For those who play PC games (and please count me in), the most expensive and necessary investment has always been the graphics card (also known as the GPU, graphics processing unit). High-end cards, from either ATI or nVidia, can cost $500 and up. That's not even factoring in the case, cooling system, power supply, etc., which also have to be equally high-end to support the increasingly large and power-hungry graphics cards. And there seems to be no end to all this. Or is there?
I wasn't able to finagle my way to Japan to cover it, but the 12th Robo-One bipedal robot competition recently wrapped up on the island of Shikoku.
In addition to the regularly scheduled robot festivities, Robots Dreams captured this footage of a pick-up robot fight breaking out in the cafeteria. In it, a Hawaiian-shirt-clad chicken robot lays the smackdown on a more traditional robot. Enjoy. It's hard not to.
Nothing of this ilk would happen during lunchtime of our ongoing battle of the nonviolent robots. The robots would just sit there, trade snacks, and talk about stuff.
It's becoming harder for smokers to coexist with nonsmokers, what with all the nonsmoking in restaurants and bars. But if Crown7's smoke-free smoking devices catch on, a utopian society where smokers can "smoke" without pissing off everyone around them may yet exist.
The battery-powered devices use cartridges filled with nicotine, tobacco flavoring, water, and delicious propylene glycol to recreate the sensation of smoking. Instead of smoke, the "smoker" exhales a purportedly odorless vapor.
The device is available in three designs: cigar ($65), cigarette ($100), and pipe ($150).
According to the Crown7 site, each cartridge … Read more
Japanese car makers continue to keep us in work here at CNET car tech. Just when you thought that today's models had as much gadgetry onboard as possible, along comes Infiniti with its 2008 EX35, a model that introduces two brand new car technology features. The EX35 is the first production car to come with Around View Monitor, a camera-based parking aid that gives drivers a top-down surround view of the car and any obstacles in its vicinity. It is also the first car in the United States to come with a nonemergency active safety feature in the form … Read more
The 6.5-inch tall, $300 i-Sobot has already been available in Japan for a while, and it's slated to hit U.S. stores in October.
The miniature robot uses three AAA batteries to power the 17 servo motors for its joints and limbs, three separate CPUs to control its voice and movement, and two gyroscopic sensors, which give it a pretty good sense of balance. The robot can perform such nimble actions as … Read more
Update: I added some details about USB 3.0 device availability and performance.
SAN FRANCISCO--Intel and others plan to release a new version of the ubiquitous Universal Serial Bus technology in the first half of 2008, a revamp the chipmaker said will make data transfer rates more than 10 times as fast by adding fiber-optic links alongside the traditional copper wires.
Intel is working fellow USB 3.0 Promoters Group members Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Texas Instruments, NEC and NXP Semiconductors to release the USB 3.0 specification in the first half of 2008, said Pat Gelsinger, general manager of Intel's … Read more
Of all the things a robot should be able to do--smashing things, shooting stuff with lasers, lifting large objects, transforming into a 18-wheeler--making you feel like you're the world's best comedian should be pretty high up on the list.
And hopefully, you're willing to pay $3,000 for that privilege.
The Speecys "Mi-Rai" PC-101C robot is notable because it boasts facial-recognition skills and an open-ended software platform that lets developers write applications for it. More importantly, it also goes friggin nuts when you tell a joke. For evidence, watch this video.
Do you eat ice cream when you're sad? I sure do. When I saw that my nasty co-worker Tim Moynihan had pitted the Beer-Launching Fridge against Keepon the Dancing Robot in his artificial intelligence showdown, I got totally emo because I had no idea who to vote for. Then I bought myself a pint of Phish Food and ate it for breakfast with a side of Kleenex, sunny side down.
But technology is always making our lives easier, and here's a gadget that can help me figure out just how much self-pity eating I'll need to do … Read more
You can't accuse this robot of not having any heart.
A group of South Korean researchers from the Nano/Micro System Laboratory at Seoul National University has created a miniature robot powered by living heart tissue. The "microrobot" was designed to be injected into the human body and loaded up with a dissolving agent to clear blockages in arteries and other biological systems.
The scientists created the miniature robot by growing heart muscles from a rat on an elastic polymer called polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS).
We're not convinced about the wisdom of this one. GM is using this week's Frankfurt auto show to reiterate its commitment to alternative fuel cars with the unveiling of the Opel Flextreme, a concept plug-in car that builds on the buzz of the E-Flex drive train from the Chevy Volt. The car itself relies on a series hybrid drive train, which combines a lithium-ion powered-electric motor with a biodiesel combustion engine that is used solely for running the electric motor when the battery's charge runs out.
However, as blue-sky as the vehicle's power train may be (… Read more