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Jason Falconer

Jason Falconer

Jason is a freelance writer based in central Canada with a background in computer graphics. He has written about hundreds of humanoid robots on his website Plastic Pals and is an avid gamer with an unsightly collection of retro consoles, cartridges, and controllers.

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— Science

China gets its first 3D printing booth

By - January 18, 2013 9 Pictures
While 3D printing may be touted as bringing manufacturing back to the United States, that doesn't mean the rest of the world hasn't taken notice of the technology. Earlier this week, a 3D Printing Experience Pavilion opened in Beijing's DRC Industrial Design and Cultural Industry Base, where visitors were able to see how 3D printers work firsthand. With a few hours to spare, they could even have their own head scanned and printed as a bust, which follows the 3D printing booth that opened in a Japanese mall last year. Read More

Mathematical model predicts Hollywood blockbusters

With Hollywood movie studios increasingly gambling astronomical sums of money on the next big thing, they might want to pay attention to the work being done by Akira Ishii at Tottori University. His research group claims to have developed a mathematical equation that combines advertising, word-of-mouth, and social networks to predict if a movie will be successful. Read More
— Environment

Triple-junction solar cell design could break 50 percent conversion barrier

By - January 16, 2013 2 Pictures
The current world record for triple-junction solar cell efficiency is 44 percent, but a collaboration between the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), the Imperial College of London, and MicroLink Devices Inc. has led to a multi-junction photovoltaic cell design that could break the 50 percent conversion efficiency barrier under concentrated solar illumination. Read More
— Robotics

Hajime Sakamoto takes a ride on giant robot legs

By - January 15, 2013 19 Pictures
Have you ever dreamed of what it would be like to pilot a giant robot? If you have, you're not alone. A roboticist by the name of Hajime Sakamoto dreams of building his very own Gundam mobile suit, and he's making progress on a real 4 meter (13 feet) tall bipedal robot that can carry him around. So far the legs have been completed, and you can watch them stand up and take a few steps in the video after the break. Read More
— Robotics

VelociRoACH: A tiny robotic cockroach with a need for speed

By - January 14, 2013 5 Pictures
The common cockroach may make your skin crawl, but it turns out the household pest is the perfect model for miniature legged robots. That's why Duncan Haldane and his colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley, have been studying the six-legged pests to improve their millirobots. Their latest creation, the VelociRoACH, is made primarily out of cardboard and measures just 10 cm long, yet it can run 2.7 meters per second, making it the fastest robot of its size, capable of covering 26 times its body length in a single second. Read More
— Science

Inexpensive catalyst for producing hydrogen under real-world conditions found

By - January 11, 2013 1 Picture
Hydrogen has been hailed as the fuel of the future, but producing it cleanly using platinum as a catalyst is simply too costly to service the world's energy needs. On the flipside, producing hydrogen with fossil fuels not only releases CO2 as a byproduct, but is unsustainable, negating hydrogen's green potential. However, hydrogen may yet make good on its promise thanks to a group of scientists at the University of Cambridge. Read More
— Robotics

Top 10 robots of 2012

By - January 10, 2013 11 Pictures
The U.S. military's drones – or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) – were probably the most talked about robots of 2012. Every other week it seemed there was some story or other that grabbed headlines around the world, giving them a rather nasty reputation. However, robotics technology is about much more than just killing machines and here are ten noteworthy examples from the past year that prove it. Read More

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