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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Orange Unveils Phone Charging Wellies

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With the Glastonbury Music Festival drawing near, Orange decided it was time to present their latest eco-invention, a pair of wellies that can charge up mobile phones.

Created in collaboration with renewable energy experts GotWind, these charging wellies have a ‘energy generating sole’ that transform the heat from your feet, into electricity. All you have to do is attach your mobile phone to one of the wellies, and start walking.

It sounds like revolutionary technology, and it is, but you’ll need to do a lot of walking to create enough energy. For example, for one hour of charge time, you have to walk for about 12 hours, in the wonder wellies. But you can speed things up by running, or dancing. The idea is to get your feet as hot as possible, to produce more energy.

The charging wellies, made by Orange, will be presented at the upcoming Glastonbury Festival.

via Orange Newsroom

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3D Newspapers Are the Hottest Thing in China

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Ever since China’s first 3D newspaper was released, back in April, the public has been asking for more. And they’re about to get it, as a limited number of the Hangzhou-based Daily Business editions are about to be issued, in 3D format.

British tabloid, The Sun, has announced it will be launching the first 3D newspaper, on June 5, a few days before the Soccer World Cup kicks off, in n attempt to raise awareness to the 3D broadcast of the sports event, by Sky News. Sorry guys, but you’re almost two months late, in China, 3D newspapers are already yesterday’s news.

Photos via ImagineChina

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The Cyborg Plant of Gilberto Espaza

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Nomadic Plants is a quirky project of Mexican artist, Gilberto Espaza, that possible symbiosis between vegetation and technology.

This is not Gilberto Espaza’s first such project. Last year, he unleashed his Urban Parasites on Mexico City. The small machines, made from recycled consumer goods, roamed the urban area in search of power sources they could feed on.

This year, the Mexican artist has an even more interesting project prepared. His Nomadic Plants installation focuses on the symbiosis between plants, micro-organisms and technology. A few river plants and bacteria live inside the Nomadic Plants robot, and whenever the life-forms inside it need nourishment, the machine searches the nearest polluted water-source and “drinks” from it.

A microbial fuel cell process decomposes the water’s elements and turns them into energy for the robot, and the rest is used to feed the plants and organisms inside. Gilberto Espaza said he was inspired to create this cyborg plant after reading about the microbial fuel cell that inspired him to take on the theme of environment pollution.

The Nomadic Plants installation is on display at Laboral Art and Industrial Creation Center, in Gijon, Spain, until June 2010.

via We Make Money Not Art

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Chinese Cooking Robot Cooks Over 600 Dishes

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It’s official, China is trying to get this cooking thing completely automated. A week after a retired engineer presented his DIY robot cook, another springs up .

The students of Yangzhou University, in Yangzhou, China partnered up with an enterprise from Shenzen, to create a fully automated robotic cook. Their result is nothing short of impressive, considering the machine can cook over 600 dishes from Chinese cuisine. All anyone has to do is put in the necessary ingredints, program the robot and weight for the dish to be served.

Bad news for Liu Changfa, the retired engineer who presented his own patented robot cook. Iguess hi dream of selling one to every restaurant in China, won’t be coming true, after all.

Photos by Zhao Jun/Xinhua

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Bazooka LED Flashlight Will Probably Blind You

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Using the power of no less than 500 LEDs, this dude created a home-made flashlight that can easily be mistaken for a high-powered light projector.

Before you think about the amount of power this thing needs to actually work, you should know LEDs are much more effective than old-fashioned light bulbs, have a longer life span, and lower heat dissipation. The LED bazooka flashlight features several brightness adjustment switches, and compared to two Maglite flashlights, is infinitely powerful.

If you want to fry someone’s eyes or even signal an airplane in flight, the 500 LED Bazooka flashlight is just what you need. Check the video at the bottom, for the making-of and to see this light beast in action.

via Gadgetonian

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Chinese Engineer Invents Robot Cook

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Liu Changfa, a retired automation engineer,from China, needed only one year to create a robot cook, using only rudimentary tools, like hammer and axe.

The Chinese inventor connected his robot cook to a laptop computer and a cellphone that allow to choose preset menus, or program it to cook certain dishes. Vinegar, salt, sugar and all other seasoning is stored in the robot’s chest, and the cooking takes place in its belly, where an induction cooker is installed. With the help of some dedicated software, the dedicated robot can be programmed to add a certain amount of seasoning, or stir a dish a certain number of times.

All Liu Changfa has to do is put the raw ingredients into the pot, and wait for the beeping sound, made by the robot. He has already contacted a Chinese restaurant, which will test the robot cook in its kitchen, and add robot dishes on its menu. More restaurants will shortly follow, says Liu Changfa.

Well, I’d wait a while before adding cooking to the list of automated fields, but this is definitely a step in that direction.

Photos via CNS Photo

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Bamboo Keyboards and Mice Are the New Rage in China

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Apparently, one of the globe’s biggest polluters has found an environment friendly alternative to plastic keyboards and mice.

Bamboo keyboards and mice are not exactly new on the market, and I’m sure you’ve come across all sorts of wooden peripheral concepts online. Jiangxi Bamboo Technology Development Co. Ltd., the only bamboo peripherals manufacturer in China, says their products have become increasingly popular at a national level, after they’ve been successfully exported to markets in Europe and America.

Production of bamboo keyboards and mice began in 2008, but until early 2009, they’ve only been shipped to foreign countries. But ever since franchised stores opened in Shanghai and Ningbo, China can’t get enough of its environment-friendly peripherals.

Judging from the photos, the Chinese aren’t stopping at just bamboo keyboards and mice, they’re taking it a step further, with bamboo encased LCD displays.

via Gadgetonian (photos by ImagineChina)

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