We may still be a long way from fully-functioning robot maids or dog-walkers, but there's one thing consumer robot-makers have figured out: how to make 'em dance. This year, three music-responsive 'bots will be on sale, leaving us to wonder: who's got the best moves? So we gathered up the three contestants and blasted some "Robot Rock." We'll leave it to you to decide who rocks out the best.
As one commenter for last year's annual Toy Fair wrap-up pointed out, there was once a time when Lincoln Logs were considered a cutting-edge toy. It was never so clear as it is now, though, that the heyday of the analog toy has long-since passed. 2012 shall be the year of the app-enabled toy.
What would the creators of some of the most beloved and widespread American toys make, if given a completely blank slate? We asked the driving forces behind toys like K'Nex, LEGO, Tickle Me Elmo, and Nerf to really explore their craziest impulses--and man, did they come up with some craziness.
I'm getting my MBA.
Of course, MBA stands in this case for the Master Builder Academy, a program run by LEGO that's designed to take your LEGO-building abilities from playful amateur to impress-your-friends amazing. It's a six-part course, and I've worked my way through the first two parts. Already I'm seeing a major change in the way I think about LEGO. This is the first of a three-part series documenting my journey from neophyte to Master Builder.
Among the most strictly enforced consumer-protection laws are those banning lead in toys. Lead is an insidious poison: It’s slow-acting and results not in immediately noticeable effects like rashes but in behavioral problems and a slightly lowered IQ. Even a very small amount of it is harmful. Yet a few decades ago, a lot of the most popular playthings were made from solid lead, including tin soldiers.
Architecture and design firms are remaking the playground in ways you'd never expect
By Geoff ManaughPosted 02.06.2012 at 2:07 pm 6 Comments
Playgrounds are competing for kids' time and losing. Nearly 25 percent of children ages 9 through 13 have no free time for physical activity, and a child is six times as likely to play a videogame as to ride a bike. The playgrounds of tomorrow must offer something that even the most enticing virtual offerings cannot: real spaces that look at least as amazing as anything virtual. Architects and design firms are remaking the playground by taking virtualization head on. These spaces are complex and engaging, and some even have buttons to push.
Because we've all been asking for it, Orbotix was nice enough to drop off one of their Sphero robotic balls (ball-shaped robots? Ball-bots? Spherical robots?) at PopSci HQ, and we've been playing with it (read: driving it into our boss's office and giggling) ever since. It's an alpha model, and Orbotix is making lots of tweaks to the product before it actually hits the market, but here are our impressions--and some video of the endearing little guy in action.
Living in the average dorm room costs students around $5,500 a year, but that only buys you drab cinderblock walls and bad furniture. To make your digs stand out, you'll need some serious gear. We've put together a list of five dorm-room...well, certainly not essentials, but they're definitely gadgets that'll help your room stand out.
See them all in our gallery.
Faced with arms shortages and continual bombing by NATO and the forces of Muammar Gaddafi, rebels in Libya are becoming DIY weapons manufacturers. A school in Misrata has been transformed into a makeshift factory, where toys and trucks are turning into machine gun-equipped robots.
Al Jazeera took a tour of the DIY weapons depot, where a Power Wheels toy was transformed into a robot with a machine gun. Mohammad bin Saud’s team designed the car, which can be remotely operated.
The remote control for these fun devices isn't under the couch
By Caitlin KearneyPosted 04.12.2011 at 2:41 pm 0 Comments
The toy department just got its game on with technology that transforms your smartphone into a remote control. This switch means you'll be able to guide helicopters into smoother swoops and swirls and to play augmented-reality games with friends.
Some 45 million Americans have a ready-made, near-universal remote control in their pockets. We already use smartphones to turn up home stereos, scroll through iTunes playlists, and pause Apple TVs. The devices' built-in radios, such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, can also control toys.