Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Remote Control

The mini Mustang, ready to take to the air

Although no one is saying that aircraft carriers will soon be able to fuel their jet fighters using water from the ocean, such a scenario has recently come a step closer to reality. Scientists from the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) have successfully flown a radio-controlled airplane that was running purely on fuel derived from sea water.  Read More

The da Vinci Xi offers improved access to the patient's body

While many people no doubt still look at Intuitive Surgical's da Vinci robotic surgical system as a sort of "wonder of the future," it's actually been around now for over 10 years. Therefore, it shouldn't come as a surprise that a new-and-improved model has just been announced. Among other things, the da Vinci Xi Surgical System promises a greater range of motion and more reach than its predecessor.  Read More

MiP balances on two wheels, using the mobile inverted pendulum principle

You may never be able to afford your own Segway, but soon you'll be able to buy something similar for just a hundred bucks. You won't be able to ride it, but it might ultimately end up being more fun. It's Wowwee's MiP toy robot, which performs a variety of activities while balancing on its two wheels.  Read More

Samsung has announced the launch of Samsung Smart Home

An explosion in the number of devices connected to the internet is expected over the next decade and in turn, our homes will become increasingly "smart." With this in mind, Samsung has today announced its own Smart Home service, which will provide home automation via an app.  Read More

The R/C car that was able to hit 188.87 mph

Everyone loves seeing a world record broken, especially when it involves exceedingly fast things. Nic Case recently set out to break his own world record for fastest R/C car, and he succeeded, pushing his Bullet car to a whopping 188.87 mph (304 km/h) – and no, that's not scaled down to the size of the car.  Read More

The dragon can shoot fire three feet while on the ground

A couple of years ago, a man named Rick Hamel created one of the most insane remote-controlled flying machines you'll ever witness. No, it's not an airplane or helicopter, or anything that mundane. Instead, he created a dragon that actually shoots fire and reaches airborne speeds of up to 70 mph (112.6 km/h). Now, this beast is actually for sale via Hammacher Schlemmer, with a staggering US$60,000 price tag.  Read More

The SPHERES robots were put through a simulated follow-the-leader exercise (Image: NASA)

Controlling a robot in space from the ground can be a bit like hitting a moving target. There’s a one to three second delay as data passes back and forth between the robot and ground control, which means that operators have to anticipate how the robots will move during these delays. This week, the Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center (ATC) announced the first-ever demonstration of collaborative tele-operations that involved control of robots on the International Space Station (ISS) by astronauts on the ISS and operators on the ground.  Read More

Rendering of the robot ship of the future

Running away to sea has been a dream of escape for centuries, but unless you plan to be a tap dancer on a cruise ship, that door may be closing. In a report on the future of cargo shipping, Rolls-Royce Vice President for Innovation, Engineering and Technology, Oskar Levander, outlines a vision for a time not far from now when freighters and other ships are unmanned robots that cruise the oceans under remote control by shore based captains.  Read More

The SuperDroid snow plow in action

In the southeast United States, snow storms are as about as common as canoes on Mount Everest, which is what makes the current task of digging the region out from under the recent deposit of the white stuff so irksome. To aid the inexperienced snow shoveler, SuperDroid of Raleigh, North Carolina is selling a remote-controlled robotic snow plow that allows you to clear the drive while sitting where it’s warm with a cup of cocoa.  Read More

The HISY lets you take smartphone photos, without holding the phone

Like 'em or not, it looks like selfies are here to stay. Using the just-released HISY, however, they don't have to possess that "I'm holding my phone out at the end of my arm" look. It's a simple Bluetooth device that lets you prop your smartphone up and get out in front of it, then remotely trigger the phone's camera once you're in place. I recently got my hands on a HISY, and gave it a try.  Read More

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