Original Legacy Web site
(2003-on... > For the new RSA Web site click here)

Newcomers! Read Getting Started in Robotics, recommended by
NASA and Yahooligans " Ask Earl

Getting Started in Robotics
The San Francisco Robotics Society of America Meets monthly in San Francisco on 1st Saturday of each month, Noon - 5 PM at
San Francisco State University (1600 Holloway) 
Science building (on 19th avenue between Stonestown and Holloway (South of Stonestown Galleria)  Room number SCI 256

2001 Robot Games Report

Web Controlled Robots 
(1 2)

9/11 Report

Earthquake Tsunami Relief

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EXPO 2005 The 2005 World Exposition,  Aichi, Japan, 3/25-9/25
Robot Project: We Live in the Robot Age

An Opportunity to Encounter Diverse Robots...The Japan Association for the 2005 World Exposition will conduct a Robot Project at EXPO 2005. The project will feature working robots that clean, patrol, guide visitors, and perform other tasks, as well as prototype robots...Japanese people have had an affinity to robots for decades, largely due to their depiction in animation and other fiction...[Program tracks include]...Working Robots...Five types...Prototype Robot Exhibition...63 prototypes...held for 11 days from Thursday, June 9, to Sunday, June 19, at the Morizo and Kiccoro Exhibition Center...Robot Station...the hub of the Robot Project. The pavilion will include a stage on which working robots will give demonstrations...visitors will be able to interact with robots at any time..."



Saturn moon 
Space-Faring Robot Probe/Lander



International Conference & Exposition

Oct 21-23, 2004, Santa Clara Convention Center, 
5001 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara, CA

"RoboNexus is a multifaceted international forum bringing together all of the major players driving the burgeoning personal, service and mobile robotics markets. RoboNexus includes over 50,000 square feet of expo and will feature the latest robotics products, technologies and applications."

A popular economically priced mobile robot was the line of "R2D2 like" PC-based machines from "White Box Robotics". The star of the Expo was the next generation Humanoid Robot Kawada Industries HRP-2 "Promet", the final robotic platform for the Humanoid Robotics Project in Japan, whose 1st generation products included the Honda Humanoid Asimo. Enjoy video clips of the event & of "Promet" in action on the Kawada & Yahoo video search sites.

RoboNexus:        Website, videos
HRP-2 "Promet": Kawada, Yahoo (translate Japanese site to English with Babelfish)
White Box:           912 PC-Bots




Astro Boy/Tetsuwan Atomu
Birthday Celebration 
April 7, 2003 

Astro Boy/Tetsuwan Atomu, 
Sony Pictures Atom Dream Project
Movie clips

300 500 K Japanese 

100 300 500 K English

AP Story

pictures and movies
from Fumihiko Abe ("Gromit") !


Astro Boy Birth Exhibit (1, 2, 3)
 Atom Dream Project (1, 2)

 Movies 1
(Note: some SDR-4X II)

 Movies 2 
(Note:  the 2 big hi-res avi movies (ROBOT_Parade.avi (20 minutes long) \ SDR4X2_BackStage.avi (10 minutes long)), need the DivX Video 5.0.5 for Windows codec at http://www.divx.com/divx/; download/install DivX (NOT DivX Pro), it will automatically add itself as a "plug-in" to your Windows Media Player; then download the 2 avi movies to your hard drive; when done downloading, click on the filename & Window Media Player will launch and play the movies using the DivX codec)


HOAP-1 (Humanoid for Open Architecture Platform)

"Fujitsu Introduces Miniature Humanoid Robot, HOAP-1...Weighing 6kg and standing 48cm tall...The robot also comes with basic simulation software that enables users to confirm operability of their control programs in advance...

...The basic simulation software and user-developed programs are designed to run on RT-Linux on an operating command PC, which communicates with the the robot through a USB interface...

...The included PC uses C/ C++ language with VRML model data to allow 3D simulation of actual robot actions before attempting action with the robot...

...Fujitsu Automation will start accepting orders starting September 10...Forestville Technology announces distribution, in North America, of the HOAP-1 Humanoid Robot 
Phone (215) 740-7397 Fax (215) 619-2766  email: sales@forestec.com"

Press Release: Current  Original                                   ZD Net UK News
Original RSA ROBODEX2002 HOAP coverage (Japanese translation)

ROBODEX2002 HOAP-1 video clip



"The voice-commanded Dr. Robot, available next year... This is a toy. But it walks, talks, dances, evades obstacles and can even tell jokes or give investment advice. Its secret is your PC, which it uses as a gateway to the Internet via a Bluetooth link. This Web connection, along with an onboard camera, enables you to, say, check in on your kids from the road. The downside: It moves like a wobbly tot, shaky and unable to handle stairs...If it falls, Dr. Robot can get back up. After an hour, it automatically plugs itself into a power outlet for recharging. Interfacing in real-time with a PC, its intelligence has no limit". (Popular Science, 2/03)

FUNCTION                          Assistant
SIZE                                     24"., 8 lbs. 
COMMAND INPUT             Voice/PC
SENSORS                           11 
VISION SYSTEM                 Mono 
WALKING SPEED               1.2kph 
ESTIMATED COST            $1,500 


Mars Exploration Rovers 2004





The Jet Propulsion Laboratory has released Maestro, a public version of the primary software tool used by NASA scientists to design goals for the Mars Exploration Rovers and analyze the images received from Mars. Anyone can download Maestro for free from http://mars.telascience.org/ and use it to follow along with the rovers’ progress during the mission. You can use Maestro to view pictures from Mars in 2D and 3D and create simplified rover activity plans. During the mission, updates will be released for Maestro containing the latest images from Mars.

On the Maestro website, you can download a scaled-down version of the program that NASA scientists use to operate Spirit and Opportunity. Data Updates are also available for Maestro that contain real data from Mars that you can add to your copy of Maestro. Go to the Updates section to download all of the latest data from Mars for Maestro!

Maestro Downloads & Links:
Maestro      Data Updates    Online Manual     PDF Manual (6MB)   Help Desk





NASA Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) Virtual Worlds Simulator

For NASA Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) January 2004 MER landings on Mar next year, an Adobe Atmosphere Virtual Worlds Builder with Physics simulator & Avatars... DigitalSpace Founder Bruce Damer has setup the "Drive on Mars" website..."Drive on Mars" can model mars surface that MER sees and allow people to drive on Mars virtually...Bruce has done considerable earlier pioneering Atmosphere work for NASA Ames, including a virtual habitat on Mars & a Simulation of the International Space Station with the Personal Satellite Assistant (PSA) robot.

Martian Mediameister Cliff's Avatar "DriveOnMars" test drive screenshot

Original SFRSA Coverage:
Bruce's work
Personal Satellite Assistant (PSA) robot NASA Ames Talk

Bruces' Simulation of the International Space Station 
with the Personal Satellite Assistant (PSA) robot:
(requires Adobe Atmosphere plug-in;  
may require a screen Refresh to kick-in;
offers Quick Time/AVI movie alternatives)

Digital Space Corporation   Digital Space Commons   Adobe Atmosphere 

Mars 2004 Mars Exploration Rovers Mission to Mars Animation

Some interesting places to "Drive On Mars":

NASA Mars 2004 Missions and beyond...Mars 2004 Twin Mars Exploration Rovers...two landing sites include Melas Chasma in Valles Marineris, 
Terra Meridiani
R/B glasses 3-D ) & Gusev Crater (3-D rendering)

"NASA picks Mars landing sites"  (4/11/03)
(Terra Meridiani (now called Meridiani Planum) and Gusev Crater) 

NASA Ames Center for Mars Exploration (CMEX) Gallery

The Mars Project


Mars landscapes & animations

The Netherlands' Kees Veenenbos, on his "space4case" site, has rendered landscapes and 3-D animations and fly-bys of Mars, made with the NASA Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) data and NASA PDS files. The scenes are rendered as they look today, including winter iced areas, & through simulation, may have looked 3 to 4 billion years ago, with water. The NASA data is converted to Digital Elevation Map (DEM) files, enabling generation of accurate 3-D landscape, over which the camera view data is essentially "texture-mapped", producing a view of Mars as it actually appears, in 3-D with natural colors & textures as photographed by the MGS cameras - during a virtual fly-by, just like being there.

(Note: (1) the animations require the Divx Codec (for Windows, choose/download/install "DivX502Bundle.exe DivX 5.0.2 Bundle", it will automatically add the codec to your Windows Media Player); (2) it's recommended to 1st download to your hard drive, then play locally, the main animations, part 1 & 2, each 27Mb)

space4case  landscape renderings    3-D animation/fly-by

Related Mars MOLA movie

For the current Mother of All Mars MOLA Movies, "Mojo Mars", depicting NASA Mars 2003 Exploration Rover (MER) at Gusev Crater candidate landing site, visit Adobe Atmosphere Virtual Worlds Developer Bruce Damer's Digital Space Commons "Drive On Mars" site "Mojo Mars" page, and download the file where it reads "...Quicktime movie...".

(Note: (1) it's required to 1st download to your hard drive, then play locally, because the animation "will not stream"...though the Mojo Mars movie is 255Mb, the file's long download is well worth the viewing)

"Mojo Mars" movie




NASA Ames Research Park
Carnegie Mellon West
Robotic Autonomy Course
Graduation Day Contest & Exhibition

"Carnegie Mellon University presents a course in Robotic Autonomy in collaboration with NASA Ames as part of its West Coast Initiative"

"A seven-week robotics summer program for high school juniors and seniors to be held at Carnegie Mellon West, Moffett Field, California, July 1 - August 16, 2002"

"Robotic Autonomy, a new summer robotics camp offered by Carnegie Mellon University in collaboration with NASA/Ames Research Center. This course will introduce students to the electronics, mechanics and computer science of robotics, culminating in a series of autonomous robot challenges. Students will build, program and operate vision-based mobile robots capable of sophisticated sensing and intelligent decision-making. At the conclusion of the course, each student will take a complete, vision-based robot home so that they may continue to explore robotics on their own".

NASA Ames Tech Space Pavilion 
Mars Rover prototype "K-9" demo report



Mar 28-30, 2002 
Place Pacifico Yokohama Exhibition Hall
1-1-1, Minatomorai, Nishi-ku, Yokohama-city, Kanagawa, Japan

"ROBODEX started in 2000 as the first large-scale exhibition in the world to gather human symbiotic robots. In ...  Expo ROBODEX 2002...The goal of ROBODEX is to provide people with "love" and "dream" through robots and to realize a society where humans and robots cohabit with each other". 
(Note: the above Dates/Times in Japan convert to Mar 27-29 in California)

Live/Archive Webcast
Print Screens

Event Notes

ROBODEX2002 movies!
from Fumihiko Abe ("Gromit")

Japan's "PC Watch" ROBODEX2002 reports 
include many video clips & other exhibitor booths 'bots  (0, 1, 2, 3)

(Site in Japanese.  For Japanese-to-English Web page translator use Babelfish on URL's)



Spider-bot prototype

"Researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., have created a micro robot...Dubbed "spider-bot" for its spider-like appearance, this itsy-bitsy, high-tech critter may one day chart the terrain on other planets and explore smaller bodies, such as comets, asteroids or the Moon" (JPL 2002 News Releases)



Honda Humanoid
Discover Magazine Apr. 02 Inside Cover for Asimo

"New Sony Robot Has Steep Price Tag"
"It Sings and Dances...and will go on sale later this year"The Associated Press  story on ABC News.com

Japan's PC Watch 
SDR-4X tech diagrams/close-ups
(In Japanese -
use Alta Vista Babelfish (above)
Japanese-to-English webpage translator on URL's)

How Robots Will Change Us. 
By Rodney A. Brooks

Even Tin Men Get the Blues by Dick Teresi 

(Book Review submitted by 
Steven MacIntyre, Alumnae '68, 
Villa St. Jean École Internationale)



Discovery Science Channel "Robots" series on AT&T Digital Cable Thursdays at 6pm PST & other times


NASA Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) Mars Yard "...simulated Mars landscape for testing and evaluation of rovers and robotics technology for future Mars surface exploration", some of which genealogy, (starting with "Tooth"),  may be seen during the day by the JPL
Mars Yard Cam
After initial checkout at the Yard, Mars rovers often undergo further Field Trials in increasingly Mars-like environments at Mojave Desert Silver & Lavic Lakes & also the North Pole at  Devon Island (& environs) & South Pole McMurdo Station
(see Exploratorium Antartica Expedition Webcasts).  On Mars, a biomechatronic-based biomorphic explorer armada of   robots, including a prototype humanoid "Mars Walker" co-developed by  IIS & PolyPedal Lab, explore the Red Planet. Controlled by VR software like WITS & Atmosphere, the machines report back their findings over the Interplanetary Internet. As the journeyings do proceed, these robotic advance scouts are preparing the way for the Human Exploration of Mars, in accordance with The Reference Mission (see Section 1, pg. 11) of the NASA Mars Exploration Study Team, during this Era of Human History, the
Age of the Robotic Exploration 
of the Solar System


SFRSA has a strong liaison relationship with NASA REP, Headquartered at NASA Ames in Mountain View, California.  As our members often participate in NASA REP events such as their FIRST Robotics sponsorships, so REP exhibits at our SFRSA Robot Games & often post links to our site, such as one on their Homepage for the summer of 2001, June 16, which read "School's out...Now what?!?...Why not get involved with robotics this summer?...There are activities for all ages and ability levels on some great sites on the web:...Check to see if there is a robotics hobby club in your area!...Visit the SFRSA web site for tips on Getting Started in Robotics!".


NASA TV "Earth Views" archive video from orbiting Space Shuttle of rotating Earth (1,2), & animation of Robot Arm building Int'l Space Station (3),  from the Human SpaceFlight Gallery. "On Saturdays and Sundays, NASA TV airs Earth Views beginning at Noon and continuing through 3am ET."


Flash Robot Entertainment 

Jonathon Robinson's Flash Music Video portrays the robotic Prime Directive. Jonathon's other works are also doing well


Robot Hut
Robot Museum


AIBO "K-9" vs. Thunder Lizard!

Foreign Language Website/Email/Text Translator

Need a  Japanese Robot website translated into English or an email  translated into Russian? Give Alta Vista's "Babelfish" a try for a very usable 2-way "rough gist" translation across 10 languages.

Website Time Traveller
 Internet Archive Wayback Machine

Trying to find a reference to a robot on a website the way it was sometime between now & 1996? The Internet Archive Wayback Machine may have the page, as it does this Homepage of the NASA Robotics Education Project (REP)  summer of 2001, June 16, suggesting "Why not get involved with robotics this summer?" & recommending a "Visit the SFRSA web site for tips on Getting Started in Robotics!".

SafeSurf Rated All Ages

ROBOTS.ORG was awarded NASA's Space Telerobotics Program 
"Cool Robot of the Week"! for Oct 16, 2000

ie4get_animated(1).gif (7090 bytes)

Web site created , maintained & developed by SFRSA Mediameister Cliff Thompson, (anime Cliff by Kelsey Kraus), and WebBotChick,Toni Thompson. Built (mostly) with FrontPage and lots of hard work!  
Copyright ©  2002 San Francisco Robotics Society of America
Site last modified:  February 12, 2005


(a = at sign, d = dot (anti junk/spambot mung))