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robots

Tokyo Gas Sex Robot

I can see why Bernest Loves Japan so much. Has anyone heard from him? I’m a little worried.

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big screen, little screen, ipod robots Technology

The Real Iron Men

I saw Iron Man last weekend and was pleasantly surprised. It wasn’t so much that the story was great or the effects were super duper as the fact that Robert Downey Jr. plays a cool guy better than just about anyone in Hollywood these days.
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BEX, Switzerland – A Swiss pilot strapped on a jet-powered wing and leaped from a plane Wednesday for the first public demonstration of the homemade device, turning figure eights and soaring high above the Alps.
Rossy, 48, had stepped out of the Swiss-built Pilatus Porter aircraft at 7,500 feet and unfolded the rigid eight-foot wings strapped to his back before jumping.
Passing from free fall to a gentle glide, Rossy then triggered four jet turbines and accelerated to 186 miles per hour, about 65 miles per hour faster than the typical falling skydiver. A plane that flew at some distance beside him measured his speed.
Steering with his body, Rossy dived, turned and soared again, performing what appeared to be effortless loops from one side of the Rhone valley to the other. At times he rose 2,600 feet before descending again.
After one last wave to the crowd the rocket man tipped his wings, flipped onto his back and leveled out again, executing a perfect 360-degree roll.
Rossy wears a heat-resistant suit similar to that worn by firefighters and racing drivers, to protect him from the heat of the turbines. The cooling effect of the wind and high altitude also prevent him from getting too hot.
Rossy says his form of human flight will remain the reserve of very few for now. The price and effort involved are simply too enormous, he says.
So far Rossy and his sponsors, including the Swiss watch company Hublot, have poured more than $285,000 and countless hours of labor into building the device. He would not estimate how much his device would cost should it ever be brought to market.

Rex Jameson bikes and swims regularly, and plays tennis and skis when time allows. But the 5-foot-11, 180-pound software engineer is lucky if he presses 200 pounds — that is, until he steps into an “exoskeleton” of aluminum and electronics that multiplies his strength and endurance as many as 20 times.
With the outfit’s claw-like metal hand extensions, he gripped a weight set’s bar at a recent demonstration and knocked off hundreds of repetitions. Once, he did 500.
“Everyone gets bored much more quickly than I get tired,” Jameson said.
Jameson — who works for robotics firm Sarcos Inc. in Salt Lake City, which is under contract with the U.S. Army — is helping assess the 150-pound suit’s viability for the soldiers of tomorrow. The suit works by sensing every movement the wearer makes and almost instantly amplifying it.
The Army believes soldiers may someday wear the suits in combat, but it’s focusing for now on applications such as loading cargo or repairing heavy equipment. Sarcos is developing the technology under a two-year contract worth up to $10 million, and the Army plans initial field tests next year.
Before the technology can become practical, the developers must overcome cost barriers and extend the suit’s battery life. Jameson was tethered to power cords during his demonstration because the current battery lasts just 30 minutes.
The Army’s exoskeleton research dates to 1995, but has yet to yield practical suits. Sarcos’ technology sufficiently impressed Raytheon Co., however, that the Waltham, Mass.-based defense contractor bought Sarcos’ robotics business last November. Sarcos also has developed robotic dinosaurs for a Universal Studios’ “Jurassic Park” theme park ride.
But cost isn’t the only obstacle. For example, developers eventually hope to lengthen the suit’s backpack battery’s life and tinker with the suit’s design to use less energy. Meanwhile, the suit can draw power from a generator, a tank or helicopter. And there are gas engines that, while noisy, small enough to fit into the suit’s backpack.
Much as the brain sends signals to tendons to get muscles to move, the computer sends instructions to hydraulic valves. The valves mimic tendons by driving the suit’s mechanical limbs, replicating and amplifying the wearer’s movements almost instantly.
“With all the previous attempts at this technology, there has been a slight lag time between the intent of the human, and the actual movement of the machine,” Obusek said.