Computational creativity and the future of AI

Darren Quick

Ninomiya-kun, the book-reading robot

Too tired to read the little ones a bedtime story after a long day? Japanese researchers may have had the time-poor parent in mind when they developed Ninomiya-kun, a robot capable of reading aloud from that most ancient of random access mass storage devices - a book.  Read More

The Squse robotic hand serves up some sushi

Kyoto-based factory automation firm Squse has developed a robotic hand that is dextrous and delicate enough to handle sushi. The scarily lifelike hand is constructed of a polycarbonate skeleton covered by a skin of soft silicone. Its 22 pneumatically powered artificial muscles enable its fingers to move like a human hand and it has 20 different moves up its sleeve, ranging from a full-hand squeeze to a delicate two-finger pinch used to transfer sushi from one plate to another.  Read More

Images of the brain of a transgenic mouse imaged with DEI in computed tomography mode.

A highly detailed x-ray imaging technique previously been used to examine tumors in breast tissue and cartilage in knee and ankle joints could used for early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory are the first to test the technique’s ability to visualize a class of minuscule plaques that are a hallmark feature of Alzheimer’s disease.  Read More

The Maingear Axess-HD Gamer for living room fragfests

Maingear has added some gaming grunt to its line of high end Home Theater PCs (HTPCs) in the form the Axess-HD Gamer. Just like its stable mates, the Axess-HD and HD PRO, the HD Gamer sports a low profile design with aluminum case and optional OLED Front Panel Display that is designed to blend in with other home theater components. However, behind that stylish exterior lies a system built for gaming, an intention made more obvious by the inclusion of the Phantom Lapboard as standard.  Read More

LG's prototype 15-inch OLED TV on show at CES 2009
 Pic credit: engadget

The OLED TV market is ever so slowly heating up with the announcement from LG that it will launch a 15-inch OLED TV in the Korean market at the end of the year. LG first revealed a prototype 15-inch OLED TV at CES 2009 in January where it impressed with the incredible contrast and 0.8mm thin profile that OLED technology provides.  Read More

The Samsung VC240 all-in-one video conferencing solution

Video conferencing offers businesses a way to save time and money on travel expenses while providing that all-important face-to-face communication. Samsung, partnering with RADVISION, has developed the VC240, a new all-in-one solution that integrates all the components required for high definition desktop video conferencing into a single unit. As well as operating as a standalone desktop HD video conferencing device without the need of a PC, it can also be used as a high-resolution monitor.  Read More

A part of Moofushi coral reef hit by coral bleaching
 Pic credit: Bruno de Giusti

We recently looked at problems with a last resort solution to counteract global warming by artificially shading the Earth from sunlight by injecting sulphur or small, reflective particles into the upper atmosphere. Now a new study from the Carnegie Institution has thrown further doubt on the effectiveness of such a proposal. Although it may lower the planet’s temperature by a couple of degrees, it would do little to stop the acidification of the world’s oceans that threatens coral reefs and other marine life.  Read More

Artist’s concept of sunlight glowing through Earth's atmosphere
 Pic Credit:Gabriel Perez ...

Directly observing planets outside our solar system - called exoplanets - is almost impossible because they are washed out by the glare of the parent star. For this reason astronomers have largely relied on indirect methods that observe the effects of the planets on their parent stars instead of the planets themselves. Such indirect detection methods have helped take the number of exoplanets discovered so far to more than 350, but determining whether signs of life exist on a planet that can’t actually be seen presents a problem. Astronomers from the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC) have found a solution.  Read More

The Panasonic DMP-B15 portable Blu-ray player

The Panasonic DMP-B15, the world’s first portable Blu-ray player that first caught our interest at CES 2009, can lay claim to another first. It is also the world’s first Blu-ray player with DivX Certification. DivX compression technology enables over six hours of high-quality DivX video to fit on just one DVD without sacrificing visual quality. So even if your Blu-ray library is a little undersized, you might have to go for the optional 6-hour battery over the standard issue 3-hour job to make the most of your programming options.  Read More

Hellooo ladies - it's the Metal Detecting Sandal

Are you a beachcomber who is sick and tired of lugging around a hand-held metal detector as you search for buried treasures? Well, your prayers have been answered with these Metal Detecting Sandals that can pick-up objects buried up to 2-feet underground.  Read More

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