• Willow Garage Giving Away Free Open-Source Robots, Mad Scientists Rejoice

    Willow Garage Giving Away Free Open-Source Robots, Mad Scientists Rejoice

    Willow Garage has an idea about how to advance the state of robotics: make the development of robots open source.  They’ve already done plenty of work on the hardware side and, now, they’re going to use that to encourage action in programming them. The company has announced that they will be giving away 10 examples of the PR2, the company’s just-unveiled robot.  Currently in beta, it runs off software culled from the best parts of both the ROS (Robot Operating [...]

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  • Over 18 USB Drive Keeps Your Dirty Secrets, Tells The World You Have Dirty Secrets

    Over 18 USB Drive Keeps Your Dirty Secrets, Tells The World You Have Dirty Secrets

    Since keeping a stack of Playboys under the bed has fallen out of favor with the advent of digital content, people have begun keeping their dirty stashes in “special” hard drive folders and external media.  The Over 18 USB Drive is meant for those who do the latter.  It’s a special USB stick that declares, in big bold graphics, that it’s contents are strictly For Adults only. This product has to be a joke, right?  Probably.  Since it’s from Japan, [...]

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  • Siftables: Bite-Sized Toy Computers With Limitless Possibilities

    Siftables: Bite-Sized Toy Computers With Limitless Possibilities

    Think kids already spend too much time staring at screens now?  Wait till Siftables, a new set of cookie-sized computers with near-limitless interactive possibilities, come out.  Then you will really start to worry. Now, enough of the doomsday pronouncements.  This thing is really way coooool.  First seen as a  project out of the MIT Media Lab, the toy has garnered so much interest that the researchers behind it have now founded a startup company, Sifteo, to produce them. What exactly [...]

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  • Man Flies In An Office Chair Strapped To 55 Balloons, Comes Back Down And Goes To Work

    Man Flies In An Office Chair Strapped To 55 Balloons, Comes Back Down And Goes To Work

    What do you make of adrenaline junkies, 55 party balloons and an office rat?  As it turns out, all three things came together in the person of Jonathan Trappe, a North Carolina middle manager who flew 14,783 feet up in the air using 55 helium balloons strapped to his office chair.   Yes, a cluster balloon flight, like that Disney movie with the grumpy old man and the rotund child which was moderately funny. A technical project manager at work, he [...]

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  • Trexa Electric Vehicle Platform Lets You Design Your Own EV

    Trexa Electric Vehicle Platform Lets You Design Your Own EV

    A boom in the production of electric cars is all but imminent.   It may take two, five or ten years, but the proliferation of EVs in large numbers is something everyone is anticipating.  Instead of building their own line, a company called Trexa decided to go the other way – producing a development platform for EVs, so that even smaller garages and builders can begin putting together their own. Yep, an EV platform with a complete drivetrain enclosed in a [...]

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  • Crank Out MIDI Tunes While Prancing Onstage With The Misa Digital Guitar

    Crank Out MIDI Tunes While Prancing Onstage With The Misa Digital Guitar

    Your keytar may be the geekiest instrument on your block, but I’ll gladly put my bottom dollar on the Misa Digital Guitar to trump you on the Devo Scale (which, by the way, doesn’t exist).  What could be more attuned to nerdy sensibilities than a touchscreen MIDI controller built into a guitar body? Ready to create beautiful electronic beep-beeps (okay, we’ll call it music), it’s basically a rudimentary computer with a music software slotted into a guitar body.  Why?  So [...]

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  • 200 Used Six-Axis Robot Arms Going On Auction, Will Look Perfect In Your Mad Scientist Hideout

    200 Used Six-Axis Robot Arms Going On Auction, Will Look Perfect In Your Mad Scientist Hideout

    We’re not sure what you can do with robot arms (unless you have 733t engineering and robotic skills), but finding huge ones on sale is just too good to pass up.  That’s exactly what’s going to be available to mad scientists worldwide when the University of Delaware holds the auction of items from a shut-down Chrysler plant.  Yeah. Aah, robot arms.  Not just lame “pick up an object from the floor” kind of automatons either; they’re full-featured, six-axis, robotic limbs [...]

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  • Love Handles Chair Lets You Leave Your Mark Whether You Like It Or Not

    Love Handles Chair Lets You Leave Your Mark Whether You Like It Or Not

    Your pants may not make your ass look fat, but here’s a couch that will.  Called Love Handles, it’s a thermochromatic chair that changes color when any part of your body touches it.  Oooh…your ass looks way fat. Created by Nuno Erin, the full-figured lounge chair looks like regular sitting furniture.  After getting up from it, though, you’ll shriek in horror as you watch your bum, thighs, arms and, pretty much, every part of your body register on the surface, [...]

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  • Thunder Generator, A Non-Lethal But Potentially Fatal, Shockwave Cannon

    Thunder Generator, A Non-Lethal But Potentially Fatal, Shockwave Cannon

    Tasers are awesome.  When it comes to dispersing large crowds, though, firing thousands of zappers blindly into a mass of people doesn’t seem like the most sound idea.  That’s where the Thunder Generator, a cannon that unleashes shockwaves from range, comes in. It looks no more ominous than a harmless farm tool kept inside the barn.  Well, it actually used to be one.  In fact, the non-lethal artillery was originally employed by Israeli farmers to scare away birds feeding on [...]

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  • Hate The Outdoors?  Blast Away At Flying Discs With The Indoor Skeet Shooter

    Hate The Outdoors? Blast Away At Flying Discs With The Indoor Skeet Shooter

    Like Skeet Shooting, hate leaving the house?  No need to force yourself to soak in sunlight with Interative Toy Concepts’ upcoming Indoor Skeet Shooter, which lets you play the gentlemanly English sport right in your living room.  That’s if you have the headroom to accommodate flying discs, of course. Sounds ridiculous?  Yes it does.  They use real shotguns when playing the game outdoors, so bringing it inside might seem like a recipe for disaster.   Of course, the game replaces bullets [...]

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  • ICE Recumbent Trikes Make Mountain Bikes Look Boring

    ICE Recumbent Trikes Make Mountain Bikes Look Boring

    We don’t see many people riding recumbent trikes where I’m from (actually, I don’t think I’ve ever seen any), but after drooling over pictures of ICE’s recumbent three-wheelers, I know I was put on this Earth to ride one.  Okay, maybe it’s not as dramatic as I made it out to be, but damn it – those trikes (Adventure, Sprint, and Vortex) look downright amazing. Recumbent bikes don’t look all that comfortable.  Trikes with similar reclining positions, on the other [...]

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  • Rethink Hanger Finds A Novel Use For Discarded Water Bottles

    Rethink Hanger Finds A Novel Use For Discarded Water Bottles

    Got a lot of empty water bottles at home?  If you’d rather use them for good, instead of landfill, the Rethink Hanger offers a pretty novel idea.  Use them to hang your clothes. How exactly?  Well, the clever contraption acts like an unfinished hanger, with nothing but a hook to hang from and two holes that should accommodate plastic bottles on the sides.  All those used PET containers?  Simply screw them into the slots and use them as shoulders for [...]

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  • Manpacks Will Ship You A Fresh Batch Of Underwear Regularly, So You Can Skip On Those Dumb Shopping Trips

    Manpacks Will Ship You A Fresh Batch Of Underwear Regularly, So You Can Skip On Those Dumb Shopping Trips

    Need a new batch of briefs every three months, but can’t seem to remember to get them?  Since robots can’t shop for you yet, a company ran by humans might prove the best thing you currently have available.  Manpacks, a scheduled delivery service for socks, briefs, boxers and undershirts, should have you covered. Why would you need a company to regularly send over personal garments?  Because you’re a dude.  And dudes would rather do anything to get out of a [...]

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  • The Daily Shelter Hides A Secret Fort Within An Ordinary-Looking Table

    The Daily Shelter Hides A Secret Fort Within An Ordinary-Looking Table

    Like to play fort, but don’t want visitors making fun of you for it?  Not a problem with the Daily Shelter, an ordinary-looking table that craftily hides an elusive, secret fort. Created by artist Ingrid Brandth, it seems like a perfectly normal dining table at first glance.  Slide under it, however, and you’ll get access to a bevy of sliding and pop-up mechanisms that turn it into a veritable fort.  Yes, a completely private space where you can live in [...]

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  • CT&T’s Multi-Amphibious Vehicle Lets You Drive Its Six Wheels On Water

    CT&T’s Multi-Amphibious Vehicle Lets You Drive Its Six Wheels On Water

    Need a glorified golf cart that can haul a bigger entourage and run after balls that go in the water?  Okay, we’re not exactly sure what CT&T is planning with their Multi-Amphibious Vehicle, but it looks designed to do just that. Combining an electric powertrain with amphibious capabilities, it marries two downright cool talents in a single ride.  Of course, that also means when your neighborhood’s flooded and the power lines are down, you’re screwed – but, hey, I ain’t [...]

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  • GOAT: Champ’s Edition Is The Definitive Treatise On Muhammad Ali, Makes For Heavyweight Reading

    GOAT: Champ’s Edition Is The Definitive Treatise On Muhammad Ali, Makes For Heavyweight Reading

    Boxing may be dying on its knees (with the Pacquaio-Mayweather debacle serving as its latest poison), but the great memories of pugilists past will remain with us forever.   Taschen’s latest opus on Muhammad Ali, GOAT: Champ’s Edition, is the definitive volume on boxing’s greatest practitioner, collecting an insane amount of content relating to the champ over the last 50 years. GOAT (acronym for Greatest Of All Time) is one huge treatise in eight-color print – 792 pages, consisting of over [...]

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  • Tunebug Shake Lets You Enjoy Music Without Shutting The World Out

    Tunebug Shake Lets You Enjoy Music Without Shutting The World Out

    Popping earphones is a great way to listen to music.  In fact, I’d probably run out of my wits if I had to listen to the rubbish people use to entertain themselves when I sit next to them on the bus.  When you’re doing dangerous activities (like bicycling or snowboarding), however, listening to your “Best of the 80s” playlist on headphones is just a downright terrible idea. The Tunebug Shake is a portable speaker that can attach to a variety [...]

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  • Have Famous People At Your Fingertips With The Mullish Muse Finger Puppets

    Have Famous People At Your Fingertips With The Mullish Muse Finger Puppets

    We don’t know how you’re supposed to pull off putting Chuck Norris on your finger without having him break it, but you can try anyway with the Mullish Muse Finger Puppets.    Featuring the bearded action hero, along with a whole slew of celebrities and other pseudo-famous folks, the awesome collection should be the fastest way to your own YouTube comedy special (well, next to lip-synching Lady Gaga while looking like an idiot, of course). Made out of felt paper, glue [...]

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  • Unrestored 1895 Hildebrand & Wolfmüller, One Of The World’s Earliest Motorcycles, Going Up For Auction

    Unrestored 1895 Hildebrand & Wolfmüller, One Of The World’s Earliest Motorcycles, Going Up For Auction

    The 1894 Hildebrand & Wolfmüller is officially credited as the first two-wheeled vehicle to be called a “motorcycle.”  Now, one of the machines produced during its 1895 production run can be yours in an auction scheduled for April 25. Officially billed as the “ultimate barn find,” the 1895 Hildebrand & Wolfmüller is totally unrestored and is probably as good as junk.  Heck, it looks like it belongs in a trash heap.  Regardless, its status as one of the earliest examples [...]

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