Jake Pentecost, son of Stacker Pentecost, reunites with Mako Mori to lead a new generation of Jaeger pilots, including rival Lambert and 15-year-old hacker Amara, against a new Kaiju threat.
Robots on TV Christmas 2017
Time to relax over Christmas; here is a quick pick of robot movies over the Christmas period
Put that blooming Phone down and watch a robot movie instead!
well that should see you through to new year – relax and watch a robot movie with the family or play charades with granny !
keep calm and robot on .
Robots in Star Wars and other famous Movie Robots
How 7 famous movie robots were brought to life on screen
In celebration of the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, we’re taking a look at seven famous robots from Star Wars and other famous sci-fi worlds and how they were brought to life on screen.
The clock is ticking until the second film of the Star Wars sequel trilogy hits our screens. Written and directed by Rian Johnson, the plot of the film has remained a closely guarded secret. Of course, there’s lots of rumours out there – such as Luke Skywalker being revealed as a broken man with no desire to continuing the Jedi Order and thinking it should end(!). But we’ll have to wait and see if they’re true!
What do we know? In Star Wars tradition, we will more than likely kick off exactly where the first film Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) ended with Rey joining Luke Skywalker on a remote island.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi will feature a number of fan favourite droids including C-3PO, R2-D2 and BB-8. There’s also going to be a new droid called BB-9E who seems to be an evil counterpart to the loveable BB-8.
Other than BB-8 there are no other new droids that we know of… yet! However there are two new alien species, the very loveable Porgs who are native to Ahch-To and the Caretakers, who maintain the Jedi Temple and the other structures on Luke’s island.
Wait…droids? I thought you said robots?
Droid is the term used to describe robots in the Star Wars universe, originally a shorthand for the ‘Android’ – meaning a humanlike robot or machine. The term droid in Star Wars applies to any robot on screen and has been a registered trademark of LucasFilm since the first Star Wars film in 1977.
That answers that! Onto the creativity that brought your favourite robots, droids, androids, automatons and autobots to life on the big screen…
7. Q – The Master Mystery (1919)
Played by Harry Houdini, Justice Department agent Quentin Locke investigates a powerful cartel while being protected by a robot named Q. Q was the first robot to ever appear in cinema, the term “robot” didn’t exist yet so they refer to Q as “the Automaton”.
The design of Q inspired designers of robots in later films, as well as robot toys over the following 40 years. Take a look…
6. Johnny 5 – Short Circuit (1986)
A classic from the eighties. “Number 5”, a robot developed for the Cold War, is hit by a lightning strike resulting in a power surge that scrambles its programming and gives it a sense of free will.
Designed by Syd Mead, Johnny 5’s presence on screen feel very realistic and he can perform impressive moves like dancing to Saturday Night Fever. This was achieved using a “telemetry suit” which is worn by a puppeteer and linked to sensors on the robot.
The idea for the film came from a project to educate students about robotics, just like the educational services we offer here at Robots Direct. However none of our robots have been struck by lighting and escaped…yet.
5. WALL-E – WALL–E (2008)
In a distant (but not impossible) future, mankind has abandoned earth because it’s overrun with rubbish and polluted. WALL-E, a garbage collecting robot has been left to clean up the mess, alone on Earth except for a pet cockroach. One day, EVE, a sleek reconnaissance robot, is sent to Earth to find proof that life is once again sustainable and WALL-E falls madly in love with her.
WALL-E’s design is reminiscent of Johnny 5 and most of the robot’s sounds are created by Ben Burtt. Over two years he recorded 2500 different sounds – that’s double the average of any Star Wars movie! Several people have made working real life WALL-Es, but this build by Mike Senna is likely the most impressive with over 38,000 hours spent making it!
4. Robby the Robot – Forbidden Planet (1956)
A crew investigate the status of a planet’s colony only to find two survivors, Dr. Morbius and his daughter, and their robot Robby who is created to serve humans. Meanwhile, a terrifying monster is on the loose…
Costing roughly $125,000, Robby was expensive for a prop of this era. Robby’s main designer, Robert Kinoshita, used thousands of drawings by five men over five weeks to design the final version. Before working in film, Robert Kinoshita designed washing machines and this is reflected in the design of Robby whose chest and legs resemble a washing machine tub.
3. Optimus Prime – Transformers film series
This heroic robot is famously the world as leader of the Autobots, an alien race of robots who disguise themselves on Earth by transforming into regular everyday vehicles and machines. He first reached our screens in the 1980s Transformers animated series, with an iconic voice performance by Peter Cullen. His voice was so popular that fans demanded that he be cast in the 2007 film version. Not everything was brought back for the film, as the truck Optimus transformed into was redesigned to make Optimus taller and more distinct.
Transformers are huge in China – literally. A trend has emerged of building huge statues of Optimus Prime across the country. In 2010, a 10-meter-tall statue of Optimus was erected near Beijing National Stadium. In 2011, the game was raised and an 11-meter model was built in Shenyang City using old car parts. Very apt!
2. Data – Star Trek: The Next Generation films
Lt. Commander Data is an android who serves aboard the flagship Enterprise-D.
According to the Star Trek universe, famous for technobabble, Data’s brain is capable of running sixty trillion operations per second. In reality it was all the acting skills of Brent Spiner and the work of the special effects and make-up teams.
Data doesn’t have emotions but wonders what it would like to have them, he plays poker, socialises and is the only principle cast member to have a pet. The writers used this to grapple with big philosophical questions and in one film Data is given an “emotions chip” allowing him to experience human emotions. If you are interested in the ethics of AI and what it mean to be human there are some great Data storylines to enjoy.
1. C-3PO and R2-D2 – The Star Wars saga
Yes I realise there’s two droids here, but these two come as a pair – BFFs for life! We were first introduced to them in the first film, helping the Rebel Alliance defeat the evil Galatic Empire. Many theorise that without Threepio and Artoo, the entire Star Wars story could not take place. Without them Luke would not have met Obi-Wan Kenobi and discovered his calling as a Jedi, they could not have hired Han Solo and ride his ship the Millennium Falcon, they could not have rescued Princess Leia, they could not have escaped the Death Star and of course they could not have destroyed the Death Star the film’s climax.
C-3PO was played by actor Anthony Daniels, who perfectly captured the nervous energy of the character. Not an easy thing to have done while filming in a suit, often in the heat of a desert in Tunisia. The idea of bickering sidekicks took inspiration from the Akira Kurosawa film Hidden Fortress and was greatly helped by the fact that Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker, who played R2-D2, often found themselves bickering in real life.
The design of R2-D2 is incredible, communicating such depth of character and comedic timing using what essentially looks like a bin on a tripod with flashing lights and beeping noises. It is a just another testament to the talent of the production that made Star Wars the instant worldwide phenomena it became rather than another cheesy looking seventies sci-fi flick. New droids in the Star Wars universe have a lot to compete with but I look forward to seeing what they come up with next!
keep calm and robot on.
Robots in Films
I Robot – Sonny
In 2035, technophobic homicide detective Del Spooner of the Chicago PD heads the investigation of the apparent suicide of leading robotics scientist, Dr. Alfred Lanning. Unconvinced of the motive, Spooner’s investigation into Lanning’s death reveals a trail of secrets and agendas within the USR (United States Robotics) corporation and suspicions of murder. Little does he know that his investigation would lead to uncovering a larger threat to humanity.
Johnny 5 – Short Circuit
Number 5 of a group of experimental robots in a lab is electrocuted, suddenly becomes intelligent, and escapes.
Robot and Frank
Set in the near future, an ex-jewel thief receives a gift from his son: a robot butler programmed to look after him. But soon the two companions try their luck as a heist team.
In 2028 Detroit, when Alex Murphy, a loving husband, father and good cop, is critically injured in the line of duty, the multinational conglomerate OmniCorp sees their chance for a part-man, part-robot police officer.
Transformers – Optimus Prime
An ancient struggle between two Cybertronian races, the heroic Autobots and the evil Decepticons, comes to Earth, with a clue to the ultimate power held by a teenager.
A seemingly indestructible Android is sent from 2029 to 1984 to assassinate a waitress, whose unborn son will lead humanity in a war against the machines, while a soldier from that war is sent to protect her at all cost
Ex machina – Ava
A young programmer is selected to participate in a ground-breaking experiment in synthetic intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a breath-taking humanoid A.I.
Big hero 6 – Baymax
The special bond that develops between plus-sized inflatable robot Baymax, and prodigy Hiro Hamada, who team up with a group of friends to form a band of high-tech heroes.
Pacific Rim – Jaegers
As a war between humankind and monstrous sea creatures wages on, a former pilot and a trainee are paired up to drive a seemingly obsolete special weapon in a desperate effort to save the world from the apocalypse.
Keep calm and robot on.
Robots can play sport –
Robot football is a sport organised in Korea since
1995 with 6 different leagues
- HuroSot – Humanoid robots up to 150 cm high and 30 kg in weight.
- KhperaSot – Cylindrical autonomous robots with onboard vision systems.
- Mirosot – Robots up to 75mm cube. 3, 5, 7 or 11 a-side.
- NaroSot – 4c square robots up to 5.5 cm high.
- Quadrosot – four-legged robots.
- SimuroSot – PC-based simulation over both 5-a-side and 11-a-side.
Robot Ping pong
Keep up with the robot Human !!
In development since 2005, it recognizes very fast moving objects, has a low inertia mechanical system, and even has an artificial intelligence.
MegaBots are 15-foot-tall, internally piloted humanoid robots that fire cannonball-sized paintballs at each other at speeds of over 120 miles per hour.
The series, centred on the sport of robot combat, involves teams of amateur and professional roboteers operating their own constructed robots to fight against each other, whilst also avoiding arena hazards and more powerful “House Robots”, which were not bound by the same weight or weapon limits as the contestants
Robot Hire – Hire a robot for an event
Robots Toys for Christmas 2017
all at www.robotsdirect.co.uk are going to be super busy.
Robots for Pre school
Dance and move Beat Mo 9 Months +
- 3 modes of play: Dance ‘n Move, Learning and Games and the customisable Sing-Along mode
- Dance ‘n Move: fun, energizing music encourages baby to dance
- Learning and Games: introduces your little one to letters, colours, counting, music and much more
- Sing-Along: record a phrase that BeatBo will remix into his favourite song!
- Activate BeatBo by pressing his tummy or any of the 3 buttons on his feet
Activate fun songs, learning content and dance moves with the Bright Beats Dance and Move BeatBo! Just press his tummy or the buttons on his feet and get ready to move, dance and sing with him! BeatBo introduces your little one to letters, colours, counting, music and much more in 3 different modes of play: Dance ‘n Move, Learning and Games, and the customisable Sing-Along mode! Record a phrase and BeatBo will mix it into his favourite song! His 3 modes of play are designed to ‘grow’ with your baby for fun, educational play making him an excellent playtime companion for years to come!
Teach and TAG Movi – suitable for children 3 +
This robot is both educational and fun. It has 3 game modes and 6 games to choose from. Like a robot Simon says “movi says “designed to combine critical thinking skills with active play – our favourite game is Red light, Green light
Movi robot asks questions and encourages children. It spins over 360 degrees and can make over 60 facial expressions.
Big School robots
Batbot – robot batman take that robin ! Kerpow !
Wow this robot stands over 2 feet tall! It comes with wings, punching fists projectile launchers motor cycle and voice changer – what is not to love?
The Batbot – robot batman is a must for any batman fan
Transformers The last Knight – Autobot squweeks
A small robot 21cm he comes with motion and sound effects. amazing dance moves and blaster moves. This remote controlled robot will be a hit for Christmas day – might even get Dad dancing (oh no!)
Zoomer Chimp – Robot monkey
This back flipping robot can do over 100 tricks – he can dance – even better than granny after too many sherries! This robot monkey also bumps and farts – naughty monkey!
Star Wars inventor kit
Children can create their own custom Droid™ and bring it to life. Using littleBits electronic blocks and the free Droid Inventor app, they’ll teach their R2 Unit new tricks and take it on over 16 missions. Then kids can level-up their inventor expertise and reconfigure their Droid to give it new skills, or design any Droid they can dream up.
Create your own R2 Unit
The kit comes with everything kids need to create and customize their R2 Unit straight out of the box. Initial assembly is easy with step-by-step instructions to create their Droid, and control it in Drive Mode, Self-Nav, Force™ Mode, and more.
Let your imagination run
After mastering their Droid Inventor skills, children continue on to challenges that spark creativity and get them inventing brand-new Droids.
- Comes with 6 Bits, 20 Droid parts, 3 sticker sheets, and the free littleBits Droid Inventor app
Dash is a real (and super cute) robot that makes learning to code fun for kids. It easily responds to voice, navigating objects, dancing, and singing. Dash presents your kids with hundreds of projects, challenges and puzzles as well as endless possibilities for freeform play. Super fun!
Dash & Dot are real robots that teach your kids to code while they play. Using our free apps and a compatible tablet or smartphone, kids learn to code while they make Dash sing, dance and navigate all around the house. Sensors on the robot mean they react to the environment around them, including your kids.
- LEGO Boost Creative Toolbox (With Bluetooth!) An innovative STEM toy that allows children to explore science, technology, engineering and maths, while having fun and developing their creativity and imagination
- Helps develop coding and constructions skills
- Create interactive, robotic models!
- Download the free app and control your creations
- Five models to build – Vernie, the M.T.R.4 (Multi-Tooled Rover 4), the Guitar4000, Frankie the Cat or the AutoBuilder
- Includes over 840 LEGO pieces, plus a LEGO Move Hub, Interactive Motor and a Colour & Distance Sensor
- Move Hub features Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connectivity, 2 encoded motors, activation button, internal tilt sensor and a light
- Interactive Motor is an encoded motor
- Colour & Distance Sensor detects distance, motion and colour, and can also function as a light
- Build and code robots and models, and complete exciting activities with the playmat and intuitive LEGO® BOOST app (available for iOS and Android tablet devices)
- Building instructions for all 5 models are included with the free LEGO® BOOST app
- Includes a LEGO BOOST wall poster!
Build, code and play with the LEGO Boost 17101 Creative Toolbox and take your LEGO building skills and experience to the next level! Learn to code and create models that you can play and interact with!
With this amazing set you can build a number of different robots and creations! As soon as you have finished building one, it’s up to you how long you wait until you rebuild it into something completely different! After you build them, you can control all creations via your tablet with the free downloadable app that also includes digital LEGO Building Instructions for all 5 models, plus cool activities and ideas to spark your imagination.
Let’s take a closer look at what you can build!
There’s Vernie – a moving, walking robot that launches darts from its shoulder mounted shooter! You can talk to Vernie and code its behaviour as well as complete fun activities with the included playmat. Vernie responds when you talk with facial expressions that reflect its current mood.
Vernie can move in all directions at different speeds on its large tracks, see objects and colours, sense distance, grip and carry accessories. Vernie also senses and reacts to impacts and knows when you pick it up.
- Interactive educational and customizable robot
- Able to sense its environment and wirelessly programmable
Sphero Star Wars BB-9E App-Enabled Droid
– Authentic Movement // Whether you’re driving or on Patrol, BB-9E rolls just like on-screen.
– Holographic Simulation // Explore the Star Wars galaxy with the app and the Droid Trainer.
– Droid-to-Droid Experience // Watch BB-9E interact with other Star Wars App-enabled Droids by Sphero.
– Watch with Me // View films from the Star Wars saga with BB-9E by your side.
– Signature LEDs // BB-9E’s dome is equipped with vibrant LED lights.
This playful robot is full of personality! Cozmo expresses a wide range of real emotions in response to his environment. Anki’s innovative and powerful technology lets Cozmo interact with the world around him and make decisions based on his mood.
From all at www.robotsdirect.co.uk wishing a happy and safe robot Christmas 2017
Keep calm and robot on.
Robots make food
Good god – robots are flipping burgers now – time to study hard
Burger flipping robot
Flippy was engineered as a robotic arm that used thermal and 3-D imaging and camera vision to sense when to flip and remove burgers from the grillHowever, according to USA Today, the robot could not keep up with demand.
Founded in 2015, Zume Pizza uses robotics and artificial intelligence to make pizza more quickly.
The robotic pizza-making process mirrors the traditional method, albeit with a few high-tech twists. Rather than hand-toss dough balls into their circular pizza shape, which can be tiresome and mind-numbingly repetitive for human chefs, a customized hydraulic press, dubbed Doughbot, smashes the ball into shape. The pizza crust then travels down a conveyor belt to the saucing station, where a pair of extruders named Pepe and Giorgio slather the dough with marinara or alfredo sauce. From there, a fourth robot named Marta uses a multi-axis arm to evenly spread the sauce. The pizza then continues along the conveyor to the topping station — one of the few steps in this process where human hands are involved.
DRU (Domino’s Robotic Unit) is an autonomous delivery vehicle and is set to take the world by storm.
Moley has created the world’s first robotic kitchen. Featuring an advanced, fully functional robot integrated into a beautifully designed, professional kitchen, it cooks with the skill and flair of a master chef.
Keep Calm and Robot on .
A guide to robots in UK schools: STEM skills, programming, autism therapies and more!
Robots in the classroom aren’t a new phenomenon, but they’re really starting to boom. From primary age upwards, teachers across the country are introducing robots into the timetable. Here’s a guide to how robots are being used in education and what’s available for schools in the UK.
Why use robots to support children’s education?
Robots are fun – there’s no denying that. Children enjoy interacting with robots, it helps blur the lines between play time and class time -allowing children to learn through play and get truly engaged. To excite children about subjects such as mathematics, science, advanced ICT and engineering it’s vital that they are brought to life rather than kept to a text book.
This is where robots become more than just a fun classroom activity, they can truly unlock STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) skills and talent. Building, programming and working with robots can teach children so many skills forming the foundations of a future STEM career.
Robots can also introduce transferrable life skills such as logic, critical thinking, problem-solving, decision-making and teamwork. These are abilities that are essential for education settings and vocations in later life.
Finally, robots are being utilised for learners with SEN (Special Educational Needs), providing inspiration and entirely new methods of discovering subjects.
The truly unique aspect of using robots for child development is that they are appropriate for children of all ages and abilities, and there so many different products out there to suit everyone.
How are robots being used in the classroom?
Getting more students into engineering, particularly girls
The UK is facing a shortage of engineers. We need 100,000 new graduates in STEM subjects every year until 2020 just to maintain current employment numbers. Out of the current engineering workforce in the UK, only 9% are female, the lowest figure in Europe. (Source: Women in Engineering Society)
A study of pupils participating in the VEX Robotics Competition (VRC), an international competition where pupils build innovative robots to solve a challenge, showed a positive impacted on interest in STEM. 92% of respondents wanted to learn more about robotics and 90% more about engineering. A higher percentage of females felt that VRC made them want to learn more about robotics and made them more interested in wanting to take STEM in school and college.
Tynker, uses a coding-through-games philosophy and recently launched a new project teaching coding through drone lessons. Hundreds of schools in USA have signed up and they’re soon to launch in the UK. Schools buy drones and download a free set of drone lessons. Children can then learn to build drones, how to fly them, perform some amazing tricks and operate the drones to work together as a team.
Josie McKay, a teacher at a school taking part in this programme said “Each week these students develop new and more challenging goals for themselves, work together, and code their drone accordingly. The excitement on their faces when they achieve their goal, especially when it is completed in a short amount of time, is infectious.” (Source, BBC News)
Robots are currently being used to help as a therapy tool for children with autism.
Check out this video of a robot specifically designed for children with autism: https://youtu.be/hAF5k5qOJPY
There’s a few products on the market, one being ‘Ask NAO’, which is being used in special needs school and classrooms in the UK.
Where can I start?
If you’re an educator, here are just a few examples of robots and packages available that may be a good place to start your robot journey:
LEGO EV3 programmer app
The classic toy that caught so many of our imaginations growing up. The new free EV3 Programmer app makes building and programming LEGO robots faster, smarter and even more fun.
Roaming Robots have a range of classroom programmes available teaching students to build their own ‘Robot Wars’ style robots with an aim of inspiring children into a STEM career.
RES tech help teachers engage with students in STEM & Computing by giving them hands on robot building and programming workshops.
Keep calm and robot on.