Landroids to provide Wi-Fi
Darpa, the future-leaning research branch of the Pentagon, wants a legion of little robotic wireless routers with tank treads. Called Landroids, they would be dropped in urban warfare areas and would move around on their own to blanket an area with wireless coverage. The cute little bots would be disposable, meaning if one gets blown up, the others will rearrange themselves to make up for the loss of coverage. Say what you will about America's military, but at least they want to make sure their soldiers have solid access to email wherever they are.
Take a Le Trip into Space
Lance Bass's trip into space cost him around $20 million, but the European space agency EADS is offering people and rich ones at that the chance of a quick one-and-a-half hour blast into space. The trips, starting in 2012, will cost around 200,000 eurosand will give punters the thrill of experiencing three to five minutes of weightlessness at the height of their journey. But anyone expecting a trip in a traditional rocket - EADS is behind Ariane, which launches many of the world's satellites - can hold it right there.
Cameraphones getting Slimmer and Cheaper
Your cameraphone is about to shed some weight thanks to the folks at Tessera. They've created a minuscule camera that's half the size of the cameras used in today's mobiles. Dubbed the OptiML WLC, the new cam can even do auto focus and features optical zoom without any moving parts. No word on what gadgets will feature the new tech, but anything that makes them thinner is welcome in my book.
Japanese Wooden Robots
Japanese toymaker Take-G Toys make a set of spectacular wooden robots figures that beat the pants off the lousy wooden Russian dolls we got as kids. Each one contains some robots, some flying vehicles, and little people to go inside and pilot the things. Has any sci-fi author written anything about wooden robots before? Woodpunk perhaps?
Philips Living Colours Lighting System
This fascinating lighting system from Philips will soon be available for about $200 at the end of summer. If you're like us, you'll have to wait a couple more months until the end of the year when Philips decides to roll them out worldwide. To refresh, these are lights that can display 16 million different unique colors, which may be great on a laptop, but probably hard to discern when you're staring at it in your living room. But it does come with an RF remote so you can toggle it from the couch (or bed). It's neat for a light, and you may be able to justify the price if you look at this as an art fixture instead of just a bulb.
Compiled by IMRAN H. KHAN
Source: Gizmodo Online and WIRED
Copyright (R) thedailystar.net 2007