Japan’s prime minister wants to host the first ‘robot Olympics’ in 2020
For as long as there have been robots, humans have wanted to thrust them into battle. Now Japan’s prime minister wants to take that idea to the largest stage possible. Speaking to reporters last weekend at a robot factory north of Tokyo, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was reported by Jiji Press (via the Telegraph) as saying: “In 2020 I would like to gather all of the world’s robots and aim to hold an Olympics where they compete in technical skill.”
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Chocolate? Pfft, MIT students are 3D printing with ice cream
Sure, those 3D printers that can output confectionery creations in sugar, chocolate and other edible substances are great, but a trio of MIT students have upped the awesome. Using a household Cuisinart ice cream maker and a Solidoodle printer, the crew hacked together a device that prints soft serve for an additive manufacturing course. The modified 3D printer is housed inside of a small freezer and a line of liquid nitrogen blasts the dairy dessert as it’s placed, keeping the object solid during the 15-minute process.
New fighter pilot helmet delivers night vision without goggles
Fighter pilots have access to helmets with amazing abilities. However, they still have to strap on heavy night vision goggles to fly in the dark — an all too literal pain in the neck. Much to aircrews’ relief, BAE Systems wants to make that clunky headgear a distant memory. Its brand new Striker II helmet includes a night vision camera that projects its footage on to the visor’s high-resolution display, giving the pilot a good look at the outside world without the need for extra equipment. The tech should be far more comfortable during lengthy missions, especially in sharp turns where G-forces make any added weight feel that much worse.
Meet Jibo: Your swiveling, giggling, slightly creepy disembodied robot butler
Inside of his rotund little head, Jibo boasts a range of different sensors, cameras, and special software that enables him to recognize faces and natural-language voice commands. Think of him like a physical manifestation of Siri. Just like the digital assistant you carry around in your pocket, he can politely remind you of important tasks, and even read you messages that your friends and family have sent. At parties and other social gatherings, Jibo can act as the photographer — using his advanced facial-recognition software in tandem with his two cameras and swiveling head, he can snap photos for you automatically. The bot uses natural cues like movement, speech, and smile detection to know when someone’s posing for a picture.
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