Apr 10, 2010

13 functional robots that really transform

nissan gtr transformer_rsehj_25016
Some toys that we play with as kids leave a lasting impression on us, and when that’s replicated on the silver screen, the desire in us adults, let alone the kids, just sky rockets. Transformers is one such genre, that after Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, has increased the want to own robots that can transform into cars, even more. There are some who live the passion off the shelves, while some go ahead and build one for themselves. This entire compilation is to appreciate the creators and their creations, and more importantly to satiate our desperation to own transformer robots; it could even entice you further, so just beware.

Real-life Humvee Transformer
humvee robot transformer
Humvee Transformer rather loosely as “Humvee Biloid,” is capable of switching between robot mode and vehicle mode at the push of a button. The robot gets its “vision” from a camera. And well, as we said, it likes to dance. About 20 seconds into the video, with conversion from vehicle mode to robot mode complete, the robot starts dancing.
Kevmag 2000 Transformer
transformer robot_w5naq_54
Kevmag 2000, a transformer robot, developed for a robotics class is barely 12-inch from the ground but is well constructed to morph into a robot (with arms flung wide open) from a motorized truck, managed by the creator using a laptop.
Bumblebee costume Transformer
bumblebee tranformer costume
People may go around in Bumblebee costumes that don’t ever “transform” or even Bumblebee edition cars, again, without any transformation. Well, this Bumblebee suit should up a whole lot of other costumes, because this one actually does transform into a car.
WR-07 Transformer
wr 07
WR-07 by Nakamura-san at Himeji Soft Works in Japan is a robot which transforms into a car. The creation has us drooling over it, and even you would after the video below.
Norton Commando Transformer
norton commando transformer_yffop_5965
Norton Commando Transformer robot was created by Steve Twist for his Undergraduate Degree course in Computer Visualisation And Animation at the Bournemouth University. The project took a long eight months, but the outcome is worth all the time.
Nissan GT-R and Audi R8 transformers
gtr autobot_oo6fm_5965
Only transformers toys, these put two of the most popular cars of the day in the shape of the popular extraterrestrial bots. The Nissan GT-R autobot looks cool and real enough, a well executed project. The Audi R8, however, isn’t that lucky; the decepticon R8 isn’t all that good, and if it were to ever face the GT-R autobot, the R8 decepticon would be in big trouble.
gtr autobot_bhka9_5965
Van-fire-breathing Transformer
wicked evolution jr_peyvv_5965
From Wicked Evolution this 750-pounds remote-controlled van is capable of transforming into a 6.5-foot tall, fire-breathing robot. Using hydraulics and linear actuators to leave the retro-monstrous shape to transform into a showstopper breathing out flames, the Autobot’s actually worth the claim.
wicked evolution jr_thgnt_5965
Warthog transformer
warthog transformer_nyxoa_5965
This one comes from Halo and transforms from the Master Chief into the Warthog LRV. The five and a quarter inches tall Master Chief has a number of weapons like the Sniper Rifle, Spike Grenade, and Warthog turret. The seller built the transformer from a McFarlane Master Chief figure, an Actionclix Wartog and an Autobot Hound transformer.
warthog transformer
Kevmag 2000 Transformer
kevmag 2000 transformer
The Kevmag 2000 Transformer robot is 12-inches high when in robot mode, and it can quickly change to truck mode. Its arms flip and go backwards to move out of the way when it goes into truck mode, and if you put the robot on its back, it flips its legs to get into the right position and then uses its arms to go upright.
OmniZero.9 Transformer
The OmniZero.9 impresses for sure, even though it wouldn’t be the best in the transformers race. The tough guy, OmniZero.9 is a bipedal robot, which wears two large wheels on the shoulders and two small ones on the knees to carry its creator. Weighing only 55lbs and not taller than 3.5 feet, the robot is good to transform into a rolling vehicle, with the head tilting back for the seat.
Gogic Racer Transformer
gogic racer quad 440
An extension kit for Gogic Five allows the later to transform from a walking, talking menace to a four-on-the-floor racer. The robot racer add-on is available in Japan for ¥8,400 or about $72 — that’s about $300 for the entire kit. It’s worth the watch and money if you have some spare on you.
Classic Optimus Prime Transformer
limited edition henkei optimus4_46lxx_54
If transformers fanaticism drives you crazy, then you’ll definitely take home this classic robot toy that transforms into a truck. Accessible from KOtoys store, only 250 of them are available.
optimus prime henkei transformer 5_54
LEGO Transformer
lego transformer
This isn’t one of those mechanical transformation, nonetheless the LEGO transformer is undoubted worth a mention here in the list. Made entirely in LEGO – here a police car transforms into a giant robot.

Apr 9, 2010

Compact Mobility, a skateboard-styled ride into the future

compact mobility
Another entrant in free mobility devices is Professor Furukawa Osmau’s Mobility concept. This, Skateboard-styled device is a robotic high-tech transportation module which is being conceived especially for urban areas, and more importantly to easy the travel from your location to the nearest bus station, train station or taxi stop. Dubbed Compact Mobility, this is an 80kg device, which isn’t an alternative for long distance travels, but is a great prospect to assist in short distance commuting. With a size of 300×600×250mm and a maximum speed of 10km/h, Furukawa Osmau and Shibaura Institute of Technology are positive of getting the Compact Mobility marketable by the end of this year.

compact mobility 1
compact mobility 2

Apr 8, 2010

Amazing futuristic Conceptual airships for sustainable air travel

Without a doubt, there is something exceptionally beautiful and exciting about airships. Over the last few years, we have seen some amazing airship concepts that are designed to provide an ecologically sound approach to air travel. The high-tech fabrics, advanced aircraft composite materials and the modern design tools have revolutionized the way airships are designed. Here we have a list of beautiful airship concepts that seem to be all set to offer an affordable and sustainable air transportation option.
The Stirling Solar-Electric Airship:
stirling solar electric airship
Laurens Rademakers has come up with a concept that attempts to cut costs and go green. Dubbed as the Stirling Solar-Electric Airship, the ergonomically sensuous high-altitude airship uses the principle of a Stirling engine to stay afloat for long periods of time. The Stirling engine works on the principle of the heat difference between the layers of the ship. The greater the heat difference, the greater the energy produced. By using a solar dish to capture solar energy and to translate it into heat, the airship can produce enough energy to keep it afloat even at night. Energy storing batteries, lightweight body design and its position in the sky make it perfect for harnessing solar power to the fullest. It can be used for communication, monitoring and keeping an eye on eco-changes.
Solar Blimp that rests on water:
solar blimp that rest on water
A Spanish-based company called Turtle Airships is working to build a luxurious solar-powered aircraft that can take passengers from New York to Paris. This blimp will be powered by lightweight photovoltaic cells. What makes the design interesting is its potential to rest both on land as well as on water. The first airship prototype will be propelled in two nontraditional ways. The outer surface of the ship will be roofed with lightweight photovoltaic cells (CIG). The cells are expected to generate enough power to move the aircraft at around 40 mph in average conditions, or at around 70 horsepower. In addition to CIG PV cells, the solar-powered blimp is equipped with a diesel drive train for those non-sunny days. This innovative way to fly allows extensive reduction of carbon emissions while diesel drive trains operate in cloudy weather or at night.
Giving you the freedom from wasting hours sitting in smog-choked traffic behind an endless line of idling cars is the Airbia, an amazing airship that is designed to create an efficient and ecofriendly alternative to polluted suburban commutes. Designed by Alexandros Tsolakis and Irene Shamma, the sleek fleet of high-flying eco-friendly airships soar using helium and travel at an average speed of 93 mph at heights between 100 to 1,640 feet above the Earth. With a carrying capacity of 400, the Airbia is one of 20 incredible finalists in our ReBurbia competition.
Airship One: 
airship one
The Airship One is a solar-powered hybrid between a semi-rigid airship and an airplane and can comfortably accommodate 25 passengers in its double-deck passenger compartment. The airship’s aluminum-grade skeleton is a semi-rigid structure and has carbon fiber paneling and high-strength fabric to camouflage the skeleton. The vectored ducted fans enable the ship to hover or cruise around 120mph effortlessly. As wonderful as the concept looks on paper, or rather computer graphics, it still will be difficult to realize.
Manned Cloud:
manned cloud
Fly high without polluting the sky. Awarded by the Design Observer 2008, the Manned Cloud is a flying hotel that allows its passengers to discover inaccessible areas, devoid of any infrastructure (airports, roads, hotels, etc.). The talented French designer Jean Marie Massaud designed this impressive airship concept being pushed forth by Massaud Studio, in partnership with ONERA, the center of French aerospace research. The unique, helium-filled hotel is said to be a mix of a huge zeppelin, with services cruise, hotel accommodations and aesthetics.
rediscover whitehouse
Here is an eco-friendly helium powered zeppelin that offers a perfect dual concept for the White House. Dubbed as Rediscovery, this docking station consists of a building and an airship as a mobile part. The main objective of the concept is to make a worldwide exchange of new regenerative technologies possible. The building is expected to act as a greenhouse for endangered endemic species. The stunning accommodation and workspace for the President and his staff members not only flaunts its pioneering technology, but also its green credentials.
Strato Cruiser airship:
strato cruiser airship
Tino Schaedler and Michael J Brown designed the Strato Cruiser airship, a concept for a “lifestyle zeppelin.” Offering short, rejuvenating and healthy journeys for the all travelers, the luxury helium-filled airship contains a gourmet restaurant, a spa, a swimming pool, a resident DJ and many more modern-day specs. Adding to the ecological quotient are features like the carbon fiber skin, photovoltaic cells and a sectional helium chamber. The prototype’s “doughnut hole” entrance reinvents the zeppelin concept, and the creation has a retractable polycarbonate roof, a bungee-jumping platform, a restaurant on the underside and a recreational climbing wall somewhere in between. The private suites are well marked away from public spaces, therefore you need not worry about your privacy on the airship.
The Aeolus Airship:
aeolus airship
The Aeolus Airship, despite its alien ship-like looks, is an earthly design aimed at environmentally friendly air travel. It is basically an airship, only designed to be more aerodynamic than the airships we mostly come across. Aeolus can carry two to four people for a journey lasting about two weeks. Motorized by the crew (!) the helium-filled balloon does not move fast, but the design from Christopher Ottersbach is more about making air travel ecofriendly.
Sanswire-TAO STS-111:
sanswire tao sts 111
Coming loaded with green features and aesthetic looks is the Sanswire-TAO STS-111. The 111-foot long, 11-foot tall multi-segmented and non-rigid airship incorporates ultralight UAV (Unmanned Air Vehicle) technology, which allows for hovering for extremely long periods. It uses gas-cell power for the propulsion as well as electricity generation. It can be brought into use for carrying various payloads and transmitting various types of wireless communications.
DARPA’s geostationary airship:
darpa airship
DARPA will soon have a geostationary airship, which should remain aloft for 10 years without a recharge. U.S. Defense contractor Lockheed Martin has been given a $400 million contract to design, build, test and fly a 1:3 scale model of an airship surveillance and telecommunications platform called the High Altitude Airship (HAA). The un-tethered geostationary airship will be filled with helium to enable it to patrol the skies from the jet stream, which is about 21km from the surface of the Earth. If the tests are successful, the company will develop the full-scale airship, which will be powered by a 15KW solar array mounted on its roof. The solar generators will power all onboard systems and also recharge a 40KWh Li-ion battery pack used to power its 2KW lightweight all-electric propulsion system

Apr 7, 2010

Indian students invented first ever Cellphone controlled tractor

mobile controlled tractor_ji3ue_54
Working with tractor in the scotching sun may irritate you to grate extant. But what if you could operate tractor with you cell phone from anywhere? A great deal, of course.
Two students from Polytechnic College in Moga city of Punjab, India with the intent to help the farmers have invented what comes out to be the first tractor controlled by a cellphone.
In order to make this tractor function efficiently, it is equipped with camera sensor that can identify any obstacle from approximately 10 feet and automatically stops the machine, thus avoiding any complication.
The steering, clutch, brakes, everything can be controlled with the buttons of mobile no matter if you do it from you balcony or from US or Canada for that matter. So, no more toil in the withering heat of the sun, as now you can do it from your AC room.
Via: GW

MIT’s wireless glove mouse ~ compute by gestures in 3D

This isn’t the very first glove mouse we’ve confronted. Given that it isn’t the prettiest of them all, you may overlook. Hold, this isn’t just another glove mouse, this unlike the other, uses the users arm gestures to move the cursor on screen in 3D. Developed by researchers Tony Hyun Kim and Nevada Sanchez of MIT, this is a pair of gloves which lets the users hand gestures with both left and right hand, that – all wirelessly. The system would respond to the gloves more like the multi-touch displays, with this difference that the user can use a wide space as the interface. We aren’t really sure of the wireless distance the gloves can operate from, but to read details of this Wii-style glove mouse, check here. Video demonstration after the jump.


Apr 5, 2010

Students work out an eye-controlled gaming solution for Atari Pong

A group of undergrad students from the Imperial College of London under the guidance of Dr Aldo Faisal have worked out an eye-controlled gaming solution to play the Atari Pong video game. Courtesy off-the-shelf tools, the students have fixed an infra-red sensor and a webcam to a pair of glasses which track eye-movement in sync with the laptop which further translates the movement into command, good enough to control the game paddle on screen via eye-movement alone. This isn’t the first case of eye-controlled tech, and by gaming standards and the quality of games we play, this may just seem crap. But give it up to the gamers with limited abilities playing their hearts out with this technology. The creator’s of the technology wish to make it available online so anyone can use it to build new applications and games with it, and if this can actually pull big then, who knows even we are in for something more serious here. Read on to check out the video.

eyepong 1

Cell Phone Spying: Your Life Being Monitored

Cell Phone SpyingIt connects you to the world, but your cell phone could also be giving anyone from your boss to your wife a window into your every move.  The same technology that lets you stay in touch on-the-go can now let others tap into your private world — without you ever even suspecting something is awry.
The new generation
Long gone are the days of simple wiretapping, when the worst your phone could do was let someone listen in to your conversations.  The new generation of cell phone spying tools provides a lot more power.
Eavesdropping is easy.  All it takes is a two-minute software install and someone can record your calls and monitor your text messages.  They can even set up systems to be automatically alerted when you dial a certain number, then instantly patched into your conversation.  Anyone who can perform a basic internet search can find the tools and figure out how to do it in no time.
But the scarier stuff is what your phone can do when you aren’t even using it.  Let’s start with your location.
Simple surveillance
You don’t have to plant a CIA-style bug to conduct surveillance any more.  A service called World Tracker lets you use data from cell phone towers and GPS systems to pinpoint anyone’s exact whereabouts, any time — as long as they’ve got their phone on them.
All you have to do is log on to the web site and enter the target phone number.  The site sends a single text message to the phone that requires one response for confirmation.  Once the response is sent, you are locked in to their location and can track them step-by-step.  The response is only required the first time the phone is contacted, so you can imagine how easily it could be handled without the phone’s owner even knowing.
Once connected, the service shows you the exact location of the phone by the minute, conveniently pinpointed on a Google Map.  So far, the service is only available in the UK, but the company has indicated plans to expand its service to other countries soon.
Advanced eavesdropping
So you’ve figured out where someone is, but now you want to know what they’re actually doing.  Turns out you can listen in, even if they aren’t talking on their phone.
Dozens of programs are available that’ll turn any cell phone into a high-tech, long-range listening device.  And the scariest part?  They run virtually undetectable to the average eye.
Take, for example, Flexispy.  The service promises to let you “catch cheating wives or cheating husbands” and even “bug meeting rooms.”  Its tools use a phone’s microphone to let you hear essentially any conversations within earshot.  Once the program is installed, all you have to do is dial a number to tap into the phone’s mic and hear everything going on.  The phone won’t even ring, and its owner will have no idea you are virtually there at his side.
Recover deleted text messages (SMS) and last dialed numbers from any SIM cards and smart cards
Did you know that with the help of a simple, inexpensive device, anyone with access to your phone could read your private text messages (SMS), even if you have deleted them previously? This device can even recover contacts and a good number or previously dialed numbers.
Legal loopholes
You might be asking how this could possibly be legal.  Turns out, it isn’t – at least, not in the ways we just described.  Much like those fancy smoking devices designed “for tobacco use only,” the software itself gets by because of a disclaimer saying it doesn’t endorse any illegal use.
I did a little digging with our friends from Flexispy.  You won’t find it on the flashy front page, but buried a bit further in the site, the company says you’re fine to use their program only “on a phone that you own, for protecting your children,” or for purposes like “archiving data.”  It’s a bit of a contrast from the bold suggestions of “uncover[ing] employee espionage,” “catch[ing] cheating husbands,” and “bug[ging] meeting rooms” that fill the company’s materials.  After a little more explanation, their answer as to the legality of the service ends with a broad statement: “Please consult a qualified lawyer in your country for the correct answer to this question.”
Let me make it easier for you: Once you get into listening in to private conversations without either party’s consent, you’re treading rough water that could sweep you straight into jail.  Whether it’s an employee or a spouse on the receiving end of your mission, neither federal nor state privacy laws take violations lightly in America.  Getting caught could cost you several years behind bars, among other serious penalties.
Detecting and protecting
Finding spyware on your phone isn’t easy.  There are dozens of bug detectors available from surveillance companies, but the only true fix is taking your phone to your provider and having them wipe it out altogether.  That will restore the factory settings and clear out any hidden software that’s running on your phone.
Security experts say there may be some subtle signs your phone is invaded:
  • You seem to have trouble shutting it off, or it stays lit up after you’ve powered down.
  • The phone sometimes lights up when you aren’t making or receiving a call, or using any other function.
  • You regularly hear odd background noises or clicks when you’re on the phone.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to safeguard your cell just yet.  I’m sure it’s only a matter of time until we see McAfee-style programs to firewall your phone and keep intruders out.  For now, though, the only sure-fire form of protection is to keep a close guard on your phone.  Don’t accept Bluetooth connections unless you know what they are.  Most important, make sure no one has access to install something when you aren’t watching.  Otherwise, they may soon be watching you when you least expect it.



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