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Christmas Gift Guide

The Robot Block Party

TurtleBot 2

PR-2 gives a double high-five

Da Vinci Si surgical arm

Rocky and Camp Peavy

Bot & Dolly

Rover kit for schools

Advanced gyroscopes

Brain-controlled helicopter

Frisbee-throwing R/woahdude robot

PR-2 modified with Kinect

NAO project robot

Mobot-I modular robots

Competition field for FIRST Lego League robots

In celebration of National Robotics Week, Stanford University today hosted its annual Robot Block Party, hosting some of the best in research, industrial, and homemade robotics.

The festival of robots is all about making robots more accessible, giving robotics enthusiasts a look at the different ways the machines can be used.

More than 30 exhibitors are here, representing everything from games and toys to industrial manufacturing and medical technologies, but they all have cutting-edge robotics in common. Stanford's Robot Block Party is a place to share ideas on human-robot interactions and inspire the next generation of developers.
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The TurtleBot 2, made by Yuijen, is an entry-level robot designed to make entry into the world of robotics possible. Available at IHeartRobotics.com for $1,600, the TurtleBot 2 features a Microsoft Kinect sensor which allows it to travel autonomously.
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A PR-2 model robot from Willow Garage named PR-K gives a double high-five to Joe Shea at the Volkswagen Automotive Innovation Lab at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., on Wednesday, April 10, 2013.
Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET
More than 2,000 of the Da Vinci Si surgical systems are in use worldwide. Here we see one of the arm attachments alongside a few of the tools available to doctors during surgeries.
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Camp Peavy, a member of the Silicon Valley Homebrew Robotics Club, performs onstage with his rock band Black Mast alongside his robot Rocky, who joins in the performances.
Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET
Bot & Dolly is a design and engineering studio that specializes in advanced motion control and automation robotics as creative tools in filmmaking.
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The California Academy of Sciences has a robotic rover kit for schools. The rover is wirelessly controlled via a 3D-printed NES controller and an LCD. These kits will soon be sent to schools as part of an astronomy package in an effort to simulate the science behind the systems and controls of Mars rovers.
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Showing off their hardware at the Robot Block Party was Directional Sciences, whose low-cost, advanced sensors and gyroscopes are used in tactical vehicles and drones.
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Avary Kent shows off the Puzzlebox Orbit, a brain-controlled helicopter which uses the MindWave Mobile EEG headset from Neurosky and an iOS or Android device to fly the drone.
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The Ultimate Ascent robotics club from Prospect High School in Saratoga, Calif., shows off their frisbee-throwing robot named R/woahdude, which they built for the FIRST Robotics competition this year.
Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET
Willow Garage's PR-2 robot was released in beta in 2007, and then officially launched in 2009. Within a year, the stereoscopic vision used by the PR-2, seen here, was made obsolete by the consumer-grade technology found in Microsoft's Kinect system, which was then integrated into the PR-2 robots.
Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET
The NAO, seen here, is an educational robot used for project-based secondary computer science, mecatronics, control, and math education.
Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET
Mobot-I robots are modular machines from Barobo, designed as simple robotics for hobbyist and educational uses.
Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET
This competition field is a battleground for the FIRST Lego League, which challenges students to use Lego Mindstorm projects to complete tasks around the board.
Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET
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