Osaka, Japan-based Eager Co. is developing recyclable cardboard robots to work as mannequins that show off clothing in retail display spaces.
Eager showed off the female D+ropop mannequins at the recent 2009 International Robot Exhibition (iRex) here in Tokyo. They're billed as the world's most environmentally friendly robots because they're made of corrugated cardboard.
The mannequin bots only have a few servomotors but can still move their arms and heads gracefully. Each weighs about 13 pounds and is nearly 6 feet tall. They can also be painted and printed with logos for other advertising purposes.
The … Read more
An extensive team of engineers, designers, and architects from around the world unveiled plans on Monday to create a digitally connected structure to grace the 2012 Olympics in London.
The structure, called the Cloud, is both a physical and digital cloud designed to broadcast real-time data and images on spherical, three-dimensional screens. While the images would float high above the city, the sound would be broadcast at ground level.
Carlo Ratti, head of the Senseable City Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is a team leader on the project that includes experts from across the world and Google as a partner. … Read more
Researchers in Japan are developing robotic roller skates as a new form of personal mobility.
Toshinobu Takei of Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) demonstrated his "Unit-type Micro-Mobility" device at the 2009 International Robot Exhibition (iRex) in Tokyo this week.
We haven't seen too many gadgets like these, but what with the plethora of prototype personal vehicles like Honda's U3-X unicycle in Japan lately, they aren't surprising.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) conducted its autonomous vehicle races, the Grand Challenge and the Urban Challenge, in 2005 and 2007, but Volkswagen is still researching the technology. A combined effort with Volkswagen's Electronics Research Laboratory (ERL), Stanford University's Dynamics Design Lab (SDDL), and Sun Microsystem's resulted in the autonomous Audi TTS. The group working on the car is considering a run up the 12.4-mile Pikes Peak Hill Climb course in 2010 to demonstrate the capabilities of its driverless technology.
This new robot car is based on a 2009 Audi TTS, the sport version … Read more
Axion International Holdings has won a $957,000 contract to provide the U.S. Army with two bridges made from a thermoplastic composite and recycled plastic, the company announced Wednesday evening.
The two bridges, which are replacing old wooden ones, will be constructed at Fort Eustis in Virginia from a proprietary Recycled Structural Composite (RSC) developed by Axion in conjunction with scientists at Rutgers University.
The railroad cross-ties will be made entirely of a plastic composed of recycled materials from both consumer and industrial plastic waste. Axion asserts that its recycled plastic railroad ties are actually longer-lasting that typical creosote-treated … Read more
You take a scale. You give it Wi-Fi. And then you let it log in to your Twitter account to tell the world how much you weigh each morning. That's what this is: the Wi-Fi Body Scale.
At first it sounds silly, but the more I think about it the more I like the idea. If I'm trying to lose weight, this is a good way to force me to watch what I eat lest I embarrass myself in front of my Twitter followers. If it shows me blowing up like a whale instead of dropping pounds then … Read more
You've probably heard of or even owned a computer that automatically turns off its hard drive when it senses shock or heavy vibrations. That is an example of sensitive human-machine intimacy. Another example I like is tilting the iPhone to use it as the driving bar for my racing games. Well, that nifty human-to-computer interaction is about to go to whole new level.
HP announced Thursday a new inertial-sensing technology that enables the development of digital micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) accelerometers that are up to 1,000 times more sensitive than those in high-volume products currently available.
A MEMS accelerometer is a sensor that can be used to measure vibration, shock, or change in velocity. When implemented, this allows the device to "feel" the environment it is in.
According to HP, the new sensing technology--the result of HP's 25 years of nano-sensing research--includes multiple detectors as part of a complete sensor network and therefore is capable of real-time data collection, management evaluation, and analysis. This information enables users to make better, faster decisions, and take subsequent action to improve safety, security, and sustainability. … Read more
Lithium-ion battery manufacturer EnerDel has signed an 18-month, $1.29 million contract with the U.S. Army to design and test hybrid battery options for the Humvee.
Trying to power the iconic fuel-guzzling High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV aka Humvee) with a battery, may seem like trying to put out a fire with a garden hose. But a lithium-ion battery system can deliver a lot of power from a battery quickly, giving a truck like the Humvee the thrust it requires.
EnerDel, a subsidiary of Ener1, will collaborate with the U.S. Army's Tank Automotive Research, Development, and … Read more
Say salam wa aleikum to an Arabic-speaking android developed at United Arab Emirates University and billed as the first of its kind in the world. It could enter mass production to help people at shopping malls.
The Ibn Sina robot, named after an 11th century philosopher, can recognize faces, converse with people by speaking in classical Arabic, connect to the Internet, and retrieve information. As seen in the video below, it can also exchange kisses with people.