft, thick blanket, developed for very young children that doubles as an interactive play environment.” It is made of squares of differing materials, each with a sensor hidden underneath, for the toddler who knows where their safety blanket is. The blanket can produces light, sound and vibrations. A sample application is when a kid is in its “rolling phase”: lights and sounds can be used to lure a child to roll in a certain direction.

The Play’d netted its inventor, computer scientist Viktor de Boer, first prize in the Nieuwe Idee├źn Prijsvraag (New Ideas Competition) of Science Park Amsterdam last Tuesday. Second prize went to Vanessa Evers for her robot “that supports human-robot interaction research.” I am not quite sure what that means, but I do see a pattern of robots trying to get to know us here.

Photo: Viktor de Boer. Link: Sargasso (Dutch).

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January 29, 2008

World premiere: working robot at filling station

Filed under: Automobiles,Design,Dutch first by Orangemaster @ 11:04 am

Filling station owner Nico van Staveren will have a techno world premiere next week once a robot starts working at one of his filling stations in Emmeloord, Flevoland. Tankpitstop the Robot (typically Dutch with three words stuck together) will fill ‘er up without the driver having to get out of the car. Emmeloord companies Rotec Engineering and N. Van Staveren B.V. worked for three year under deep cover to come up with the tanking robot. It’s perfect for the handicapped or the less mobile and it won’t mean less jobs. On 4 February Minister Maria van der Hoeven of Economic Affairs will officially inaugurate the first Tankpitstop.


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December 5, 2007

Take a seat and it will follow you around

Filed under: Design,Gadgets,Technology by Orangemaster @ 4:08 pm

Check it out: a chair that follows you around! The chair has an RFID chip and the human has a card to activate it. When the human leaves the perimeter in question (sounds like Star Trek), the chair goes back to its original spot, like Spot the Dog. This brain child is from Jelte Van Geest, a student at the Eindhoven Design Academy.

(Link in French:, Tip: Laurent)

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October 13, 2007

Grumm the foldable paper robot model

Filed under: Design by Branko Collin @ 5:37 am

Martijn Kamstra offers PDFs and JPEGs of a grim paper robot called Grumm. Print, cut, fold. There are two versions: a textured one (see photo) and a blank one that you can draw over yourself. Kamstra has also documented the design process of this papercraft project. BoingBoing mentions that “Kamstra wants photos of your own coloring jobs”.

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September 27, 2007

Video of tenth Robodock arts & technology festival

Filed under: Art,Technology by Branko Collin @ 7:55 pm

Robodock is an arts and technology festival that was held last weekend at the NDSM wharf in Amsterdam. MAKE magazine (an American magazine on DIY technology) has posted a short clip with impressions on the web. This year was the 10th Robodock festival, and its theme was Rhythm, Time and Transformation.

Photo: screen capture of the MAKE film displaying human powered carnival rides from Belgian group Time Circus.

Other items on display were a small train pulling a bar, a robot drummer, another train that brought its own track along (undoubtedly taking a cue from a Cocco Bill story), power tool drag races and more.

(Via BoingBoing.)

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