Roland’s Sunday Smart Trends #145
January 14th, 2007

Build your own bot, courtesy of iRobot

At the Consumer Electronics Show, iRobot will publicly release its latest product, the iRobot Create, a programmable robot for entertainment and education. The base of the Create is similar to the Scooba, the company’s floor-mopping robot, and the carpet-vacuuming Roomba. It comes with wheels, motors for movement, and sensors that prevent it from tumbling downstairs or getting mired in corners.
Source: Michael Kanellos, CNET, January 7, 2007

‘Second Life’ software becomes open-source

Linden Lab on Monday released as open-source software the viewer used to access Second Life and plans to follow suit with the server software that powers the company’s virtual realm.
Source: Stephen Shankland, CNET, January 8, 2007

Robot aids Johns Hopkins patients — for translations

Nighttime patients at Johns Hopkins could see a robot moving in the busy hallways of the hospital’s emergency room. The 6-foot-tall robot is the center of a new pilot program in which Spanish-language translator Juvenal Reyes operates the machine from his home laptop, moving the monitor that displays his face and navigating the robot from room to room.
Source: Laura Greenback, The Baltimore Examiner, January 9, 2007

Dash Express: THE device to make real-time traffic info a reality!

[Note: David Stephenson really likes this device: I’m less enthusiast, but you’ll be the judge.]
Source: W. David Stephenson blog, January 11, 2007

BBC to develop social networking Web sites

The British Broadcasting Corporation plans to develop its online presence by providing social networking sites based on its most popular brands such as Top Gear, a BBC spokeswoman said on Thursday.
Source: Reuters, January 11, 2006

Animal Tags for People?

Two cousin companies bet the fast-expanding market for animal RFID chips will extend to humans before long.
Source: David E. Gumpert, for BusinessWeek, January 11, 2007

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