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[21 May 2012 | No Comment | ]
Images of Japan’s Solar Eclipse on May 21

On May 21 Japan experienced an annular solar eclipse. Despite the weather being pretty cloudy, it didn’t stop Tokyoites from standing outside their buildings in droves staring up at the sky. Special glasses for viewing the eclipse were sold-out nationwide, understandable as the next total solar eclipse of this nature won’t be until the year 2386. So in case you don’t feel like waiting 374 years for the next one, here are some of my favorite pictures and videos internet users have uploaded.

by Youtsr on Flickr

@bluestylecom on TwitPic

by Stefano e …

Featured, Gadgets »

[17 May 2012 | 2 Comments | ]
iPhone gives augmented reality to car navigation system

Fujitsu Ten has just released an app that takes video from an iPhone camera, displays it on the screen of a car navigation system and superimposes icons on the video. The augmented reality application can provide useful information about the surroundings to help with giving directions.
The “Driview” application which is available for free download, works with Fujitsu Ten’s “Eclipse” brand of car navigation systems ( ‘AVN-ZX02i’ or ‘AVN-Z02i’ ). The iPhone is connected to the navigation system using a separately sold cable.
The company has previously released smartphone integrated systems …

Featured, Geek Stuff, Robots »

[17 May 2012 | No Comment | ]
Robot Maid Dance

The robot community in Japan is never short of ingenuity, take this robot maid for example. This custom bot was built by Dr. GIY, a well respected member of the Robo-one scene. The first of the Doctor’s creations I saw live was an anthropomorphic robot cat that wowed the audience in a dance competition. It’s quite obvious he’s a wiz at making his creations dance. Watch her go.

According to Dr. GIY the choreography is not as smooth as he’d like it to be so he’ll be working on refining it. …

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[15 May 2012 | No Comment | ]
Honda releases their new personal mobility vehicle: UNI-CUB

Three years ago Honda presented it’s U3-X a tiny unicycle looking vehicle that magically moved whichever direction the passenger wanted by just a slight shift of their weight. Now they’ve presented the upgrade, a sturdier looking device called the UNI-CUB.
Like it’s predecessor UNI-CUB works by using an omni-directional driving wheel system but now also with a rear-wheel that helps with turning. Because of the unit’s compact size, you are more or less the same width riding the UNI-CUB when walking. This makes fitting into small spaces such as elevators easy. …

Featured »

[15 May 2012 | No Comment | ]
Honda Develops Technology to Prevent Traffic Jams

Honda motors recently started testing the world’s first technology to prevent traffic congestion. This system was developed after realizing that the acceleration and deceleration of one vehicle affects the traffic patterns of the vehicles trailing behind. The system detects a vehicle’s potential to cause traffic congestion by analyzing a car’s driving pattern. The driver is then given advice on best times to accelerate or apply braking via an on board color-coded display, resulting in smoother driving.
Private test results have shown an increase in speed of about 23% and an …

Featured, Random, Robots »

[14 May 2012 | No Comment | ]
Today’s Video: Creepy crawling salaryman

Japanese performance artist Momoyo Torimitsu takes her robot for a crawl in downtown Sydney, Australia. Crowds watch the bizarre sight of the life-like Japanese businessman in suit and tie slowly crawling on all fours along the pavement. The robot is a symbol of the Japan’s rigid Salaryman culture.
by itnsource on youtube 2006

Featured, Gadgets »

[14 May 2012 | No Comment | ]
Android smart mirror, interactive narcissism

This is a sensible and convenient use of android technology, a smart mirror. Japanese company Seraku recently demoed their mirror at the Smartphone and Mobile Expo. The exhibit featured a display which you could use to check the weather and your weight. The smart mirror consists of a pane of semi-transparent glass in front of an LCD monitor. Users interact with the display by placing their hands close to areas of interest as RF proximity sensors detect this motion. This is all powered by an android tablet in the background.

Though …

Featured, Robots »

[13 May 2012 | No Comment | ]
Today’s Video: Bug spray won’t stop these Robot Cockroaches

Summer is cockroach season in Japan and these remote controlled robot cockroaches are the perfect way to freak out your loved ones who are terrified of them. There’s called Gokiraji from GOKIburi (cockroach) and RAJIkon (RC), and they’re 1,680 yen each. I wish they were a lot cheaper so I could buy a swarm of them.
via: JTT

Featured, Geek Stuff, Robots »

[13 May 2012 | One Comment | ]
A 12 Foot Tall Mecha with Kinect Controls and Guns!

This 4.9 ton, 12.5 foot (3.8 meter) metal monstrosity is Vaudeville, a project in progress by a small group of mecha enthusiasts called “Suidobashi Heavy Industry”. The single-pilot giant robot is controlled using a smartphone, master-slave control and also a Kinect sensor in the cockpit. Check out this video showing their work in progress.

It is truly amazing that a backyard project such as this could be of such high quality. The best thing about this project is that when it is finished you have a chance to own it. The …

Featured »

[10 May 2012 | One Comment | ]
Today’s Video: Mind-Blowing Real World Optical Illusion.

This was the 2010 winner of the annual Illusion Contest, “Magnet-Like Slopes” by Koukichi Sugihara
Meiji Institute for Advanced Study of Mathematical Sciences.
From Illusion Contest:
In this video, wooden balls roll up the slopes just as if they are pulled by a magnet. The behavior of the balls seems impossible, because it is against the gravity. The video is not a computer graphic, but a real scene. What is actually happening is that the orientations of the slopes are perceived oppositely, and hence the descending motion is misinterpreted as ascending motion. …

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