Ping Pong Robots

Last week’s debut of the robots in China was impressive nonetheless. The Zhejiang University robots served, returned balls, and scored with the aid of their technology. Each robot has motorized joints that provide backhand and forehand capabilities and a number of arm movements. Each robot is 5.2 foot tall and weighs 121 lbs. Xiong Rong, the director of the university’s Robotics Laboratory, said the 30-joint robots took them four years to develop. Setting out to create robots who can play a game like ping-pong is challenging enough; the game requires especially fast response times and fast reflexes. The Chinese team responded to the challenge. They gave the robots eye-mounted cameras that capture 120 images per second. The images are transferred to the robots’ processors and they respond, calculating the ball’s position, speed, angle, landing position and path. Overall, the university team responsible for the robots is being credited as having come up with an identification and positioning system of enough merit to compete with human players.” w/ photos + video

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Weed Wheels

“A tractor-trailer is carrying 400 pounds of marijuana in its 18 wheels.”

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Robo Pianist

Teotronico is the latest robotic creation to impress the public, by playing a sweet melody as a professional pianist. The 19-fingered robot, created by Italian Matteo Suzzi, can play the piano faster than the average human while singing and playing the drums at the same time. Having such an in-depth database has allowed Suzzi to make Teotronico the ultimate musical robot. The robot’s artificial intelligence is so developed that he even recognizes sudden key changes and alterations in tones. Teotronico became the center of attention after he was unveiled at the Mondo Music Piano Fayre in early October. One of the things that makes Teotronico different from previous musical robots is his ability to interact with the audience.” w/ photo + video

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The Tug Toner

“I use my built-in Tug Toner everyday, but I didn’t get muscles like that.” — supergipas

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Art Made With Dots

“Looking at Kate’s masterpiece from afar, you’d think it’s just another well-done recreation of Michelangelo’s ‘Pieta’, but after a close inspection you realize it’s actually made of millions of tiny dots. Entitled “True Love” this unique piece was created for the 2011 ArtPrize competition in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It started out with Askegaard’s wish to prove to herself that she was a good artist, and she got it into her head that if she could capture what Michelangelo did with his Pieta, and the public would respond, than she could call herself a good artist. Kate referenced a 12in x 12in photo of the classic artwork, which she gridded out into over 10,000 squares. She used 9 sheets of paper, each 19in x 24in, glued them on a 5ft x 5ft canvas and finally painted black around the image. Then came the really hard part, reproducing every detail with nothing but tiny dots.” w/ photos + video

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Top 10 Scariest Star Wars Creatures

“With approximately ten gazillion alien creatures packed into the Star Wars universe, you can count on there being one to creep out almost anybody. Some of the most memorable creatures in the original films could have easily carried their own horror stories, adding excitement and danger to these beloved classics with their inventively threatening designs and abilities. I’d be researching made up animals for days if I counted the entirety of Star Wars fiction, so for this list, I’ll be sticking as close as possible to the ‘official’ canon of the feature films and immediate spinoffs… here are the 10 scariest Star Wars creatures.” w/ photos

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