KABUTOM RX-03 – Japan’s Giant Rhinoceros Beetle Robot

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Created by Japanese engineer Hitoshi Takahashi, the KABUTOM RX-03 is an 11-meter-long, 17-tonne-heavy robot shaped like a rhinoceros beetle. The impressive mecha can walk with its six legs, blows smoke from its nose and always gets Japanese crowds raddled when it makes an appearance.

The KABUTOM RX-03 is definitely one of the most impressive functional robots unveiled in recent years, especially since it was designed and built by one man, 60-year-old tech-wiz Hitoshi Takahashi. The Japanese engineer started working on his personal giant robot in 1997, as a hobby, and 11 years later, in 2008, he unveiled his creation to all of Japan, during a popular television show. The KABUTOM RX-03 was an instant hit and ever since then, Takahashi and his giant beetle mecha have been performing at events all over the country. We’ve seen big, cool-looking robots from Japan before, like the life-size RX87 Gundam or the Tetsujin 28-go aka Gigantor, but unlike them, this one actually works.

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Japanese Chilly Chair Makes Horror Movies Even Scarier

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Are horror films not scary enough for you? Than you might want to try watching them from the Chilly Chair, an offbeat invention that literally raises the hair on your forearms and back to enhance emotion.

You could say Shogo Fukushima’s invention is really hair-raising. The doctoral student who attends the University of Electro-Communications in Tokyo wanted to create a device that would induce body hair to stand up, thus potentially intensifying people’s reaction to movies and video games. He came-up with a thing called the Chilly Chair, with weird forearm-rests that use electricity to reproduce the sensation usually activated by feelings of fear and surprise. The square arches of the innovative chair are made up of three layers; from the inside to the outside it contains an insulating dielectric plate, an electrode and a rubber plate. Electricity goes through the electrode polarizing the dielectric plate and attracts the user’s arm hairs making them experience a sensation similar to when picking up clothes charged with static energy. After testing the Chilly Chair on six subjects, Fukushima found they showed stronger reactions to video and audio stimuli.

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Geeky Fan Builds Real-Life Wall-E Robot

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Mike Senna, a computer programmer from Orange County, California, has spent the last two and a half years building a real-life Wall-E robot, from scratch. It moves around, rolls and talks, but he doesn’t collect trash.

In 2009, shortly after the movie Wall-E was launched, we featured some photos of cool Wall-E computer case mod, but that feat simply pales in comparison to Mike Senna’s awesome achievement. The robot aficionado spend between 3,200 and 3,800 man hours building his very own version of the adorable Pixar trash-collecting hero. His computer programming skills definitely came in handy, but seeing as there were no Wall-E parts available anywhere on this planet, he had to construct the whole thing from scratch. He worked on it about 25 hours a week, after his day job, but all the hard work certainly paid off.

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Man Creates Trash Can That Targets and Catches Flying Garbage

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You know those movies where an author with writer’s block keeps throwing drafts over his shoulder trying to hit the trash can, but never seems to land one in? Well, that might just be a problem of the past, because someone seems to have invented a smart trash can that targets and catches flying pieces of trash.

It’s amazing what some people can create if they put their minds to it. Take this Japanese guy who goes by “FRP”, who, inspired by a commercial, decided to create his own trash can of the future, able to anticipate where flying trash is going to land and catch it before it hits the ground. It sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, but according to the clever inventor, all you need is a wheeled base integrated with a circuit board and attached to the bottom of a common trashcan, a Kinect camera to monitor the room, and a specially-written program that allows the camera to track incoming garbage and guide the trashcan to catch it before it lands.

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The Future Is Now – China Opens Robot-Operated Restaurant

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Well, it’s not exactly as advanced as you’re used to seeing in sci-fi movies, but China’s colorful robot-themed restaurant can be a sign of things to come.

They’re probably going to render us extinct one day, so we might as well enjoy their servitude, while it lasts. A unique restaurant, in Harbin, China’s Heilongjiang Province, has 18 different robots doing all kinds of jobs, from ushering in guests to waiting tables and cooking various dishes. All the robots were designed and created by the Harbin Haohai Robot Company. Chief Engineer Liu Hasheng, they invested around 5 million yuan ($790,000) in the restaurant, with each robot costing 200,000 to 300,000 yuan ($31,500 – $47,000). With an average cost per dinner of between $6 and $10, they won’t be recovering their investment anytime soon, but it is great advertisement for what the robot company can create.

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Dresses Made from Red Wine Probably Look Better with Time

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A team from the University of Western Australia have added a bacteria to red wine and managed to create a cotton-like fabric that can be used to make anything from dresses to t-shirts and swimwear.

Although still in the early stages of development, this technique of making clothes from wine could one day become mainstream, at least according to the people who came up with the idea. ’This project redefines the production of woven materials. ’By combining art and science knowledge and with a little inventiveness, the ultimate goal will be to produce a bacterial fermented seamless garment that forms without a single stitch,’ lead researcher Gary Cass said. Still, the technology is far from perfect, and there will probably be a long time before people will be wearing casual clothes made from Pinot Noir or Merlot.

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ScreamBody – The Portable Organ That Lets You Scream Without Disturbing Anyone

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Invented by MIT’s Kelly Dobson, the ScreamBody is an ingenious device that allows you to let out all your rage and frustration without having to worry about it being socially inappropriate.

As a kid, I watched a lot of cartoons where characters would just scream inside a paper bag, because they couldn’t let out their pain at that exact time, and just “unload” all the screaming later. I remember wishing something like that existed in real life. As it turns out, it actually does, and it’s called a ScreamBody. Invented back in the mid 2000′s, by former MIT student Kelly Dobson, this strange-looking piece of equipment is actually a portable space for screaming that contains all of your loudly-expressed emotions and releases them at a later time. Exactly like they did in those cartoons I liked so much.

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Russia 2045 Claims Immortality Is Just a Few Years Away

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Making the impossible possible is just a matter of time, according to Dmitry Itskov and the people involved in his project, called Russia 2045. It’s by that time they hope to recreate a whole new civilization with the help of android avatars into which to transfer humans’ personalities after their bodies die.

It sounds a bit far-fetched, I know, but Russia 2045 is a real project, with a team of real scientists working on a way to make us all immortal. It was founded by Dmitry Itskov, a man who’s been doing media projects, especially on the Internet, for the last 12 years. At one point he became interested in the prolongation of life and the idea of immortality through cybernetic technology. Neither a scientist nor a philosopher, he had no idea how to expand on these ideas to attain the ultimate goal of attaining immortality,  but he used his skills to create a social movement with the goal of connecting scientists, philosophers,visionaries and public figures to work on this common goal. They’ve already started working on androids, or human avatars, that will soon replace us physically, but carry on our spiritual and intellectual legacy.

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Swiss Website Lets You Hike through the Alps without Breaking a Sweat

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If you’re a couch potato who dreams of seeing the beautiful Alps without actually doing any hiking, you can thank technology for the unbelievable experience offered by WebWandern.ch.

Translated as Web Hike, this revolutionary website allows visitors to see the most beautiful sights the Alps have to offer, from the perspective of a hiker. To achieve the desired effect, the project initiators used real hikers to film HD footage of their  mountain treks and uploaded the material to their website. All in all there are 10 stages that cover 130 kilometers of hiking, from Thusis (Switzerland) to Tirano (Italy). It all unfolds at normal speed, so it would take you days to go through the whole thing, but the best part is anyone can just jump through the footage however they like and see the most popular sights of the mountain range in a matter of hours.

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Creepy Pillow-Phone Hugs You While You Talk to Loved Ones

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Hugvie, the huggable robotic pillow-phone invented by Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro, of Osaka University, has a heartbeat and internal vibrators meant to make it seem more human-like as you put your arm around it imagining it’s the person hundreds of miles away.

The concept of enhancing long-distance phone conversations between loved ones isn’t new. Kissinger, the long distance kiss messenger, and the kiss transmission device invented by other Japanese researchers have also tried to make long-distance conversations more personal by making the protagonists feel closer to each other. Hugvie is basically a robotic pillow with a human shape that acts as a port for your mobile phone. It’s got its own heartbeat and internal vibrators that react faster and stronger, depending on the tone of the conversation. It sounds like an interesting device, but a lot of people find it just a little bit creepy.

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Poo Wifi – A Machine That Exchanges Dog Poo for Free Wifi

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Stepping in dog poo is said to bring good luck, but for most people it’s one of the worst things that could happen as they walk through the city. Owners not picking up their pets’ droppings is a global problem, but a Mexican Internet portal has come up with an invention that might just inspire people to do the right thing. It’s called Poo Wifi and it’s pure genius.

Walking through the park trying to avoid every dog poo that comes in your way is an almost impossible task, but it wouldn’t be a problem if owners would just clean up after their pets. So Internet portal Terra has teamed up with ad agency DDB to create something that would motivate people to actually pick up their dogs turds. After some brainstorming, they came up with Poo Wifi, a machine that offers a free wifi connection in exchange for dog poo. So after they’ve picked up the droppings, people can drop the bags in a special box on top of the machine, after which the machine offers a number of minutes of free wifi, depending on the weight of the poo. Obviously, large dog owners will get more free wifi, which makes sense since their dogs’ droppings are the messiest.

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Japanese Goggles Make Food Look Bigger, Help You Lose Weight

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A team of Japanese researchers at Tokyo University have invented a pair of “slimming goggles” that make food look larger to help you eat less and thus lose weight. Sounds simple and effective, doesn’t it?

We’ve posted our share of wacky Japanese inventions,  here on Oddity Central, from the creepy anti-aging mouthpiece and the brainwave-controlled Necomimi to the poop-powered toilet bike. But this latest creation might be a bit hard to swallow, literally, because it makes food look 50% bigger. Professor Michitaka Hirose and his team of researchers at Tokyo University have created a pair of special goggles that can be set to make food look bigger or smaller, while keeping your hands and surroundings at their original sizes. This supposedly tricks you into eating less and ultimately helps you shed some of that extra weight.

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Ramos, the World’s Most Annoying Alarm Clock

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Have trouble getting out of bed early in the morning? Is the snooze button the most used (and abused) part of your alarm clock? Would you like to be able to wake up as soon as the alarm goes off? If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to any or all of these questions, then Ramos is the best gadget for you. The most annoying alarm clock in the world will make sure you get out of bed every single. morning at the right time. It is impossible to ignore Ramos, and there’s no way you can go back to sleep. Let’s see what makes it so special.

For starters, the makers of Ramos have done away with the ‘unlimited’ snooze button. Unplugging it won’t work either, because a battery takes over as soon as you yank out the cord. The ‘lockdown mode’ ensures that you won’t be able to reset the alarm as wake-up time approaches. So that effectively takes care of manipulating the alarm. But then it gets worse. Once the Ramos alarm clock starts to ring, there’s no button on it to turn the infernal thing off. The only way to stop the noise is by punching a defuse code into a telephone-style keypad that is installed in another room. You have no choice but to get out of bed and punch in the code, which requires some degree of brain functionality, so you will be awake by the time you are done with Ramos.

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World’s Quietest Place Lets You Hear Your Internal Organs

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The mad and hectic pace of life, sometimes makes us all crave some peace and quiet. But then, as they say, too much of a good thing can actually be bad for you. That applies to silence, as it turns out people can’t stand to be in the world’s quietest place for too long. The longest a person has lasted in there is 45 minutes.

The place I’m talking about is a room at Orfield Laboratories in South Minneapolis. The room, also known as the ‘anechoic chamber’, is 99.99% sound absorbent. The double-insulated walls are made of steel and foot-thick concrete. Along the walls are also 3.3-foot thick fiberglass acoustic wedges that contribute to the ultra-quietness. The room holds the current Guinness World Record for being the quietest place on Earth. While it does seem like a dream come true, especially for those who live with kids or have stressful jobs, it’s actually not all that great. The room gets so silent that you can actually hear your internal organs at work. And after a while, the hallucinations begin.

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Eco-Otome – Japan’s Solution to Embarrassing Toilet Noise

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The Eco-Otome is a Japanese gizmo that’s intended to make using restrooms other than your own less awkward. Basically it emits a soothing sound meant to cover any embarrassing toilet noises you might be making.

Ok, so this isn’t a very new invention, in fact it’s been around for around three years, but I thought it was worth a mention for its unique purpose. I mean leave it to the Japanese to come up with a technological solution to the problem of bathroom noises. Anyway, whether they’re sharing a bathroom with a roommate, or need to use the restroom at a party or at work, some people are always worried about a variety of bathroom noises that could put them in an embarrassing position if they’re heard by others. Sure, flushing helps, but you need to wait until the  water bowl is full until using it again, so it’s not full-proof. Luckily, the resourceful Japanese have come up with the perfect solution – introducing the Eco-Otome.

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