Robot Runs in Place Before Charging Towards You at 7 kph

August 12, 2009 by Rico Mossesgeld  
Filed under Robots, Transportation

Robot Runs in Place Before Charging Towards You at 7 kph

The video below is a demo of a robot running at 7 kilometers per hour, constructed and developed by Toyota R&D.
I’ve always wondered why Toyota and Honda have been working on motive robots for the last decade or so. Will future models be more reminiscent of Mechwarrior or Heavy Gear? If so, I want in, even if large humanoid robots are totally impractical for transportation or even combat—coolness outweighs sensibility any time!
Anyways, we are signing over our independence to machines that are slowly becoming more autonomous and capable than us, but at least there are warning signs. Some are more … [Read More]

Totally Awesome Bike Folds Into Wheel Circumference

August 4, 2009 by Rico Mossesgeld  
Filed under Transportation

Totally Awesome Bike Folds Into Wheel Circumference

The Contortionist is a bike that folds into an oreo of sorts, with the entire mechanism somehow tucking between both 26-inch wheels, and part of the assembly sticking out for easy pulling.
The inventor? A 24-year-old student from Battersea, London. Dominic Hargreaves was apparently unsatisfied with his folding bike—which collapsed on him—so he set out to design his own, with an emphasis on hardiness. The mechanical reality that makes this gadget work? The front whell, engineered to rotate and reposition to make compactness achievable. I guess the only way you can make it any more compact is if you use smaller … [Read More]

Pratt & Whitney 135: The Most Powerful Fighter Engine Ever Built

August 1, 2009 by Rico Mossesgeld  
Filed under Transportation

Pratt & Whitney 135: The Most Powerful Fighter Engine Ever Built

The F-35 Lightning II looks really awesome, especially in VTOL/hover mode, but I really don’t understand why the US Air Force considers a super-heavy 70,000-pound as the future. Then again, all that high-tech crammed into the F-35 promises to make maneuvering irrelevant for future dogfights, and at least one variant of the fighter’s claimed maneuverability is second only to F-22 Raptor (just in case).
In any case, Lockheed Martin’s insistence to develop the fifth generation fighter with that kind of weight forced them to develop the most powerful fighter engine ever built, the Pratt & Whitney 135:
Featuring a maximum of 42,000 … [Read More]

Paul Graham: It Was too Easy for Segway

Paul Graham: It Was too Easy for Segway

So why hasn’t the Segway taken off? Why hasn’t it delivered its promise of providing personal transportation for everyone? Paul Graham thinks he has the answer: it makes things look too easy:
The reason you look like a dork riding a Segway is that you look smug. You don’t seem to be working hard enough.
Someone riding a motorcycle isn’t working any harder. But because he’s sitting astride it, he seems to be making an effort. When you’re riding a Segway you’re just standing there. And someone who’s being whisked along while seeming to do no work—someone in a sedan chair, for … [Read More]

Dolphin-Inspired Personal Submarine is Win

July 14, 2009 by Rico Mossesgeld  
Filed under Transportation

Dolphin-Inspired Personal Submarine is Win

The premise of Innerspace Productions’ Seabreacher? A personal sub in itself is already cool, but what about a personal sub that supposedly can jump, dive, and roll like a real dolphin?
Images!
Video!
Quick facts:

This is nothing new; the product FAQ cites experience based on 10 years of use
A promise top speed of 40mph on the surface and 20mph underwater
Price is $48,000 for the basic model, while all the bells and whistles can be had for $68,000
Inner Space ships all over the world, through 20-foot shipping containers, for around $3000 to $6000 depending on location
Max depth is 5 feet
Positively buoyant; unless something’s actively … [Read More]

Jay Leno Has Fun With 3D Printers

Jay Leno Has Fun With 3D Printers

We all know about Jay Leno’s collection of old cars. More interesting for gadget geeks is that he relies on a 3D scanner and printer to keep his antiques in tip-top shape.
Need a replacement part for a decades-old or exotic car? All Jay Leno does is get the part he wants to replace, and use a 3D scanner to convert into information his 3D printer understands. He then waits a few hours while the printer reproduces a plastic facsimile. After printing’s done (which can take as long as 33 hours), Leno checks if the newly-fabricated plastic part fits as a … [Read More]

Extreme Segway + Steadicam Skills

May 22, 2009 by Rico Mossesgeld  
Filed under Cameras, Transportation

Extreme Segway + Steadicam Skills

Totally amazing: watch this Steadicam operator go full speed on a Segway towards the stage, dismounting gracefully onto it, and making tight circles that would make a ballerina dizzy before alighting stage right:
And that was just a rehearsal. Now see how the shot turned out during the live Eurovision performance (right at 2:40):
Extreme cinematography execution and Segway-manship at its finest, no doubt. Fellow Steadicam pros/enthusiasts are going gaga over the performance, and its rumored that the operator is a certain Karsten Jacobsen.
Ah, but all amazing feats always involve the unheralded, the sidekick who helps the leader look good. In this … [Read More]

Hackers Learn More About F-35 Lightning II

April 21, 2009 by Rico Mossesgeld  
Filed under Transportation

Hackers Learn More About F-35 Lightning II

So you and your allies have spent $300 billion to develop what’s hopefully the most kick-ass fighter plane ever (F-22 Raptor, eat your heart out). And by now the whole world knows about the F-35 Lighting II, the star of your Joint Strike Fighter project. Wouldn’t you try your best to secure all that detailed research & development data from the prying eyes of spies?

Worst Car Names Ever

August 16, 2008 by Rico Mossesgeld  
Filed under Transportation

Worst Car Names Ever

Sure, writing about cars here is a bit off-topic for The Gadget Blog. But then cars are gadgets, and once you see how funny the following are, you’ll be really grateful!

“Turtle” Airships Hope to Mix Novelty With Philantrophy

July 4, 2008 by Rico Mossesgeld  
Filed under Transportation

“Turtle” Airships Hope to Mix Novelty With Philantrophy

The idea is simple apparently: use an airship, take advantage of its spaciousness (compared with aircraft) and turn it into a pretty well-stocked humanitarian platform.
Instead of flying to a major airport at a large city where supplies would have to be loaded onto trucks or helicopters to carry disaster relief, airship can fly directly to any location on earth and deliver humanitarian aid quickly to the exact place it is needed. Airships can deliver help to the most remote locations, even if roads are destroyed as in an earthquake, or flooding.

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