Saturday, August 29, 2009

Robot Expresses Facial Emotions

MIT's Nexi Robot Expresses Facial Emotions
MDS robots, closer to us

Nexi is a MDS small humanoid robot, designed by MIT Media Lab's Personal Robotics Group, capable of expressing facial emotions much in the same way as humans do. MDS actually stands for 'Mobile/Dexterous/Social', meaning it can perform a multitude of tasks, by moving around on its dynamically self-balancing wheels, with its fully compatible arms that can grab and lift objects up to 4.5 kilograms in weight.

Nexi was specially designed to mimic human movements at roughly the same speed. The head and face were created by the Xitome Design and MIT. The neck mechanism has four degrees of freedom and its face is able to express emotions through an array of movable features, such as the eyes, mouth, eyebrows and so on.

Two CCD cameras placed inside each eye gives it binocular vision of its surroundings, while an Active 3D infrared camera and microphones located in the forehead allows it to make 3D maps of the environment in which it is placed. Nexi was build on a previous robot design created at the Laboratory of Perceptual Robotics UMASS Amherst, the uBot5 mobile manipulator robot, which also uses a two-wheel dynamically balanced system to move around.
Nexi's facial expressions

Nexi is powered by lithium-ion batteries and controlled by an onboard personal computer working on a Linux operating system.

According to its designers, "the purpose of this platform is to support research and education goals in a human-robot interaction, teaming, and social learning." Robots like Nexi could one day work alongside with people in their homes. However, before becoming commercially available, Nexi will be used for research into human-robot interactions.

MIT Media Lab's website also reveal that, aside Nexi, three other small humanoid robots were developed, each of them with a fair amount of mobility, dexterity and human-centric communication and interaction abiliies.

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Gadget that Translates Dog's Language

Want to understand what your dog is barking? For the first time presented in 2002, the Bowlingual comes back, the gadget examines a dog's bark and then identifies its emotion. The latest invention was developed by toymaker Takara Tomy, which looks forward to present the toy in August. Currently the gadget is expected to be sold only in Japan.

It is worth mentioning that Takara Tomy's latest invention was initially developed by an audio researcher and a veterinarian. The goal was to study and then convey the sound of a dog's bark. The company claims that its new device is able to identify and interpret six basic emotions.

The first version featured a microphone that had to be worn around a dog's neck. There was also a handheld unit that read the information sent from the microphone. The unit then identified the dog's emotion and showed the corresponding information on its screen. The current invention includes a more compact unit that incorporates a speech synthesizer that audibly informs you about the things your pet attempts to communicate. The unit also shows the information on the screen. You can find more curious and interesting latest inventions here at; please consider checking the links at the bottom of the story.

If the user wants to analyze the information later, they can save it. This latest invention also features an answering machine function, which allows the user to track the dog's feelings when the owner is away. It is worth mentioning that in 2002, when the invention was introduced, the Time Magazine marked it as a "Best Invention of 2002." Takara Tomy even gave several Bowlinguals to Vladimir Putin for his dogs.

Up till now there has been no information about the release date of new Bowlingual in the United States. When it hit the stores in Japan, the gadget will cost about $220.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What you might not know about your cell phone

Here are some tips and tricks that you never knew your cell phone could do.

Ok, quick question: the heat is on -- it's a dire emergency and all you have with you is your cell phone! What are you gonna do? Make a phone call for help, right? Maybe that was a no-brainer, but you're cell phone CAN be used for a more than you ever imagined when you absolutely, positively need to some help and no one is around.

Check out the things that you can do with your cell phone:

Trick 1 - FIRST Subject: Emergency

The emergency number worldwide for a mobile phone is 112. If you find yourself out of the coverage area of your mobile network and there is an emergency, dial 112 and the mobile will search any existing network to establish the emergeny number for you, and interestingly enough, you can even dial (112) if the keypad for your cell phone is locked. Try it out. I have, and I tell you -- it works!

Trick 2 - SECOND Subject: Have you locked your keys in the car?

Have you ever locked your keys in the car? Does your car have a remote keyless entry? The following may come in handy someday - and it's reason enough to own a cell phone: If you lock your keys in the car and your spare remote is at home or with your spouse, call that person on their cell phone from your cell phone. Hold your cell phone about a foot from your car door and have the person on the other end (the one with the spare remote) press the unlock button, holding it near the mobile phone on their end. Believe it or not, your car will unlock. Saves someone from having to drive your keys to you.. But if you are hundreds of miles away, and if you can reach someone who has the other "remote" for your car, you can unlock the doors (or the trunk). [This thing might not work unless you have a GPS system installed in your car.]

Trick 3 -  THIRD Subject: How to disable a STOLEN mobile phone?

How to disable a STOLEN mobile phone? To check your mobile phone's serial number, key in the following digits on your phone: * # 0 6 # A 15 digit code will appear on the screen. This number is unique to your handset. Write it down and keep it somewhere safe. If your cell phone ever gets stolen, you can phone your service provider and give them this code. They will then be able to block your handset so even if the thief changes the SIM card, your phone will be totally useless. Nothing better than sweet revenge on the SOB who pilfered your cell phone. You probably won't get your phone back, but at least you know that whoever stole it can't use or sell it either. Come to think of it, if everybody did this, there would be no point in people stealing mobile phones.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

New Birthplace of Robots

Japan - The New Birthplace of Robots
By Andrew Newell

From Toys to Tech, Why Japan is a Robot's Number One
Japan is the country that gave the world giant robots, small robots and human sized robots. From the fictional Mobile Suit Gundam to the small tea-making robot maid, Japan's robotics technology has been pushing the limits of our minds and imagination. Just this July 2009, Japan has unveiled a giant life sized model of the fictional robot RX-78-2 Gundam at Tokyo's Odaiba park. This structure is not a robot, but is a model of one. This is a testament to the nation's dedication and fondness for the field of robotics.

In recent years, automobile manufacturers Honda and Toyota have been in research and developing humanoid robots. Asimo, Honda's robot, is more popularly known and has become the icon of robotics in this day and age. Asimo is able to carry items, walk, sprint a little and jump all while staying on its two feet. It is also equipped with sensors for detecting and identifying people, and has excellent control of its hands, allowing it to hold both fragile and heavy objects.

Day to Day Japanese Robots
Robots are not limited in shape and form to be similar to humans; many robots in use today are found in industrial factories, performing tasks inappropriate for humans such as doing precision laser welding, carrying heavy loads and even really boring tasks like moving a box from one platform to another.

Recently the utilization of these robotic arms and limbs has been moved outside the factory and into more unconventional locations. One such example is a noodle shop in Japan where the ramen is made by robots. Of course, taking orders and accepting payments are done by humans, the broth or ramen stock is also prepared by humans. The robot limbs ensure the ramen is cooked consistently and accurately, garnishes and toppings are accurately measured and added into the broth. They also prepare the ramen fast, in less than two minutes.

There are also robots being used to make coffee. The mini coffee-making robot maid is a small humanoid robot that stands a little below five inches. She has legs for movement and arms for grabbing objects. When all utensils and ingredients for making coffee are positioned in exact locations, the robot maid will scoop up the proper measurement of coffee, sugar and cream, pour hot water and stir the brew properly.
Of course, this only works if every single item it located at the proper area since the robot cannot easily detect items. Should this technology be perfected, we would eventually be able to enjoy the service of fully automated robot helpers.

Robots in Today's Japan
Japan also has claim on many robot firsts. They have made a robot that has modeled on the catwalk. They also created a robot teacher who could teach class and recognize students. From tour guides, to receptionists, Japan is slowly creating robots that would perform many service oriented tasks. While robot may gain more and more usage, their presence is not meant to substitute that of humans. Robots are being developed to do our jobs so that we can spend more time focusing on living our lives.

Ruhfus are a leading supplier of Hydraulic Cylinders for the deep hole boring industry. Ruhfus prefer to use Emics for their on-site calibration services.

Article Source: Ezine articles

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Cute Japanese Robots Dancing

Here is another bunch of cute dancing robots made by the Japanese. The programming was really impressive. We've really come a long way to this verym moment and time of robotics. But beware of the "I-Robot" scenario. Or we will all be in big trouble just like "The Terminator".

Friday, August 14, 2009

Can iPod clones benefit you?

iPod Clones - Are They Any Good?
By Roberto Sedycias
iPod can be termed as a device which is used for storage and playing of audio files. Introduced in the year 2001, by Apple Inc., this device has an enormous storage capacity of storing many songs which may go up to few thousands. This device is designed with a state of art technology and unmatchable features and as such is priced dearly. iPod clones can be termed as those similar devices manufactured by other manufacturers which have identical features as an Apple iPod, but are less expensive, so as to provide affordability to the music lover masses.
There are many iPod clones in the market, designed by various top notch electronics manufacturers. They have more or less same features and design but are very soft on your pocket. We will discuss here the Top 5 iPod clones which are claiming to provide similar features as the Apple iPod and are also quoting at an affordable range.
On the top of the list amongst the top 5 clones is iPod nano clone. These are cheaper versions of the iPod manufactured by chinese manufacturers. These clone devices have similar design as the recent original model with a 2.4 inch TFT screen, touch screen, voice recording camera etc.
Then there are the iPod shuffle clones which has identical looks and features as that of an iPod shuffle. The clone manufacturers do their bit to copy even the packaging and imprint on it. If you do not look at its price sticker, at the first glance you are sure to mistake it for the original model. The clone devies are available at a price tag of about $15 which is a fraction of the original iPod shuffle. With the huge price difference, few features if missing from the clone can be easily ignored.
Next is the chinese clone of iPod touch. Apart from the icons on the screen, the looks are otherwise more or less same as the original iPod. They come with a 2 GB internal memory, a 2.8 inch touch screen and are able to support audio and video images in JPEG format. At a price tag of around $100, the iPod touch clones even have some additional features than the original iPod touch such as a built in speaker, microphone and a FM tuner.
Last in the iPod clone category which is also the latest favorite amongst the music loving section is the MP4 iPod clone which is a look alike of the second generation of iPod nano from Apple. Esolo has priced it at $40, with a storage capacity of 2GB. With similar features to play audio and video media formats, it also has a voice recorder and a FM tuner.
However, with the difference in the price tag, it will not be justified to flatly say that clones are no different than the original ones. There is a definite difference between the audio and video quality. However, some generics or Clones have additional features such as FM tuner which comes at an additional cost of $50 in an Apple iPod. With the price tag being less than half the original it is not a bad deal to buy an iPod clone instead of an original one as the features are basically the same and the pocket pinch much lesser.
Roberto Sedycias works as IT consultant for Polomercantil.

Source: e-zine articles

Saturday, August 8, 2009

iPhone Music Downloads

7 Tips to Find the Top Service for iPhone Music
By Davion Wong

iPhone owners are getting excited about loading their new gizmos with iPhone music downloads. After all, the phone-cum-digital portable media player can store up to 100 songs easily and allow a playtime of up to 24 hours of audio. This article will show you 7 hot tips to find the top service befitting of your new toy when it comes to iPhone music downloads.

1. Free or Paid

Freebie seekers probably would argue with me on this. There is nothing wrong with wanting free iPhone music downloads. Who doesn't anyway? But the trouble is that free websites that give you music for free are often associated with exposure to viruses, spyware and adware when downloading media files there. Our phones are too new and precious and to risk exposing them to these harmful elements is a No No.

How about downloading each iPhone song for $0.99 or more at online music services like HMV, iTunes and so on? People wouldn't mind if it is only one or two song. But if we are going to load up at least a 100 songs or soundtracks, this is going to be expensive.

There are now services that offer a lifetime membership for a flat fee of lower than $49.95 to access unlimited iPhone music downloads. These are the real gems!

2. Variety & Size of iPhone Music Library

Music lovers probably have their preferred music. You may not like pop but to another, pop may really sound heavenly. If you love all kinds of music, go with the services that offer multiple genres from Rock, Hip Hop, R&B, Classical to many unheard music genre. Several top sites now offer over 100 million media files including music videos, TV shows and even movies and games.

3. Download Interface

This is a key feature that must not be overlooked. For easy navigation, the interface must be simple to use and does not take long to search and find your music files. One way to get a rough idea is to see how professionally done the site is and to read comments of existing users.

4. Software Applications for Download and Conversion

Several of the more established services are providing free software applications required to download iPhone music as well as movie and video files. They also provide the conversion software needed to convert movies and music file formats into iPhone-compatible formats. The top services also offer you a free DVD conversion software that transfer movies from DVDs to your iPhone.

5. Fast Downloading Speeds

Make sure that the download speeds are fast. Music file sizes are about 3-4 MB per song. Assuming you are downloading 20 songs at a go, the service must not limit your bandwidth usage by slowing down the speed. This is what some poorly run B-grade services do.

6. Safe Download Environment

Some services do not provide good secured environment with a high level of security and safety when you download iPhone music downloads. The last thing you want to worry about is adware, spyware and viruses that could make their way to your computer because the music store refuses to buck up on its system architecture.

7. After-sales Customer Care and Support

Many services just want to make more money. While they promise a 24/7 technical support to entice you to join them, they are hardly around when you need them to help troubleshoot when you face difficulties. Thankfully, there are a few reputable ones who can deliver an excellent level of after-sales service.

Look around and use these tips to find a good service for your iPhone music downloads. Want to know which services score well in every aspect mentioned? Read up my iPhone blog.

Davion is an ardent lover of techno gizmos. He runs a hugely popular iPhone review blog where he reveals where you can find unlimited iPhone downloads for pennies.

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Hottest iPhone Accessories

Pick of the Hottest iPhone Accessories
By Ronniee Williams

For the third consecutive year Apple came up with another, faster and enhanced version of iPhone, iPhone 3gs. This outstanding smart phone has some outstanding aspects compelling people to fall pray to it indeed. What will happen once you are done playing with its touch screen keypad, Apps store, games and maybe checked e-mail a few times? Now you feel like the fun is fading, but you are wrong. Now, you get to accessorize your iPhone 3g or 3gs with exciting new hardware add-ons that can make your iPhone computing more convenient. iPhone accessories start at as little as $5, and can do everything from boosting your battery life to playing your tunes over your car stereo. In fact, there are two types of accessories, the first type of accessories will protect your iPhone, and the second type of accessories will personalize it. A large number of respected manufacturers in business deliver iPhone accessories along with its launch. Piel Frama, PDair, Covertec, Krusell, Otterbox, Sandisk, Kingston, Plantonics, Case-Mate and Mugen Power are a few of the distinguished brands.

Protect your device from depreciating

One of the most critical iPhone accessories will be a case or screen protector. The beauty of the iPhone is the crystal clear screen, but it will also be prone to scratches making your iPhone less attractive and make you unhappy every time you look at your now depreciated device. An iPhone case is the most important of iPhone accessories, as it will protect your investment and a screen protector will protect the screen from accidental scratches from a fingernail as iPhone uses multi-touch technology which requires you to use the touch screen to navigate the phone.

Manufacturers start offering different types of cases for the yet to be released iPhone. Leather has turned out to be the most common material for first-generation iPhone cases. They come in a variety of different colors. They are easy to get on and off the phone, which is surprisingly important. For rough environments Otter box is the best iPhone 3G Cases, it provides a lot of protection from shock and moisture. Now no more missed calls due to waterlogged hands or sweat. The Incase Protective Cover is designed to provide the ultimate in functionality. It provides direct access to the widescreen with touch controls, to the speakerphone and microphone openings. It also offers a camera lens cutout and access to the dock connector.

Feeling helpless, when battery goes flat in the middle of an important call?

This is when the iPhone 3G accessories prevent you with its USB Car Charger Adapter as it allows you to charge your handset in car using your existing USB charger cable. The Power Slider and iPhone 3g fuel are protective cases, they doubles the battery life of the phone, as they come with their own USB cord that allows you to charge and sync your iPhone 3G without removing it from the case. A phone dock and USB Desktop cradle are the power stations that hold your phone upright and out of harm's way while you're charging it or syncing it with your computer. So the next time you're rushing to get to the airport at 6am and you forget your charger...relax, your iPhone 3G is taken care of.

Play your iTunes, now in a more sleek way

As the Apple iPhone accessories include headphones that let you enjoy your favorite music from your digital media player, without missing any calls, your music will mute and pause when a call comes in so you can talk on the phone, and then your tunes will automatically resume when your call is complete. The soft material of the headphone covers the lightweight ear buds to ensure a comfortable and secure fit. But, what if you don't like ear buds? An iPhone Bluetooth headset sets new standards for mobile voice clarity and personal style.

Other then the accessories mentioned above there are quite lot supplies of accessories of an iPhone out there that will make your iPhone's appearance even more trendy and style. One can find iPhone accessories throughout the web but offers discounted price on all hottest iPhone accessories.

Other then the accessories mentioned above there are quite lot supplies of accessories of an iPhone out there that will make your iPhone's appearance even more trendy and style. One can find iPhone accessories throughout the web but offers discounted price on all hottest iPhone accessories.

About Author: Ronnie Williams is a staff writer for You can find latest cell phones, discounted cell phone accessories, especially blackberry accessories, iPhone accessories, palm accessories, apple accessories and wide range of accessories for LG, Nokia, Samsung, Motorola and HTC.

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