Photographing animals in the wild traditionally requires a meticulously engineered infrared camera trap and good timing. Brothers Will and Matthew Burrard-Lucas, however, ingeniously attached a DSLR camera to a four-wheel-drive remote-control buggy, thus creating the BeetleCam.
Harvesting the bounty of the earth is harder than it looks, especially you're over 65 years old -- as two-thirds of Japan's farmers are. For those whose joints ache more with every radish pulled out of the ground, Shigeki Toyama, a professor at Tokyo Agriculture and Technology (TAT) University, has developed a motorized exoskeleton designed to boost the wearer's strength by 62 percent.
For everyone out there who's been fighting aliens with a flamethrower, but now needs something with a little more kick, you're in luck. Panasonic has taken a break from hawking TVs and camcorder to build the power loader from Aliens.
Designed by Panasonic subsidiary Activelink, the "Dual Arm Amplification Robot" weighs 500 pounds, and allows the user to lift 220 pounds with the flick of a wrist. That's not quite enough to bench press an alien queen, but then again, it's still in the design phase.
Japan certainly hasn't let the recession damp its enthusiasm for all things robot, even if much of the robotic workforce still suffers from unemployment idleness.
The robot tiles emerged as the brainchild of Hiroo Iwata, a virtual reality researcher at the University of Tsukuba in Japan. A touch-sensitive conductive fabric covers each robot and gauges the pressure applied by a walking person's foot, which goes toward predicting the next step.
A couple of months ago, Sandia National Laboratory, in conjunction with Boston Dynamics (they of Big Dog fame) and DARPA, announced the creation of a robot that could jump 25 feet in the air. Designed for use in urban combat, the robot, named the Precision Urban Hopper (PUH), would give special forces troopers their own lightweight, easily deployable ground UAV.
At the first Robotics Rodeo, hosted this week by the U.S. Army and the Fort Hood III Corps in Texas, war machines replaced bulls and horses. Soldiers and civilian contractors used the opportunity, starting on Wednesday, to inspect a lineup of robots that could potentially find a place on the battlefield.
The rescue robot with a teddy head has gone through nine different prototypes on its way to becoming a rugged battlefield medic for the U.S. military. Now new prototypes of BEAR can lift a quarter of a ton, while balancing gracefully on their treads.
Vecna Robotics hopes that BEAR (Battlefield Extraction-Assist Robot) can eventually find and rescue humans in any number of hazardous situations, ranging from bullet-torn battlefields to chemical accident sites and earthquake-damaged buildings.
A DARPA-funded robot that refuels itself on wood, grass--even decaying biomatter--whatever it can consume has met its perfect match--a biomass engine system called the Cyclone which we featured last year in our annual Invention Awards. Cyclone has just completed trials of their engine that will eventually digest EATR's foraged meals into power, just like Mr. Fusion.
It's the ultimate geek fantasy: a metal-and-plastic woman of your own, brought alive by technology (the geek's own stock-in-trade), who somehow becomes hopelessly devoted to you. In both science and science fiction, the creation of female robots has tended to revolve around a housekeeper-whore dichotomy: the fembot is either a docile domestic helper, or a sexually uncontrolled, well, sex machine. Historically, she has simultaneously embodied men’s deep desire for idealized domestic companionship and their fears of being destroyed by unbridled female sexuality.