April 11, 2006

jupiter.jpg Korean robot manufacturer Yujin has released pictures of its upcoming nanny robot "Jupiter." Jupiter recognizes human voices and orders, and it can carry out simple duties like rolling around your house and knocking things over. Jupiter also interacts with people via two main displays, its face and a screen on its chest. Jupiter's face uses electronic facial expressions that display emotions like happiness, confusion, and bone-crushing rage. The screen on its chest is hidden behind a chest plate, and it delivers messages, weather forecasts, news information, and tutoring programs for children. Jupiter also apparently has spikes extending from its side, so you know can feel safe leaving your kids alone under its care while you take another relaxing robot-free vacation.

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toddler_mp3.jpg Fisher-Price has announced that it will launch the Digital Song and Story Player, an MP3 player that is aimed solely at toddlers. The MP3 player will feature volume-restricted headphones, a basic five button layout, and a screen that will feature simple pictures. Fisher-Price is also unrolling its online music store that will sell only parent-approved songs, stories, and Scandinavian death metal. The MP3 player will be released this summer, and it is only the first in a line of gadgets that will target toddlers, which includes digital cameras, cell phones, and junior electronic breathalyzer tests. Maybe.

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lazydrinker.jpg Not everybody can be an talented bartender, spinning bottles of alcohol while simultaneously making out with a movie star girlfriend and preaching the word of Scientology. Or something. I don't know. For those who are unsure of their abilities as a mixologist, pick up the Lazy Drinker, a computer controlled mixed cocktail dispensing device that is housed in a blue cooler. The Lazy Drinker holds 16 ingredients, and it uses a simple computer program to mix over 5000 different drinks. You'll always need a computer nearby, so your trips to the beach might not change, but casual Fridays at your work are about to get a whole lot more casual.

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pixelroller1.jpg

PixelRoller is a paint roller that paints text and images uploaded to the roller from a computer interface. Designed by Stuard Wood and Florian Ortkrass, the PixelRoller restricts the amount and location of the paint that's released, creating a line of text with every slash of the roller. Although they have also used the PixelRoller to create simple images (see below), they admit that it needs further development before it can be marketed. This seems like a quick and easy way to add another line of text to your card door or rear window. Remember, your car's speed is directly proportional to the number of times you've inappropriately plastered your car's brand name on your car.

Continue Reading "PixelRoller: Computer-Assisted Paint Roller"


antarcticbot.jpg US scientists and engineers have built a solar-powered robot that should be able to handle the cold Antarctic climate. The one-cubic meter robot has the ability to drive hundreds of kilometers and perform scientific experiments without the aid of human or satellite interaction. The robot weighs around 130lbs, and it can carry a "delicate payload" of around 155lbs. Putting two and two together, it's obvious that the scientists are going to use this for some sort of Antarctic stripper transport, allowing the stripper to burst out of the robot like so many cardboard birthday cakes. With a fleet of five of these robots planned, Antarctica will finally reach the number one spot on the list of sexiest destinations for bachelor parties and spring break vacations.

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lazer_trip_wire.jpg How many times have you told your kids to stand in one spot while you go out for a night of drinking, only to come back and find that they're asleep on the floor or, worse yet, crying in some corner? Dozens, at least. Get some added help with the Lazer Trip Wire, a basic intrusion detection system that uses "harmless light beams" to keep your kids exactly where you left them. If they break the light barrier, an alarm will activate, notifying you that it's time again to remove dinner privileges for the next few weeks. Now that's good parenting.

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