The beauty and promise of 3-D printing is really all tied to the end-user experience--if you can think of something, you can have it made specifically the way you want it to suit any specific need. And as NYU grad student Marko Manriquez says, “sometimes you really need a burrito.” Enter Burritobot, which is exactly what it sounds like.
The future of robotics is soft and modular, or at least that's they way some of the robotics gurus at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne envision things moving. Rigid robots are fine, but true versatility in the robotic medium will come from modular robots that are flexible enough in form that they can adapt to task and environment.
The Air Force’s X-37B--its secret robotic space plane that’s been orbiting the Earth on a mission shrouded in mystery for more than a year--landed safely in the wee hours Saturday morning at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Orbital Test Vehicle 2 (OTV-2) is the second X-37B test vehicle to successfully complete an orbital mission and autonomously return to Earth, following sister spacecraft OTV-1’s 225-day mission in 2010.
Saveur assistant editor Anna Stockwell is a woman of many talents -- she cooked a whole goose last year -- but when we brought the Phantom v642 super-slow-motion super-camera over to the Saveur office, she was on her lunch break. So we just captured this footage of her and her apple.
Even ordinary phenomena are fascinating to watch when they're filmed at 1,000 frames per second!
Tacos are the best. Broken taco shells from the box (if I am too lazy to fry up some fresh ones) are not the best. Taco shells must be handled with care, from beginning to end.
This machine, one of many interesting food production machines from a California company called Heat and Control, toasts tortillas, fries them, folds them and pushes them down a conveyor belt with gentle robotic precision. Finally, humans nudge them together into a neat stack for secure packaging.
It's easy to take for granted how marvelously our senses work together to give definition to the world around us. Having the ability to see, for example, is one excuse to make every movie a 3D movie; being able to feel means there will always be a future for textiles. But what about when we sense another one of our senses, like being able to hear how our food tastes. It's a real psychedelic mind-bender and when it comes to satiating ears, New York-based sound installation artist Liz Phillips is the Julia Child of avant-garde musicians.
If your friends and family are anything like mine, you've observed that home beverage carbonation is experiencing a bit of a renaissance lately. Perhaps you've seen the increasingly ubiquitous Sodastream machine on a countertop near you—or, more likely, heard its syncopated honk and pop-fizz release from across the room, announcing another fresh liter of water made bubbly.
Empanadas, Chinese dumplings and the deliciousness that is the fried risotto ball are all wonderful when they're homemade. But when stuffing by hand becomes tiresome, let a Rheon encrusting machine take over.
The Japanese company's automatic encrusters make snack food all over the world, in factories owned by huge multinational food corporations and in mom-and-pop bakeries in small neighborhoods. PopSci talked with Jon Thompson, national sales director for Rheon in the U.S., about machine-handled dough, stuffed-crust pizza and something called a coxinha.
When the need arises for a very specific type of robot, odds are pretty good it exists in Japan. A new Japanese robot can make 2,500 fried tofu rolls per hour, puffing little triangles of tofu with air and stuffing them with rice with precision and speed.
It is so careful that the designers, based at Suzumo, compare it to a syringe: The fried tofu skin is opened quickly, and then more air is blown in so the rice can be inserted.
Dairy cows are pretty docile creatures, so as animals go, they’re also pretty good candidates for handling via heavy machinery. And there may be no better task to automate than milking — it’s repetitive, it’s predictable, it’s unpleasant. A pair of new robotic milk factories can do the job, using robotic teat washers, robot cups, instant milk analyzers, and robot teat stimulators.