Tag Archive: robot


Above, a trailer for a new sci-fi show, called (at least so far) Almost Human.  A broken cop awakes 2 years after a terrible accident to find his world full of synthetic police persons – persons that he has a deep seated dislike and distrust of.  Cue him getting a new partner, being unstable, angry and hard to get on with.

It looks so incredibly lush – with visual callbacks to things like Bladerunner, Minority Report and possibly even the credits to Person of Interest.

I would watch this SO HARD.

[EDIT:  And I did – before it got cancelled 😦  Shame they showed the episodes out of order, and I’m sad they cancelled it just as it was getting really interesting!]

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The SpaceX corporation's Dragon module, grappled by the ISS robotic arm

That, is the ISS robotic arm grappling the SpaceX Dragon module.

Just the best headline ever, and entirely accurate.

The SpaceX corporation’s Dragon module successfully berthed with the ISS today, first being grabbed by the robot arm and then drawn into position to dock.  I was watching on NASA.gov’s NASA TV – and I’m convinced that SpaceX and NASA were conspiring to ensure that they had the most ridiculous, awesome, soundbites and quotes – things straight from the cover of an 80’s metal/rock band record sleeve.

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This is fantastic – but I cry out for more information on it!  This machine (by Markus Kayser) uses Fresnel lenses and solar powered motors to focus the light and heat of the Saharan sun on to the moving bed of sand – melting it as it travels and forming a crude glass.  The bed is lowered, another layer is sprinkled and leveled, and the sintering, 3d printing, sun-worshiping, dance goes on.  But I have questions!

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Indian Fortune Telling Robot

Indian fortune-telling robot at Magh Mela fair

I love this – I love that there are fortune telling robots scattered across fairs and markets in India.  These plastic mystics, these fiberglass fortune-tellers, are studded with garish LEDs, sport a clock embedded in their crotch, and frequently a pair of voltmeters or ammeters, one in each pectoral.  Lastly, and most importantly, there are multiple headphone sockets, usually in the hips or waist.

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How excited am I allowed to be about this, without getting sectioned?  Ah, who cares.  The video above shows the operation of a computer controlled bioreactor and integrated vending machine for spirulina – a form of blue-green algae and all round science celebrity!

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Mechanical Birds take Flight

Festo (creators of air-penguins and robotic rays) have created what appears to be the most realistic looking ornithopter (or flapping flying device) that I’ve yet seen!  It’s beautiful – and while not yet as graceful as a gull, or elegant as an eagle, they’re certainly not far off!  This video inspired me, and you’ll see why in the next post.

For a few seconds, I wondered what was going on in this video – was it a man doing face exercises?  Was it another ‘electrically stimulated‘ face experiment?  Well, it’s the Geminoid DK, and it’s not actually human (which you can tell after a few moments).  For those first few seconds, however,  I was uncertain – and that uncertainty is a clear flag that the creators have managed to take the first great steps out of the uncanny valley of terrifying near-human forms.

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