Photokina 2014 highlights

Hammacher Schlemmer

Hammacher Schlemmer's Bionic Bopper Cars are large fighting robots, which the operators si...

Simpsons-watchers may recall an episode in which Bart and Homer enter their homebuilt robot in a Robot Wars-like competition, but mayhem ensues and Homer ends up having to operate the fighting 'bot from inside its body. Its hard to say if the creators of Hammacher Schlemmer's Bionic Bopper Cars ever saw that episode, but it's entirely possible, as the basic idea is pretty much the same - two human operators each sit inside of a big wheeled robot, then pummel each other with their robots' arms.  Read More

The Tug-Preventing Dog Collar trains dogs to not pull on the leash by emitting an ultrason...

If taking the dog for a walk sees you being dragged along with your pooch calling the shots and setting the pace then the Tug-Preventing Dog Trainer could be just what the doctor – or vet – ordered. Designed to attach between the leash and collar, the device will emit an ultrasonic tone whenever the dog pulls on the leash. To teach the dog to stay in line and associate the sound with pulling on the leash, the volume of the tone increases the harder the dog pulls.  Read More

LEDs embedded in the heads of the wrenches to shed a little light on those hard to reach, ...

Homer Simpson's advice when his brother Herb shows him the baby translator he has invented is that Herb "should have just taken an existing product and put a clock in it or something." These days the "or something" could easily be a light or, more specifically, an LED as their tiny size, low cost and low power needs has seen them wedged inside a plethora of devices ... and not because it necessarily provides any real benefit. However, in the world of LED-embedded devices, this wrench set is far from the worst idea we've seen and could actually come in very handy.  Read More

All-Electric Lightcycle (Screenshot from Parker Brothers video)

Practicality tends to take a back seat when you combine sci-fi cult status with custom chopper building - and there's no room for a pillion passenger on the Lightcycle. We first spied Parker Brothers Choppers Lightcycle project last year when it surfaced in gas-powered form, now the company has released video of a fully-electric version of the neon-packing two-wheeler in action. The electric motor may be quieter, but this one's still guaranteed to turn heads.  Read More

Hammacher Schlemmer is now selling a 20 foot-long interactive animatronic Triceratops, for...

"You know what your living room needs? A giant animatronic Triceratops." Should an interior designer ever offer you this advice, well, now you know where to find such a beast. Fancy goods-seller Hammacher Schlemmer is now offering a 20 foot (6 meter)-long, 1,345-pound (610 kg) model of everyone's favorite three-horned dinosaur, that moves and growls when human gawkers trigger its motion sensors. Its price tag might scare more people than its fearsome countenance, although at US$350,000, it's probably still cheaper than cloning your own real Triceratops from amber-encased dinosaur-blood-filled mosquitoes.  Read More

The Elliptical Machine Office Desk

If you're finding it hard to shed those extra pounds because you're chained to desk all day and can't find time to fit in some exercise then the Elliptical Machine Office Desk will mean there's no more excuses. Consisting of an adjustable-height desk that pairs with a semi-recumbent elliptical trainer, it's claimed the setup will allow the average user to burn about 4,000 calories in a typical working week. And with a healthy body and a healthy mind said to go hand in hand, the setup might even make you more productive in the office.  Read More

Mattrack's Powerboard

If you like the idea of zipping across the landscape on a stand-up tracked vehicle, but find the likes of the DTV Shredder and Scarpar just a little too intimidating, then you might like the Mattracks Powerboard. Designed specifically for use on snow, the device features one continuous snowmobile-type rubber track on the bottom, that is powered by a mid-mounted 200CC 4-cycle gas engine. Delivering a top speed of 18mph (29kph), this thing probably isn’t going to be appearing in any sports drink ads anytime soon, but it still looks like it could be fun.  Read More

Hammacher Schlemmer's Emotive Robotic Avatar

Mail order retailer Hammacher Schlemmer is hoping that someone out there will be willing to plunk down the price of a luxury automobile on its Emotive Robotic Avatar. The US$65,000 device is essentially a stationary remote-control robot, through which its user can carry on conversations, make gestures, and convey five different emotions. On one hand it's a taste of the future, on the other... that's a very expensive puppet.  Read More

WowWee's object picking-and-toting Roboscoop robot

It’s just what every young boy with a messy bedroom has dreamed of – a robot that trundles across the floor, picks things up, and takes them away. WowWee’s Roboscooper can do just that, although it’s limited to small objects that weigh no more than an ounce. The toy robot has six rubber wheels, a cargo bed, articulated arms, and a WALL-E-like head with infrared eyes. Users can guide it to objects manually with the remote control, or leave it in autonomous mode, where it roams around (avoiding obstacles) and picks up whatever it comes across. It then takes the items to a location determined by the user, where it shakes them out of its cargo bed.  Read More

The Revolution can play both 7- and 12-inch vinyl records with a stereo speaker providing ...

For those of us who love vinyl, a portable record player usually comes in a small suitcase-sized box. If you want to take a small step towards modern convenience and digitize your collection, you're looking at investing in some more kit and losing the portability. Crosley Radio has taken the record player out of the box, made it battery operated and thrown in onboard digital conversion capabilities for its Crosley Revolution CR6002. Although the player features a built-in stereo speaker, the company has also included the ability to pair the device with any FM radio.  Read More

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