Archive for February, 2008

Optimus Maximus – It’s a keyboard, not a Roman empror…

Optimus Maximus

After literally years of waiting, the Optimus Maximus keyboard is finally available. Withit’s 101 programmable OLED keys, this must be the fanciest keyboard EVER.

Check out the video on YouTube:

Some more pictures

February 25, 2008 at 23:21 Leave a comment

Toys for big boys

HARV

HARV gives soldiers a robot’s-eye view

While battlefield robots are certainly plenty capable with their current control systems, the folks at Chatten Associates seem to think they can do things one better, and they’re now touting their so-called HARV (Head-Aimed Remote Viewer) system as a potential alternative. That consists of a gimbal-mounted video system on the robot itself, which gets paired with some gyro-equipped goggles that let the robot to look around wherever the soldier moves his head. Of course, they didn’t stop things there, with the setup also offering a 36x optical zoom, night vision, and other advantages that Chatten says can improve mission performance by 300% to 400%. As if that wasn’t enough, the firm’s also now apparently hard at work on an updated system set for delivery to the military next year that’ll add a thermal imager, a higher resolution, and a laser rangefinder, among other things they’re probably not willing to tell us. Head on over after the break for a video of the system in action.

February 25, 2008 at 14:34 Leave a comment

AIR is in the spring…

AIR logo

Adobe officially released the long-awaited AIR 1.0 and Flex 3.

Check out their Rich Internet Application’s webpage and make sure to take a look at the fancy example applications. The eBay one is especially interesting.

February 25, 2008 at 14:29 Leave a comment

To Doodle or not to Doodle…

Doodle in action

Does this sound familiar to you ? You need to schedule a meeting with a few people, and off course you’re the only one using Google Calendar. Fifteen emails later you still haven’t figured out who can join when…

Doodle comes to the rescue! Doodle isn’t a new service but it’s handy, and… very easy to use.

You set up a “poll” with the available times, send the poll link to folks via email, and wait for Doodle to let you know that everyone has filled in their times. Voila! No registration, No passwords.

February 18, 2008 at 12:47 Leave a comment

Forget RoboSapien, trash Pleo the dino-robot… behold Elmo !

New singing and dancing Elmo

Right… First of all: I never, ever imagined that I would be bringing news of a singing and dancing Fisher-Price *Doll*… But hey, I’ve got a 11-year old daughter who’d love to get one AND… there’s plenty of nifty technology under the hum… “skin” (?) of robo-Elmo. Right? Anyway, read on.

-)

Check out the special websiteFisher-Price created for this new Elmo robot: http://www.tmxspecialedition.com

Hold on… did you see THIS ONE ? A *skating* robot ?

February 15, 2008 at 12:09 Leave a comment

Firefox 3 RC 2 released and available for download

Sexy Firefox 3Warning: It’s  not recommend that anyone other than developers and testers download this milestone release. It is intended for testing purposes only.

Firefox 3 RC is available for download ! There are going to be more releases, check the Firefox 3 Planning Center if you want to know more.

While most reviews focused on the nifty new look and feel, I believe this is not the most important change in Firefox 3 beta 3. After all, it’s a *browser*, not a painting :-)…

(more…)

February 15, 2008 at 11:37 Leave a comment

Flying without THC

The Hoverit floating chair

It may not be the flying car we’ve been waiting for since the mid 1950s, but the UK based company Hoverit has come up with what may prove to be the next best thing: a “Honey, I can fly” maglev lounge chair.

“The Hoverit Lounger is British designed and built. It is precision engineered from clear acrylic and hovers through the use of powerful magnets, floating up and down on two guide bars to give the feeling of lying in mid-air.”

Hoverit will officially levitate the chair at the Ideal Home’s Centenary Show in March, and reckons it’s expecting “significant interest” in the product.

Prices for the Hoverit are currently on application, but we can reveal that the floating on air experience will set you back about 9.000 EUR (nope, not a typo) – a lot more than an Ikea chair

Oh, for those who never heard of THC: Check out Wiki on Tetrahydrocannabinol :o)

February 8, 2008 at 14:47 Leave a comment

Robot fills your cars’ fuel tank

A car-fuelling robot is seen fuelling up a car in Emmeloord, central Netherlands.

Dutch inventors (hey – for once they do something interesting :o) ) unveiled car-fuelling robot they say is the first of its kind, working by registering the car on arrival at the filling station and matching it to a database of fuel cap designs and fuel types.

A robotic arm fitted with multiple sensors extends from a regular petrol pump, carefully opens the car’s flap, unscrews the cap, picks up the fuel nozzle and directs it towards the tank opening, much as a human arm would, and as efficiently.

“I was on a farm and I saw a robotic arm milking a cow. If a robot can do that then why can’t it fill a car tank, I thought,” said developer and petrol station operator Nico van Staveren. “Drivers needn’t get dirty hands or smell of petrol again.”

Dutch Robot Arm - Image 1 Dutch Robot Arm - Image 2 Dutch Robot Arm - Image 3 Dutch Robot Arm - Image 4

He hopes to introduce the “Tankpitstop” robot in a handful of Dutch stations by the end of the year. It works for any car whose tank can be opened without a key, and whose contours and dimensions have been recorded to avoid scratching.

Asked whether he would trust his car to a robotic garage attendant, Jelger De Kroon, filling his black Alfa Romeo at a nearby petrol station, said: “Why not? I guess I could keep my hands free and clean, but I’d hope they have good insurance.”

Source: Reuters

February 7, 2008 at 12:26 Leave a comment


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