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Wow! Stuff, hot on the heels of an award-winning 2010 and the wildly successful “Dave the Funky Shoulder Monkey,” prepares to do it again in 2011 with their new blockbuster toy, “My Keepon”!
With over 4 million views on YouTube, music videos featuring a robot named Keepon have stoked the public’s desire for this cute and lovable yellow character. In addition to Keepon’s wild internet popularity, it has been named one of the “Top 10 robots of all time.” Until recently, Keepon has been limited to labs and institutions, where it is breaking new ground in the fields of social robot design and autism research.
But now, a toy version of the character is on show for the first time at the European Toy Fair in Nuremberg, Germany. Toy manufacturer Wow! Stuff is expecting My Keepon to be the year’s hottest toy — not just in the UK, where Wow! Stuff is based, but throughout the world, having agreed to a USA launch with a major retailer (due to be announced on February 14th). Richard North, Wow! Stuff’s Managing Director, announced, “We are launching a blockbuster toy that will sell in similar quantities to last year’s mega-hit Dave, but this time we’re going global.” North added that, during London Toy Fair previews, “My Keepon had all of the retailers in absolute disbelief. You could count the number of wows exclaimed in each meeting as we presented this exceptional toy.” Wow! Stuff’s claims for blockbuster sellers have proven spot- on to date, with runaway success Dave the Funky Shoulder Monkey selling more than 270,000 units in the 3 months before Christmas 2010 in the UK alone.
For My Keepon, Wow! Stuff has collaborated with Keepon’s designers at BeatBots LLC. BeatBots co-founders Dr. Hideki Kozima and Dr. Marek Michalowski have been developing and using Keepon in Japan and in the USA as a robotic research platform for studying social development and as a telepresence tool in autism therapy. A meeting of minds occurred when Dr. Graeme Taylor, Director at Wow! Stuff and Head of Inventor Relations, wanted to help make a version of Keepon available to the robot’s massive and growing fan base, as evident on YouTube, Facebook, and countless blogs. For their part, Kozima and Michalowski also wanted to meet this public demand for the character of Keepon while making the high-end Keepon Pro robot more widely available to researchers and institutional users.
Wow!’s design experts and robotics engineers, based in their recently-opened Los Angeles office, worked closely with BeatBots to design a toy that captured the essence of the Keepon character while replicating the robot’s most engaging interactive traits. These features include reactivity to touch and an amazing ability to listen to music, detect the beat, and dance in perfect rhythm!
But most importantly, Wow! Stuff and BeatBots are working to ensure that the success of My Keepon will directly support the social welfare goals at the heart of the Keepon story. “A percentage of the profit from each My Keepon will go towards subsidizing and donating BeatBots’ research-grade robots to therapists and researchers,” said Taylor. “We are so proud to make Keepon available to a broader audience, and we will choose retail partners who also feel proud to sell him.”
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Best Dancing Apps To Learn Dance During Self Quarantine!
If yes, you are at the right place, we are going to share a list of amazing dancing apps that will teach you “How To Dance?”Best Dancing Apps That Teaches You To Dance 1. Just Dance Now
We have a Just Dance app that could help you to grove in a perfect way. You can dance with 10, 100 or 1000 players all at once, in short you can dance with the entire world within a few taps. Moreover, you can also create a playlist of your favorite songs to start the party from.
Another smart feature of Just Dance app is that it lets you know how many calories you have burnt while dancing from the Healthkit dashboard. If we talk about its user interface it is based on video games consoles and offers easy navigation to understand its features.2. Hip Hop Dance Workout
We have a Hip Hop dancing app on our list that will teach some amazing hip hop moves during this lockdown! This app comprises almost 50+ dance steps that are categorized in breaking, popping and locking. Apart from this, you will also love breakdance footwork, top rock, hop dance, freeze and so on.
This dancing app offers a user-friendly UI that helps you to understand and learn easy dance moves. Apart from this, you will get workout reminders every day and dance is guided through 3D video. In addition to this, this app also records your progress so that you can understand where you are standing in terms of accomplishments.
You can install Hip Hop app for easy dances to learn from here
Also Read: Get In Shape With These Workout Apps3. Belly Dance Fitness Workout
“Sweating and feeling sensual! Just took a beginner course and felt great after! The instructors were very graceful. The whole experience was relaxing for muscles and mind while providing a great work out. This app actually teaches dance!! XD Thanks so much for creating this app! Can’t wait for my next work out- User”
To get some amazing belly dance lessons you can install this dancing app from here4. Pocket Salsa Free
Salsa is fun! Indeed this is a lively dance that burns calories in an easy and fastest way. Pocket Salsa app is the best way to learn salsa within simple instructions, this app is also praised by Canada’s AppCentral TV and New York Times. You will learn basic salsa lessons to attain mastery in dancing art.
In addition to this, you can learn the salsa dance form from various instruments such as Latin Clave and Tumbao Drum, interesting!! Moreover, you can also watch the amazing Addicted2Salsa TV show.
This salsa dancing app is available on the Play Store.
Read Further: Dance Your Way To Fitness With These Best Zumba Apps For Android5. Elf Yourself
Elf Yourself app is a funny and best way to create your dance videos with your friends by featuring faces on these dancing elves. You can use five photos in a selected dance video and this dancing app will automatically generate your elf.
Elf yourself is a free app that doesn’t provide any dancing tutorials. Instead, it helps to create funny videos without making much effort. This is surely good news for couch potatoes!
Elf Yourself Free App is available on the Play Store.Which Dancing App Will You Choose?
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ASUS WAVI Xtion borrows Kinect tech for HTPC motion-control
ASUS has announced a new entertainment peripheral, the ASUS WAVI Xtion, which promises gesture-based control for PCs in the living room. The new boxes uses PrimeSense Immersive Natural Interaction technology, and hook up via UWB to connect your TV to your computer. PrimeSense, lest you’ve forgotten, are the motion-perception brains behind Microsoft’s Kinect for the Xbox 360.
As ASUS see it, users will hook up their TV, set-top box and PC, and use WAVI Xtion to control them with easy gestures rather than complex keyboards and remotes. That includes internet browsing, multimedia gallery navigation and social networking. Range is around 25 feet.
PrimeSense Teams Up with ASUS to Bring Intuitive PC Entertainment to the Living Room with WAVI Xtion
WAVI Xtion extends PC multimedia content and gesture control from the PC to the TV screen in Q2 2011
TEL AVIV, Israel & TAIPEI, Taiwan–(BUSINESS WIRE)–PrimeSense, the leader in sensing and recognition technologies, and ASUS, a leading enterprise in the new digital era, announced today that PrimeSense Immersive Natural Interaction™ solutions will be embedded in WAVI Xtion, a next generation user interface device developed by ASUS to extend PC usage to the living room. WAVI Xtion is scheduled to be commercially available during Q2 2011 and released worldwide in phases.
“This user interface is a new paradigm that represents how all CE products will eventually be naturally controlled and operated.”
The WAVI Xtion media center for the PC leverages wireless HDMI technology and PrimeSense 3D sensing solution to provide controller-free interaction experiences in the living room. Users can browse multimedia content, access the Internet and social networks, and enjoy full body interaction in a more user-friendly and natural living room experience.
In addition to WAVI Xtion, ASUS also adopts PrimeSense solutions to introduce the world’s first PC-exclusive 3D sensing professional development solution, Xtion PRO, for software developers to easily create their own gesture-based applications and software. Xtion PRO is scheduled to be commercially available in February 2011. Developers will also have the chance to sell their applications on the upcoming Xtion online Store.
PrimeSense and ASUS will introduce WAVI Xtion and Xtion PRO at the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), January 6-9 in Las Vegas. It can be viewed in the PrimeSense booth (South Hall 4, upper level, Booth #36255) and at the ASUS suite (Venetian Ballroom, Level 3, San Polo 3501A and 3501B).
“Our agreement with ASUS for developing WAVI Xtion demonstrates that Natural Interaction technology is already mainstream,” said Inon Beracha, CEO, PrimeSense. “This user interface is a new paradigm that represents how all CE products will eventually be naturally controlled and operated.”
PrimeSense and ASUS are also working together to promote and support the OpenNI developer community with developer kits. PrimeSense’s open, smart platform and hardware/software API lets publishers and developers easily apply 3D-sensing technology to a variety of applications and create new Natural Interaction content.
PrimeSense and ASUS are at the forefront of the Natural Interaction movement for controlling digital entertainment devices in the living room – such as the TV, set-top box and PC. This next generation of user interface is bringing together the entire ecosystem of the human sensory experience and closing the gap between humans and machines.
PrimeSense is the leader in sensing and recognition solutions, enabling consumer devices to “see” environments and allowing users to control and interact naturally with those devices in a simple and intuitive way. PrimeSense offers affordable solutions for consumer markets including visual/home computing, interactive entertainment and consumer electronics. PrimeSense products include the PS1080 System on Chip and NITE middleware, as well as the PrimeSense3D sensor, plus cross-platform enabling software to make application development easy and intuitive. Headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel, with offices in North America, Japan, Singapore, Korea, China and Taiwan, PrimeSense is a privately held company. For more information, please visit: chúng tôi or follow on Twitter @goprimesense.
Growing Jibo: Talking robot families with Cynthia Breazeal
The age of robotic butlers and Jetson’s-style automation is yet to be delivered, but the team behind Jibo believes it has a more relevant, usable alternative. A robot that integrates into the family, as well as one which could spawn a family of its own, Jibo aims to humanize domestic robotics but without dropping us into an Uncanny Valley of creepy pseudo-skin. I caught up with company founder and MIT robotics expert Cynthia Breazeal to find out how the Jibo you see today is the gateway to a life peppered with electronic companions.
Part of the bid for acceptability is in how Jibo moves, with a fluidity and animal grace that’s unfamiliar from what you’d traditionally associate with a robot. “In terms of the motors, the underlying motor control, that’s just great engineering,” Breazeal told me. “But all the stuff on top, its kinematic chain, how we generate those movements, that’s secret sauce stuff. At the algorithmic level, it’s cleverness around the design.”
It’s what prompted the addition of a computer animation expert to the Jibo team, and a greater focus on how the precise stepper motors within the twisting, rotating ‘bot work together.
“People and organic things move very differently from the way we think about machines and things today,” Breazeal explained. “Organic things move in arcs, they move in ways that trigger our brain to think “organic”, whereas machines tend to move in rectilinear ways, very abrupt.” It’s the difference between “uber-efficiency versus fluidity and expressivity,” she concludes, “the big thing is arcs.”
What Jibo isn’t is a do-everything platform. In fact, the team has selected a relatively small set of launch features, though there’ll be more coming both from Jibo itself and as third-party developers wade in over time. That decision was a deliberate one, Breazeal told me.
“We are courting developers as much as as we’re trying to court consumers,” she said. “We chose the core set of functions based on three things, three family pillars.”
So, there’s Jibo as the hands-free assistant, helping to coordinate extended family and particularly those – like young children or the elderly – who don’t use existing tools like cloud-based calendars and Skype. Then there’s enabling the emotional connection within a family, with telepresence and video calls.
Finally, there’s the ability to bring content to life, with Jibo shifting digital storybooks and such beyond the screen, as well as providing a sense of companionship. It’s not reinventing the wheel, Breazeal says, but rather making each application more engaging in a way that only a robot can.
“We chose applications specifically that we knew were widely used today,” she pointed out, “but which we knew we could do in a different way with Jibo. Social robots, they’re designed to be partners for people: they’re a partner not a tool. Jibo’s not a camera, it’s a cameraman. It’s not an e-reader, it’s a storyteller. It makes you feel like you’re in a private audience, that it’s performing for you.”
That’s an approach that Breazeal says has resonated well with Jibo’s test audiences. “The people who we’ve been engaging in our early research, they’re not classic early-adopters of technology at all,” she told me. “They’re busy with family: we call them the Chief Family Officer. They’re the people who make sure things get done.”
“And when they see Jibo, their eyes light up. People are open to technology: they understand it can be empowering and they’re going to need technology to empower them to do the things they want and need to do.”
“It’s not trying to be human in any way: it doesn’t have arms, it doesn’t have legs,” Breazeal argues. “It’s anthropomorphic, it’s designed to be familiar to you, but it doesn’t have to look like an animal or a real person for people to see it as an ‘other’ rather than a ‘thing’.”
That acceptability comes despite the fact that, under the metal, glass, and plastic casing, the mechanics of Jibo are relatively mundane. Breazeal compares it to the guts of a high-end tablet. “We’re selecting components based on mass-produced devices that are readily accessible,” she pointed out, so the 5.7-inch touchscreen “face” comes from lines that normally supply smartphone OEMs. There’s WiFi and Bluetooth as you’d expect in a tablet-like device, though the Bluetooth won’t be activated until early in 2024.
Short-term ambitions are to work on reducing the price, as well as improve battery life (for the moment, Jibo will be able to run for around 30 minutes if equipped with the optional battery pack). However, Breazeal’s ambitions don’t end there.
“We’re at a sweet spot in our developer timeline that we can take feedback and inform our roadmap,” she explained about the timing of the crowdfunding campaign versus the mid- to late-2024 release window, and when I asked about possible evolutions in design and hardware. “But in terms of form-factor, absolutely [we’re looking at different designs]. We’re staring with this particular sweet spot because we can get it done in the timeline, but over time… I call it “Jibo on the Go”, cupholder size, I can imagine that. Very battery efficient, and it would be cellular.”
“I can imagine as time goes on – especially as we’re talking about the developer community – there will be people out there familiar with robotics. They might want to make a motorized base, a little Jibo car.” At launch, there’ll be smartphone apps for remotely engaging with the robot back home.
Connectivity to external devices is something the Jibo team is considering just as much as apps, a sort of “Works with Jibo” scheme similar to Apple’s for iPhone accessories. As well as the robot potentially getting a little buggy to trundle around in, Breazeal envisages it hooking up to home automation platforms and medical devices, as well as home sensors that learn activity patterns (much in the way that Nest can track who’s home and who’s away by movement in front of its Smart Thermostat).
Versions for the low-end and high-end markets are likely to join the family, and Breazeal name-checked curved screens as one possibility for a future high-end Jibo. “You can imagine devices that leverage curvature,” she teased, as well as the possibility of a mini-Jibo which would allow the robot to communicate with people elsewhere in the house. Your mini-Jibo might live on the nightstand and allow you to chat with the main Jibo on the kitchen counter, for instance.
For the moment, though, the goal is to see if developers and potential users are as enthusiastic about the robot as Breazeal and her team are. First signs are positive: the $100,000 crowdfunding target has been smashed in just a few hours, and the robotics expert says she’s already getting interest from people wanting to create “skill” apps for Jibo.
“It’s been an amazing response, I’m humbled and I’m thrilled by it,” Breazeal concluded. “It goes to show, people are ready for something like this.”
Robots excel at the tedious, repetitive tasks that bore humans into ineffectiveness. So NASA has tweaked an experimental Google smartphone called “Project Tango” that takes 250,000 measurements per second to create a 3-D map of the environment. The hacked version of Project Tango will help provide navigation information for a utility robot that previously had limited autonomous motion capability, called SPHERES. The robot/phone hybrid will launch in an Orbital Sciences Cygnus spacecraft aboard an Antares rocket on June 10th. If successfully tested, the robot will be particularly well-suited for tasks that need to be undertaken 24/7, like keeping track of the 20,000 objects aboard the International Space Station (ISS), monitoring radiation levels, or detecting dangerous pockets of CO2 in the cabin.
“Astronauts typically use handheld instruments for these tasks. And they have to be carried out all the time,” says Terry Fong, director of the Intelligent Robotics Group at NASA. “A robot’s not complaining if you have it working on something all the time.”
SPHERES, inspired by a training robot from Star Wars and first deployed in 2003, is currently limited to motion in a 2x2x2 meter cube. To determine its location, SPHERES emits an infrared pulse, which triggers an ultrasound “chirp” from each of 5 beacons within the cube. By measuring how long it takes for each of the chirps to reach SPHERES, the robot determines its location. But that means that SPHERES can’t move outside of its ultrasound box.
And NASA scientists wanted to increase the robot’s range to move around the entire ISS. Rather than install the ultrasound beacons throughout the space station, which would pose significant construction and maintenance hassles, NASA wanted to teach the robot to gain visual knowledge of its environment and navigate accordingly.
The phone battery specially designed for use in space.
Programming a computer to create a picture of an unstructured environment and comprehend the objects inside is a particularly hard computer science problem. That’s why NASA decided to farm out the computer vision problem to Google and its smartphone, and then added some modifications to make the device spaceworthy. Though Google is close-mouthed about the inner workings of Project Tango, NASA research engineer Zachary Moratto is able to say that the phone emits infrared and then interprets video from a second camera in order to create a real-time map of the nearby environment, with objects color-coded according to depth. By using depth-sensor readings from the infrared-generated 3-D map, and knowledge of the robot’s own thruster firings, SPHERES will be able to float slowly around the entire ISS.
To track inventory, the robot could use an RFID sensor to keep track of the roughly 20,000 different objects on board the space station.
“The ISS is about the size of a 6-bedroom house,” says Fong. “And it’s a 6-bedroom house where you can put stuff on the ceiling.” (Astronaut Sunita Williams offers a short tour of the living quarters aboard the ISS here).
Because astronauts are under pressure to complete a host of tasks during missions, and typically rotate on and off of the ISS every 6 months, keeping track of tools, food, and other objects can present a real headache. Moratto cites the example of an entire toolbox that got lost on the ISS several years ago, requiring a replacement to be sent all the way from Earth.
The Spheres/Tango device will also work to monitor air quality. Because of the lack of gravity in space, CO2 exhalation is a hazard to the crew. Fans on the ISS blow fresh oxygen into the living quarters, but colorless, odorless carbon dixoide can pool in corners of the station. SPHERES/Tango could function like a robotic version of the “canary in a coal mine,” floating around looking for dangerous CO2 concentrations, or other problems like unsafe radiation levels. Maintaining one robot is a lot easier than upkeep on dozens of sensors.
Astronauts can’t bring just any smartphone up into space, and the Project Tango team is drawing on the experience of the much-simpler Nexus S attached to SPHERES in 2011. If the touchscreen were to shatter in zero-gravity, dozens of tiny shards would float around the cabin. So the final SPHERES/Tango device will be covered with Teflon tape, just as the Nexus S was on the earlier mission. Because cell phone calls might conceivably interfere with equipment onboard the ISS, NASA pulled out the baseband transceiver that connects the phone with cell towers on Earth. NASA is also very cautious about what batteries can go into space, because of the threat of catastrophic failure if the unit were to get too hot or to draw too much power. Fong’s robotics team pulled the original battery out of the Project Tango phone and will instead use a custom lithium-ion battery certified for space. In the video below, Moratto and other team members test the project in the “vomit comet,” the NASA-contracted plane that deliberately flies in parabolas to simulate the weightlessness of space.
Audi borrows an old Tesla perk for the 2023 e-tron GT EV
Audi is leaving nothing to chance when it comes to the 2023 e-tron GT and potential luxury car buyers being scared off by EV charging, inking a new agreement for free public top-ups. The agreement will see all 2023 Audi e-tron GT buyers get three years of complimentary DC fast charging at Electrify America stations across the US.
There are currently more than 600 public charging stations in that network, and the e-tron GT will be able to tap speeds of up to 270 kW. That’s the equivalent of taking the sports EV from 5-percent to 80-percent in around 22 minutes, or approximately 180 miles of range.
By the end of the year, meanwhile, Electrify America says it expects to have around 800 locations in operation in the US. In total, there’ll be around 3,500 chargers on offer.
It’s not the first time we’ve seen Audi lean on Electrify America with its EV launches in the US. While the automaker doesn’t have an official charging network of its own – unlike Tesla’s Supercharger infrastructure – it’s been bundling some degree of free charging with earlier electric cars. The 2023 e-tron Sportback, for example, came with 1,000 kWh of Electrify America charging, which could be used over the first four years of ownership.
This 2023 e-tron GT deal, though, is potentially far more generous. Indeed it feels like a nod back to the early days of Tesla, when the Model S and then the Model X after it were offered with free, unlimited Supercharging so as to help remove some of the lingering apprehension about whether electrification was actually practical. Tesla later dialed back the deal as its cars grew more popular, and now all new buyers have to pay to use Superchargers.
Audi’s challenge is arguably a little different at the moment. The automaker certainly has an established brand, but its EVs lack the range promises that the latest Model S can deliver. The e-tron GT and RS e-tron GT, for example, are expected to be rated at 238 miles and 232 miles, respectively, on the EPA’s cycle. Final figures will be confirmed closer to launch, but that’s considerably behind the EPA estimated 405 miles that Tesla says its Model S Long Range can offer.
Announced earlier this year, the 2023 e-tron GT and 2023 RS e-tron GT are some of Audi’s most striking electric models to-date. The former is expected to have 469 horsepower in normal operation, or 522 hp in a 2.5 second boost mode, along with 464 lb-ft of torque (or 472 lb-ft in boost mode). It’ll do 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds, Audi says.
As for the RS e-tron GT, that’ll nudge the power figures up to 637 hp and 612 lb-ft in boost mode. 0-60 mph is trimmed, then, to 3.1 seconds: a little faster, indeed, than an Audi R8 V10, the automaker points out. Sales of the two cars will kick off this summer.
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