Ochre Jelly, best known for his LEGO creations, has built a real-life TARS suit. It consists of a wood frame clad in aluminum, complete with camera, LCD display, audio amplifier as well as a headset to help him navigate his surroundings while staying hidden inside. Weighing in at 40-pounds, Heath's TARS suit is human-powered and moves thanks to a couple of handles and arm rests built into the back, unlike the 200-pound puppet used in the actual Interstellar film. Continue reading for the video and more information.
Festo is known for their biologically-inspired flying robots, but these butterflies are definitely the most beautiful. They are all autonomous, using independently controllable wings to steer itself and fly pre-programmed routes. Ten high-speed (160fps) infrared cameras mounted in fixed positions around their flight area continuously track the butterflies to keep them from crashing into one another. There's also a pair of active infrared beacons on each butterfly that replace the round reflectors found on many indoor quadcopters. Each robot may only have a 50cm wingspan and weigh a mere 32g, but they carry two servo motors to independently actuate the wings, an IMU, accelerometer, gyro, compass, as well as two small 90-mAh lithium-polymer batteries. The wings are covered with an ultra thin elastic capacitor film and are paired with thin carbon rods for structure. Click here to view the first image in this week's funny school pictures gallery. Continue reading for a viral video of a breathtaking sun halo.
We have seen the future of handwriting robots, and it's "Bond". To start, users submit a handwriting sample online, which then the software analyzes to identify how you form each letter of the alphabet, along with things like the slant and spacing of your writing. Next, you choose a blank card from the Bond website whenever you want to send someone special a note and send the typed text you want to have written, along with the recipient's name and address. The company's 11 robots, or at least one of them, will then write the text in the card, which will subsequently be mailed. If you happen to lose a check (or checkbook) around company headquarters, we recommend voiding it immediately. Continue reading for a video and more information.
You could either stick with ordering from real human waiters, or try out autonomous drones at Timbre @ Substation, a live music restaurant and bar, in Singapore. Developed by Infinium Robotics, these autonomous drones can be used to deliver drinks and even food dishes. Flying back and forth from the kitchen to a special drop-off area, they were created to take the grunt work out of having to transport dishes. Continue reading for a video and more information.
Here's a first look at Spot from Boston Dynamics, a 160-pound, electrically-powered robot designed for indoor and outdoor operation. It has a sensor head that helps it navigate rough terrain and is capable of balancing itself after being kicked or pushed. Boston Dynamics' founder, Marc Raibert says: "We're still doing the same kind of work, working on dynamic robots that can operate in a variety of circumstances." Continue reading for a video and more information.
Imagine walking into a restaurant and being able to customize a burger directly from an app on your phone, with it being delivered to you in just minutes. That may soon be a reality thanks to Momentum Machines' automated burger machine. According to the company, making burgers costs restaurants $9-billion a year in wages for the United States alone, and in addition to the monetary savings, an entire kitchen can be replaced with a much smaller, self-contained stainless-steel box. This machine would see raw ingredients go in and up to 400 custom-made burgers come out per hour. Continue reading to see Epson's automated burger machine and for more information.
For a cool $1-million, Kuratas, the Gundam-inspired rideable robot by Suidobashi Heavy Industry, can now be yours. This machine is equipped with a gatling gun capable of shooting 6,000 BB bullets a minute, which starts firing when the pilot smiles. It can be controlled either through the one-man cockpit or with a data-enabled smartphone. Unfortunately, as of right now, it only ships to the Kanto region of Japan, and is advertised as a kit, which means you should have a Japanese-reading engineer on-hand to help you piece things together. If you're extremely wealthy and want one at all costs, these two caveats will be trivial. Continue reading for more images of the actual robot and a link to its product page.
The HAL (Hybrid Assistive Limb is a powered exoskeleton suit developed by Japan's Tsukuba University and the robotics company CYBERDYNE. When a person attempts to move their body, nerve signals are sent from the brain to the muscles through the motor neurons, moving the musculoskeletal system. When this happens, small biosignals can be detected on the surface of the skin. The HAL suit registers these signals through a sensor attached to the skin of the wearer. Based on the signals obtained, the power unit moves the joint to support and amplify the wearer's motion. Continue reading for more.
Even though M&M's all have the same chocolate center, some people just prefer certain colors over others. The DIY sorter claims to be faster that most sorters, which uses the iPhone 5S camera, instead of the traditional way of registering a sweets' color using a sensor before dropping them into rotating containers. Simply put, once the camera recognizes the M&M's color, a Bluetooth module attached to an Arduino-powered motor fires off the correct electromagnet gate to do the physical sorting. Continue reading for the video and more information.
Leslie Baugh is a former electrician from Colorado who lost both of his arms in an accident some 40-years-ago, and was the first person ever to operate a set of prosthetic limbs that operate bilaterally purely with his thoughts. Created by researchers at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), they fitted Les for the brace and socket before having him work with a virtual reality system (VRS). They then used this system to learn his movements and apply the data to the prosthetic limbs themselves, so they would move with intuitive thought control. Continue reading for a video and more information.