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Jason Falconer

The RASSOR can climb over a large obstacle, such as a boulder on the moon - engineers on E...

Recently we've seen preliminary asteroid mining plans from Planetary Resources and Deep Space Industries, but what about NASA? The government agency would like to do some excavating on the Moon, Mars, and asteroids, too – but it isn't in it for the profit. NASA wants to clear the way for construction projects and mine materials for use by astronauts, and is developing a teleoperated robot called the Regolith Advanced Surface Systems Operations Robot (RASSOR, pronounced "razor") to get the job done.  Read More

The DeltaMaker 3D printer features a striking symmetrical design

The ongoing race to build the cheapest, most versatile 3D printer continues with the impending launch of the DeltaMaker. Founded by a small group of engineers out of Orlando, Florida, the DeltaMaker puts its own spin on the growing personal electronics revolution, matching the print resolution of the MakerBot Replicator 2 while offering a larger overall build envelope and, at US$1,599 dollars, costs $600 dollars less.  Read More

ModiBots can be modified with more than 700 parts (Photo: Wayne Losey)

The ModiBots, a line of poseable action figures which can be outfitted with all sorts of accessories, sell for around US$15 apiece, which isn't much more than what you'd expect to pay for any other toy at retail. The difference is that these aren't being churned out in massive quantities by a major manufacturer – they're available for purchase online via Shapeways' 3D print-on-demand service. It's an example of how entrepreneurs are taking advantage of 3D printing technology to build new businesses.  Read More

Recreate yourself as a 3D paper model at Paper-Kit.com

Papercraft projects tend to be based on 3D models from video games or custom-made art projects. The basic idea is to take a 3D model and flatten it out in software such as Dunreeb Cutout or Pepakura Designer by Tama software. Then you print it, cut out the parts, fold them where necessary, and paste the whole mess together. Now, thanks to Paper-kit.com, if you've got a big head – or simply want one – you can use the same technique to build an over-sized three-dimensional paper model of yourself using 2D photos.  Read More

Crumpled graphene layered on a flexible polymer (Photo: Duke University)

Despite its numerous wondrous properties, a propensity to stick together and be difficult to flatten out once crumpled can make working with graphene difficult and limit its applications. Engineers at Duke University have now found that by attaching graphene to a stretchy polymer film, they are able to crumple and then unfold the material, resulting in a properties that lend it to a broader range of applications, including artificial muscles.  Read More

Burn 300-800 calories a day with leisurely pedaling on the Active Desk

Many of us sit at a desk for extended periods each day – and that has doctors worried. Researchers are beginning to understand the associated health risks triggered by sitting for long durations, and suggest that people need to stand up, walk, and generally be more active throughout their day. One way to get more exercise might be to try out the Active Desk, which combines a recumbent exercise bike with a work desk, allowing you to leisurely pedal off the pounds throughout the day.  Read More

Flying in a giant robot looks like fun, in Monolith Soft's new Wii U role-playing game

Nintendo isn't waiting until the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) to tease gamers with upcoming titles for its fledgling Wii U console. In the latest Nintendo Direct video, the company showcased titles that it hopes will appeal to gamers of every stripe. It also spilled the beans on its plans for the Virtual Console service, its online store that offers downloadable retro game titles.  Read More

Dr. GIY's Pre-made Me is a 52 cm tall dancing robot maid (Photo: Dr. GIY)

Strange as it may seem, in the last few years Japan has been home to a fad where cute girls dressed up as french maids star in J-POP, comics, animation, and video games. The distinctive costume has grown so popular that there's a number of so-called maid cafés in Tokyo's geeky Akihabara district where anyone can enjoy the thrills of being served by a horde of hostesses in full outfit. That – to say nothing of Japan's endless fascination with humanoid robots – probably explains Pre-made Me, the latest creation by well-known Japanese roboticist Dr. GIY.  Read More

InMoov is an animatronic android designed and engineered by Gael Langevin

Now that 3D printing technology is taking off, some truly unique projects are beginning to emerge from all sorts of talented people. Take Gael Langevin, a French sculptor and model marker who has spent the better part of the last year designing and engineering his own animatronic robot called InMoov. And it's open source, so if you're feeling confident, you can try to build one yourself using a list of off-the-shelf electronics and parts he shares on 3D file sharing site Thingiverse.  Read More

One hundred Kilobots move towards a light source

Robots by the dozen are prohibitively expensive, so actually testing how large swarms would work together is often limited to computer simulations. That's where Harvard's Kilobots are beginning to bear fruit – at a cost of US$14 each in batches of a thousand, they're a tenth the cost of their cheapest competitor. At such bargain-basement prices, Michael Rubenstein, Christian Ahler, and Radhika Nagpal at the Self-Organizing Systems Research Group have begun to build their own little robot army.  Read More

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