Category Archives: automotive & mobility

I-Wei Huang Talks about his Amazing Collection of Steampower Robot Designs

In this video I-Wei Huang shows a guy from the Wired magazin his amazing collection of robot designs. I-Wei Hung’s has a special interest in steampowered robot designs, as you can see in some of his robot designs. I-Wei Hung designs adorable cool robots, watch this video to get a glimpse on his robotic genius! Also refer to the original Wired Interview here.

Urban Graffity Tagging – done by a Pole Climbing Robot

Urban Graffity Tagging Pole Climbing Robot

Watch this amazingly cool pole climbing robot, that is able to create urban graffity art  taggings on public poles. The climbing robot is drawing while climbing up and down the pole. AKIRA, the author of the video who studied computer science, art and cultural studies at International Christian University Tokyo, calls his projects ‘experiments in urban intervention’, which means to tactically hack into your urban environments to create urban art. At the moment AKIRA is working as a freelance coder, engineer and artist in Tokyo. You can find more of his fantastic work on his site Ampontang.com.

Kids Wind Toy helps to clear Minefields

Massoud Hassani, an Afghan product designer, recently published a wind toy design he had invented and tested during his childhood. This wind toy design consists of a large ball of artificial legs that is used to clear minefields. This innovative and quite cheap design can be used by the locals to disable single mines without the use of specific tools or large budgets. As Massoud Hassani explaines within the video below, his multi-leg design is driven by strong winds and looses just some artificial legs per mine which enables a single device to disable at least 3 mines within one trip.

Hipersfera builds autonomous airship for border control and survaillance tasks

Hipersfera airship for video survaillance tasks (image source: Hipersfera)

Hipersfera airship for video survaillance tasks (image source: Hipersfera)

These days, the Croatian company  Hipersfera presented an autonomous airship, that is designed to fulfill border control and survaillance tasks. It looks like a small sphere in the shape of a camera lense, as it is shown within the video below. This Helium filled sphere is able to float over a survaillance target without making much noise. While the real airship should come in a size of around 40 diameter, the prototype actually offers around 3.5 meter. This announcement comes right after the US Army declared the recreation of traditional airship technology, so it seems as if Zeppelin’s technology is still interesting.

Swarm of Robots that team up with Air-Drones and solve Problems

“Spatially Targeted Communication and Self-Assembly,” a work by Nithin Mathews, Anders Lyhne Christensen, Rehan O’Grady, and Marco Dorigo, from Universite Libre de Bruxelles and Instituto Universitario de Lisboa, was presented at IROS 2012 in Vilamoura, Portugal. The video shows their research on swarm robots that team up even with a flying AR-Drone, in order to fulfill combined tasks together. A really nice aspect is that the drones working together as a group are highlighted by using different light colors. As the ground drones are not able to scan large areas, they are directly cooperating with the flying AR-drone to get a detailed overview on the sourounding area. You can find details on this work on Spacially Targeted Communication and Self-Assembly within their recent paper.

Remote Controlling embedded Windows CE with RealVNC Android VNC Viewer

Today i purchased the RealVNC VNC Viewer for Android based devices, in order to test the compatibility with my MobileVNC Windows CE based VNC server. RealVNC takes €7.55 for this piece of software, which is quite high compared to the typical prices within the Google Play marketplace. Despite my initial fears, the RealVNC VNC Viewer successfully connected to my Windows CE 4.1 embedded thin client device without any complains and i was able to remote control my embedded device by using the touchscreen of my Samsung Nexus Android smartphone. The movement of the remote mouse pointer is shown by a small pixel on the smartphone, according to the fact that every touch is converted to a relative mouse movement, which works really good. See some screenshot of my experiment with RealVNC Android Viewer App in combination with our MobileVNC server and a HP t5000 Windows CE 4.1 thin client.

MobileVNC 2.0 Released with Win32 Support

network, vnc server, remote control, remote maintenance, PocketPC, Windows CE, Win CE, WinCE.NET, Windows CE.NET, WindowsMobile, PocketVNC, AutoPC, Windows Embedded Compact, Embedded Compact 7, Windows Embedded Compact 7, Smartphone, Windows, pos, point-of-sale, terminal, cashier, thin client, cash register, 3700 POS, 9700 HMS, Dell Wyse S30, Dell Wyse Winterm, HMI Panel PC Ex, HP t5000, IPC277D, IPC577C, IPC677C, MICROS e7, MICROS Kiosk, Mobile MICROS, Motorola Symbol MC3190-G, NI PPC-2015, NI PPC-2115, NI TPC-2012, NI TPC-2106, NI TPC-2106T, NI TPC-2512, NI TPC-2512D, NI TPC-2515, NI TPC-2515D, Panel PC 477B, Panel PC 577B, Panel PC 677B, SIMATIC 477CToday, the new version 2.0 MobileVNC was released! MobileVNC now comes with full Win32 support and  Websocket HTML5 client included (noVNC). MobileVNC implements a tiny, copy to install, VNC server that offers remote control for your Windows CE and Win32 based devices. The range of supported devices ranges from mobile barcode scanners, Point-Of-Sales terminals, industrial terminals and smartphones. The MobileVNC server offers tiny footprint and low prices (9.95€ for full commercial license/device). MobileVNC represents an easy solution for remote control and maintenance of a large number of distributed Point-Of-Sales (POS) or logistics terminals.

Bicymple : Crazy simple bike design

Do you know Fixie bikes, the bikes that remove a gear from the overall design of a bike? Well if you like Fixie bike designs, you definitely will love the Bicymple bike design which does not only remove the gear but also the chain as well 😉 The pedals are directly attached to the rear wheel, which is quite similar to the once known historic unicylce…

Josh Bechtel, the inventor of this cracy piece of bike design says:

More than just a stylish concept bike, the bicymple is comfortable, easy to ride, and brilliantly simple to maintain. The lightweight design and short wheelbase make for a nimble ride. The optional rear-steer mode is reminiscent of custom “swing bikes” and allows tighter turns and “crab-riding”.

Well despite the fact  that this is one of the most amazing bike designs i have seen in years, i would not dare to try this bike on our Austrian mountain roads :), in that case i would prefer the Faraday Porteur electric design bike that was presented some weeks ago at kickstarter.

Honda’s All Direction Personal Mobility Device

In these days Honda is promoting and touring with it’s revolutionary new electric mobility vehicle, that is able to move in all directions and balances on one wheel. Honda unveiled the U3-X personal mobility device already in 2009 and is promoting it ever since acompanied by their humanoid robot Honda ASIMO. The U3-X is a compact experimental device that fits comfortably between the rider’s legs, to provide free movement in all directions just as in human walking – forward, backward, side-to-side, and diagonally. Honda will continue research and development of the device including experiments in a real-world environment to verify the practicality of the device.

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image source: world.honda.com

U3-X

image source: world.honda.com

NASA’s Curiosity Rover tests Robotic Arm on Mars

The following image from NASA’s Curiosity rover was taken by the left mast camera (Mastcam).  It shows an image of the camera on the rover’s robotic arm, the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), during the 30th Martian day, or sol, of the rover’s mission on Mars. MAHLI is one of the various tools that sit on the end of Curiosities robotic arm and is used to explore the near surrounding on Mars. After several days traveling and driving on Mars NASA’s rover Curiosity starts to test these tools on it’s robotic arm. NASA is spending several days preparing for full use of the tools on its arm.

“We will be putting the arm through a range of motions and placing it at important ‘teach points’ that were established during Earth testing, such as the positions for putting sample material into the inlet ports for analytical instruments,” said Daniel Limonadi of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., lead systems engineer for Curiosity’s surface sampling and science system. “These activities are important to get a better understanding for how the arm functions after the long cruise to Mars and in the different temperature and gravity of Mars, compared to earlier testing on Earth.”

Camera on Curiosity's Arm as Seen by Camera on Mast

The image below shows the exact location of the arm on NASA’s Curiosity rover, in addition to the arm’s turret, which holds two instruments and three tools. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech:

Curiosity's Robotic Arm