Real-Life T-1000 – Scientists Create Robot That Can Liquify Its Body and Then Resolidify

A team of scientists has created a tiny robot that can melt itself and then resolidify on command in order to pass through tight spaces.

Remember Terminator 2’s terrifying antagonist, the advanced T-1000 shapeshifting android? It was made out of this liquid metal that allowed it to melt and then resolidify and cause all kinds of havoc. Well, guess what? Scientists claim to have created a real-life version of the T-1000, a small robot that can melt and resolidify itself on command, enabling it to easily escape from confined spaces. There’s even a video of it performing this neat trick, and while it may not be as impressive as the T-1000 Terminator, it’s definitely an impressive, if somewhat scary, look into the future.

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This Slime Mold-Powered Smartwatch Is Literally a Living Gadget

In an attempt to explore the relationships people have with their modern accessories like smartphones and smartwatches, researchers recently created a smartwatch powered by a living organism.

Devices like smartphones, smartwatches, and laptops have become a part of our daily routine, and scientific experiments have shown that many people feel that they can’t function properly without them. Yet as a result of consumerism culture, most of us have no problem discarding our gadgets as soon as we can afford to buy new, more advanced ones, even if we don’t really need them. But what if there was a way to feel more attached to these gadgets, would that make us think twice before replacing them? Inspired by the Tamagochi, a Japanese toy that became an international phenomenon during the 1990s, scientists at Chicago University created a unique type of smartwatch that only functioned if the living organism inside of it was kept alive.

The Tamagochi was an egg-shaped device that allowed users to take care of a digital pet by feeding, training and disciplining it. If not given enough attention, the pet would die, and players would have to start over. It was immensely popular in the 1990s and early 2000s and is still available today. This toy was the original inspiration for a unique smartwatch where the digital pet was replaced by a living organism – a slime mold.

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Blind Computer Scientist Creates AI-Powered Suitcase For the Visually Impaired

AI Suitcase is a smart suitcase developed by a blind computer scientist to aid the visually impaired in navigating their surrounding more efficiently without the aid of white canes or guide dogs.

65-year-old Chieko Asakawa has been completely blind since she was only 14, following a tragic accident. A computer scientist and also the director of the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, also known as Miraikan, in Tokyo she is living proof that the visually impaired can overcome their disability to achieve great things. But as someone who has long struggled with navigating unfamiliar and crowded places, Asakawa came up with an idea to help the visually impaired get around easier. In 2017, her own experiences inspired her to come up with the idea of a smart suitcase that could guide its user with the help of built-in sensors and cameras. Six years later, the AI Suitcase is almost ready for its commercial debut.

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Stone Watch – The World’s Dumbest Smartwatch

Smartwatch manufacturers are constantly trying to one-up each other with feature-rich devices, but one Japanese company prides itself on making the world’s dumbest smartwatch.

The Stone Watch is not a smartwatch, it’s just designed to look like one. Created by Japanese capsule toy maker Tama-Kyu, the low-tech accessory doesn’t even tell time, let alone feature advanced tech like heart rate measurement, or smartphone connectivity. It doesn’t even have a display, it’s just a glossy, black piece of plastic with a silicone band that does nothing but look nice on your wrist.

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HuggieBot 3.0 – Robot Uses Science to Deliver the Perfect Hug

HuggieBot 3.0 is the third iteration of a robot designed by a team at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems to deliver the perfect hug.

Hugging probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about things that robots could help humankind with, but a team of scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems disagrees. Alexis E. Block and her colleagues have been involved in the HuggieBot project for years, trying to create a robot that could deliver human-like hugs and thus replace actual people in various scenarios like providing comfort to the lonely, or replacing someone who just can’t deliver a hug in person for some reason. Their third iteration, the HuggieBot 3.0, is apparently quite the hugger…

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This Company Creates the World’s Smallest TV Sets

TinyCircuits, a hardware company specializing in creating tiny electronic devices, recently unveiled the world’s smallest television sets.

When it comes to modern TVs, the general consensus is that bigger is better, but one company is trying to prove that it can be successful by going against the trend. TinyCircuits, an open-source hardware company that makes all sorts of tiny electronic devices, has created the world’s smallest television sets – the TinyTV 2 and TinyTV Mini. While these retro-looking devices may be the size of postage stamps, they actually work about as well as regular-size TVs, featuring channel and volume-adjusting knobs, remote control, 8Gb of storage, and PC connectivity for uploading videos.

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Robotics Startup Unveils the World’s Fastest Walking Shoes

A Pittsburgh-based robotics and engineering startup recently unveiled Moonwalkers, a pair of battery-powered shoes that it claims can boost walk speeds by up to 250%.

At first glance, Moonwalkers look like a pair of futuristic rollerskates, but there is actually a lot more to them than that. You’re actually meant to walk with them the way you would regular shoes or sneakers, letting the motorized wheels put a spring in your step. Powered by a state-of-the-art brushless DC motor, this ingenious contraption is actually a platform that can be attached to a wide variety of footwear to significantly increase your walking speed up to a reported 7mph/11kph. For comparison, humans’ average walking speed ranges from 2.5 to 4 mph. The sensation of walking with the world’s fastest shoes has been compared to that of walking on a ‘moving walkway’ in an airport.

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This Japanese Company Is Working on a Human Washing Machine

Science, a Japanese technology company specializing in bathroom and kitchen innovation, recently unveiled plans to produce a washing machine for humans.

Believe it or not, the concept of a human washing machine isn’t new. At the 1970 Osaka Expo, Japanese electronics giant Sanyo Electric showcased its ‘Ultrasonic Bath’, a human washing machine that cleaned, massaged, and dried the occupant in a fully-automated 15-minute cycle”. The concept never really took off as a commercial product, but now another Japanese technology company wants to take a shot at it, promising to deliver a modern take on the human washing machine by 2025.

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Japanese Robotics Company Creates Humanoid Heavy Machinery

A Japanese robotics company has been getting a lot of attention for its unique heavy machinery – a humanoid industrial robot that can be remote controlled by a human.

With so much focus on artificial intelligence and concepts like ‘the singularity’, we sometimes forget that robots have been around for a long time and that they can be pretty valuable tools even without advanced machine learning or even the possibility to move around on their own. Think about the industrial robots in modern automated car factories, or those mine-clearing robots that help human lives, just to name a couple of examples. Now, one Japanese company is trying to bring attention back to these humble creations with an ingenious humanoid heavy-duty robot capable of performing all kinds of useful chores while also appealing to fans of mecha manga and anime.

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Engineer Creates Functional Half-Wheel Bicycle

You may think that wheels are essential when it comes to bicycles, but one resourceful engineer’s recent invention demonstrates that two half wheels are just as good as one full wheel.

Sergii Gordieiev, engineer and YouTuber extraordinaire, is known for his ingenious inventions – including a chainless bike and a drill-powered ice bike – but his latest creation undoubtedly takes the cake as the most unusual. This bizarre contraption basically has two half rear wheels instead of a complete one, and they work in tandem to do the job of a regular one. As weird as it sounds, this crazy bike shows that two half wheels, when used correctly, are just as good as one full wheel.

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Japanese Inventor Creates Creepy Spider Night Lamp, Freaks Out the Internet

A Japanese IT engineer has created a creepy nigh lamp that crawls on robotic spider legs and leads you to the toilet in the middle of the night.

Don’t you hate when you have to answer nature’s call in the middle of the night? It’s pitch dark, you don’t know where you’re going and you don’t want to disturb the whole family by turning on the lights. Wouldn’t it be nice if a smart night lamp could light up the way from your bed to the toilet? Well, be careful what you wish for, because some night lamps can be downright disturbing. Case in point, this robotic spider lamp created by a Japanese IT engineer as a side project that has been freaking out Twitter for the past couple of days.

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Japanese Company Creates Smart Eyeglasses That Cure Both Myopia and Hyperopia

Japanese smart eyewear company Vixion has been working on an innovative pair of eyeglasses that can adjust the focus of the lenses, thus helping wearers overcome both myopia and hyperopia.

Suffering from either shortsightedness or farsightedness is bad enough, but as we age, many of us have to deal with the symptoms of both conditions. That means trouble seeing details up-close and in the distance. Unfortunately, the only way to deal with this is to get two pairs of eyeglasses – one for reading and another for seeing distant things more clearly. Having two pairs of prescription glasses is not only expensive, but also cumbersome. You need to have both with you at all times and switch between as necessary. Luckily, a Japanese company is working on a pair of smart eyeglasses that can help you deal with both myopia and hyperopia.

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The Rotary Un-Smartphone – The Retro Smartphone You’ve Been Looking For

If you’re a millennial who misses the old rotary phone that was such a big part of your life growing up, the Rotary Un-Smartphone Kit may be just what you’ve been looking for.

Smartphones are cool if you like carrying a miniature computer everywhere with you, but if you only care about making calls and all the other stuff is just getting in the way, the mobile rotary phone designed by space engineer and brilliant inventor Justine Haupt is just perfect. Featuring the familiar plastic dial that most of us 90s kids grew up with, the Rotary Un-Smartphone is basically a barebone smartphone that only includes the absolute essentials that the average anti-smartphone user might like, but with a cool, retro look.

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Speech2Face – An AI That Can Guess What Someone Looks Like Just by Their Voice

Speech2Face is an advanced neural network developed by MIT scientists and trained to recognize certain facial features and reconstruct people’s faces just by listening to the sound of their voices.

You’ve probably already heard about AI-powered cameras that can recognize people just by analyzing their facial features, but what if there was a way for artificial intelligence to figure out what you look like just by the sound of your voice and without comparing your voice to a database? That’s exactly what a team of scientists at MIT has been working on, and the results of their work are impressive, kind of. While their neural network, named Speech2Face, can’t yet figure out the exact facial features of a human just by their voice, it certainly gets plenty of details right.

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Smart Chopsticks Use Electrical Stimulation to Enhance Food Flavors

Japanese beverage maker Kirin Holdings teamed up with researchers at Meiji University in Tokyo to create smart chopsticks that reportedly make food taste more savory.

Meiji University professor Homei Miyashita has been researching electrical stimulation as a way to alter the way people experience food and flavor for years. In 2016, along with fellow researcher Hiromi Nakamura, he made international news headlines for developing a revolutionary electric fork that could make any food taste saltier than it actually was. And last year, he got even more attention for his Taste the TV (TTTV) project, a lickable TV screen that could imitate the taste of various foods. Now, he’s once again the talk of the interwebs thanks to his latest invention, a pair of smart chopsticks that can allegedly make food more savory.

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