Think you’re addicted to your iPod? Well, what if you could tuck it into a roly-poly, docking station-type gizmo and watch the unit bump and grind to the beat of your favorite play list. How mesmerizing would that be?
The Miuro is the latest invention from ZMP Inc., a small Japanese company specializing in robotics. ZMP, founded in 2000, has created a family of robots designed for the education and entertainment markets. The Nuvo robot, its first for the consumer segment, can do more than 50 kinds of movement and can be controlled by human voice—even remotely, say, from your cell phone while in transit in your car. ZMP says the Nuvo, which has a built-in camera, makes a perfect house sitter, if not a fun house guest.
Its latest offering, the Miuro, builds on the robotic technology with music, which ZMP believes can be the “killer app” to give its robots mass appeal. You can play music through your iPod and use the Miuro as a speaker/docking system or you can play music from your PC by connecting to the Firefly Media Server or use Miuro to play Internet radio. All of this cool functionality will cost you a pretty penny, however: ZMP is aiming to sell the Miuro in the States later this year for around $1,000 (not including the iPod).
Both robots were designed using PTC’s Wildfire CAD software. Using new shade view functionality and other features in Wildfire 3.0, the ZMP design team says it was able to finish Miuro’s mechanical design in just two months along with achieving some notable improvements in size and design. Check out this Webcast for a look at the ZMP robots.
From home enthusiasts to workers on the manufacturing floor, everyone's imagination is captured by the potential of 3D printing. Prototyping, spare parts creation, art delivery, human organ creation, and even mass product production are all being targeted as current and potential uses for the technology.
Solar and wind energy are becoming more viable as a source of energy on the electric grid. For decades, the major drawback to solar and wind was that they’re temperamental. A cloudy day kills solar and a still day renders the wind turbines useless. Automation tools, however, are providing a path to help these renewables become practical.
In honor of Earth Day, the National Security Agency has launched the STEM Recycling Challenge in Maryland schools to encourage kids to think about where the garbage they throw out every day actually goes. The agency has also introduced “Dunk,” a muscular blue cartoon recycling bin wearing shorts and sneakers.
Samsung's Galaxy line of smartphones used to fare quite well in the repairability department, but last year's flagship S5 model took a tumble, scoring a meh-inducing 5/10. Will the newly redesigned S6 lead us back into star-studded territory, or will we sink further into the depths of a repairability black hole?
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