Yes, they do seem similar to those robots. I think modularity is becoming a theme in a lot of technology areas, and you're right, robotics is one of them. I also think the ease of assembly of these--how they snap together--is just a genius idea for kids and should get them interested in technical things quite early.
A tremendous number of programs have popped up to support kids' involvement with robots. Every time I go to an automation tradeshow these days there is a corral of kids with their home-developed robots.
Great slideshow, Elizabeth. Modular robotics is becoming a big deal, even when they don't self-assemble. The magnets remind me of the MIT self-assembly robot cubes we covered here http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=268858
I will definitely keep an eye on this project, Rob. It seems really cool and I think will also go a long way to encourage kids to make their own robots and foster interest in STEM. I think this also is the aim of the company. How they have connected the robots through magnets and different interfaces, and use this instead of programming, is really unique, I think.
Engineers at Fuel Cell Energy have found a way to take advantage of a side reaction, unique to their carbonate fuel cell that has nothing to do with energy production, as a potential, cost-effective solution to capturing carbon from fossil fuel power plants.
This is part one of an article discussing the University of Washington’s nationally ranked FSAE electric car (eCar) and combustible car (cCar). Stay tuned for part two, tomorrow, which will discuss the four unique PCBs used in both the eCar and cCars.
Researchers working with additive manufacturing have said multimaterial techniques will allow industry “to fabricate materials with combinations of density, strength, and thermal expansion that do not exist [yet].”
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.