While there are many folks who prefer warm blooded humans, some just prefer the 2 dimensional – so much in fact that they would rather marry one. A petition will be submitted to the Japanese government upon the collection of one million signatures asking for law to be passed making it legal to marry a 2 dimensional character.
Scientists have discovered that inorganic material can take on the characteristics of living organisms in space, a development that could transform views of alien life.
An international panel from the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Max Planck institute in Germany and the University of Sydney found that galactic dust could form spontaneously into helixes and double helixes and that the inorganic creations had memory and the power to reproduce themselves.
What I love about this is that it completely changes the odds on life existing outside our solar system. If planets are not needed for life to evolve, then life could be anywhere or everywhere out there for us to discover. The possibilities are truly fantastic.
What’s happening in all those nebulas and cosmic gas clouds out there that we’re not yet seeing?
Using their flippers, the mechanical penguins can paddle through water just like real ones, while larger helium-filled designs can “swim” through the air. The penguins are on show at the Hannover Messe Trade Exhibition in Germany.
Each penguin carries 3D sonar developed by EvoLogics in Berlin, Germany, which is used to monitor its surroundings and avoid collisions with walls or other penguins.
IBM, not content to merely crush the spirits of chess masters like Garry Kasparov, have started working with Jeopardy! to create a supercomputer that will undoubtedly answer questions more accurately than Sean Connery.
The supercomputer, dubbed simply as a “Question Answering” system, is named Watson. Designers believe it will have the speed and “understanding” necessary to research, buzz in, and then answer questions fast enough to compete on the popular game show.
Remember when we teased you with a stack of RX-64 servos? Well its time to unveil a bit more of what we’re working on for the upcoming Mech Warfare competition at Robogames 2009. Meet Hagetaka; a 7DOF per leg biped built around the powerful RX-64 servo from Robotis. This robot boasts 14 RX-64s, 2 RX-28s, a custom aluminum chassis machined by sponsor Big Blue Saw, an onboard linux based Gumstix computer with a PS3 Sixaxis controller , a WiFi video server using a Headplay Personal Cinema System for remote piloting, and of course dual automatic airsoft guns. Video and more info will be available in the near future.
Mech Warfare is a robotic competition unlike any seen before.
Our goal is to create a real-life robotic combat competition that mirrors the scenarios found in Sci-Fi universes such as Battletech, Warhammer 40k and Armored Core.
This competition will pit participants against each other, piloting custom designed 1/24th scale robots- armed with Airsoft weapon systems and higher end weapons such as micro rockets, flame throwers and CO2 projectile weapon systems.
The idea to compete for the Google Lunar X Prize crystallized around the vision of Alberto Rovetta, a professor of robot mechanics at Politecnico di Milano. Rovetta’s designs for lunar robots resemble skittering spiders or crabs that could deploy as a swarm of mobile cameras and sensors on both legs and wheels.
Such unorthodox designs may help the team seize the Google Lunar X Prize, which requires teams to land a robot on the moon, move at least 1,640 feet (500 meters) and beam high definition views back to Earth.
A new type of lunar robots is being designed which could help prepare locations on the Moon for human outposts and landing pads. With supervised autonomy, small robots the size of riding mowers and weighing 300 kg or less could prepare a site in about 6 months, says a new study by Astrobotic Technology Inc. in cooperation with Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute.
Jerry had a motorcycle accident last May and lost a finger. When the doctor working on the artificial finger heard he is a hacker, the immediate suggestion was to embed a USB “finger drive” to the design. Now he carries a Billix Linux distribution and the Freddy Got Fingered movie as part of his hand.
The idea for tending to a garden without human hands came from work done by Nikolaus Correll, a postdoctoral assistant working in MIT Professor Daniela Rus’ Distributed Robotics Lab. Correll saw the possible applications of swarm robotics to an agricultural environment and thus the idea grew into a course in which students created robots capable of tending a small garden of tomatoes. Each robot is outfitted with a robotic arm and a watering pump, while the plants themselves are equipped with local soil sensing, networking and computation. This affords them the ability to communicate: plants can request water or nutrients and keep track of their conditions, including fruit produced; robots are able to minister to their charges, locate and pick a specific tomato, and even pollinate the plants.
The Department of Defense (DoD) is also financing studies of autonomous, or self-governing, armed robots that could find and destroy targets on their own. On-board computer programs, not flesh-and-blood people, would decide whether to fire their weapons. “The trend is clear – warfare will continue and autonomous robots will ultimately be deployed in its conduct,” says Ron Arkin, a robotics expert at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. Arkin advocates the development of an ethical guidance system or “ethical governor” akin to the governors used to control steam engines.
..building a meaningful relationship with a robot may soon get easier if Nikolaos Mavridis and pals from the Interactive Robots and Media Lab at the United Arab Emirates University have anything to do with it. They say the key to building a longer, meaningful relationship with a robot is to become embedded in the same network of shared friends and together build a pool of shared memories that you can both refer to. Just like a real friend.
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They’re planning to implement their programme in a humanoid robot called IbnSina (see picture), that they have developed at their lab.
Robert Rodriguez, the writer and director of such films as Desperado, Sin City, and Spy Kids, has just released the trailer for his newest movie, Shorts, about a group of kids in a darkly-idealized suburban community discovering a wish-granting rainbow stone from the stars.
Is there any other director out there who can move so effortlessly between children’s movies and action/horror films?
Who – or what – was Gef the talking mongoose? Was he merely “a little extra, extra clever mongoose” as he once claimed? Or was he – as he claimed on another occasion – truly “the eighth wonder of the world”?
Some think Gef was a poltergeist. Some think he was a demonic spirit. And then again, some think he was no more than a bizarre Folie à Deux created by a lonely adolescent girl and her father.
Whatever Gef was, he deserves his place in the Fortean pantheon of immortal tricksters. For above all, he was a bringer of mischief and mirth – a challenge to authority and a subverter of mundanity.
“If you knew what I know, you’d know a hell of a lot,” Gef once remarked. Amen to that.
Hoover (1971? — July 25, 1985) was a harbor seal who was able to imitate basic human speech.
Hoover was an orphan when he was found by George and Alice Swallow in Maine in 1971. George and Alice decided to take him home. At first the baby seal didn’t want to eat, but soon he ate at the pace of a vacuum cleaner (hence his name). When Hoover outgrew the bathtub, he was transferred to the pond outside their house where he began to imitate people’s voices. Again he was moved, this time to the New England Aquarium, where he told visitors to “Get outta here!” in a thick New England accent.
Thanks to this, he became famous, and appeared in publications like Reader’s Digest and The New Yorker and television programs like Good Morning America.
Four small dark-blue creatures “like protozoa” were “hopping and jumping around the saucer like globs of animated jelly”. The 4-ft-tall entities were “lead-gray” in colour and had no visible limbs. Without warning, they rushed at the Swedes and tried to herd them towards the disc.
Ryberg punched one of the gelatinous assailants but found that his arm merely sank into it up to the elbow.
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At sunset on July 22, ‘Trevor’ set out to climb Wyfla Hill; a prominent local landmark. He reached the summit to find a transparent dome-shaped object, 40 feet in diameter, pulsating with bright unfamiliar colours. Inside stood two small beings resembling lumps of jelly.
A hatch opened in the dome, and one of the entities flopped out and began to undulate towards the teenager.
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The teenager was so shocked by the encounter that he temporarily lost his voice and suffered from intermittent hysterical blindness. It took a bevy of doctors and psychologists months to restore his former good health.