After a wildly successful run of Ratchet & Clank releases for the Sony Playstation, Insomniac Games have announced they are teaming up with Sony Computer Entertainment, Rainmaker Entertainment, and Blockade Entertainment to bring the planet-hopping lombax and his little robot companion to the big screen in a brand-new CGI animated film — set to be released in 2015. According to an article in Forbes, Insomniac’s own TJ Fixman will be lead writer on the film, and voice talent will feature James A. Taylor as Ratchet, David Kaye as Clank, and Jim Ward as the lumbering human Qwark — all of whom are well-known from the game series. The article on-line also features a new teaser-trailer for the upcoming film.
After a successful Kickstarter campaign, DMP Digital Manga will be releasing a translated version of Osamu Tezuka’s A-Tomcat this April. Tezuka, as if you didn’t know, was the creator of Kimba the White Lion — and many many other world-famous titles, including of course Astro-Boy. This one-shot black & white paperback is an off-shoot of the Astro-Boy Series. Try to follow this: ” Tsugio is a young Japanese boy who is very fond of reading the Astro-Boy manga series. One day he finds a stray kitten and persuades his family to keep it. But then, after an encounter with two aliens honeymooning on Earth (!), suddenly the little cat not only looks like Astro-Boy, but has Astro-Boy’s Powers! Check out more at DMP’s order site.
This is almost impossible to describe, even when you’re looking right at it! Check out this name: Chogokin Super-Combining King Robo Mickey and Friends. Then just check out the picture below! It’s a new toy created in Japan as a collaboration between Bandai Tamashii Nations and Disney. It features die-cast metal characters with names like Jet Mickey, Sky Minnie, Diver Donald, Aqua Daisy, Land Goofy, and Dash Pluto, who combine (along with other accessories) into the massive King Robot to fight… sheesh, we can only guess what! Take a look at the advertisement on Amazon to see more of what the individual component characters look like. King Robo Mickey (etc etc…) will be available internationally this April. Now all we have to do is wait for the TV series…
Hot on the heels of the news of Disney partnering with luxury fashion clothes designers to create exclusive duds for attenuated versions of Mickey, Minnie, Daisy, Goofy, and other classic Disney characters, comes this news that Disney is also partnering with Japanese toymaker Bandai to smooch said classic Disney characters together into a single “Voltron-style” transforming giant robot – coming in March 2013.
It may sound like a parody, but the Cartoon Brew website has a publicity picture of this “King Robo”. Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, and Pluto (plus Pluto’s doghouse and Steamboat Willie’s riverboat) into one giant robot! Like they say, we couldn’t make this stuff up. Check it out.
The Cartoon Brew website has just posted this two-year-old eight-minute film by Swedish animator Jacob Stålhammar; written in 2004, painted in gouache on cardboard, and animated in limited animation to a public domain stock music score. Arguably less an animated cartoon than an animated children’s picture book. Still anthropomorphic.
Are self-aware robots anthropomorphic? Hey, I think that I’ve asked th... [Ed.: !]
In this short tale a father tries to encourage his son to overcome his fears and shows that even in this digital age that the trials of parenthood remain constant.
Are self-aware robots anthropomorphic? Hey, I think that I've asked this question before.
Are self-aware robots anthropomorphic? Never mind; this two-minute invade ALL OF THE humans!!! starring Calculord 3 and Px Micron, two small robot toys (they run on AA batteries) who plan to take over the world, is very funny. Move over, Brain; you have competition!
The first line in this science-fiction novel is: “When I woke up, surrounded by talking dog-people, it was clear we’d strayed pretty far from the mission parameters.” (p. v) There are a talking chimpanzee in a smoking jacket, cravat, and pin-striped trousers; a gigantic lion with a hairless human head; and a robot in the form of a silvery-mercury metallic eagle in the first scene. Furry, no. Anthropomorphic science-fiction, yes.
Captain Ramachandra Jason Stone is a 22nd century spaceman, the captain of Wayfarer One, the first interstellar spaceship launched to travel to Alpha Centauri. The crew is put into cryogenic suspension for the forty-three year voyage, but something goes wrong.
The Wayfarer One is not found and Stone revived until 12,000 years later. By then, humanity – defined as anything sentient, whether a natural life-form or an Artificial Intelligence – has spread into the Human Entelechy, a “superculture of thousands of inhabited worlds and habitats linked by the threshold network, centered roughly on Sol. There are roughly ten trillion sentients, not counting the large number of intelligences who exist as digital incarnations in virtual domains”, etc. (p. 45)
For historical purposes, a collection of links and other tidbits posted to Newsbytes in August.
That's right, a hefty $51,500 of US federal stimulus funding is going to buy... fursuits. (Characters include "Bobber the Water Safety Dog" and are intended to teach childeren about swimming safety.)
In a North Carolina experiment, monkeys have successfully learned how to manipulate a robtic arm via brain implant. According to an article at this site, this is the first time in history that equipment has ever been operated in a three-dimensional environment via pure mental control.
Shades of Jurassic Park: Disney's first walk-around, interactive animatronic character, Lucky the dinosaur, is now strolling around Disney's California Adventure, but will probably move to Disney's Animal Kingdom in the coming weeks. It kinda walks on two legs, just as the rumors promised, but actually pulls a cart for additional balance (and to hide the computers). Videos can be found on the link above.
More photos, and a video of Lucky blowing his nose here.
Read on for direct links to the movies...
The field of robotics has long taken cues from the natural world in the goal to create a versatile, able machine, and has found it exceedingly difficult to match the functionality which we take for granted in living organisms.
Two of the more recent ventures into the field of biomimetics - the mimicry of biologicals - include BigDog, a dane-sized canine-copy slated to be born in 18 months. If the design pans out, the motorcycle-powered creation should be able to run at over 15 MPH, and jump over three feet high.
Even further removed from the consumer-friendly world of the likes of Asimo is RoboLobster, a clawed creature complete with hard shell, eight legs, and antennae, purpose built to hunt for mines in shallow water.
Both are designed with the military in mind, and recieve funding from DARPA and the Navy. If you're seeking more "human" robots, a list of the most ambitious projects is here.
Artist David Hanson has created a robotic talking head which mimics human emotional response. Named "K-Bot", the head has 24 facial "muscles", making it the most expressive of its kind to date.
An earlier article, here, has photos as well.