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Romo - the promo (via Romotive)   The development of autonomous, vision-sensing robots are catching a lot of buzz lately - mostly concerned with improving manufacturing efficiency and maintenance safety for industrial operation, and security measures for in-home use. Now, with the flexibility made available by mobile app creation coupled with mobile robotics, a new start-up company has developed a fun and animated toy robot that does many awesome things using an iDevice and an internet con ...
  The high-end fashion world is finding interesting ways of keeping up with the high-tech consumer. At the London Fashion Week 2013, British company Burberry announced they will be integrating RFID tech into their new collection of garments. These chips will serve many purposes, one being to keep its appeal with a new generation of smartphone users.   RFID chips will be included in tags or sown directly into garments that can be scanned with the user’s smartphone as long as it ...
  Robot combat has been around for nearly two decades since the formation of Robot Wars in San Francisco back in the early 90s. Since then, a myriad of worldwide robot competitions and television shows have invited engineers of all ages to build and test their robot’s prowess in object based games or, what some may find more entertaining, remote controlled machine-brawls leaving only one robot standing at the end. The recent science fiction film Real Steel (2011) depicts a future wor ...
CAT B15 prototype "rugged" phone (via MWC & CAT)   Those working or playing in a rugged environment need their equipment able to handle anything in those rough areas might provide, like dropping equipment onto hard surfaces, bad weather and the ‘electronics end-all’ - water. Smartphones are particularly prone to those factors and typically end up as ‘non-functional’ after encountering anyone of those scenarios. Caterpillar, the makers of heavy equipment such as b ...
Zombiebot (via Wowwee)   Shooting is great. Whether its target practice with a rubber band or playing Battlefield 3, heck I’ll shoot someone with spitball and have a good time. WowWee has come up with a good toy to satisfy that killing instinct that is surely the cause of my spitballs. RoboZombie, or ZombieBot, is a rogue cyborg zombie that has been infected by a renegade virus and it is up to you to regain control.   The premise is straightforward. Kill the ZombieBot or die. ...
Mothbot testing rig (via iop)   Autonomous robots are being utilized more and more as an advantageous, technological solution to problems that may keep people out of harm’s way - either that or keeping us more productive (some may say lazy) by having robots do the heavy lifting for us. Biomimetic is a field that is specifically concerned with applying biologically evolved systems and models to the design of man-made machines. The idea is not new, as insects have been studied in the p ...
The human teaches the robot tasks to be handled. (via MIT)     Good teamwork is hard to come by - especially when you’re dealing with a group of substantially diverse individuals consisting of both humans and machines. That may soon change. As the sci-fi universe has shown us, man may one-day work alongside robots in a collaborative effort to better the world. In fact, Rethink Robotics recently launched Baxter: a robot that can safely work alongside people in an assembly line en ...
NailDisplay prototype (via http://www.cmlab.csie.ntu.edu.tw)   Remember the scene in Total Recall (the Schwarzenegger version) where the receptionist at the Recall center changes the color of her fingernails just by touching them? That, and more, may be possible in the near future thanks to some engineers from the National Taiwan University (Taipei). Led by Chao-Huai Su, the engineers are developing their ‘NailDisplay’ device as a way of putting organic interactive displays onto ...
  As if it were news, 3D printing continues to revolutionize the maker world by providing DIYers with in-home manufacturing capabilities like never before. We’ve already seen plans to print an entire Mobius strip inspired building using a 3D printer, a makeshift prosthetic hand developed halfway across the globe by two avid DIYers, and stem cell researches 3D printing globs of artificial human tissue. What could possibly be next? Gael Langevin will gladly answer that question for us ...
CloudRobot render (via https://www.facebook.com/cloudrobot)   Introducing first, from the red corner, rated as the best pound for pound toy boxing game of the last century, hailing from the Marx Toy Company... Rock’em Sock’em Robot! And in the blue corner, weighing in at 5 lbs and a height of 16 inches, a new fighter with no wins and no defeats, hailing from Budapest, Hungary... CloudRobot!     Are you a fan of the nearly defunct Rock’em Sock’em Robot gam ...
Height comparison (via Harvard)   Soft robots (flexible) have several methods of locomotion that includes walking, crawling and rolling but now researchers from Harvard and Cornell University have added another method that involves small explosions. The researchers, led by assistant professor (from Cornell University) Robert Shepherd, designed a 3-legged soft robot that’s capable of leaping a foot into the air by capitalizing on a small-scale internal explosion. To design the robot th ...
Lumapad prototype (via Lumapad Kickstarter)   Lights! Camera! Action! Whenever you are capturing anything on camera, lighting is essential to get the right shots. They can create daylight in a dark studio but the right light can cost a pretty penny, suck up around 1000 W and become hazardous because of how hot they get.   The new lamp, called the Lumapad, created by Richard Haberkern is an open source solution to the issue of big, expensive lamps we are all used to. The project outli ...
WR-3 Oppressor Robot (via Takanishi Lab/Waseda University)   The life of a lab rat is not something that is typically admired by many. Constantly under the harassment of scientists attempting to recreate human models for testing, mice and rats live a productively bleak life, to say the least. To test mental human conditions such as anxiety, schizophrenia, lab rats are often genetically modified or put through physical hardships like swimming for long periods of time. However, a social cond ...
TDRS-K satellite concept and real-world build (via NASA)   Technology inevitably becomes obsolete over time and either becomes limited in its functionality or incompatible with new upgrades. NASA’s aging communications system is suffering with such obsolescence and is in dire need of a network replacement. In an effort to upgrade their communications system NASA successfully launched their first, in a series of three, new generation TDRS (Tracking and Data Relay Satellite) satellite. ...
Robovie in class, Higashihikari Elementary School   Robots are no strangers to the classroom. In the last decade, we have seen them being used as teachers (KIST Engkey in 19 schools in Daegu South Korea) or adapted for use as telepresence devices for students that cannot attend school (Vgo used by Devon Carrow who suffers from debilitating allergies). Now students at Higashihikari Elementary School (Kyoto, Japan) will have a new robotic classmate from ATR (Advanced Telecommunications Resea ...
  (Edited by Cabe Atwell)   I have been looking for ways to incorporate engineering in my 6th grade Earth Science class.  We created a weather balloon using laytex balloons earlier in the year, but I wanted something a little more robot in it.  So, I contacted the people at SeaPerch about how to get some of their underwater ROVs for use during our Ocean unit.  Luckily, I got a grant from AUVSI to purchase 10 SeaPerch ROV kits.  My students were excited to get star ...
    If you thought cleaning your touchscreen devices could not get any easier, think again! Takara Tomy has recently unveiled a new gadget that will keep your smartphone and tablet’s LCD screen clean so you do not have to.     Back in 1986, before iRobot’s Roomba series was available, Tomy released an autonomous robotic vacuum cleaner of their own. Known as Dustbot, the cute robot would glide across the floor sucking up dust and dirt while its tiny arms swept b ...
(Left) BeiDou logo (Right) Proposed coverage (via wiki)   The global positioning system (GPS) commonly used around the world by civilians and industries alike is a system owned and maintained by the United States government. It was developed in 1973 to create a superior navigation system and was originally used by the military. The system was set to use 24 satellites, which were not all, launched until 1994, and by that time it had been determined that civilians would have free access to t ...
Halley VI in action (via Hugh Burghton Architects & British Antarctic Survey)   February 5th, 2013 marked the grand opening of the newly designed Halley VI Antarctic research station. For years, scientists that chose to endure year-long research exploits in the Antarctic struggled to stay sane while managing to fend off the onslaught of snow, moving ice, and frigid temperatures wreaking havoc to their home base. Now, an ingenious approach to Halley’s construction by the Hugh Brou ...
(via gliterrosa)   The internet’s ability to connect individuals across the globe has made incredible advancements to the transmission of information at near light-speed. This ability to quickly send data seamlessly across large distances has greatly benefited the gaming community, allowing online multiplayer which no longer limits players to cramped split-screen gaming. Instead, video gamers are given access to several online gaming services, which provide a place for players to mee ...
(Left) CSIRO autonomous surveillance bot (Right) A Gorilla found it, pokes the camera. (via CSIRO)   By now, you should have had the chance to catch at least an animal life documentary or two either on the TV or on your favorite online streaming site. Ever wonder how such awe-inspiring and daringly close footage of menacing wild animals can be taken? I’m sure David Attenborough has plenty of scars and broken film equipment to tell the tale. With the recent advancement of autonomous r ...
  First, it started with LA Gears and both children and adults showing off their hip, new light-up sneakers with every step they took. Then came Heelys, combining the functionality of your everyday shoe with the ability to skate toward your destination by manually retracting wheels from your heels. Now, we have finally outdone our predecessors: SpnKiX, the motorized shoe-skates, are now available for purchase. The SpnKiX team spent years researching and developing prototype models, but unt ...
Regolith Advanced Surface Systems Operations Robot - RASSOR Excavator (via NASA)   The majority of robots are designed to ‘serve’ in some form or another, but very few are able to do it on other celestial bodies other than Earth. NASA’s Mars rovers ‘Spirit’ (non-functional), ‘Opportunity’ (still functioning) and ‘Curiosity’ (the latest edition rover) are prime examples of off-world robots, which perform an invaluable service by exploring ...

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