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A researcher manipulates DRC-HUBO's arms to demonstrate its compliant joints

The DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) has scheduled its first physical trial for late December, leaving competing teams less than six months to finish building and programming their robots. In case you're just tuning in, the DRC is a gauntlet of daunting tasks designed to test robots that may someday stand in for people as first responders. DARPA has just revealed the completed ATLAS humanoid, but there's still a half dozen others that remain somewhat mysterious. Now, Team DRC-HUBO is spilling the beans on its own humanoid robot.  Read More

The My Camp Kitchen Mini packs a kitchen's-worth of cooking and serving accessories it int...

The My Camp Kitchen Mini takes the function and form factor of larger My Camp Kitchen models to pack a kitchen's-worth of cooking and serving accessories it into a smaller, cheaper package.  Read More

Artist's conception of the blue exoplanet HD 189733b, orbiting a star 63 light years dista...

Uncovering any sort of detailed information about an exoplanet presents astronomers with an exceedingly difficult challenge. Despite the hurdles, however, some exoplanets are particularly well situated for such study. Astronomers have previously determined considerable information about the atmosphere and climate of HD 189733b. Now, thanks to Hubble observations made while it passed behind its primary star last December, we also know that this hot Jupiter-like planet is a deep cobalt blue in color, marking the first time that the color of an exoplanet has been measured.  Read More

Japanese startup Spiber is working on mass-producing artificial spider silk, an extremely ...

Spider silk is a truly remarkable material: it's tougher than Kevlar, strong as steel, lighter than carbon fiber, and can be stretched 40 percent beyond its original length without breaking. Now, Japanese startup Spiber says it has found a way to produce it synthetically and, over the next two years, will step up mass production to create anything from surgical materials to auto parts and bulletproof vests.  Read More

Lernstift is a digital pen that gently vibrates to indicate when mistakes have been made

These days, we are so reliant on computers that many of us rarely pick up an actual pen or pencil and rely on auto-correct to fix our spelling mistakes. But Falk Wolsky and Daniel Kaesmacher think there's still a place in this modern world for good penmanship and correct spelling and have taken to Kickstarter to get their Lernstift (German for "learning pen"), which vibrates to indicate when the writer makes spelling mistakes or exhibits poor penmanship, into production.  Read More

The LittleBox

Gregory Holloway's LittleBox PC is a build-it-yourself kit designed to turn the Raspberry Pi into a complete touchscreen desktop computer. LittleBox, which includes a screen and comes with 61 pieces of plywood held together by over 100 nuts, bolts and screws, is designed to be easy enough for almost anyone to put together with only a few tools. And wouldn't you know, Holloway has launched a Kickstarter campaign to bring LittleBox to the people.  Read More

The Caterham Seven 620 R goes from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 2.8 seconds

For four decades, the Caterham Seven has been turning heads and packing large servings of performance into a very small package. This weekend, at the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed, Caterham Cars is unveiling the slightly mad Caterham Seven 620 R, which will be put through its paces by F1 Team driver Charles Pic and other drivers from the Caterham stable. Built to celebrate 40 years of the Seven, Caterham says that it’s the most extreme version in the lightweight, high-performance line ever produced.  Read More

The Nerf Vulcan Sentry Gun automatically locates targets and unleashes a stream of foam da...

Anyone who plays video games will know that few things protect an area like a well-placed sentry gun. In the real world, though, even a person's bedroom or office could use a little protection sometimes, which is why one designer has built the Nerf Vulcan Sentry Gun. Using a custom program and some servos, the sentry can automatically locate targets and unleash a stream of foam darts at over seven times the usual speed, while keeping its owner out of the crosshairs.  Read More

The prize-winning flight of AeroVelo's Atlas (Video still: AeroVelo)

It was last October when Gizmag first reported on the exploits of AeroVelo, the lastest in a long line of flyers, high and otherwise, to vie for the US$250,000 Sikorsky Prize. To claim the bounty, a human-powered helicopter must fly for over a minute and attain an altitude of over 3 m while remaining within a 10 m x 10 m box. On June 13, AeroVelo's Atlas helicopter did precisely that.  Read More

A prototype window design that lets air pass through, but attenuates outside sounds by 30-...

There are few things better than lazing around the house on a warm summer day, whose fragrant zephyrs speak of spicy isles and heaven-breathing groves.* At least, until the neighbors start their leaf-blowers and the city needs to tear up the sidewalks. Noise pollution is one of the scourges of urban and suburban life, which can drown out nature's melodies to cause annoyance, stress, and hearing loss. Now, however, a team of South Korean engineers has invented a remarkable window that lets air in while keeping a great deal of noise out.  Read More

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