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Three – The Netbook Robot

Designed by the guys at RoBe: Do Robotics, Three is the third software-ready autonomous computer to hit the market.

What’s great about this simple-looking robot is it allows you to use any netbook as its brain. Just place it on Three’s alluminum mount, connect it via USB and you’ve got yourself a controllable robot that can do whatever you program it to.

Three is powered by two 120 rpm gearhead motors and can be controlled via any Mac, Linux or Windows PC, through a variety of software languages like CC++, Flash AS3, Java, Python, Visual Basic and others.

The custom-built, 6.5 inches-tall Three robot is available for purchase at RoBe: Do’s official site for the introductory price of $399

via Gizmag

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XR3 – The Plug-in Hybrid Trike

I don’t know if I like the XR3 or not, Right now all I know is it looks…different.

Robert Q. Riley has been working on the XR3 Trike for a long time now, but it looks like his three-wheeled car is finally ready to go into production. Designed to be as light as possible, the XR3 hybrid allows 200 mpg and 125 mpg when running on its 23 hp diesel engine.

The plans available on Ripley’s website allow car-enthusiasts to implement some of his ingenious designs on their own rides and help them reduce mobility energy. You can find out more about the XR3 plug-in hybrid here.

via Autobloggreen

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Hello Kitty Castle

Finally, the world-famous Japanese character gets a proper home…in China.

Now loyal Hello Kitty fans from around the world can start their pilgrimage to the Hello Kitty Castle that was inaugurated in Shanghai. Not much I can say about this place, it’s very pink and girly-like and, judging by the popularity of Hello Kitty, it might just become the new Mecca.

One thing that would fit perfectly in the Hello Kitty Castle is the Hell-Kitty Rifle, an AR-15 rifle personalized by a Californian weapon enthusiast.

via China.org.cn

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Real-Life Hobbit House

And it’s not just for show guys, people actually live in it!

Ever since he was a little boy, Simon Dale dreamed of having a house in the countryside. And even though he’s no architect, or even a construction worker, together with his father-in-law and the help of passers-by, Simon managed to build this amazing Hobbit House in just 4 months. Believe it or not this baby only cost around 3,000 pounds to build.

Though it looks absolutely incredible, aesthetics were not Mr. Dale’s primary concerns. He tried to make his dream home as environment-friendly as he possibly could and hopes he set an example for others. Simon Dale and his family actually moved into the Hobbit House, but they are not stopping here. Their next project involves building nine other similar houses in Pembrokeshire, Britain.

For more info check Simon Dale’s official website

Here are a few specifications of the Hobbit House:

  • Dug into hillside for low visual impact and shelter
  • Stone and mud from diggings used for retaining walls, foundations etc.
  • Frame of oak thinnings (spare wood) from surrounding woodland
  • Reciprocal roof rafters are structurally and aesthaetically fantastic and very easy to do
  • Straw bales in floor, walls and roof for super-insulation and easy building
  • Plastic sheet and mud/turf roof for low impact and ease
  • Lime plaster on walls is breathable and low energy to manufacture (compared to cement)
  • Reclaimed (scrap) wood for floors and fittings
  • Anything you could possibly want is in a rubbish pile somewhere (windows, burner, plumbing, wiring…)
  • Woodburner for heating – renewable and locally plentiful
  • Flue goes through big stone/plaster lump to retain and slowly release heat
  • Fridge is cooled by air coming underground through foundations
  • Skylight in roof lets in natural feeling light
  • Solar panels for lighting, music and computing
  • Water by gravity from nearby spring
  • Compost toilet
  • Roof water collects in pond for garden etc.”

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The See-Through Toilet

The last thing I want happening to me in a public toilet is be seen by strangers while I handle my business, but people in Lausanne.

Relax though, if you behave inside, everything will be ok. This glass and steel structure features a voir button on the inside. The toilet windows are transparent when it is vacant, but turn opaque when someone enters and presses the button. Now, to prevent a person overstaying their welcome, the transparent toilet also has a motion sensor, and if it doesn’t detect any movement, for a long period of time, OR if it detects too much movement, the window turn transparent.

Talk about getting caught with your pants down, huh?

via Pasta&Vinegar

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Citysope – Faceted Art

Created by Marco Hemmerling, a talented German designer, Cityscope is a faceted art installation, presented at the Plano8 architectural festival, in September. Located in Cologne, Germany, the installation reflects parts of the buildings around it, offering a frafmented perception of the surroundings.

Hemmerling describes its creation as an urban kaleidoscope that offers a different perspective on the environment with every step you take. Cityscope is covered by radiant foil that reflects images in different colors, depending on daylight. At night the surface of the art installation becomes transparent and it is lit from inside.

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Photo Credits

Star Trek home cinema

Built by Gary Reighn in a 19×14 foot room in Philadelphia, this home cinema is a good replica of the Enterprise’s bridge. It’s actually quite impressive what a man can do with a bit of hard work and around 15.000 dollars if he’s passionate about something, even if that something is a sci-fi series

The cinema comes complete with a Sony LCD projector, a 7.1 Polk sound system, a Velodyne subwoofer, Yamaha receiver, Bravo DVD player, Philips Pronto remote and Bass Shakers beneath two of the theater’s chair.