Friday, February 5, 2010

Robonica's Roboni-i Programmable Robot

Life became duller ever since FedEx took away our last annoying little robot, so we got our hands on a new but less chatty plastic companion -- say hi to Robonica's Roboni-i programmable robot. Since its last Engadget appearance we've seen a drastic price drop from the original $299.95 to $159.95 at Hammacher Schlemmer, but the robot is no less awesome -- those unique wheels alone deliver plenty of coolness already, not to mention the bunch of peculiar accessories in the box for games and even interaction with other fellow Roboni-is. Read on to find out if this bot's a keeper.

Gesture Cube

You know how it is -- another day, another "magical" and "intuitive" input device -- not unlike Immersion's Cubtile, which we first saw about a year ago. This time around the culprit is Gesture Cube, the heathen spawn of Ident's "GestIC" electric field sensing technology (for 3D spatial movement tracking) and a couple German design studios. GestIC detects movements and distances in 3D space, enabling touch free gesture control. If this sounds good to you, wait until you see the YouTube demonstration, complete with all sorts of "magical" and "intuitive" interface ideas! It will really make you with you were a designer living in Germany, starring in YouTube videos for "magical" and "intuitive" design firms. We don't know how much of a hurry we are to see this implemented in our fave hardware, but who knows? Maybe we'll come around eventually -- after all, Grippity did wonders for our words-per-minute. Video after the break.

Samsung's Transparent OLED Laptop

So um, remember this crazy 14-inch transparent OLED display Samsung was showing off perched atop a laptop at CES? Yea, that might be in the shops within the next 12 months. If that doesn't get you tingling with excitement, we don't know what will. Samsung will start its big push toward translucency with the IceTouch PMP, which we found to have a gorgeous 2-inch display in our earlier hands-on, but it's already working away in the labs on turning the prototype above into a concrete retail product. The IceTouch is slated to make its US arrival early in the first half of this year, priced at around $332. European availability is as yet uncomfirmed, but the Korean's company is being very ambitious about its technology, suggesting that windscreen-mounted SatNav units could be next on the agenda and ruling nothing out as it strives to bring its transparent AMOLED displays into the mainstream

HDMI 1.4's 3D

3D's happening whether you like it or not -- but the good news is that there won't be any format war to go with the adoption of the new tech. At least that's the sense we've been getting, as most manufacturers are adopting active shutter glasses, delivery will happen on cable, satellite, and Blu-ray, and now the HDMI Licensing group has opened up the 3D portion of the HDMI 1.4 spec so non-licensees can make their gear compatible. There'll be some changes coming down the pike in HDMI 1.4a, but that's also due for public release, so really we'll all be one big dorky family in 3D glasses when this is all over.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Armatix Smartgun

Armatix has apparently been working on its so-called "smartgun" concept for quite a while, but it's now finally shown up at the Shooting Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT, naturally) with its first actual product: a .22-caliber pistol that relies on a wristwatch as a safety. As you can probably figure out, the gun will only unlock itself when its in close proximity to the watch, which sends a "wireless arming signal" that, of course, also activates some green LEDs for good measure. Previous incarnations of the company's concept also relied on a fingerprint ID as an additional safety, but that seems to have been left off this production model, which will run €7,000 (or $9,700) when it starts shipping next month. more

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Aerotel GeoSKeeper

Have a grandmother or grandfather who tends to go for afternoon walks and somehow winds up on the other side of town? Does that town happen to be in Finland? Aerotel GeoSKeeper system could be your saving grace, a wrist-worn cellphone and GPS combo device that allows for others to keep tabs on the location of the wearer. It was announced back in 2008 and is now going live in Finland courtesy of EcoTec, where families can set up safe zones and receive alerts whenever the wearer decides to wander outside of them, which is reassuring -- so long as you're not the one wearing the thing. Calls can be made to doctors or family with the press of a button should something go wrong, and apparently you can even receive text messages somehow. The one thing it can't do? Tell time. If you're going to make someone wear something like this, the least you could do is build a watch into the thing! more

Thursday, January 14, 2010


LGE 15" OLED TV : 15-inches is small, it easily trumps the world's first production OLED TV, Sony's $2,500 11-inch XEL-1, and is a reasonable size for the bedroom (if you must) or kitchen counter. No word on specs but we expect the production set to offer the same million:1 contrast, 1,366 x 768 pixel resolution, and 30,000-hour shelf life as the prototype unveiled in January. The TV will launch first in Korea for an undisclosed price that is bound to be punishingly expensive.

POB-Bot Lite II

The POB-Bot Lite is a complete robot assembling all the POB-Technology’s know-how.

It provides a mechanical base on which an intelligent color camera, a screen, and I/O management board are mounted.

A CD-Rom with examples and development tools, a serial cable for your PC are also provided.

The POB-Bot has been designed with an open architecture allowing any kind of customization (electronics, mechanical and software).

Modules communicate via the very fast POB Bus. An I2C Bus is also available.

Except the the graphical screen, all POB robot parts can be used in other robots than ours.

You program the POB-Eye (colour camera) which pilot the other robot parts.

For example, you can add to the POB-Bot Lite :

Sensors on the front of the robot

Integrate servomotors to create an arm or motorize sensors

Add robot parts

Or add...your imagination !!!

The POB-Bot is the first robot totally open for users, as well for mechanical, electronics as software.

The softwares, RISBEE for starters and the POB-Tools for higher skilled users, make POB-Bot an excellent pedagogical support for different teaching levels from high schools to engineering schools.

You can use your robot with given examples or let your imagination go freely by developing new behaviors or adding electronics to increase capabilities and give new horizons to your robot.


1x POB-Eye II
1x POB-LCD128
1x POB-Proto
1x Tank Kit
The POB's Mechanical base
1 serial cable and 1 CD-ROM including compilors, softwares, examples and documentation.
USB/Serial Adapter

Next Generation Dashboard

Intel Atom processors, capacitive touchscreens, NVIDIA Tegra 2 graphics, Moblin installs... sounds like a suite of hot next-gen ultra-portables, right? Think again. Those are just some of the technologies used in the dashboards of cars that will be appearing on showrooms in the coming months and years, dashes that were largely on display at CES -- minus the cars themselves, usually. There we were treated to mobile glimpses of Google Earth, Pandora, and Slacker Radio on the go, plus the ability to lock and unlock your car via Ye Olde Internets. It's the future, and it's coming soon, so click on through already and get a sneak peek. more

Inbrics Android Based SoIP S1

The SoIP S1 from Inbrics is running Android, of course, but it's under that same fine UI skin that Inbrics has coated its M1 Android slider in. The result is a finger-friendly device with nice software for making calls and sending messages -- though it could really benefit from an external text-input device of some sort, and luckily there's Bluetooth onboard to make that a possibility. There's HDMI, Ethernet, USB and an SD slot around back, and the device is designed to sling video calls and media playback to a TV over the HDMI plug or DLNA (there's also WiFi onboard, natch). For VoIP there's a wireless handset embedded in the base of the unit. Unfortunately, we weren't able to see a demo of the video calling in action, and the big hangup with most of these video calling stations is still here: there's no mention of the big standards in video calling like Skype, Google Talk or iChat, so it's hard to see this catching fire with people who actually video chat. Still, at least Inbrics has roughly half of the software problem solved. Check out a video walkthrough after the break.(