LEGO bricks are some of the most awesome things on earth. They’re incredibly versatile for building all kinds of structures, and you can make some pretty impressive machines with them when you combine them with Technic and Mindstorms parts.
While most robots use legs or wheels to move around, more and more robotic systems are adopting other kinds of locomotion. Some even wriggle around like snakes or worms. This worm-like robot is designed to maneuver through veins – which sounds scary, but could actually save lives.
I recently had the opportunity to visit Toyota’s largest vehicle production facility in the world, the Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK). While there, I not only got to see how humans and machines work together to make about 2000 cars per day, but learned a bit about the magicians who pull the strings behind the curtain of a car factory, the production engineering team.
Who says wheels need to just be round? These unusual Reconfigurable-Wheel Track (RWT) wheels were developed by CMU National Robotics Engineering Center for DARPA’s Ground X-Vehicle Technologies program.
We can expect to see these on the war machines of the future and they may be the next step toward real-life Transformers like Optimus Prime.
Stairs are the worst, right? Too much exercise. Especially if you are talking a multi-story building with no elevator or escalator. Well, the engineers at Georgia Tech and Emory University have created stairs that will do all the hard work for you one day soon.
Yo’ momma’s so fat, the only thing that weighs more than her is the world’s heaviest weight down at the NIST. Among its many wonders, the facility houses a stack of twenty precisely calibrated 50,036.27 pound masses.
In the DARPA Robotics Challenge, the idea is to create a robot that can navigate an obstacle course, using skills that could help save humans in an emergency. On the flip side, we may also be creating robot overlords that will one day decide to rule us meat sacks.
In this wide and populated world, every now and then I come across something that reminds me just how diverse people are. The Pylon Appreciation Society is one such thing. Founded by Flash Wilson Bristow in 2005, the group is for people who love electricity pylons.
This isn’t the first circuit board business card we’ve seen, but this one is more useful than others. Its maker, Saar Drimer calls it the Engineer’s Emergency Business Card. He makes a living from making circuit boards, so this was probably a piece of cake for him.
How’d you like it if you could fold up your entire house and store it in a shipping container? Well, that’s basically what artist/architect Adam Kalkin recently did with the creation of his Push Button House.
In the realm of awesome computer peripherals, I think the new MakerBot Replicator 2 desktop 3D printer is probably the most epic of all. After all, it’s a peripheral for your computer that you can actually use to make 3D objects you can hold in your hands.
There’s an old saying that goes something like “it’s better to look good than to feel good,” but if the guys at Ministry of Design have their way, you’ll be able to do both, thanks to their new high-tech shirts.
While to many people, bike tech doesn’t seem to evolve much, there are refinements every year making bikes somewhat more efficient than just a decade ago. But that doesn’t stop some people from wanting a quantum leap in tech advances.
Whether walking, crawling, climbing or rolling, most robots have a single form-factor. Not so with the iMobot, a robotic platform capable of taking on different forms based on the appropriate mode of movement for traversing its environment.
In a development that no doubt has printer manufacturers drooling, scientists at the Cornell Computational Synthesis Laboratory are looking into leveraging the capabilities of 3D printing – which they call Solid Freeform Fabrication (SFF) – to make food.