Boston Dynamics’ New Jumping Robot is Terrifying

KS TechnologyBoston Dynamics is at it again! Who is Boston Dynamics? Glad you asked. Boston Dynamics builds crazy advanced robots with amazing abilities. They are mobile, agile, fast, and completely mind-blowing. We’ve seen them march through rough snowy terrain, race like cheetahs, beg like dogs, and now – roll and leap over tables.

I’d like to introduce you to Handle, the new research robot that has wheels and legs. It is truly an evolutionary marvel. See for yourself:

Boston Dynamics: “Handle is a research robot that stands 6.5 ft tall, travels at 9 mph and jumps 4 feet vertically. It uses electric power to operate both electric and hydraulic actuators, with a range of about 15 miles on one battery charge.

Handle uses many of the same dynamics, balance and mobile manipulation principles found in the quadruped and biped robots we build, but with only about 10 actuated joints, it is significantly less complex. Wheels are efficient on flat surfaces while legs can go almost anywhere: by combining wheels and legs Handle can have the best of both worlds.”

These robots could be used to patrol warehouses or provide security. The options are endless (and potentially scary). Boston Dynamics is trusted by organizations worldwide, including DARPA, the US Army, Navy and Marine Corps. Even companies like Sony Corporation look to Boston Dynamics for advice and guidance when building the most sophisticated robots on the planet. DROP THE ROBOT MIC!


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Boston Dynamics’ New Jumping Robot is Terrifying

MIT’s Otter-Inspired Wetsuits May Change the Surfing Game

KS_LOGOs2_UnderwaterBeavers and sea otters are known for having this amazing fur that traps air when they dive underwater, helping to keep their little blubber-less bodies warm. This is what inspired MIT engineers to create a fur-like rubbery pelt. They wanted to figure out how these mammals star warm and even dry while diving in and out of icy waters.

mitwetsuit

The Plan: Make precise, fur-like surfaces of various dimensions, dunk the surfaces in liquid at different speeds, and use video imaging to measure the air that is trapped in the fur during each each dive.

“We are particularly interested in wetsuits for surfing, where the athlete moves frequently between air and water environments,” says Anette (Peko) Hosoi, a professor of mechanical engineering and associate head of the department at MIT. “We can control the length, spacing, and arrangement of hairs, which allows us to design textures to match certain dive speeds and maximize the wetsuit’s dry region.” 

The team at MIT made several molds by laser-cutting thousands of tiny holes in small acrylic blocks. Each mold was altered, varying in size and the spacing of individual hairs. The molds were then filled with a soft casting rubber.

Researchers mounted each hairy piece of rubber and submerged them in silicone oil. They chose oil so they could better observe any air pockets forming.

Results: The team learned that the spacing of individual hairs, and the speed at which they were plunged, played a large role in determining how much air a surface could trap. Surfaces with denser fur, plunged at higher speeds, generally retained more air within the hairs.

So, what does this mean? If you’ve ever worn a wetsuit you know they can be heavy and hard to move around in. Let’s pretend a wetsuit is made out of this fabricated hairy material, using air for insulation instead of soggy rubber. The bio-inspired wetsuit would be lightweight and behave better in water.

Can you imagine? Light, warm, furry wetsuits? I’m in! 🏄

The results were published in the journal Physical Review Fluids. You can view the study here -along with some pretty epic charts, diagrams, and photos. 


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MIT’s Otter-Inspired Wetsuits May Change the Surfing Game

Crazy Cronzy Pen Puts Over 16 Million Colors in Your Pocket

KS Technology

The amazing new crowdfunded Cronzy pen might be the only pen you’ll ever need. The high-tech art tool lets you draw with all of the colors of the world – over 16 million shades! All you have to do is scan an item and the pen turns the chosen color into ink. Or, you can make a selection from the Cronzy app.

Cronzy Pen Illustration

How does it work? Let’s take a look at the schematics. It contains actual ink cartridges that mix colors based on the scanned input.

Cronzy Pen Schematics

‘With the help of apps for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone, you will be able to: Select the desired color and its shade; Save frequently used and favourite scanned colors on your device; Share interesting colors in social networks.’ – Cronzy

Cronzy has almost reached its goal of $200,000 on Indiegogo, with a little over a week left to raise the funds. Want to own a Cronzy pen? They currently come in two colors – black & silver – and cost around $200.


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Crazy Cronzy Pen Puts Over 16 Million Colors in Your Pocket

Palm-Sized Soft Octopus Robot Farts Its Way into Your Heart

KS TechnologyPeople creating robots that resemble nature is nothing new, but engineers at Harvard University have made something spectacular – a completely soft bodied Octobot with zero batteries or wires that uses gas (and farts) to move. 🐙

robopus

Scientists made this adorable tiny bot by pouring silicone gels of varying stiffness into an octopus mold. A 3D printer finishes the legs. At its heart is a tiny circuit board like controller which ultimately controls its movements.

Wanna hear the fun part? The Octobot moves completely on its own, powered by gas. The controller at the bot’s center shunts liquid hydrogen peroxide through platinum reaction chambers in the legs, turning the fluid fuel into gas. The gas flows through the ‘tentacles’ and inflates the compartments inside the eight limbs.

The blueprint for this soft, autonomous robot was published in the journal Nature.

Figure 1: Fully soft, autonomous robot assembly - Nature
Figure 1: Fully soft, autonomous robot assembly – Nature

All that gas has to go somewhere! The team gave the robot small orifices so the gas has a place to escape. This makes sure the Octobot doesn’t burst leaving an ugly mess.

Now, I don’t want you thinking this little soft robot is running around the lab farting its way into the history books. According to the BBC, the circuit sets up an alternating movement, inflating four limbs at a time. So it is more of a twitching movement than a walking demonstration. But still very cool!

This exciting technology could pave the way toward more effective soft robots that could be used in search and rescue, exploration and to more safely interact with the fleshy world of humans.


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Palm-Sized Soft Octopus Robot Farts Its Way into Your Heart

Nintendo Shocks with NES Classic Edition: a Retro Blast from the Past!

KS TechnologyI can’t help but feel the need to high-five my younger self. I woke up to the BEST news this week. Nintendo is bringing back the NES! It’s just a whole lot smaller.

nintendo new classic edition

On July 14th, Nintendo announced what it’s calling the Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition. It looks exactly like the original gaming console, only miniaturized, and it comes with 30 built-in games!

The new system offers multiple suspend points and all of your favorite classic games. No cartridges or passwords required. Simply connect the NES Classic Edition to your TV with the HDMI cable provided, pick up the ‘original’ full-size NES controller (you heard me), and play the games that made you fall in love with Nintendo years ago.

Cool Fact: The new controller will also connect to your Wii Remote, so you can use it to play Virtual Console games on the Wii or Wii U.

The complete list of games:

  • Balloon Fight
  • Bubble Bobble
  • Castlevania
  • Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest
  • Donkey Kong
  • Donkey Kong Jr.
  • Double Dragon II: The Revenge
  • Dr. Mario
  • Excitebike
  • Final Fantasy
  • Galaga
  • Ghosts’N Goblins
  • Gradius
  • Ice Climber
  • Kid Icarus
  • Kirby’s Adventure
  • Mario Bros.
  • Mega Man 2
  • Metroid
  • Ninja Gaiden
  • Pac-Man
  • Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream
  • StarTropics
  • Super C
  • Super Mario Bros.
  • Super Mario Bros. 2
  • Super Mario Bros. 3
  • Tecmo Bowl
  • The Legend of Zelda
  • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

Whats in the box? The NES Classic Edition system, one NES Classic Controller, HDMI cable, AC adapter, and 30 pre-installed games. The NES Classic Edition will be available on November 11th for $59.99 – just in time for Christmas! 🎮

NES_Classic_2.0


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Nintendo Shocks with NES Classic Edition: a Retro Blast from the Past!

VIDEO: Google’s Virtual Reality Tilt Brush Lets You Paint with Stars and Fire

KS TechnologyFinally, a virtual reality app I can get behind!  I just saw Google’s video for Tilt Brush—a new virtual reality (VR) app that lets you paint from an entirely new perspective, available on the HTC Vive. Fast Company has hailed it as the ‘Microsoft Paint of 2020.’

Art and design will never be the same again. This is the perfect introduction to VR for non-gamers. Check out the 3D artwork drawn in Tilt Brush below.

Tilt Brush

With Tilt Brush, you can paint in 3D – simply select your colors and brushes by waving your hand. What starts as an empty room quickly becomes the blank canvas for your imagination. The coolest part? This is virtual reality art, so you can choose to paint with crazy materials like stars, smoke, fire, or snowflakes!

You also have the ability to walk through and around your art + share your artwork as room-scale VR masterpieces or animated GIFs. For $29.99 I’m SOLD.

“Tilt Brush lets you paint in 3D space with virtual reality. Unleash your creativity with three-dimensional brush strokes, stars, light, and even fire. Your room is your canvas. Your palette is your imagination. The possibilities are endless.” – Google, YouTube

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6 Reasons Robots are Going to Kill Us All: You’ve Been Warned

KS Technology

When I told my boyfriend I was writing a post about robots killing us all he simply said, “duh, just tell people to go watch Terminator 2.” So, if you have 2 hours to kill and want to watch some good ol’ fashioned cyborg destruction, be my guest.

I get it. The idea of a robot uprising isn’t new. But, there have been too many alarming signs recently. Robots are driving our cars, mimicking human emotion, checking us into hotels, and sleeping around.

Here are 6 reasons why robots are bound to kill us all:

1) ROBOT BULLYING IS A THING

It looks like bullying in the year 2016 just got a little more interesting. Boston Dynamics worked hard to make a human-like robot that can navigate tough terrain, recover from stumbles, and pick up boxes – just to bring in a human to knock the boxes out of its cold metal hands.

boston-dynamics

All joking aside, the hockey stick exercise you see in the clip above was done to gauge the robot’s responsiveness.

But, this isn’t the first time Boston Dynamics has made headlines for bulling one of its creations. They released a video in February 2015 of their four-legged robot named Spot – where they repeatedly kick the robot to try and throw off its balance.

2) We like to have sex with them

I think its safe to say my most popular video for IBTimes was a story about sex robots being the future of prostitution. It was even mocked by Lewis Black on The Daily Show.

I don’t know about the future of robot prostitutes, but I do know people are already having sex with them. As far as I’m concerned, that means robots now hold all the power.

3) Robots run hotels

When you enter Japan’s Henn-na Hotel you are greeted by an English speaking robotic dinosaur in a bow tie, next to a multi-lingual fembot, ready to check you in.

Other robots greet guests and serve coffee – a robot even brings your luggage to your room. They have also ditched traditional room keys for face recognition technology, making them one of the first hotels to do so.

One things the robots don’t do? Make the beds. So we have that going for us…

Henn-na Hotel Dinosaur

4) Your car wants to drive off without you

Self driving cars are a reality! According to Business Insider, companies like Mercedes, BMW, and Tesla have already released, or are soon to release, self-driving features that give the car some ability to drive itself.

Tech companies like Google have also joined the game with their Google Self-Driving Car Project.

5) Drones are now NAVY Seals

Engineers at Rutgers University have developed a drone that can swim and fly – and the Office of Naval Research wants in! According to Rutgers, the Navy has agreed to fund the development of the special air-and-water craft.

This way, in the future, robots can turn into flying and swimming death machines. Click here for video!
swimming-flying-drone

6) Robots are learning how to manipulate People

University of California San Diego researchers made a creepy robot baby named Diego-san. Their android child is designed to mimic the expressions of a one year old human child as it learns to control its body and interact with humans. NO THANK YOU.


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6 Reasons Robots are Going to Kill Us All: You’ve Been Warned

Boston Dynamics’ Latest Atlas Humanoid Robot Fights Bullying and the Snow

KS TechnologyI always get a little giddy when Boston Dynamics is in the news, because it usually means I get to watch video of drunken robots. The Alphabet-owned robot company released a video this week of the latest version of Atlas – the super cool humanoid robot.

In the video you see the new and improved Atlas stomp around in the snow, complete simple chores, pick itself up off the ground, open doors, and oh yeah… get bullied by a human! 😯 Scroll down and check out the footage for yourself.

boston-dynamics-atlas-bully

The next generation Atlas is smaller than the last version, more powerful, and much more agile. In its last iteration, Atlas was tethered to an external power source. This version is battery powered, roughly 5’9″ and weighs 180 pounds. Watch it pick up boxes like a pro.

boston-dynamics

Also impressive? Atlas’ new ability to recover from a fall. Watch the robot get shoved in the back, fall to the ground, and pick itself back up. What a champ.

boston-dynamics

It looks like bullying in the year 2016 just got a little more interesting. Boston Dynamics worked hard to make a human-like robot that can navigate tough terrain, recover from stumbles, and pick up boxes – just to bring in a human to knock the boxes out of its cold metal hands.

All joking aside, the hockey stick exercise you see in the video was done to gauge the robot’s responsiveness. A quick, sudden impact like that can be really hard to recover from – but not for Atlas!

boston-dynamics

This isn’t the first time Boston Dynamics has decided to torment its creations. They released a video in February 2015 of their four-legged robot named Spot – where they repeatedly kick the robot to try and throw off its balance. You even feel bad for the little guy.

I’m just saying, don’t be surprised if this common mistreatment of robots comes back to bite us in the ass. Enjoy the new version of Atlas below. 🤖 #endrobotbullying

Video

Navy Funds Rutgers Cool Drone That Flies AND Swims!

KS TechnologyEngineers at Rutgers University have developed a drone that can swim and fly – and the Office of Naval Research wants in! According to Rutgers, the Navy has agreed to fund the development of the special air-and-water craft.

flying-swimming-drone
Image: courtesy Javier Diez & Rutgers University

This one-of-a-kind vehicle could speed search and rescue, monitor oil spills, and defuse underwater mine threats. According to Javier Diez, a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, the Navy told him they had never seen anything like it. Its called it the ‘Naviator.’

It must be pretty cool, because the Navy dropped $618,000 on it! CLICK BELOW to watch a video of the busy drone in action, posted to YouTube by Marco Maia.

Video

Rad Super Mario Bros. Watch Will Cost You Almost $19,000!

KS Technology

It’s items like this that make me feel like a teenage boy trapped in a 29-year-old female’s body. Take a second to soak up all the pixelated Nintendo goodness. The only catch? For the same price as this watch you could buy a new car.

romain-jerome-super-mario-bros-watch

The watch is Romain Jerome’s latest game-inspired piece, created in honor of Super Mario Bros. launch in 1985. There are only 85 Mario watches available, so if you have an extra $20k lying around, go ahead and treat yourself.


MOVEMENT Mechanical self-winding movement

DESCRIPTION Ø 46mm. Black PVD-coated titanium case. Grainy-textured stellar-patterned integrated back with Super Mario Bros. medallion. Black pixelated 3D dial built on three levels. Pixelated Super Mario Bros. character and elements appliques hand-painted in cold enamel with the 30th anniversary colours. Black rubber with grainy-textured interior of stellar-patterned strap.

LIMITED EDITION 85 pieces


The watch face features Mario jumping in mid-air, a fluffy cloud, iconic green bush, and the highly coveted mushroom. The RJ X Super Mario Bros. watch – commemorating the game’s 30th anniversary – costs a cool $18,950.

This isn’t the first time the company has payed homage to classic video games! They also built watches celebrating Tetris, Space Invaders, and Pac-Man. Enjoy 🎮

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