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Monthly Archives: January 2011

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Automation Domination: Robotic Hydroponic Lettuce Farm in Belgium

The steady march of industrial automation continues to envelop the world. Many of us have a quaint early 20th century vision of agriculture, but the truth is that the farmer of the 21st century...

DLR Robot Hand is Tough Enough to Withstand a Hammer (video)

Most experimental robot hands are delicate fragile instruments of advanced research. In other words, they're wimps. Not so for the latest fist coming from the German Aerospace Center (DLR). Their Institute of Robotics and...

Making Predictions for the Year 2030

We often cover the big names in futurism: Ray Kurzweil, Aubrey de Grey, Michio Kaku, etc, but what about the rest of us? Can't we make predictions, too? Christian Henrik Nesheim is a self-described...

The Era of Brain-Based Law through the Eyes of David Eagleman

Law is the distilled essence of the civilization of a people, and it reflects people's soul more clearly than any other organism. - A.S Diamond, the Evolution of Law and Order Accelerating technologies will...
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Could Quadrotor Robots Construct Buildings? (video)

What works in teams, can build any tower you design, and makes a horrifically angry buzzing sound? No, not super intelligent construction wasps. Quadrotors. UPenn's GRASP Lab has been experimenting with these autonomous aerial...

Paying For Starbucks With Your Smartphone – Now in 6800+ Locations!

Wake up and smell the coffee, techies, Starbucks has made its mobile app payment plan a national phenomenon. Since late 2009, customers at select Starbucks locations in San Francisco, Seattle and New York have...

Ultra Sharp 3D Outdoor and Indoor Maps for Mobile and Home

C3 Technologies makes Google Maps look like it was drawn by a toddler. A Swedish offshoot of SAAB, C3 has ultra sharp 3D maps of major cities based on de-classified government aerial photography technology....

Harvard Controls The Minds of Worms…With Lasers! (video)

I love cutting edge science, but sometimes it can seem nefarious enough to make a James Bond villain squeal in delight. Researchers at Harvard University have designed a laser system that can control your...

Holding Signs on the Side of the Road – Robots Take That Job, Too

You've surely seen them: the men and women standing alongside a highway holding a sign that entreats you to "Act Now" and "Save 50%" at some local venue. Well, those people might lose their...

Catching Students (and Teachers) Who Cheat In the 21st Century

Your child's smart phone could be helping them fake their own intelligence. School administrators, teachers, and industry organizations are worried that high tech gadgets are making it easier than ever before for students to...
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China Erects 15 Story Hotel in Less Than 6 Days! (video)

There are many ways to get your message out to people, but one of the most impressive has to be making a building magically appear in less than a week. China's Broad Group wanted...

Our Digital Culture: Hunting for the World’s Strangest Features on Google Maps (video)

Google Earth lets you see the surface of the world in remarkable detail. Turns out there was a lot hiding out there. Since its release in 2005, Google Earth has been fueling a sort...

BigThink’s Series on Longevity: A Fun Place To Start (video)

Thinking about living forever? You've got a lot of reading to do...or maybe you can just watch a few videos. The science surrounding longevity is a hive of interweaving studies and counterstudies that can...

More and More Thai Robots In Restaurants (video)

Every nation is known for their specialty goods. Switzerland has its chocolates, France has its wine... and Thailand has its robot waiters. MK Restaurant has over 300 locations in Thailand, and has been looking...

Woman Speaks With Her Own Voice After Larynx Transplant

After eleven years, Brenda Jensen is finally able to speak with her own voice, but she's using someone else's larynx to do it. Over a two day period in October at the UC Davis...

Rise of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria – “Arms Race” Between Nature and Tech?

A recent spike of infections in the United Kingdom involving bacteria armed with an enzyme that makes them resistant to virtually all antibiotics has many health experts concerned. The enzyme, called NDM-1, was first...

Robot Domination – Look At The Making of a Memory Card

Every product in your home tells a story. Listening to the memory card in your camera or computer will give you a sneak peak into the international world of automated manufacturing. Lexar Media is...

Car Radio Powered by Android. Introduce Your Ride to Some Apps (video)

Sure your car can go from 0 to 60 in less than four seconds, but can it play Angry Birds? French wireless specialist Parrot has developed a break-through in automotive accessories: the Android- powered...

Our Robot Culture: R2D2 Statue Made from a Keg of Beer!

Behold, BeertooD2, the keg that is a work of art, and a symbol of my generation. There are few things that my contemporaries love more than Star Wars, robots, and alcohol, and BeertooD2 is...

Camera Goggles Record Your Extreme Life: Ski, Scuba, Stunts (video)

Whether you're about to die doing something stupid awesome on a mountain, or about to die doing something stupid sweet in the ocean, you're going to want your heirs to know exactly how you...

Turn Your iPhone into a Robot Factory With LoveBots (video)

I can fit more than a million robots in my pocket. So can you. LoveBots, a fun new iPhone app from Kit-Robot, allows you to mix and match hundreds of robot parts into fun...

Japanese Scientist To Clone Woolly Mammoth Within 5 Years!

More than a decade after their first attempt, a team of Japanese scientists have announced that they will aim to clone a woolly mammoth in the next five years. Led by Akira Iritani, the...

Blood Tests to Diagnose Schizophrenia, Other Brain Disorders On the Horizon

Nearly all of us know someone who has struggled with mental illness or dementia, and the consequences of these disorders can be especially difficult to witness in a loved one. Without objective tests and...

China Completes World’s Longest Bridge – More than 26 Miles!

I'm beginning to think that China's motto for the new century is: bigger, longer, better. Not satisfied with world's fastest supercomputer or the largest Transformer made out of scrap metal, the nation has just...

Russia To Adopt Universal ID Card in 2012

For all those conspiracy theorists out there, 2012 just got a little more ominous. As required by legislation passed this last summer, Russia will adopt a universal ID card starting next year. The Universal...

GSK Drops Resveratrol. Could the Embattled Supplement Live on in Other Forms?

Resveratrol has been hailed as the wonder substance, that stuff in red wine that could help you live a healthier and longer life. It seems like every pharmaceutical company would be lining up to...

White House Warns Against Supercomputer Arms Race With China

2010 saw China take the number one spot in the list of the top 500 fastest supercomputers, but advisors to the White House want to make sure that spurs the right kind of response...

NPR Covers the Singularity – As The Biggest Threat to Humanity! (audio)

Everyone has their own take on the concept of the Singularity. NPR's is a little apocalyptic. One of the National Public Radio's most popular programs, All Things Considered, recently aired a short segment on...

iRobot’s AVA Has an iPAD for a Head

Faced with an intellectual problem you just can't handle? Why not swap out your head for a different one? Oh, that's right, you're not the AVA. iRobot's prototype for the autonomously navigating platform of...
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Watch the Watson Computer Kick Jeopardy’s Ass (video)

Today is the day computers took over...game shows. In a brief exhibition match in upstate New York, IBM's pure language processing computer, Watson, faced the titans of Jeopardy: Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. Watson...

So You Think Your Robot Can Dance, Part II (video)

There are times when I'm not sure I'm laughing with someone or laughing at them. This is one of those times. The annual Robot Japan: Robot Dance and Fight Competition, held earlier this month...

Winter is No Match for the ROBOPLOW! (video)

Are the winter months getting you down? Are piles of snow trapping you in your home? Are you in need of a hero? Fear not gentle reader, for nature technology will provide you with...

Will Lady Gaga’s New Glasses Bring Lifelogging to the Masses?

Pop diva Lady Gaga's latest sunglasses are straight out of a spy movie. Produced in collaboration with Polaroid, and unveiled recently at CES 2011, the GL20 Camera Glasses use two small screens in the...

Will The Future of the Internet be Written in Chinese?

English is the most spoken language on the internet, with more than 550 million regular visitors across the globe. Yet just this past year, China's presence on the web swelled with 36 million new...

Transcendent Man Film To Be Released in February, Digitally in March (trailer)

Almost two years after it premiered, Transcendent Man is finally making its way to widespread distribution, though maybe not in the way we expected. Barry Ptolemy's look at the life and beliefs of Ray...

Periodic Table Engraved On a Human Hair – Nanotech FTW

In a sure sign that a scientist will try anything once, Professor Martyn Poliakoff has had the periodic table engraved on one of the hairs from his head. Poliakoff, a well-known chemist and researcher...

Google Goggles Uses Your Phone to Solve Sudoku and More!

Sorry Sudoku fans, you're about to be beat by anyone with a smart phone. In their latest deviation from the 'don't be evil' motto, Google has taught the Google Goggles application how to solve...

Robot Ball Controlled by Your iPhone – Video Games Move into Reality (video)

Concerned mothers and congressmen have publicly lamented that children don't know the difference between video games and the real world. Little did they realize that in the future there won't truly be a difference....

Rear View Cameras May Become Mandatory in US. Is Safety Trailing Technology?

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently proposed a new regulation to make rear-view cameras mandatory in all new US cars by the end of 2014. These systems use cameras embedded in...

Eyes are the Gatekeepers of the Uncanny Valley (video)

The poets and philosophers were right, the eyes really are the windows to the soul. Or at least what we perceive to be the soul. Researchers at Dartmouth College have studied how people respond...
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Robot Sumo Battle…BEGIN! (video)

There are many reasons I love Japan but one of the biggest is definitely their penchant for making robots fight to the death. At the 22nd Annual All Japan Robot-Sumo Tournament custom-built bots battled...

Electronic Glasses Let You Change Focus In a Split Second. Goodbye Bifocals! (video)

Move over Ben Franklin, we finally have a replacement for bifocals. Virginia-based Pixel Optics has developed a composite lens that can change the range of focus electronically. The emPower! glasses were created in cooperation...

Centuries Of Wisdom From the World’s Oldest Man (video)

Watching the world change in three centuries gives you a unique perspective on things. Walter Breuning turned 114 this fall, one of only a handful of people alive who were born in the 1800s....

XWave iPhone Accessory Channels Your Brain Waves into iPhone

Do your friends complain that you can’t pull your eyes away from your iPhone? Well, if you get the new XWave by PLX Devices, then you might have trouble pulling your brain away, too....

Diabetes Defeated by a Microchip? Silicon Pancreas Hits Trials

Most people who treat their Type I Diabetes must still rely on pricking their finger and testing their blood several times everyday. Researchers at the Imperial College London want to give that job to...

Kindle Rocks in 2010, Survives the iPad

2010 could easily have been the year that the Kindle died a quiet death, buried alongside fellow victims of the Apple empire... the year that Amazon reconsidered its tablet aspirations, bowing humbly to its better,...
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Google Translate’s ‘Conversation Mode’ Coming To Your Phone

Hundreds of companies are working to hammer down the language barrier, but Google's about to bring in a wrecking ball. For the past year, the giant amongst search engines has been touting a new...

Controlling Video Games With Your Pee – SEGA Brings Awkward Fun to the Restroom

In the early '90s, Sega held 65% of the US video game console market, had millions of fans, and was considered one of the premier creators of modern gaming entertainment. Today, they are...

XBox Kinect Controls Humanoid Robot (video)

In the future, we might be able to operate robots the same way that we play dancing video games. Taylor Veltrop, a software engineer living in Tokyo, has developed the Veltrobot, a small humanoid...

iRobot Unveils Smarter Roomba and Smaller Scooba (video)

iRobot is proud to announce some new additions to their family. The reigning champions of robot vacuuming are looking to stay on top with the new 700 series of Roomba, and the Scooba 230....

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