Back in 2009, more than a few people drooled over a concept video from Orkin Design for a laptop with a flexible screen that rolls up into a magic scroll of sorts.
The Munich-based design firm recently released an updated concept video, but the Rolltop is so far no closer to becoming reality.
The Rolltop 2.0 is envisioned as having a flexible OLED (organic light-emitting diode) multitouch display (perhaps similar to Sony's) that can be used as a 13-inch laptop screen or full 17-inch monitor with a stand attached to the device.
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla.--After a last-minute Air Force computer glitch threatened to derail launch, the shuttle Discovery, carrying an all-veteran crew of six, critical supplies, and a final U.S. module for the International Space Station, blasted off with seconds to spare and vaulted into orbit Thursday to begin its 39th and final flight.
Several relatively large pieces of foam insulation fell away from the shuttle's repaired external tank during the climb to space, including some that hit the ship's heat shield. But the observed impacts occurred well after Discovery was out of the dense lower atmosphere … Read more
Robotkind got NASA to send one of their own into space today--an unassuming humanoid "robot butler" that will be in the perfect spot to destroy Earth from orbit.
Sporting a terrifying mask, touting dumbbells, and tipping the scales at 330 pounds, Robonaut 2 has convinced just about everyone that despite its appearance it's not evil incarnate.
Before the macho droid lifted off in the Space Shuttle Discovery on the orbiter's final mission today at 1:53 p.m. PT, it tweeted innocently, "Excited to be a part of our nation's current & future space technology. Investments are critical to both our future in space and life on Earth."
Notice how it didn't say "humanity's future." That's a dead giveaway. It's clearly referring to the Robopocalypse (and I'm not talking about the forthcoming novel by Daniel Wilson).
It's no surprise that Robonaut 2, or R2, has pretty vague job aboard the International Space Station. The robot co-developed by General Motors is supposed to help the crew--and interact with it. It will be set up for certain tasks, handle tools and flip switches, working autonomously or by remote control. … Read more
Intel's long-awaited Light Peak technology, now known formally as Thunderbolt, is finally available on its first consumer device, and the company today unveiled more details about when we'll be seeing it in consumer PCs and gadgets.
First unveiled at the Intel Developer Forum back in 2009, the data transfer tech promises to replace a handful of ports with one that can do more things, and do them faster.
Pint-size humanoid robots have started an endurance race in Osaka, Japan, in what organizers are calling the world's first bipedal-robot marathon.
In the Robomarafull event, hobby and custom-built robots will attempt to complete a full 26-mile marathon by "running" around an indoor track 423 times. The foot-high robots aren't exactly speedy, so the contest will be decided by which robots are toughest.
Robots that topple over have to stand back up unaided, but their human handlers must recharge the bots' batteries and servomotors. The athletes can either run autonomously, following the colored course, or be controlled … Read more
Editor's note: We used Cover It Live for this event, so if you missed the live blog, you can still replay it in the embedded component below. Replaying the event will give you all the live updates along with commentary from our readers. Following the introduction is an edited transcript of the event. You can also click here for an FAQ on the new Thunderbolt technology.
Intel today is revealing some of the final details of its Light Peak technology as it makes its way into the first wave of consumer and business gadgetry.
University of Michigan computer scientists and engineers are at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference in San Francisco today presenting papers on two systems: a prototype implantable eye pressure monitor for glaucoma patients and a compact radio for wireless sensor networks.
What makes their presentation so remarkable is that both systems involve what is believed to be the first complete millimeter-scale computing system.
The near-invisible package is just over 1 cubic millimeter in size and includes an ultra-low-power microprocessor, a thin-film battery, a solar cell, memory, a pressure sensor, and a wireless radio with an antenna.
"Millimeter-scale systems...have a host of new applications for monitoring our bodies, our environment, and our buildings," said Professor David Blaauw in a news release. "Because they're so small, you could manufacture hundreds of thousands on one wafer. There could be 10s to 100s of them per person, and it's this per capita increase that fuels the semiconductor industry's growth."
The team points to Bell's Law, formulated by computer engineer Gordon Bell in 1972, which says that a new class of smaller and cheaper computers is developed roughly every decade. This is considered to be a partial corollary to Moore's Law, established in 1970 and named after Intel co-founder Gordon Moore (first names coincidental), which describes the now 50-plus-year trend that the number of transistors able to be placed on an integrated circuit doubles every two years.
The new system out of Michigan is being hailed as the first in a new class of millimeter-scale computing, and while the researchers are specifically targeting the medical side of body sensor networks, other potential applications include tracking such things as pollution, weapons, structural integrity, and more.… Read more
Researchers are ready to advance their tests of a novel brain-computer interface (BCI) from animals to human subjects, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency just granted them more than $6 million over the next three years to get those human clinical trials under way.
Ongoing research out of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and the University of Pittsburgh has already demonstrated that the team's tiny 10x10 array of electrodes implanted on the surface of a monkey's brain can process activity from individual neurons to guide a robotic arm through such simple tasks as turning doorknobs and … Read more
NASA's tough-looking Robonaut 2 is slated to ride the Space Shuttle Discovery into orbit this month, and now Japan says it wants to shoot its own humanoid robot to the International Space Station too.
Japan's space agency JAXA says it may put a humanoid on the ISS in 2013 so it can watch over crew members while they sleep and monitor their health and stress levels.
Engineers at the University of Tokyo and staff at advertising giant Dentsu apparently are working on the space droid.
It would be intended for communication--sending pics to Earth via Twitter and boosting public interest in the ISS. NASA, on the other hand, wants humanoid robots to perform tasks on space walks in the future.
"We are thinking in terms of a very human-like robot that would have facial expressions and be able to converse with the astronauts," JAXA's Satoshi Sano was quoted as saying by the Associated Press. … Read more
The Google Lunar X Prize competition now has an official roster of 29 registered teams, paving the way for a new race to the moon.
The X Prize Foundation today announced seven new teams that had been previously unknown to those who are following the competition. They include Mystical Moon of the USA and Space II of Israel, two teams that are trying to improve "scientific awareness" among the world's youth. Team Puli of Hungary is made up of "young Hungarian professionals," while the Penn State Lunar Lions of the USA are aiming for the … Read more