LED Smiles – The Latest in Japanese Fashion

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They make people look like they’ve been chewing on glow sticks, but the LED smiles created by designers Motoi Ishibashi and Daito Manabe are the new rage in Japan.

Originally created as an experiment, the LED smile is currently used in a commercial for the winter sale of a popular Japanese clothing store, and are quickly becoming one of the most sought-after fashion accessories in Japan. LED smiles are easily fixed to one’s teeth and glow different colors when you smile. Best used in the dark, these unusual gadgets change color wirelessy, through a computer interface.

Although LED smiles aren’t yet available for purchase, Ishibashi and Manabe are currently offering workshops across Japan, teaching people how to create their own.

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New Sega Toylet Lets You Play with Your Pee

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The SEGA Corporation has released a wacky toilet prototype, called SEGA Toylet, that lets you play video games with your urine stream. Just when you thought Japanese toilets couldn’t get any weirder, right?

Since the conventional gaming industry is getting pretty crowded these days, Japanese video gaming giant decided to try its luck in a whole new, untapped niche – toilet gaming. It actually isn’t s stupid as it sounds; whether they try to clean the toilet bowl with their stream, or aim it at a certain point, for some reason guys can’t help play with their urine stream, so why not capitalize on that?

The SEGA Toylet features a pressure sensor strategically placed in the public urinal, and a small display that shows the data from the sensor in the form of video games. So far, SEGA has come up with four games for their toilet entertainment system:

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Cool Toys Made from Hard Disk Parts

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A Ukrainian IT company posted some photos of toys its staff created from various hard disk components, to show off their creativity. Vist officials also added they are very proud of their employees’ ingenuity, but this doesn’t mean they have too much free time on their hands. The toys were created during breaks and in-between creation and testing of company applications.

While they just look like cool metal models, the hard disk toys created by Vist are actually functional. The bird’s neck and legs are mobile, and the cool-looking quad has front and rear suspension and a small engine allows it to roll around.

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Scooterputer – A Computer You Can Actually Ride

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Have you ever wished there was an easy way to take your computer everywhere you go? No, I don’t mean laptops, tablets or smartphones, but the old trusty desktop.

Stephen Popa, from Portalnd, Oregon USA, has definitely given this idea a lot of thought and came up with this beautiful casemod he called “Scooterputer” – a computer casemod that you actually ride, like you would a normal scooter. Stephen showcased his original invention shortly after introducing the world to “Rog-R” – the world’s first remote-controlled gaming casemod.

The Scooterputer is made up of a Thermaltake Element V case housing components like an Intel i7 processor, 4GB RAM, GTS 250 graphics card, three RAIDed hard drives, USB 3.0 port, dual layer DVD burner, Thermaltake TR2 1200 Watt power supply and a Thermaltake Big Water 850I cooling kit. The PC is attached to a 24v rechargeable  electric scooter. This has to be up there with the coolest rides a geek could ever own.

 

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Sol Cinema – The World’s Smallest Solar Powered Theater

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Nowadays eco-friendly is definitely the way to go, and green is a hip color, so the Sol Cinema follows the latest trends.

It was created by artist Peter O’Connor with the help of some of his colleagues from the British art collective Undercurrents, in a travel trailer from the 1960’s. The Sol Cinema is fully powered by the sun, using 120W solar panels that are connected to four large lithium-ion batteries, providing sufficient energy for the LED projector and all the other electronics inside .

But being powered by solar energy alone isn’t the only unique characteristic of the Sol Cinema, as being set up inside a trailer also makes it the world’s smallest solar theater. Believe it or not, it’s able to accommodate up to eight visitors.

The cinema focuses it’s screenings on eco-themed movies or documentaries. If you’re interested, more info on the theater’s tour dates and locations can be found on the official website. Apparently, following its local success, the Sol Cinema is preparing for a tour around Europe.

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Robot Restaurant Opened in Jiang, China

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They weren’t born to serve you but they were definitely built to do just that, and where else if not in China.

Located in Jiang, China’s Shandong Province, the Dalu Rebot Restaurant opened on the 5th of December and can cater to about 100 customers, featuring two robot receptionists and a “staff” of six robot-waitresses. Two of them serve drinks, two serve small tables and another two tend to the big one. It seems that more “hiring” will be made in the near future as owners expect the restaurant will become quite a hit.

As all the waiting is done by robots, the tables were set in a circular pattern so that the robots can follow an exact route. Not all the work in the restaurant is done by them though, there are also people working there, especially in the kitchen, but some were also hired to welcome customers into the restaurant.

The concept belongs to The Shandong Dalu Science and Technology Company, who isn’t planning to stop here, as they want to further develop this idea and ultimately have a staff of 40 robots. Seems logical enough, considering that business really took off when the people heard about these unusual waiters.

 

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Chinese Gamer Plays MMO on World’s Largest LED Screen

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Jealous on a fellow guild master who got to play his favorite video game on an IMAX screen, a Chinese gamer spent a ridiculous amount of money to play on the world’s largest LED screen.

MMOs (Massive Multiplayer Online games) are very popular in China, and the people who play them are very competitive. The problem is some of them are also filthy rich and spare no efforts when it comes to showing the competition how cool they are. Take this young gamer who spent 100,000 RMB ($15,000) for just 10 minutes of playing Magic World Online 2, on the world’s biggest LED display, and all just to beat the record of a fellow gamer who played the same game in an IMAX cinema.

Set up in “The Place”, one of Beijing’s most popular shopping malls, the 250-meter-long, 30-meter-wide display is appropriately named “All Beijing, look up!”. I know you have to be out of your mind to throw away that much money on a short gaming session, but this hardcore MMO fan can take comfort in the fact that no one will be able to break his record…at least not until Dubai finishes its giant LED display, set to be the largest yet.

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The Tech Junk Cities of Franco Recchia

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Italian artist Franco Recchia uses old computer parts to create his unique tech junk cities – mixed media sculptures that replicate famous metropolises.

Driven by a simple curiosity to see what is inside the computer case, Recchia takes apart old computers and uses their parts to create ingenious urban skylines. A “testament to what is beautiful, elegant and functional in the modern object” his tech-junk sculptures are made from various parts like radiators, old motherboards, various slots, and even case parts. These works of art are the artists way of showing that every thing made by the human hand has great beauty, if used in an original-enough way.

You can check out Franco Rocchia’s amazing tech-junk cities on ARTmine, where you can also purchase some of them. They are priced between $2,400 and $8,100, no the cheapest artworks you can find, but definitely among the most original.

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Chinese Students Create Amazing Paper Bridge

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A team of students from the Harbin Engineering University have created a small paper bridge able to sustain more than 25 times its own weight.

The young undergraduates spent an entire month designing and building the bridge, and finally presented it to the world,on November 7. Now, building a paper bridge model doesn’t sound that remarkable, especially when the builders are attending an engineering institute, but their creation is much more than a simple paper model. The 3.8-meter-long, 1.2 meter-tall bridge weighs just 58 kilograms, but it is able to sustain up to 1,500 kilograms, and the group of 11 students proved it by standing on the bridge at the same time.

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Guitar Tornado Is Played by Robotic Fingers

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Named “IF VI was IX: Roots and branches”, the guitar tornado is an impressive artistic and musical installation, created by German artist Trimpin.

While different types of guitars placed together in what looks like a still tornado is something worth checking out, there’s more to this musical tribute than meets the eye.  Yes, while it might seem impossible looking at it, the guitar tornado actually plays music. Among all the common guitars, there are some robotic ones that actually pluck the guitar strings, thus playing the tune visitors choose via a remote touchscreen.

The only downside of the guitar tornado’s robotic arms  is that they can only play one string at a time. So how does it replicate a whole song? By plucking a single string of multiple guitars in the installation. The amazing guitar tornado is an interactive tribute to the history of American music, and features various genres, from early acoustic folk music, to rock and punk.

Music lovers can check out the guitar tornado at the “Experience Music Project” , in Seattle.

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Chinese Man Builds His Very Own Plane

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24-year-old Zeng Qiang spent the last year working on a home-made airplane, in his home village of Sifang, Southwest China.

Zeng, who makes a living by performing at weddings and funerals, in his neighborhood, suddenly became interested in airplanes 10 years go, and has since then spent most of his spare time studying model airplanes. About a year ago, he set out to build his very own flying machine, and believe it or not, he’s almost done it. His 6-meter-long, 9-meter-wide, 150-kg-heavy airplane just needs an engine, and Zeng Qiang says he’ll have it installed in time for the big unveiling, on September 25, during an airshow, in Chongqing.

The young builder has recorded the building process in a notebook, and says he’s already got a big fan: his 2-year-old son, whose toys are all model airplanes.

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Awesome Coffee Table Made of Computer Parts

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With tech garbage on the rise, it’s important we always come up with new ways of disposing of it in a way that doesn’t hurt the environment, and the computer-part coffee table made by Dmaloney serves as a great example.

This unique piece of furniture is actually made of two separate coffee tables, one that holds all the circuit boards, and another that acts as the glass surface. The components you see inside the coffee table are old circuit boards and dives from the late eighties and nineties, many of which actually come from his very first computer. He managed to fit them all together, on a coffee table, like puzzle.

Another cool feature of the computer-part coffee table is the set of LED lights programmed to come on when it gets dark.

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Pocketbike i7 – A Cool Computer on Wheels

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A true case modding master managed to transform a street legal mini motorcycle into a cool, fast computer.

Saibot took a fully functional mini motorcycle able to reach speeds of up to 70 mph and transformed into a super cool computer, also able to run at high speeds, thanks to its premium hardware. The Pocketbike i7 is obviously powered by a speedy Core i7 920 CPU, on an ASUS P6T motherboard, and features an EVGA 9800+ graphics card, a 1 TB of storage and 3 gb of DDR3 – 1333 RAM. He finished off his masterpiece with 5 CCFLs, 1 LED spot light, and two neon under-car lights.

Although he first started working on the project 5 months ago, Saibot said he actually worked on it for 12 days and spent the rest of the time making money and being lazy. Great work!

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Mindblowing Warhammer 40000 Dreadnought Case Mod

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If you’re as big a fan of the Warhammer 40000 video-games as I am, you know can understand why I find this particular case mod simply awesome.

Combining wood, metal and acrylic, modding master pinchillo has managed to bring the dreaded Dreadnought to life. He started working on this project about 4 years ago, but took a long break, and only recently decided to complete it. He first created the main body, which housed the computer hardware, then moved on to the accessories and details of the computer case. The rotating miniguns are a nice touch.

It may not be one of the oddities you’re used to, but this piece of modding genius was just to cool not to share it with you guys. For more pics of the building process, check out Modding.ru

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China Hosts World’s First Robot Olympics

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The World’s first International Humanoid Robots Olympic Games kicked off on June 21, in China’s Harbin’s Institute of Technology.

Two years after hosting a memorable edition of the human Olympic Games, China becomes the first country to host an Olympics dedicated to humanoid robots. Nineteen teams, from China, United States, Japan, South Korea or Germany have brought their best robots to compete in this historic three-day event.

To enter the competition, robots had to be less than 60 cm long, and have a human shape, with a head, two arms and two legs. Just like in the real Olympic Games, the sporty robots had to compete in multiple challenges, 24 to be exact, ranging from boxing, to weight-lifting, dancing, or sprint. But there are also some unusual domestic events, like cleaning or medical care.

The sprinting contest took place on the first day, with the winner running a distance of five meters in 20 seconds flat. Not bad for a small robot, I think. Check out the video at the bottom, to see these little guys sweating silicone at the Robot Olympic Games.

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