Ebo is the creation from Enabot, and it’s a softball-sized robot that looks like your typical cat toy, but comes equipped with a host of high-tech features, including a 1080p camera, microphone, Wi-Fi connectivity, automatic docking/charging, self-learning AI, as well as activity / mood trackers. It was designed for cat owners to keep their pets happy and entertained when out of the house. Read more for a video and additional information.
Photo credit: Dick van Duijn
Dutch photographer Dick van Duijn spent all day in a forest in The Netherlands with a Nikon D5 DSLR paired with a Nikon 300mm f/2.8 VR II lens to capture some images. Little did he know that a squirrel would just so happen to be gathering nuts, and managed to be in the perfect place to photograph it leaping across water with a nut. Read more to see the sequence he posted to his Instagram account.
Scientists have discovered a link between a cow’s emotional state and it’s daily milk production, and the RusMoloko farm in Moscow decided to go high-tech with its solution. That’s right, cows have been equipped with virtual reality headsets adapted for the structural features of cow heads to reduce their anxiety and improve overall emotional mood in the herd. Read more for another picture and additional information.
Sony Electronics has just released an extensive software update (Version 2.50) for its autonomous robot puppy companion, Aibo (ERS1000). Once updated, owners will gain access to new programmable resources as well as several new whimsical capabilities, such as the ability to virtually feed Aibo cookies, potty train it and lots more. Read more for two videos and additional information.
MIT’s new mini cheetah robot is springy, light on its feet and has a range of motion that rivals a champion gymnast. This four-legged bot may look small, but it can bend and swing its legs wide, enabling it to walk either right-side up or upside down. The robot can easily traverse uneven terrain about twice as fast as an average person’s walking speed. Read more for a video and additional information.
NVIDIA researchers continue to explore the possibilities of artificial intelligence, and their latest project bridges photography and machine learning into an app, called GANimal. Simply put, it can instantly transform your pet into completely different animals. The team defined new AI techniques that give computers enough data to see a picture of one animal and recreate its expression and pose on the face of any other creature. Read more for a video and additional information.
Photo credit: University of Richmond
Researchers at the University of Richmond in Virginia taught rats how to drive a miniature car in order to collect food, and surprisingly enough, the animals actually found it relaxing based on their corticosterone, a marker of stress, and dehydroepiandrosterone levels. The vehicle was crafted out of a clear plastic food container and mounted on a battery-powered, four-wheeled platform. Rats used three copper bars, which functioned as a steering wheel, to move forward when they stood on the aluminum floor and gripped the copper bars with their paws to trigger an electrical circuit. Read more for a video demonstration and additional information.
The Nyanko Charge cat head phone charger just might be the quirkiest one yet and may just freak out anyone who sees it at first glance. This is a normal power bank, but shaped exactly like a real cat’s head and work with any USB-compatible device. It also comes with a pouch, strap, and an extra cable. Product page. Read more for additional pictures and information.
Lin Ruian discovered a bizarre snail with flashing green and orange horns while hiking in Changhua County, Taiwan earlier this month. At first glance, this gastropod appeared to have “flashing lights” turned on inside it, but upon closer inspection this is occurring because its motor neurons and body have been seized by a parasitic flatworm, called the green-banded broodsac, which commonly uses snails as hosts to spread. Read more for a video and additional information.
Photo credit: Peta Pixel
The last thing you’d expect as a diver is for a great white shark to breach your cage while you’re still inside, but that’s exactly what happened here off the coast of Mexico. What exactly happened? Well, as it lunged for a piece of bait, the shark hits the side of the cage where it thrashed around, breaking through the bars and into the shark cage. Read more for a video and additional information.