Thursday, May 28, 2009

Exoskeleton from Lockheed Martin

The name of this thing is Human Universal Load Carrier (HULC™). It is powered exoskeleton and should help soldiers, fire-fighters and etc. There are several similar project and I'll post something about them soon. For now it looks like not bad approximation to the creation of true Iron Man :).

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Smartest animal

This is really difficult question. There've been several attempts to order the smartest animals, but always there is big controversy. The firs problem is to define the meaning of the word "smart" or "intelligent", we can say for our propose that this is what we, the humans use to do, inventing tools, learning things, finding relations, speech, art and etc. In my personal opinion most valuable is the creating of things (tools) without previous (or at least not similar) experience. So far probably one of the smartest animals out there is the rook (Corvus frugilegus), and the reason is this article. I'll bet on them instead of the New Caledonian crows because, they have not instincts and previous experience of using and making hooks and pins.

The big question is how to distinguish the intelligence, conscience and thinking, what is the particular quality unique for the humans, where finishes the animal (or machine in the case of robots and programs) and begins the human, if very smart animal is more intelligent then human (child, old, mental disable) will this make the animal human and the human animal. I'll keep looking for answers.

See more: BBC (best of the articles with 3 short videos for illustration), Daily Mail, Science Daily

Saturday, May 23, 2009

KOBIAN: Emotional Humanoid Robot

Here is the next step toward true humanoid robot (I mean indistinguishable without proper examination. It was presented by Atsuo Takanishi (Takanishi Laboratory), research organization NEDO and Japanese-Italian project RoboCasa.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The American lobster - largest arthropod recorded

An American lobster (Homarus americanus) is probably the heaviest specimen of arthropod ever recorded. According to the Guinness World Records, the largest lobster was caught 1977 in Nova Scotia, Canada, and weighed 20.15 kg (44.4 lb). It measured in estimation around 1.07 m (3.9 ft) along the body. On the picture is supposed to be this specimen, I can't find the origin of the photo, but it was said in several websites to be Nova Scotia's lobster.

Source: Wikipedia

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Honda Develops Brain-Machine Interface Technology

Honda, ATR and Shimadzu jointly develop brain-machine interface technology enabling control of a robot by human thought alone. Exciting future we will have.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Super Mouse

Genetic engineers created faster, slimmer, stronger, longer living and interestingly more aggressive mouse. I am curious to know if somebody works out already how to apply this to humans.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Most poisonous plant

Seems that the Oleander (Nerium oleander) is probably the most poisonous plant. In Wikipedia we will see that around 0.5 mg per kilogram of body weight is lethal to many animals or more poisonous than once common rat poison Strychnine

Sources: HowStuffWorks, Wikipedia

How Stuff Works

How stuff works is very useful site. One can learn a lot of curious and useful things.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

HRP-4C Gynoid

HRP-4C is a humanoid robot. In my opinion this robot is interesting with the overall design recreating human appearance. Probably something like that, but with a little improvement in the hardware and the artificial intelligence can be used like companion or sex toy. On second thought, probably there is no need of too much improvements, apparently people are satisfied to use just rubber dolls.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Boston Dynamics BigDog Robot

This is BigDog - a dynamically stable quadruped robot. It is powered by simple gasoline engine. Impressive to look how it regain balance just like an animal.