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Monthly Archives: February 2011

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Robovie PC Wins the Robot Marathon – Only Two Teams Even Finished!

This past weekend's marathon in Osaka was a widow-maker for its contestants. Assuming, of course, that robots have widows. Of the five contestants competing in Vstone's first full scale marathon for miniature bipedal bots,...
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Your Car is the Arcade: Driving Simulator Uses Real Vehicle in Virtual Worlds

Daredevils have an insatiable need for speed, but they play with fire when pushing their vehicle or driving abilities too far. Tag Systems offers a unique solution by transporting the motorist and their physical...
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Advertising Robot Follows You Everywhere (video)

Belgian shoppers may be too polite to deal with the terror that is the future of advertising. Marketing agency Duval Guillaume came up with a brilliant strategy for their client Alfa Romeo: robotic signs...

While NASA’s Robonaut 2 Is In Orbit, Its Hype Has Escape Velocity

Sorry to kill your buzz, NASA and GM, but your jointly developed humanoid robot, the Robonaut 2, is way over hyped. The 300 pound bot, which consists of a torso, two arms, and shiny...

Another Robot Teacher Enters Korean Classrooms

In the next three years, South Korea is going to suffer a massive invasion. Not from the North, but from robots conquering its classrooms. As part of the nation's big plans for introducing automated...

Get Ready for RoboGames 2011! Coming in April to San Mateo (video)

The robots are coming, the robots are coming! This spring, the San Mateo Fairgrounds will host RoboGames, the annual international event that sees robots face off in a variety of exciting competitions. Robots battle...

Watch the Bipedal Robot Marathon Live Feb 24-27th! (i.e. Now!)

History is in the making in Japan, as humanoid robots compete to see who will be the first to run a full length marathon (26.2 miles/42.2km). You can watch the whole thing live on...
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Starbucks’ Interactive Storefront Window is Latest in Digital Trend (video)

As if they needed more ways to draw you in, Starbucks is experimenting with interactive touchscreens to attract customers to their stores. Two Canadian branches of the international coffee shop are sporting displays that...
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Toyota Robots Play Trumpet and Violin In Tokyo (video)

There are many things that make humans unique, but apparently a love of music isn't one of them. Toyota had its violin and trumpet playing robots on display recently during several public performances at...
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Manchester Airport Hires ‘Holograms’ (video)

Visitors to Manchester Airport may be a little startled when they meet customer service reps John and Julie - these newest additions to the staff are 'holograms'. Created by UK based Musion, the EyeSay...

Lasers, Magnets and 3D maps…Zapping Your Fat Goes High Tech

Looking to get rid of your love handles, or perhaps an extra chin?  Be ready to, quite literally, feel the burn.  Okay so you don’t actually feel the burn (thank you, anesthetics) but Osyris...
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Becoming Cybernetic: 3D Custom-Fit Knee Implants from ConforMIS

Like the treads on car tires, the all important cartilage within our knees is slowly wearing down. By the age of 65, in fact, nearly 50 percent of us are likely to suffer from...

First Planned Taste Test for Artificial Meat is Probably Doomed

What does artificial meat taste like? Our chances of learning the answer anytime soon look dismal. Vladimir Mironov at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) has been developing bio-engineered meat for years. He...

France’s First Baby Born To Treat Siblings With Genetic Disorder (video)

Umut Talha's name means "our hope" in Turkish, and his birth brought some much needed good fortune into the lives of his siblings. The infant, born January 26th of this year, is France's first...
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US Soldiers Using Sniper Detecting Microphones (video)

Small lightweight microphones are saving the lives of US soldiers fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. Shoulder Worn Acoustic Targeting Systems (SWATS), developed by defense company QinetiQ, use shockwave and muzzle blast noise to locate...
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Volvo’s New Pedestrian Detector Brakes Car For You (video)

"By 2020, nobody shall be seriously injured or killed in a new Volvo" -- Volvo's Vision2020 Statement In the next decade Volvo wants to end car fatalities. The first step to that goal is giving...
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Dodge Commercial: We Will Never Let Computers Drive Our Cars (video)

What's the newest way to sell a Dodge Charger? Tell buyers that it's only available for humans. In a strange, presumably tongue-in-cheek, commercial Dodge tells its prospective customers that the automotive company is all...
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Pet 2.0: Pleo the Robo-Dino Described by Innvo Labs CEO

There’s nothing more awesome than a dinosaur, unless that dinosaur is also a robot. Last October, we introduced you to Pleo rb (reborn) by Innvo Labs, the second incarnation of the cuddly Camarasaurus. As...

Audi Sells Cars By Appealing to Our Empathy with Robots (video)

Emotions help set humans apart from robots, but they also make us easy targets. Audi is advertising their new A4 TDIe automobile with a great commercial featuring a lonely tin robot that aspires to...

At Least Half of Americans Diabetic or Pre-Diabetic by 2020

We have heard for years that diabetes is a serious problem in America, but people really do not like to listen. The result of such stupidity is 52% of Americans being diabetic or pre-diabetic...

2000+ Robots in US Ground Forces in Afghanistan

For every 50 US soldiers in Afghanistan, we have about 1 robot, but those numbers are getting better every year. From 2009 to 2010, 1400 terrestrial bots were sent to Afghanistan according to Lt....

Programmable Bio-Nano-Chips: First Viable Medical Lab on a Chip?

We often find out too late what's happening inside our bodies when it's stricken by disease or cancer, but those days could be coming to an end. The McDevitt Lab of Rice University has developed...

Anything You Search For Can and Will Be Used Against You in a Court of Law

What’s the worst possible way your online activity could come back to haunt you? Losing your job? Or getting expelled from school? How about being put to death? That’s what’s about to happen to Jared ...
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I Am The Very Model of a Singularitarian – Hilarious Video

Oh YouTube, you have so many precious gems hidden among your piles of social excrement that it takes me years to find some of the best ones to share. Today's retro hit is from...

HealCam is Chatroulette for the Sick, Another Sign of Patient Empowerment?

A new website is looking to pair up patients anonymously to help them find a community of their peers. When you have a serious or chronic illness, it can feel like no one understands...
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Happy Valentine’s Day From the Automated Chocolate Factory (video)

Chocolate sales are likely to reach nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars in the US alone this Valentine's day. As we prepare to consume that mountain of confectionary bliss, we should think about the...
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A Warning to LCDs – Watch Your Back, AMOLEDs are Coming

If you, like me, tend to drop your electronic devices and have spent countless dollars repairing cracked screens, rejoice!  The Active Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode (AMOLED) might be the answer to your problem.  Samsung...
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It’s Showtime: IBM’s Watson To Make History On Jeopardy!

Today, February 14, 2011, IBM's Watson computer system is slated to take on the world's best humans in a televised duel of the world famous game “Jeopardy!”.  Should Watson defeat its human competitors, it...
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Yes, The Khan Academy IS the Future of Education (video)

I'm just going to come out and say it: the Khan Academy is the best thing that has happened to education since Socrates. The brainchild of Salman Khan, the Khan Academy became famous by...
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$1.5M Robbery of Bellagio Casino Foiled Thanks to RFID Chips

If you're thinking of robbing a Las Vegas casino, and you're not George Clooney, I have a word of advice: give up now. As Anthony Carleo recently found out, even if you leave the...

TIME Magazine Shines a Spotlight on Kurzweil, The Singularity

This is a good week to be Ray Kurzweil. The noted inventor, author, and futurist turns 63 on Saturday, and there's no better way to celebrate your birthday than to have two major media...
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Google Translate Voice Now on iPhone – Star Trek Come To Life (video)

The Universal Translator is one step closer to reality. One awesome and frustrating step. The Google Translate mobile app, now available on iOS as well as Android platforms is the sort of technology we've...

Braille Watch to be Created Through Crowd-Sourced Funding (video)

How do the blind tell time? You can help decide. David Chavez is a designer in California who has a great idea for a new kind of watch for the blind called Haptica. Current...

Ford To Make Roads Safer By Networking Cars Together Wirelessly (Video)

With auto technology getting more and more advanced every day, we are often looking to our cars to do the mundane things for us, like paying attention to the road. Ford just doubled their...

Mathletics: Training and Competition Online Is Future of Education

Mathletics is another sign that the internet holds the future of education. Sydney-based 3P Learning developed the Mathletics program as a way to augment traditional K-12 maths education. At school and at home, students...

Japanese Company to Sponsor first Robot Marathon – 26.2 Miles to Glory

Robots have barely learned how to walk, but Vstone is already pushing them to run. The Japanese robot research and manufacturing firm has announced it is putting together the world's first marathon for our...

Interactive Billboards That Talk To Your Phone – Welcome to Marketing 2.0 (video)

Mobile phones have become one of your portals to the digital world, so it's only fitting that salesmen are starting to knock on that door. Major advertising companies are experimenting with interactive billboards that...

Robot Jet Fighter Takes First Flight, Aims for Aircraft Carriers in 2013

Navy officials and military developers are beaming with smiles of success for they are the proud papas of the newest military marvel: a robotic jet fighter. The X-47B, built by Northrop Grumman, completed its...

Ebocloud, A Novel About The Social Singularity

The Singularity may arrive through robots, computers, or bioengineering...or it might be created by Facebook. Ebocloud, the debut novel from Rick Moss, is set in a not-too-distant future where a fictional social network is...

MIT Brings Hologram Video One Step Closer With Kinect Hack

A note to researchers out there: when you develop your amazing technology, try not to compare it to things we've already seen in movies that look way better. Michael Bove and his team at...

UK Engineer Designs Own Life-Saving Implant, 20 Patients Follow

In the six years since Tal Golesworthy had the implant he designed inserted into his own chest, his device has saved the lives of more than twenty others. The ExoVasc Aortic Root Support isn't...

G-Slate Tablet To Come With 3D Cameras and Glasses – A Trend Too Far?

T-Mobile recently unveiled the LG G-Slate tablet, a 4G mobile device that will be able to shoot 3D videos in full high definition (1080p). Running on Android 3.0 (Honeycomb), the G-Slate will have plenty...
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Great Videos From the Kinect Hacking Competition on ROS

The Kinect 3D Sensor may be a robot's best friend. Willow Garage recently sponsored a Kinect-hack competition for the open source Robot Operating System (ROS). Amateur and professional engineers from around the world ...

Will Vicarious Systems’ Silicon Valley Pedigree Help it Build AI?

Facebook, Space X, Numenta...Vicarious? In Silicon Valley the pedigree for a startup can make or break it. Vicarious Systems is a fledgling company - it has just two guys in a garage-sized office in...
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Automated Car Convoys Pass First Test in Sweden (video)

Not sure if you'd trust a computer to drive your car? Europe has an automated alternative that may suit you better. The SAfe Road TRains for the Envrionment project (SARTRE) is developing a convoy...

Heartland Robotics Moves Headquarters, Aims to Nearly Double In New Year

What's going to be the next big thing in robotics? Maybe a new take on the industrial machine. Rodney Brooks, one of the founders of iRobot and the creators of the Roomba, has been...

Who Understands Recent World History Better – You or a Chimp?

The world has undergone some radical change in the past fifty years, but our perception of it continues to lag behind. Don't believe me? Hans Rosling's Test app on Facebook could prove my point....
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Google Digitizes Famous Art – Amazing New Virtual Museums

You can now explore some of the world's most precious works of art to a depth that even their creators may not have known. Search engine giant Google has unveiled their unparalleled Art Project,...
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Texas Student Attends School as a Robot – A Sign of Things to Come

Freshman Lyndon Baty's immune system is so fragile he can't risk being surrounded by people his own age, yet he attends classes at his high school in Knox City, Texas every day. All thanks...
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What’s the Internet? Hilarious Video of NBC’s The Today Show 1994

Let me take you back seventeen years - Ace of Base was on the radio, Mrs. Doubtfire was dominating the box office, and The Today Show's Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel had no freakin'...

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