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Toys

3D Printing

Disney algorithm has asymmetrical objects in a spin

Tops, yo-yos, and other spinning toys are amongst the oldest playthings created by man, with the earliest examples dating back to 3,500 BC. Paradoxically, they’re not very easy to make with their design requiring a lot of trial and error. One mistake and, instead of a pirouetting plaything, you get a clattering paperweight. That’s why spinning toys tend to be symmetrical – until now. In a blow for symmetry, Disney Research Zurich and ETH Zurich have developed a computer algorithm that can take any shape, no matter how cock-eyed, and make it spin like a top.Read More

Children

Tech to help busy parents keep the kids occupied

With an abundance of kid-oriented tablets and high-tech toys, children have more reasons than ever to stay fixed firmly to the couch. While the popularity of Angry Birds and Minecraft speaks volumes for video entertainment's ability to engage, the gadgets that inspire beyond the screen perhaps don't get quite the same fanfare. With this in mind, Gizmag has rounded up some top tech to help keep youngsters occupied.Read More

Games

Real FX takes radio-controlled cars to the next level

Slot car tracks were a ton of fun for racing with friends, but they came with some serious problems. Cars had a habit of flying off the track, pieces took a while to set up, and they required another person to race against. A new system called Real FX aims to bring the fun we all remember from slot-based racing to the modern era, with tracks that promise to be easier to set up, cars that actually assist the driver, and even AI opponents to race with when friends aren't around. Read More

Never Ending Slinky Machine is every Slinky fan's dream

"Everyone knows it's Slinky." You might remember this classic line from the Slinky commercials of yore, and now the toy that's designed to topple end-over-end could be making a comeback in the form of Project NESM (Never Ending Slinky Machine), a machine that allows a Slinky to roll on a desk for as long as the user would like it to. Read More

Robotics

Self-balancing MiP robot is ready to roll

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

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