Older blog entries for magnus (starting at number 52)

28 Dec 2006 (updated 2 Jan 2007 at 15:03 UTC) »


I believe David Calkins still hasn't decided yet wether to call his robot Chapok or Chapek - after being introduced as Chapok last year, I took the bot's name to be a variation of the Czech writer's name Chapek, who first used the term robot in literature (early 20th century). But then I noticed David referencing to it as Chapek sometime during 2006 - and subsequently asked him before ROBOEXOTICA 2006 for the current correct name ... which was to be Chapek ... I thought! Because during ROBÖXOTICA David kept calling his cocktailrobot Chapok quite consistenly!

So ... whatever! Although Chapok/Chapek was struggling with technical difficulties again (speech module burned out after first night) he was performing well enough on the first evening to impress international press with his conversation skills (see Reuters-report) as well as his cocktail serving qualities, which kept working well all through the show.

Obviously standing out among the other cocktailrobots shown with his anthropomorphic looks Chapok encouraged people to react to him emotionally even when technical failure had rendered him silent - a phenomenon reported earlier by Tom Heike, whose Robofriend is also being talked to a lot.

Update: For a little Czech-lesson / background on the naming - go to Suicidebots!

Syndicated 2006-12-28 12:19:00 (Updated 2007-01-02 14:51:50) from shifz blog

27 Dec 2006 (updated 30 Dec 2006 at 14:04 UTC) »

ROBÖXOTICA Coverage - Addendum

In the previous post listing ROBOEXOTICA media coverage I only linked to one of two (or so) Wired-posts - I, Robot Bartender.

So here is the other one from the Gear Factor category: The robot cocktail-servers of Vienna, which made it into my eternal top media quotes with this one:
"In America, the robots vacuum carpets and terrify pets. In Korea, they read books to children at bedtime. In Austria, they serve you drinks. Finally, someone gets their priorities right."

And here's the full text of the Reuters article, that made it around the globe:

12:22 08Dec06 -FEATURE-Cocktail robots mix mojitos in Vienna
By Karin Strohecker
VIENNA, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Staring with glowing red eyes at a young woman strolling by, bartender Chapok slowly extends his arm to offer her a gin and orange.
She takes the glass, murmurs a flustered "thank you" and walks away while the cocktail-mixing robot turns his attention back to a row of bottles.
"People are interacting, they are actually talking to my robot," smiles David Calkins, who teaches robotics at San Francisco State University.
"This is fantastic, exactly what I was hoping for."
Chapok is one of around 30 robots at Vienna's annual Roboexotica, which showcases how home-built machines deal with the modern pastime of hanging out in bars.
Robots were invited to demonstrate their skills in categories like mixing cocktails, serving drinks and snacks, bar conversation and smoking cigarettes and cigars.
"It's all about the flair, the atmosphere and the personality that a robot can have," said Magnus Wurzer, ducking a bunch of cocktail cherries launched by a robot in one corner of the hall to another holding a drink at the other end.
The cherries miss their target and hit onlookers.
"The robots shouldn't be efficient," Wurzer said. "They shouldn't behave like they were in a factory, they should be cultured and urbane."
In 1999, Wurzer, a 36-year-old robot lover and artist, helped launch the cocktail robot convention Roboexotica (www.roboexotica.com) in Vienna.
They are not trying to build commercially viable robots or gadgets that look like humans. Rather they aim to assemble machines that display a unique mechanical charm and personality.
Wurzer's favourites from years past include a robot that scrounged drinks from passers-by, and one that offered to light visitors' cigarettes but ending up smoking them itself.
Chapok, who resembles the tin man in the "Wizard of Oz", is one of the robots making a name for himself this year.
Wired to a row of bottles from which he mixes his drinks, Chapok is linked to a computer that provides him with a bar-room repartee not strong on subtlety.

"Hey you sweet thing, have you ever had a date with a robot?" he asks women customers.
"You want what? Order yourself a drink for a man, you girl!" is his way of warming up male customers.
Onlookers respond with laughter and astonished looks. "One of the reasons why people go to bars is to interact," said Calkins, trying to untangle the wires protruding from his robot. "And if you have a robot that talks to you and insults you ... you can be sure that people won't forget him.
"Of course I could build a robot that irons shirts or something and that would be just as difficult. But having a cocktail robot is just much more fun and even if your robot
doesn't work, you still have a party."
A few metres down the hall, Robert Martin is showing off Robomoji, a cupboard-sized machine with rattling chains and steel gears mixing its creator's favourite drink, a mojito.
"I just love to develop my robot, I have worked on it for the past four years and every year it goes a step further," said the 32-year-old German technician as he fixed the ice crusher.
"Next year I'll get the bit fixed where it stirs the drink and then puts in a straw."
((Editing by Robert Woodward; Vienna Newsroom +43 1 531 12 256))
Friday, 08 December 2006 12:22:58
RTRS [nL0856074 ] {C}

Syndicated 2006-12-27 16:11:00 (Updated 2006-12-27 16:29:39) from shifz blog

26 Dec 2006 (updated 30 Dec 2006 at 14:04 UTC) »

monochrom's Taugshow #9 (ROBÖXOTICA-special)

On Fri Dec 8th - during ROBOEXOTICA - part 9 of monochrom's talkshow Taugshow was taped at dietheater/Konzerthaus: download here!

There's a brilliant dialog with V. Vale, Krach the rocking Robot has an appearance, Kal Spelletich burns tries to eat an american flag, sex-blogger Violet Blue gives an insight in her robotic spare-time activities and much more.

Syndicated 2006-12-26 14:24:00 (Updated 2006-12-26 15:54:25) from shifz blog

16 Dec 2006 (updated 30 Dec 2006 at 14:04 UTC) »

Everybody's Favorite: Baillette de Sacachorcos

The winner in the Public's Choice Category of the Annual Cocktail Robot Awards was a ballett - a ballett of corkscrews!

Baillette de Sacachorcos by Chris Janka and Beat Spichtig rewarded visitors who inserted 50 Cents into the slot with a brilliantly choreographed dance and was voted for most in the ACRA's 6th category.
Video by St6fan:

Syndicated 2006-12-16 12:24:00 (Updated 2006-12-16 15:47:50) from shifz blog

16 Dec 2006 (updated 30 Dec 2006 at 14:04 UTC) »

Cocktail Conversation at the Annual Cocktail Robot Awards

ACRA - 3rd Category, Cocktail Conversation:
The AAACGD or Awesome Automated Artificial Communication Generating Device, which was designed by students Christian Perstl and Michael Wirnsperger of FH Joanneum Graz, stimulated human conversation by applying controversial fingerprint-recognition technology.
Phishing for fingerprints with the promise of free drinks, the device furtherly camouflaged it's evil purpose by issueing confusing fortune-cookie-like statements.
I heard it is already nominated for the next local Big Brother Awards.

Syndicated 2006-12-16 11:55:00 (Updated 2006-12-16 12:23:03) from shifz blog

15 Dec 2006 (updated 30 Dec 2006 at 14:04 UTC) »

ACRA Mixing Category: External Combustion Engine

Imagine a cocktailrobot that would mix your cocktail of choice exactly the way you like it best. Without even asking.
Jonathan Moore presented a precursor of such a system - using RFID-technology the External Combustion Engine reads the recipe from a chip, which could be individually programmed for each person.
The demonstration of the device Moore built together with David Fine was not only quite reliable all through ROBOEXOTICA, but also impressed by the visual effect of nitrogen-powered mist of liquids drizzling into the cup.
These young men sure showed how to compensate robotic efficiency with a pleasant appearance.

See the External Combustion Engine drizzle drinks in Geek Entertainment TV's "More ROBOEXOTICA 2006" video!

Syndicated 2006-12-15 12:00:00 (Updated 2006-12-15 12:18:09) from shifz blog

14 Dec 2006 (updated 30 Dec 2006 at 14:04 UTC) »

ACRA Serving Category: El Espanol Borracho

This year's winner in the serving category impressed the Annual Cocktail Robot Awards' judges with it's "enlightening" Spanish Coffees served ignited by a flamethrower.
So Simone Davalos, who has worked with SRL and helps organize Robogames and Combots-Events, flew home with one of the deliciously looking Guzman-gingerbread-sculptures.
We congratulate the winner!

Video by Eddie Codel. Video by Stefan Nussbaumer.

Syndicated 2006-12-14 17:16:00 (Updated 2006-12-16 15:51:31) from shifz blog

14 Dec 2006 (updated 30 Dec 2006 at 14:04 UTC) »


Bragofon/Okku.pator - an alcohol-producing installation at ROBÖXOTICA by Michail a Crest & Valie Airport permanently occupied one of Freiraum's bathrooms Dec 5th-10th.
The pre-produced end-result of the installation which had been showing in varying set-ups previously was available at the bar and carries the name Tinctura Artis - a strong herbal spirit.

Syndicated 2006-12-14 14:46:00 (Updated 2006-12-14 15:01:29) from shifz blog

14 Dec 2006 (updated 30 Dec 2006 at 14:04 UTC) »


What a bummr! A day or so before this year's ROBOEXOTICA started I upgraded my account at one of the photo-sharing sites I'm using.
I chose Flickr, because several of the people involved in this year's event have Flickr-accounts and were going to share their roboexotic photos there.
Thought it would be nice to add all my shots to the great pool of roboexotica-tagged photos by people like Violet Blue and ioerror, local friends like Tea610 and lebard's photos from the remote tribute-to-Roboexotica party in Kaiserslautern.

But as it turns out, my photos don't show up in the list of everyone's photos tagged roboexotica!
Because my account is marked NIPSA (Not In Public Site Areas).
"If the images you're uploading either (i) aren't photos, or (ii) are images you've found on the web, stock photos, celebrity photos, stuff that appears to be copyrighted by someone else, screenshots, content that's inappropriate for public areas or full frontal nudity, your account will be marked NIPSA."
So the ROBÖXOTICA flyer and program-folder are THE problem?
Oh yes. Yup, those are non-photos: "Flickr is a website for you to use to share your photos."
Mkay, so I switch those non-photos to "private" and you will consider re-evaluating my account and possibly turn it to IPSA (?) again?
Eventually, yes.
Thanks! Wish I had read and taken seriously Flickr's FAQ earlier. Would have upgraded my 23-account instead!

Update: Actually I just turned the photos to "public" again - Flickr support told me it would be sufficient to use the option "hide from public searches" for the images of the flyer and folder. So that's what I did - hopefully my roboexotica-photos will turn up in searches sometime soon!
Thanks to Flickr-support for being actually there and responding through humans! This is not to be taken for granted in this world we call Web2.0 (ever tried to get in touch with YouTube-support?).

Syndicated 2006-12-14 14:04:00 (Updated 2006-12-15 10:51:34) from shifz blog

14 Dec 2006 (updated 30 Dec 2006 at 14:04 UTC) »


This metal Predator-sculpture was shown at ROBÖXOTICA 2006 by gagshop.at's owner Andreas Puntigam, who had bought it at a fair in Europe, when the Japanese seller was losing weight before getting back to Nippon.
Quite decorative, the Scrapdator would have sold for around €2500,- - if you are interested I'll hook you up!

Syndicated 2006-12-14 08:22:00 (Updated 2006-12-14 08:56:53) from shifz blog

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