TETwalker : NASA's Tetrahedral Nano Robot Swarm

March 31st, 2005 | Filed under: AI, Future, Mechanical Tech, Nanotech | 3 Comments »

NASA’s new shape-shifting robot, TETwalker, could help the endurance of future spacecrafts. Its structure is a tetrahedron, consisting of telescoping struts and motors which are coordinated to shift the robot’s center of gravity, causing a tumbling motion.

The robot’s inherently rigid geometry coupled with its mode of locomotion make it an ideal candidate for the harsh conditions of space exploration. The current prototype, though not nano-scaled, is going through rigorous test to help optimize its performance. When the nano-scaled robot is realized, it would have the capacity to connect and disconnect from other TETwalkers, allowing an entire swarm of robots to form any shape as “autonomous nanotechnology swarmsâ€?, or ANTS.

TETwalker concept animation

via endgadget


Hover Board for Real

March 30th, 2005 | Filed under: Design, Future, Mechanical Tech, Products | 19 Comments »

Remember those classified ads for hoverboards along with x-ray glasses? They’re still at it, but this time it’s for real. Future Horizons is offering construction plans for a ‘real’ hoverboard. Floating 1 inch off the ground, it’s not quite a dream hoverboard, but you could build it with non-fictional parts for $500 or buy one fully assembled for $9000.

watch the video

Hover Boardz | really real hoverboards, coming soon?
Design News (pdf)| not quite complete construction plans
Airboard | hoverboard from the Sydney Olympics

via The Red Ferret Journal


One Minute Battery Charge by Toshiba

March 29th, 2005 | Filed under: Fabrication Tech, Materials, News, Sustainability | 3 Comments »

Toshiba’s new Lithium-Ion Super Charge Battery boasts an 80% capacity charge in 60 seconds and just a few more minutes for a full charge lasting considerably longer than regular lithium-ion batteries.

via The Register


Cueva Carramaiza : Cave Houses for Sale

March 29th, 2005 | Filed under: Architecture, Sustainability, Urbanism | 7 Comments »

Purchase your own cavehouse at Cueva Carramaiza and live hobbit-style. The house comes complete with a mosaic bath, a large reception room with an open fire, a relaxation area and an original bread oven.

via space and culture


Container City

March 29th, 2005 | Filed under: Architecture, Building Tech, Pre-Fab, Sustainability, Urbanism | 6 Comments »

Here’s another shipping container housing strategy. With 4 unique shipping container projects under their belt, Urban Space Management is proving the flexibility of recycled containers. Nicholas Lacey’s designs recycle 100% of the shipping containers, look great, build fast, and are affordable. What more could you want? One example on containercity.com shows a small classroom addition assembled in a day!


Orb : All Your Media Streamed Anywhere for Free

March 29th, 2005 | Filed under: Internet, News, Technology | No Comments »

The ultimate personal media streaming tool, Orb is now free! Access all your movies, photos, and music from any internet enable device anywhere (by streaming it). Orb also replace Tivo functions, by recording and streaming the broadcasts you choose via your tv tuner card.

via Thomas Hawk


Ferrofluid : Materializing Magnetic Fields

March 29th, 2005 | Filed under: Design, Mapping, Materials, Mathematics | 4 Comments »

Ferrofluid, often used as a mechanical damper by electronically controlling its viscosity, is also a great visualization tool as it responds the surrounding magnetic fields in 3-dimensions. Make some at home, or buy some online and watch it rapidly react to magnetism.

via notcot

Wiki entry | description and home made ferrofluid
EI | online store
Wondermagnet | online store and small description
CC Alive | chemistry website
NI Magnetic Products | online store
SC news | instant armor
SciToys | on magnetism
UVM | close-ups and playing with topology
Ken Cooper | stripes in ferrofluid


NitroCision : Cut Anything, Including TNT

March 28th, 2005 | Filed under: Fabrication Tech, Future, Materials, Technology | No Comments »

NitroJetâ„¢, originally created to cut radioactive materials, is now available through NitroCisionâ„¢. Although similar water jets (ex. Flow Int.), this method involves directing cold liquid nitrogen at high pressures which evaporates upon contact, leaving the slice without any secondary residue. Even unstable materials like TNT can be cut with CNC precision without having it blow up in your face. Alternatively, the same non-residual method could be used to remove surface materials by switching the liquid nitrogen to high temperatures and low pressures.

via SA


M-TRAN II : Autonomous Transforming Robot

March 27th, 2005 | Filed under: AI, Computing, Future, Mechanical Tech | No Comments »

Distributed Systems Design Research Group have developed M-TRAN II, an incredible modular robot, capable of self-assembly and transformations as it uses GA (genetic algorithms) to generate new methods of locomotion. Watch the video [mpg 24.9mb] [rm 6.6mb]. more vids.

via wmmna | Discover


Pixel Pushing

March 26th, 2005 | Filed under: Design, Mapping | No Comments »

rAndom international has done it again. Pixel Roller magically rolls out images and text onto surfaces. You must watch the video.

via wmmna

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