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This 4.4 ton, 14-foot-tall weaponized mech warrior is a thing that you can actually buy now in Japan.
Equipped with a water-powered bottle-rocket launcher, and a “smile-activated” machine gun capable of firing 6,000 bb’s per minute, one can easily imagine the evolution of the Kurata into a fearsome military monstrosity.
With a top speed of 6 mph, the Kurata can either be piloted from inside its cockpit, or remotely — using a smartphone.
“The vehicle of everyone’s wildest dreams,” as the company boasts in a promotional video, can be ordered in one of 16 different exterior colors, and carries a not-so-humble price tag of $1.35 million.
Watch it in action here.
Ever wondered who the voice behind Optimus Prime is? 71-year-old, 5’6” Peter Cullen, that’s who.
Growing up on a farm in Montreal, Canada, “I started off doing the sounds of cows and dogs and cats,” the 71-year-old tells Flash.
Then in high school, Cullen fell in love with acting after he appeared in the play “12 Angry Men.” “I got a great reception,” he says, “so I decided, ‘Well, gee, acting sounds really great.’ ”
With that in mind, Cullen moved to California, where he landed several roles in movies and on TV, including a four-year stint as the announcer for “The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour.”
But eventually Cullen decided to turn away from the camera and to the microphone. “My family came first and lifestyle and Hollywood was a far distant second,” he explains.
That decision paid off bigtime when he auditioned for Optimus Prime in 1984.
Step aside, Rosie there’s a new bot in town. Cornell roboticists have built and successfully tested a canny new housecleaning bot. Of course, building a machine that “knows” where to put your things isn’t easy: The robot has to survey a room, identify the components of the mess you’ve made, and figure out where everything belongs — before actually getting to work.
Cornell’s robo-housekeeper uses advanced algorithms and a 3D Kinect camera to identify misplaced dishes, groceries, books, toys, and trash before putting them in their proper places with a mechanical arm.
This is how the revolution begins. Robots cleaning your fridge.
Meet AlphaDog, the military’s new $32 million robot pack animal.
The gargantuan AlphaDog, developed by a team of engineers and scientists at Boston Dynamics, is the latest quadruped robot to be built for the U.S. military. Video of the creature was publicly released for the first time yesterday.
And the ’bot is a huge improvement on its predecessor, BigDog: This creature is bigger, nimbler, faster and much stronger, capable of hauling 400 pounds of gear (BigDog could handle 340 pounds) on 20-mile treks across rough terrain without refueling.
“If [AlphaDog] can offload 50 pounds from the back of each soldier in a squad, it will reduce war fighter injuries and fatigue, and increase the combat effectiveness of our troops,” said Marc Raibert, president of Boston Dynamics and the initiative’s lead researcher.
Some 160 years ago, the Gold Rush drove hundreds of thousands from Earth’s four corners to California in search of the precious metal. But 21st-century boomtowns will be moon bases, built by robots and astronauts who will become the space version of the 49ers. Astrobotic Technology, Inc., a Pittsburgh-based company, is leading the way. Astrobotic executives plan to land their first robot on the moon in 2013 — and a robot every year after that in perpetuity. The Daily’s Mike Cronin reports.