• Festo’s SmartBird Robot Flies Through The Air At TED

    Festo’s SmartBird Robot Flies Through The Air At TED

    You may recall the SmartBird, a robot we saw back in March that mimics the flight of birds, flapping its wings like the real thing. The video we saw then was a bit too edited to get a feel for the bot, but luckily one of the inventors was invited to do a TED talk, and of course they had to set the thing free in the auditorium. Check out the video. Read More

  • Video: Robot Mimics Snail Style For Omnidirectional Movement

    Biomimetic robots are nothing new (snakebot, ro-bat, shark-tail wave harvester), but as there is a great variety of animals to mimic, there’s no shortage of interesting takes on the idea. This one, from Chuo University’s Biomechatronics Lab (how I would love to work at a place with a name like that), uses the movement principle favored by the common snail. They call it… Read More

  • Video: PBS Reports On Bionic Limb Development

    It’s hard to keep up with all the developments in the bionics and cybernetics worlds: so many universities and private institutions are working on so many projects that by the time you report one, another has leapfrogged it. PBS News Hour has put together a nice little survey of the current tech, interviewing Dean Kamen and a number of other inventors and researchers in the field. Read More

  • Zero Punctuation On Duke Nukem Forever

    You probably know what to expect out of this one. Since the critics have been almost uniform in their judgement of this storied and unfortunate title, and Yahtzee’s take was likely to be even one step further. Actually, he has some sympathy for the game, and while it’s not a good game, its failures are comprehensible in a way some modern games errors aren’t. I’m glad it… Read More

  • "Magi-Cam" Uses Mirrors As Camouflage To Spy On Vigilant Animals

    One of the hardest things to do when filming a nature documentary is convince the animals you’re not there. Sometimes it means constructing an elaborate blind and waiting for hours, days, or even months. Sometimes you have to send a remote-controlled proxy out there, if you’re filming, say, polar bears. But these little robots are loud and difficult to effectively disguise. Who… Read More

  • Behind The Scenes At The Impossible Project's Resurrected Polaroid Facility

    Although we weep for the Polaroid of yesteryear, the world of instant film hasn’t just disappeared. As we’ve noted over the last couple years, Dutch company Impossible has taken it upon themselves to keep the old Polaroid film factory running — no small task. This little 10-minute documentary shows some of the process and a few of the people involved. Read More

  • Ever Wonder What In-Lens Image Stabilization Actually Looks Like?

    Not content with Canon’s claims that it is simply unicorn tears that makes their in-lens stabilization work, Camera Technica decided to take apart an 18-55mm IS and record just what was going on in there. Aren’t you curious too? Read More

  • Japanese Robo-Drone Will Interrogate Your Leia

    This odd robot, made of spare parts, has more in common with the IT-O than anything of this world. It can float around for 8 minutes on one charge and goes 40 miles an hour. Plus it’s a unique form factor for this sort of RC drone, making it a real one of a kind. Add some spinning blades and an arc blaster and you’ve got a party. Read More

  • Inside F1's 20-button Super Steering Wheel

    F1 racing has long been a technology battle, and while the driver is an important component, his role has been increasingly supplemented by computers and engineers. This is perhaps no more visible than on the steering wheel which, once just the way you changed the direction the tires pointed, has turned into an Xbox-esque controller for a huge variety of precision settings and high-tech abilities. Read More

  • Double-Barrelled Pneumatic Water Cannon Makes The Greatest Noise Ever

    To be honest, the performance of this pneumatic cannon isn’t really blowing me away — but the noise it makes is cracking me up. Can you spare fifteen seconds to watch the video? I knew you could. Read More

  • From The Makers Of "Machete Crossbow" – "The Avalaunche"

    Remember a couple weeks back, we saw that sweet crossbow that shot machetes instead of bolts? Well, the creator of that engine of destruction has put together a new contraption: a slingshot that fires six 20mm steel balls at once. It powers through that watermelon like there’s nothing there. Read More