This boxy guy is called Kuratas, otherwise known as Vaudeville, and he stands 12 feet 5 inches tall. He weighs about 4.5 tons and is diesel-powered. Do not smile at him. He will shoot that grin right off your face.
Kuratas is a real-life mech from (where else?) Japan, and it's an art project designed by Suidobashi Heavy Industry. Iron worker/artist Kogoro Kurata, at right in the photo above, built his namesake robot and debuted it at something called Wonder Fest 2012, which took place over the weekend.
Test pilot and speed freak Chip Yates, already a record-holder for the world’s fastest electric motorcycle, broke another one last week in his all-electric airplane. In only its second flight, his Flight of the Century Long-EZ took to the skies over Inyokern Airport in California and reached a top speed of 202 MPH.
“I will have that curly thing,” as I once put it to the pastry-selling woman across the counter. There was no sign, so how was I supposed to know it was called a pecan braid? This new food recognizer could have helped!
If this inspires you, consider entering your own video at www.youtube.com/MyIntelEdge for a chance to win!
Posted 07.25.2012 at 5:26 pm
This was shot on the Hudson River boardwalk in New York City. It took two hours to shoot with a picture being taken roughly every 5 seconds for a total of 1,440 pictures stitched together to make a 1 minute clip. I chose the angle to show a diversity of movement; still boardwalk, slight movement of clouds and shadows, swift movement of boats and kayaks and the hyper motion of the people on the boardwalk.
This Japanese trashbot is custom-built with a fairly complex-looking control board, power system and operating code. Three wheels at the base have 360 degrees of motion, so the robot can spin in any direction.
The trashcan bot syncs to a Kinect mounted to the wall, which monitors the environment. It knows exactly where to roll and when to stop so it can catch whatever you throw at it.
All eyes will be on the new Mars rover Curiosity when it lands in just over two weeks, but lest we forget, NASA’s indefatigable Mars rover Opportunity is still rolling along, too. The rover has driven about 22 miles, which prompted some Olympic-minded NASA people to realize the rover is nearing marathon distance. It will be the first interplanetary marathon.
Last time PopSci checked in on Singapore-based Lovotics, roboticists there were trying to create an interface for human-robot love by imbuing robots with all the biological and emotional nuances that characterize human relationships.
While NASA waits with bated breath for the Curiosity rover’s arrival on the Martian surface, engineers at NASA and the Canadian Space Agency are already at work testing a new lunar rover designed to seek out water and other natural resources closer to home. The rover payload, known as the Regolith and Environment Science and Oxygen and Lunar Volatiles Extraction (RESOLVE), is designed to spend nine days prospecting for water resources on the moon sometime in the future.
We've been impressed in the past by aerogel, a lattice-like solid that's almost entirely made of air but can support weight and also has tremendous insulating properties. Then last year an ultralight metal caught our eye, weighing in at 99.99 percent air, which leaves 0.01 percent solid.
Now we are excited to meet aerographite, a sponge grown of carbon nanotubes that's the least dense solid ever: a cubic centimeter of it weighs just two ten-thousandths of a gram.
In an effort to outfox antibiotic resistance, a team of researchers based out of U.C. Berkeley--and including none other than Nobel laureate Steven Chu--want to build a wrecking ball that tears down bacterial cities. It’s not quite there yet, but in a paper released today the research group announced that via a new imaging technique it has for the first time revealed the structure of these biofilms -- and where they are vulnerable to attack.
Safer, smaller nuclear reactors have amassed a powerful cult following
By Alex Pasternack
Posted 07.12.2012 at 11:00 am 16 Comments
PopSci is pleased to present videos created by Motherboard, Vice Media's guide to future culture. Motherboard's original videos that run the gamut from in-depth, investigative reports to profiles of the offbeat forward-thinking characters who are sculpting our bizarre present.
The idea of building small, thorium-based nuclear reactors – thought to be dramatically safer, cheaper, cleaner and terror-proof than our current catalog of reactors – can be shooed away as fringe by some. But the germ of the idea began with some of the country’s greatest scientists, in the U.S. government’s major atomic lab, at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, in the 1960s.
The “uncanny valley” principle--the idea that when robots (or politicians) look human but not quite realistic enough, it makes real humans terribly uncomfortable--is a persistent problem for roboticists pursuing realistic humanoid robots. But research also shows that the uncanny valley effect can be somewhat mitigated by making the robotic more attractive and lifelike.
Using a smartphone and ultra wide band (UWB) transmission technology, Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) and Fujitsu have teamed to create a realtime positioning system for the blind that works indoors where GPS can’t reach. Using base stations to triangulate a user’s position, the system is accurate to within 30 centimeters, or roughly one foot.
Isn’t it a pain when you forget to stir your soup and it scorches? Or when you’re trying to play Madden whilst hungry, but you need both hands on the controller? Ben Heckendorn, game device modder extraordinaire, came up with some solutions. Watch the videos past the jump.
Happy Fourth! We've resurrected a highly festive video from our archive to get you in the holiday spirit.
The Phantom line of ultra-high-speed video cameras have held PopSci's rapt attention even before the v12 model won our Best of What's New Award in 2008. So what better way to celebrate our nation's independence than aiming a Phantom v641 from New Jersey's Vision Research at all manner of explosives, resulting in high-definition footage of fireworks going off at a glorious 2,000 frames per second?
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.