Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Children

This light-avoiding robot is made from a combination of ATOMS and craft materials

Michael Rosenblatt, design lead behind the first iPod touch, has a point to make about toys. Not all toys. Just the best kind: the ones that enable children (and grown-ups, let's be honest) to create things, be it from LEGO, K-NEX, crayons, paints or Play-Doh. The thing is, they're generally a little on the inert side. With ATOMS from ATOMS Express Toys, Rosenblatt is hoping to redress the balance with a series of modules that can be fitted to other toys (including LEGO) to effectively turn them into moving and sensing robots.  Read More

Drive Suits are life-size Transformers-inspired costumes, with motorized wheels that allow...

For the past few years, entrepreneur Drew Beaumier has been creating life-size Transformers-inspired costumes known as Drive Suits. Thanks to the wearer’s motorized “drive boots,” they can actually trundle along the ground when in “vehicle” mode. It may be a bit late for Halloween, but you can now buy one of your own.  Read More

A new take on HOPSCOTCH is designed to motivate the user to move more but in a playful way

For people of a certain generation, "Hopscotch" will always be a game where you jump between chalk-drawn numbered rectangles. Now Fraunhofer researchers have developed an interactive version of the playground game that's designed to motivate users to learn in a fun and playful way while also helping them keep fit.  Read More

AppToyz are physical attachments for smartphones or tablets which, it's claimed, add an ol...

AppToyz, the firm behind the AppBlaster augmented reality iPhone gun which proved popular last year, has revealed its smartphone-based offerings for this Christmas season. New toys include a fishing game which mounts an iPhone onto a toy fishing rod, a portable Karaoke machine, a quiz game with buzzer buttons, and an updated AppBlaster v2.0.  Read More

The iStrike Shuttle sports an official range of around 30 feet (nine meters) and can fly f...

The options open to iOS users wanting a miniature aerial vehicle have increased in recent years, with the market leading Parrot AR.Drone receiving competition in the form of the Swann RC Helicopter and Griffin Helo TC. The iStrike Shuttle by purveyor of office weaponry Dream Cheeky is the latest airborne gizmo to join the fray, hoping to stand out from the rest with an integrated weapon delivery system capable of dropping a ping-pong ball on hapless office co-workers.  Read More

The Kyosho Space Ball flies like an R/C helicopter, but can bounce off obstacles with ease...

Almost a year ago, the Japanese Ministry of Defense made quite a splash when it revealed a spherical, remote-controlled aircraft that could zip around a room, roll along the ground, and even bounce off obstacles without losing control. But while it was mainly designed for search and rescue operations, many R/C enthusiasts took one look at that hovering Death Star and said, "I have got to get me one of those." Luckily, toy company Kyosho must have been listening, since it recently released a similar flying machine of its own for consumers. Kyosho's "Space Ball" can remain airborne while taking just as much punishment and even emits a fragrance to freshen up a room in the process.  Read More

Wow! Stuff has launched it's Combat Creatures robot toy line just in time for the holidays...

Earlier this year, inventor Jamie Mantzel unveiled a prototype of a remote-controlled robot he had nicknamed "the greatest toy in the universe" in a YouTube video that garnered over 2 million hits in three days. In the video, an exuberant Mantzel demonstrated how the six-legged creation could fire different toy weapons and react to hits when battling another bot. Now, just in time for the holiday season, distributor Wow! Stuff has expanded the idea into a full-fledged toy line, called "Combat Creatures," starting with the inventor's original model, now named the "Attacknid."  Read More

The WeMo Baby lets anxious parents listen to high-quality audio from their baby’s room

Belkin has announced the launch of its WeMo Baby device that turns any iOS device into a digital baby monitor. Comprising a Wi-Fi connecting baby monitor and an accompanying iOS app, the WeMo Baby lets anxious parents listen to high-quality audio from their baby’s room whether they're in the next room or the other side of the world … though it's probably not a good idea that the baby is left that unattended.  Read More

The Mementobox app itself is divided into three sections, My arrival, My first year and My...

After the birth of a child, many a well-intentioned parent has started to put together a baby memory box or baby journal, filled with keepsakes and mementos from their little-ones first year. But amid a blur of dirty diapers and messy feeds the majority lose momentum, Mementobox is a new iPhone app which it's hoped will see more parents stick with it by digitizing the process.  Read More

B'kid is designed in such a way that it is adaptable to the needs of a growing child, with...

The rate at which children grow, especially from being new-born to the age of around six-years-old, is scary. One day they're a helpless ball of flesh and bones, the next they're walking, talking, and starting school. This means that new parents have to continually buy new things for their child that may only last them a matter of months. While a bicycle may not be top of the agenda at such a young age, for a child to learn to ride one means buying several different models over the course of just a few years as they first learn, and then master, the art. Which is what led Noelia Vallano Alvaro to design B'kid: one bike designed to last a child from the age of two right through to the age of six.  Read More

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