If you’re anything like me, when you were a kid you dreamed that in the not-so-distant future you would be driving around in an anti-gravity car, living in an apartment hovering in a space-age bubble in the sky. Oh and with Rosie Jetson would be your back-talking robot maid. And if you’re like me then you are bitterly disappointed with the present epoch’s lack of hover jets. Well, to soothe that bitter sting of disappointment you can comfort yourself with the new robotic maid that will hopefully come to market soon.
Shaking your head in disbelief? You should be, because this isn’t exactly Rosie-caliber as of yet. The new robotic droid that could soon be playing Rosie — or Jeeves — in homes is programmed to scan a disheveled room, identify objects, and is capable of putting them back in their rightful places.
3D glasses, despite making you look horrifically like an 80s-movie nerd, do an OK job. That’s what researchers at the Tsukuba University in Japan thought too. So they made them better — much better. This new project from Tsukuba is prototyping a different kind of 3D display that focuses on multiple layers of depth that give enhanced depth perception and better focus.
Other Japanese projects recently displayed at CEATEC 2011 are bringing 3D TV to a whole another level (thank you Japan) by doing away with the silly Urkel-looking glasses entirely and using just the naked eye for their 3D experiences. BUT, since they are nowhere near as visually impressive as Tsukuba, who cares.
It was only a matter of time before bored DIY geeks began combining fun toys with dangerous snooping technology; which is exactly what someone did when they combined a DIY remote-control toy helicopter with wireless-network-hacking computer. The end result is the ominous sounding SkyNET bot, a menacing hacker drone with an even more dubious-sounding name.
The Terminator-inspired name SkyNET may be just the ticket to purveying exactly how ominous a fly-in-the-air wireless hacking machine can be. This cheap and easy to build machine can be built for less than $600 ($300 for the helicopter alone) by anyone with a curious mind and even the slightest technical know-how. Building the machine requires only a remote-control helicopter (SkyNET uses a Parrot AR Drone Quadricopter) modded with a lightweight computer (SkyNET uses Linux), a 3G connection, a GPS receiver, and 2 Wifi cards (one for the remote control and one for attacking the wireless networks).