Planet CNET: Watch out for that inflatable car!: Tech Culture
Tech Culture: Planet CNET: Watch out for that inflatable car!7:16 /
CNET Germany cleans house. CNET U.S. geeks out, and CNET UK goes for a "test brake."
[ Music ] ^M00:00:06 >>[Background music] Hi there, I'm Ella Morton, coming to from Australia, the country, and Australia, the movie. Its about to have its world premiere here in Sydney. Now we're a few hours away from the actors hitting the red carpet. So we're going to pass the time by checking in with some of CNET's own stars, and seeing what's been happening in the world of technology. Now, excuse me, sir, have you heard of a guy called Rory Reid? >>No, never heard of him. >>Okay, well, we'll introduce you. Here he is, all the way from Scotland, to tell us about a car with fricking laser beams attached to its head. >>[Background music] Hi, Rory Reid here from Planet CNET and today I'm in Scotland to check out a car with front mounted lasers. Whoa, whoa, don't run away. These aren't the kind of lasers that can kill you. They're part of the Volvo SE60 city safety feature, which apparently can save your life if you fall asleep at the wheel. Now a single laser beam is mounted up here behind the review mirror. That is then shot through a prism, so it splits into three different beams by a distance of up to six meters. Now if two or more of those beams are broken, and reflected back at the car, then that represents a significant enough threat to activate the city safety feature. Obviously it would be a tiny bit dangerous to test this system by running into unsuspecting rush hour traffic. But we've set up a little demonstration using inflatable cars on a private road. Nothing drastic should go wrong, but I've written my last will and testament, just in case. Cool, all right so this is the first test of the city safety feature in the SE60. I'm going to accelerate up to around five, six miles per hour, into a car. And hope it breaks. Holy cow. Yeah, and it did, it works. That's amazing. Robot car. Just to make sure that wasn't a fluke or a fix, let me show you the same demonstration, again, this time with my eyes completely closed. Yup, I'm alive. It does work. Brilliant. The city safety feature is cleaver enough to only kick in when there's no input from the driver. If you actively move the steering wheel or the gas pedal in order to avoid a potential obstacle, the system disengages and puts full trust into the driver. Finally, we have what the worlds been waiting for, a car that even [inaudible] can drive. This is Rory Reid, for Planet CNET. >>And with that Rory proves once more that if you're living on the edge, you are taking up too much room. Now to the United States of America, where Claris Boyd is showing us a glimpse into the future. And it looks like the geeks shall inherit the Earth. >> [Background music] We have a painted pyro-pack here. >>[Background music] That's right. >>[Background music] Those are the parts and pieces of a pyro-pack. Ever heard of it? Well that's because it doesn't exist, not yet at least. >>This is as good as before, but now its colorful. [Laughter] >>[Background music] And that's just one example of what you'll see on the Discovery Channel's new TV series, Prototype This. >>[Background music] We build a new invention on each show. And throughout of each hour we follow that process. Through the concept. Through the design. Testing facets of it. And then the big final test which is finding out if the prototype works or not. >>[Background music] From robots that can climb stairs to a water slide simulator no idea is too outlandish or seen as impossible. >>[Background music] Terry is all about the animatronics and fabrication of parts. >>[Background music] This is like playing in a toy store for me, it really is. >>[Background music] Joe is an electrical engineer, and a hardware hacker. >>[Background music] I've been doing that since I was seven years old. >>[Background music] [Inaudible] does robotics. >>[Background music] These days if it doesn't have a computer inside it, then it's not really pushing the envelope. >>[Background music] And Mike specializes in mechanical engineering. >>[Background music] We really get in to the heart of technology. So we go talk to professors at different universities and what the cutting edge is that they're doing. And then we incorporate that into our own projects. >>[Background music] That kind of access, and expertise, is exactly the draw producers are hoping will attract an audience. >>[Background music] Okay, this is just a quick introduction scene. The reason to watch this show is that, you know, you have a bunch of guys. They're really smart, they're thinking about the future. They're thinking about stuff that, you know, has never been done before. And for a non-technical person, I'm just interested in seeing these guys go through a process that makes them human. For a techy person its just like a dream. >>[Background music] Based on this upsurge, you know, do it yourself, DYI, it's the hobbyists, you're not really coming to full glory. And that's really the, I think people will appeal to the most. >>Very cool stuff indeed. But I'm a little bit disappointed by the lack of flying cars. I thought that's what was in the future. Now, unlike Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, not all of us can afford an army of [inaudible] to clean our [inaudible] homes. The techy alternative is to invest in a room cleaning robot. Daniel from CNET Germany has the full story. >>[Sounds of piano] Hi, I'm Daniel from CNET.DE. This is the greatest invention since the dishwasher, robot vacuum cleaners. We took a closer look at two of the housecleaning robots, the infinitely real clean mate, and the iRobert Roomba. Both cruise through your house completely on their own, removing dust and dirt on their way. But don't confuse the functionality of these robots with the old fashioned vacuum cleaners. Instead of using them only when its dirty, the robots clean up your house automatically everyday. Even when you're not at home. The Roomba also features a time on that can. For example, we set to 10 a.m. on weekdays, and the robot will start at work. Of course those robots don't look at all human, but they do have a bit of a childlike personality. So you'll need to keep an eye on them at first if your home does not meet all their requirements. For example, if there are too many cables the robots will pull down everything that's connected. And yes, they're out. But even so, they are able to clean into the corners using their additional brushes on the side. The robots can clean several rooms with one battery charge. If you don't want them to clean one of the rooms, just close the door. Or, using the iRobot Roomba, you can install a virtual wall which sends an infrared signal telling the robot to turn around. The cheaper clean mate has problems crossing thick carpets and door sills so if you have them in your house the Roomba is the better choice. When the battery gets low, the robots look for their docking station which usually works fine. Then they are automatically dock in and recharge. When you get home, just empty the dirt container and your little helper is ready for the next day. After testing these two little guys for a couple of weeks, I have to say that this is a real revolution. And I think I'll be giving myself one of them for Christmas. [Vacuum sounds]. >>[Background music] Heck yes. Evil domestic robots for the win this holiday season. That's all from Planet CNET this week. I'm Ella Morton from CNET Australia. And I think I just saw a wolverine. ^M00:07:12 [ Music ]