Tech Universe: Friday 11 November

By Miraz Jordan


HOP ASIMO HOP: Honda's Asimo robot is already famous. Now it's had an upgrade and can run fast, hop and pour a drink. Sounds like the
perfect butler. More at BBC.

GUIDE ROBOTS: People who are blind rely on white canes or maybe guide dogs. The NSK robo-dog is being designed to replace the dogs. The quadruped robot has cameras and sensors to help a human walk around. The robot can walk at 3.8 km/h and navigate steps. You'd want to wear earmuffs though as the mechanics are quite noisy. Still, it's an interesting idea. TechCrunch has details, and there's video here.

SOFT SHOE SHUTTLE: Tourists who go into space aboard the Virgin
Galactic craft in a year or two will be kitted out in personalised flight suits and soft-soled shoes. They'll also wear a soft flight helmet. The helmet will contain headphones, microphone and an oxygen mask that can be attached in an emergency. The shoes and helmet are soft to help prevent injuries while the tourists float about in zero-g. Are they going to be floating or playing rugby? Space.com has details.

UPPITY WRISTBAND: Jawbone's Up is a wristband and smartphone app that tracks your sleep and your movements during the day. The wristband can tell when you've fallen asleep and vibrates to wake you in the morning. The app helps you track what you're eating and asks how you feel after eating. Just wait till it's hooked in to FourSquare.
More at Masable.

SLIMMING BUTTON: Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh created a pendant that tracks your activities to help combat obesity, including food intake, shopping patterns, and activity levels. A camera, accelerometer, and GPS send data to a computer for analysis. The eButton can track a lot of data points, such as TV watching, where food is bought, and how long the wearer spends eating. The eButton's
being used in a pilot study, and is not available commercially. eButton sounds so much better than spy button. More details here.

- Miraz Jordan knowit.co.nz

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