On Mar 9, 2022 the first prototype of the flatcat robot became a two years old. The robot is still healthy and functional. It is used on a daily basis by @x75 to control his weird synthesizers (“huh, but the sound is gloomy… 🥶”). What is happening there? It is happening that the motion of the robot is controlling the sound. Wah!
You can enjoy all of this in one single piece in the video below. If you cannot get enough, there is two more of them. Find them on Youtube and post the links in the comments. Thanks for hanging in ♥️
We have built the friendliest robot in the world, and we need your support to make more of them.
In all the craze and frenzy, take a minute just for fun and google “friendliest robot in the world”. Don’t know what you will be seeing, but for me the results are remarkable, both in gem and dire. Let’s review this. What got me to this, is that I think with flatcat we have created
1/ the friendliest robot on the planet (frop)
It might be creepy to some but it is just friendly nonetheless, no matter. To celebrate, let’s come up with an appropriate retronym for flatcat, for example
2/ flatcat, friendliest live adaptive technology cuddly auto telic
Either way I needed to research existing claims in direction of “friendliest robot”. And what I get is essentially this: various lists of “top 12” and “most advanced” hard-shell social or humanoid robots exempt the revered Paro; direct references to Blue, Pepper, and Kuri; and one IEEEspectrum article.
What is friendliness and affection without touch as a mode of communication? From all I can see, none of these robots is able to actually touch a human person. If they are, no one wants to be touched by them. So they might be “able” to touch a human but that might not feel so good for the human. flatcat communicates with people only by touch, nothing else.
What caught my eye on the other hand immediately is Gakutensoku, 學天則, which is Japanese for “learning from the laws of nature” or when taken as Chinese through deepl.com, “Learning the Rules of Heaven”. Aha 🙂
Gakutensoku was a very early robot design that considered friendliness on a fundamental level, done by biologist Makoto Nishimura, who was motivated by his shock from seeing Karel Capek’s theater play “Rossum’s Universal Robots”. Gakutensoku appears to have been Japan’s first functional robot ever, as a side effect.
The robot he wanted to build would celebrate nature and humanity, and rather than a slave, it would be a friend, and even an inspirational model, to people.
To summarize these results, friendly robots are few because somehow no one is incentivized to make them. If they are made, friendly companionship is somewhat misunderstood through the severe disconnection of mainstream engineering from simple facts of human psychology. And, there is a very early precedent, which is coming from a clearly bio-inspired thinking.
For us, friendly robots are just the answer, and we do think that friendly adaptive technology makes a difference for people now, and will do so even more down the road if they are wild and friendly. To continue this mission, we need your support and are looking for team members and funding. Give us a shout, spread the word!
Very pleased to announce that flatcat has been selected as a finalist for the Robot Design Competition during ICSR 2021 – International Conference on Social Robotics, 10-13 November 2021, Singapore, https://colips.org/conferences/icsr2021/wp/competition/
Update – List of finalists for robot design competition at International Conference on Social Robotics 2021 has been posted with flatcat on there 🐛
Hi all, dumping a stack of updates from the last few days
flatcat PCBs in the house
The manufactured PCBs for sensorimotor & energymodule arrived at the lab yesterday. This lead to the first run of component placement and baking in the oven today, to obtain the fully assembled electronics boards required for making a flatcat. This seemed to have worked reasonably well and the first sensorimotor was put into operation successfully.
Another fur has arrived this week from the prototyping done by our collaborator Karen Ellmer. The amount of available fake fur materials is pretty stunning. Right now we are working with a selection from the samples we have, to find a minimal functional design that we can ship with. Something that feels amazing and allows the cat to move freely.
Bakiwi workshopSept 2021
The first Bakiwi workshop after lockdown took place on Saturday, quite successfully with nine (9) Bakiwis walking out the door on their own for nine teams of builders. It was great to have all of you and we hope you enjoyed as much as we did. To be done again, watch out for upcoming dates.
These are two examples of RTFM
We had a baby rat (some say it was a mouse) coming in for a visit. It then had to be removed from the premises via this contraption.
jetpack cognition wear
Our apparel campaign is coming along quite well, and like all that we do, subject to heavy development on the go. We now have demonstration exemplars for all three base colors. This is the black one, the lilac one will be posted soon.
But then taste this full use case as a robot pet holder, observed recently outside our lab.
For those of you who having one of the shirts, here is the true samples for the shirt’s base color. The jetpack tee two there is all of them in sizes S, M, L (limited quantities). For the direct-to-garment corporate insignia prints, we will only do anthracite and white. Go check.
We installed open graph and Twitter card plugins for our wordpress so social sharing is much improved with nice automatic summary previews.
Thank you, that’s it for today. As always, feel free to be in touch about your questions and comments, we hear you.
Wearing it looks like this, in front of the lab, and inside.
Is available in three base colors dark blue, black, lilac. Size can be chosen from standard size table, see campaign page for a size chart.
In addition to the amazing sweater designed and manufactured in cooperation with Elle Janssen / hit-in.tv, two types of printed t-shirts are available, the jetpack tee two (2), and the jetpack tee one (1).