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Check out our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide, win some awesome gadgets!
Our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide is in full swing - we are adding our recommendations daily, aimed at men, women, teens, families, techies, and more. If you need help figuring out what to get the people in your life, head on over to our Guide for some ideas. We’ll even be giving away some of the items featured this year!
Static! has unveiled a Power-Aware Cord that visualizes the energy that is flowing through it. The more energy you use with this re-designed electrical power strip, the more it glows. Inventors Anton Gutafsson and Magnus Gyllensward are hoping that their invention will make you cut back on unnecessary appliances, stereo equipment, etc. Although still in production, if it is released before Christmas, you can cut out some of those outside strings of light, replace them with these, and no one will know the difference.
Read More | Static!
We might be too late with this one. Thinking that a robot restaurant would be a cool idea with AIC, the other Robo Waiter, and Winebot, it seems that Hong Kong’s Robot Kitchen has beat us to the punch. Robo Waiter 1 and 2 are the current staff, but aren’t nearly as amiable as the others we have shown you. “We thought robots would be a good gimmick,” said Peter Chow, who built the automatons working at the diner. “Now (that) they have caught on, we are having to upgrade and update them.”
The computer inside Robo Waiter recognizes voice patterns, takes orders, and sends them by infrared to the kitchen. Steered by a video camera, it can detect and avoid things in its path. Chow also says that they need more staff than normal to keep the machines going. Let’s not tell them about our idea and maybe we can still make a go of McRobots here in the States.
Read More | Space Daily
Want to get into your fave nightclub without the wait? The Baha Beach Club in Barcelona has implemented a microchip, about the size of a grain of rice, that can be injected under your skin. A 10-digit personal number then connects directly to your bank account. PR Manager Steve Van Soest says that the chip costs 125 EU (~$158) with 100 EU (~$126) credited to your account. With your VIP status, not only do you not have to wait in line, you don’t have to pay an entrance fee.
So far the chip is available only at The Baha Beach Club, but the European retail market is also looking into biometric payments. Although the UK Institute For Grocery Distribution’s survey claims that one in 10 teenagers and 1 in 20 adults would be willing to go along with this concept, just thinking about injecting that into our arms gives us chills.
Read More | AP Online Video Network
This is almost too spooky. A while back we told you about the Winebot that can help you choose your wine and recommend cheese. Then we found the Robo Waiter who can also entertain (sort of.) Now we have uncovered a bot that cooks. With a refrigerator door design, the AIC (Artificial Intelligent Cooking) holds recipe ingredients until you select the dish you want from its instrument panel. Four minutes later, you get a meal.
At a cost of over $2.5 million, Inventor Liu Xinyu explained that it took him, other scientists, and several chefs over four years to create the prototype. As of now, the AIC can only make about 130 dishes, but Liu and his company Pansum foresee thousands of Chinese, Thai, and Western entrees. He is currently looking for partners to help him manufacture his bot, produce ready-made ingredients for it called “Precise Meals,” and market it by 2007. So we’re thinking we’ve got us a bot restaurant. Who’s with us?
Read More | People's Daily
Warning, Will Robinson! White Box Robotics’ 9-Series 914 PC-BOT allows you to create your own robot with off-the-shelf computer parts. The bot can follow programmed directions or manual navigation, and lets you see through its eyes with a supplied web cam to your home or office from any browser. It even responds to verbal commands.
The 914 features a fully functional Windows XP PC, and its inventor Thomas Burick claims that his bot can be used for gaming, entertainment, home security, or eldercare. PC-BOT was displayed at this past weekend’s digitallife in New York and a Special Edition is now available at price of $CAD 5,599.99 (US$4995.) This bot doesn’t come cheaply, but if you can install and configure PC components and software, you can have your very own Robby The Robot.
This engaging little Robo Waiter is in Hong Kong taking orders with no backtalk. He shows customers to their tables and waits until they speak into his microphone. The message is then relayed to the kitchen where we presume it is still cooked by a real person. Peter Chow, Director of CyberRobotics Technology, claims that restaurant sales have increased by 20 to 30% since he has been “hired.” Although the bot does not deliver food, it is certainly a big improvement over that tacky Jack In The Box clownhead speakerphone.
Read More | CBBC News
Yesterday we told you about Chroino, the clever little bot designed by Tomotaka Takahashi. Today, his creator told GearLive that although Chroino is still at the prototype stage, his cousin Manoi can fulfill all your robotic dreams.
In addition to being the founder and hanging out at Robo Garage, Tomotaka is working with Japan’s Kyosho Company and has produced Manoi PF-01, whom he refers to as having a unique, comical personality. Manoi will be put through his paces at this year’s Japan Model Hobby Show which will run October 21 and 22 and can be adopted for 1100 EUR, ~$1400.
Chroino, created by Robo Garage’s Tomotaka Takahashi at Kyoto University, made his debut at this past weekend’s NextFest. This amiable little robot, made of carbon and plastic, has a monocoque frame and uses a new technology named SHIN-Walk, so that he can trek around more naturally than the other robots. At a height of 35 cm and a weight of 1.05 kg, Chroino utilizes lithium polymer batteries, has a high athletic ability, and can be radio or PC controlled. Although still a prototype with no price tag, we already want to adopt the little fellow.
Never go dateless to a prom again. Nomura’s Partner Ballroom Dance Robot (PBDR) first made its appearance at Japan’s EXPO 2005. This past weekend, the PBDR showed up at Wired Magazine’s NextFest in New York City. These $300,000 battery-powered prototypes can anticipate and match their partners’ dance steps by use of force and torque sensors.
Developed at the The Kosuge-Wang Laboratory located at Tohoku University, Nomura also hopes that someday their ladies will assist the infirm and elderly by walking with them. I wonder if one of them could take my dog for a leisurely stroll around the park and anticipate the use of a pooper scooper.
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