Robotic memory

robot legs
When my coworker Fabienne joined the team she was often impressed by my ability to recall old news stories and links. I don’t know if I’ve always had it, but it’s something I use almost every day at work to make sure I’m not running old news or running the same story someone else carried. A lot of news outfits picked up this walking chair story; I even saw it on CNN. It looked more than familiar so I did some searching. Sure enough, in November 2004 WMMNA carried a story on a previous generation.

Maker Faire was fun this weekend. You can see our photos on Flickr.

Hacks, Innovation, Motorcycles, Robots

Walkers and other nonsense

walkerDoom, doom, doom! No not really. This mech’s guns only fire squishy balls; yes, their first thought was “hey, let’s put guns on it!” Also, calling it a walker is a broad interpretation since it moves like someone using a “walker“. No threat yet, since you could probably take this thing down with a speed-bump. Check out the video of it in action at the site.

Need more wackiness? Check out this Akira scooter mod. What’s not to like? Well, it’s a scooter which means it will only look like Kaneda’s bike, never move like it. Also, windshields are supposed to protect the face, not the crotch.

Finally, Google maps added satellite imagery. It looks really nice if you live in a populated area (not under a cloud), but if you live in the middle of nowhere it just looks like a bruise. Google doesn’t take advantage of the full image resolution either. Head over to Terraserver to zoom in even farther.


Self-assembling Machines

Self Assembling RobotI remember seeing computer simulation where a random group of polygons were given some intelligence so that they could teach themselves how “walk”. wmmna has the story on a set of robot buillding blocks that pull off the same trick. Each of the joints can rotate 180 degrees and the pieces are connected by magnets so the robot can rearrange itself on-the-fly. With a name like M-TRAN it also means these “tranny” robots with interchangable parts will be writing their own jokes too… because obviously I can’t.

Innovation, Robots

Walking tree harvester

walking tree harvesterPlustech, a finnish John Deere subsidiary, has developed a walking tree havester. The machine is useful in areas with uneven terrain and where enviromental impact is a concern. Their website has videos of the machine in action. They also produce a simulator for their Timberjack Forest Machine; Sadly, it doesn’t feature pedestrians. I’m just glad we’re taking the first step to building other walking heavy equiptment be they Mechs, Hercs, Gears, Wanzers, Tachikomas, Evas, Cores, CAVs, Megaduces, Walkers