Normally, when you think of Japanese car manufacturers who waste their money on humanoid robots, you think of Honda and its Asimo. But don’t think Toyota is going to take such gimmicks lying down! No, their new robot not only stands on two legs, but it plays the violin. Can Asimo do that? No, really, can it? I’m not sure.
In any case, Toyota’s been working on this guy for about three years and now they’re finally showing its chops off in the Japanese Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo, currently underway. So if any orchestra violists happen to be in the area and want to [...]
In addition to showing us some of the craziest buildings every constructed, the Shanghai Expo also gives us a look at the new Aurora Boys robots. Designed by Taiwan’s Aurora Group, for now the sole purpose of the series of non-commercial robots are to represent the future of the country’s technology sector to the rest of the world.
Standing 3 feet tall, the robots feature interactive, chest-mounted displays and can be programmed to act in unison. You can see video of the Aurora Boys in action here.
Via Plastic Pals
One Laptop per Child (OLPC) has recently announced an exciting new partnership in East Africa, with newly-ambitious plans to deliver 30 million laptops to primary school children across the region by 2015.
The new partnership between OLPC and the East African Community (EAC) is now looking at ways of raising the large amounts of money required to fund the laptop scheme over the coming five years.
EAC represents the governments of Tanzania, Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda and Burundi.
Massively ambitious program
“This is a very ambitious project for which we will have to partner with various people [...]
Maybe the Segway will finally get a chance to change the future of transportation. General Motors and Segway have teamed up again to produce a series of decidedly uncool-looking Electric Networked Vehicles, EN-V, all based on the Segway’s balanced platform with a carbon-fiber shell.
The EN-V pods could run for about 25 miles on a charge and reach top speeds of 25 mph. Since they’re purely conceptual at this point, take this feature list with a pile of salt: They’ll be able to communicate with vehicles around them and react to prevent accidents and avoid traffic. With GPS and [...]
GM has teamed up with personal transporter specialists Segway to develop a new ‘Electric Network Vehicle’ concept which it thinks could well be the future of urban transport.
GM unveiled three Electric Networked Vehicles (or “urban mobility vehicles”) built with help from Segway in Shanghai this month.
According to GM, 60 per cent of the world’s population will be city-dwellers by 2030 with an estimated 2 billion cars on the roads by that time. So if you think today’s traffic jams on the north circular are bad… you ain’t seen nothing yet!
Taking the idea of “the medium is the message” to the extreme, the designers of the South Korea Pavillion for the Shanghai Expo created a building literally made of words. Composed of 25,000 panels which will be sold off individually at the end of the event, the characters are Han-geul letters from the Korean alphabet.
According to the organizers, all sales proceeds will be donated to a foundation advocating minority and multiculturalism in Korea. You can see more art and animation that led up to the structure’s completion here.
This year’s Shanghai Expo is one of the biggest events being discussed throughout Asia, drawing thousands of companies to China to show off their wares and engage in international trade. To welcome the masses, the Shanghai Expo employed the services of the HaiBao robot.
Designed by researchers at the Chinese University of Zhejiang, the robot speaks 6 different languages, has a screen for a face and can take photos of visitors. You can see video the HaiBao robot in action here.
Via Shanghai Expoese.
The astonishing architecture of Monaco’s pavilion at the Shanghai Expo 2010 is designed to remind people of the tiny principality’s Mediterranean roots. This crazy creation by Naço Architecture makes the entire building look like it is somehow surrounded by a segmented, rippling aquarium.
Don’t be fooled, though — it’s a trick. There’s a horizontal trough of water flowing underneath each layer, and its shimmering waves are reflected into the glass with the help of a shiny wire mesh, lit by LEDs for extra color at night. In keeping with the green theme of [...]
Calvin Chin is an American entrepreneur who lives in Shanghai. He founded Qifang, a P2P lending site for Chinese student loans. You can read more about Qifang here. He attended the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland this last week, where China was the center of attention. We asked him to write this guest post and share his unique perspective as an American building a startup in the heart of China.
Here at Davos it seems China keeps coming up in two ways – neither of them positive. One, with the worst of the crisis behind us, people are turning from last year’s hopes of China [...]
Seeing the success of Farmville and other social games, Break Media is getting into gaming across its roster of men-oriented video sites. The first game, MMA FightPicker, is launching today on Break’s martial-arts video site, CagePotato. It is a pretty basic fantasy sports game where you pick a line-up of fighters and get points, in the form of potato chips, every time your fighters win. The potato chips also act as a virtual currency, which can be used to advance within the game. Every time you play, you get some potato chips, but you can also buy them.
MMA FightPicker is Break’s [...]