You could take the time to make your cat feel loved. Or you could augment a robot to do it for you. Software engineer Taylor Veltrop has accomplished this by combining a 21-inch-tall Nao robot, a few Wiimotes, a Kinect sensor bar, a treadmill and a head-mounted display. The configuration, which represents about a year’s work and several thousand dollars in parts, uses the Kinect and Wii remotes to control the robot’s arms, the sensor bar and treadmill to provide movement and the head-mounted display to move the Nao’s head and adjust its camera angle. This is still a work in progress, and doesn’t include things like two-way audio, which Veltrop plans to implement using an integrated microphone and speakers. Click past the break for a video of robotic feline grooming action.
Do you enjoy the produce-slashing action that Fruit Ninja affords, but feel constrained by the meager display capabilities of handheld devices? Well, some German students from FH Wedel University of Applied Sciences have created a VR version of the game to make your dreams of having more massive melons fly at your face come true. Using a CAVE four-walled virtual environment to display the hurtling fruit and a modified Wiimote to do the slicing and dicing, players can exorcise their cantaloupe and kumquat demons in a life-sized fruit cleaving frenzy — with none of the Gallagher-style mess. See it in action after the break, just be sure to don your Kikou first.