You can buy yourself an open-source, trainable cat-version of the Boston Dynamics robot





A rather adorable cross between a pet and a STEM toy, the Nybble is a small DIY robot feline that you can build and train to follow commands.

Named Nybble, the toy comes from the folks at Petoi (who even built a scaled-down consumer version of the Boston Dynamics dog). Nybble, however, has a body made from laser-cut MDF sheets and runs on its proprietary NyBoard processor, developed specifically for the robotic cat.

Nybble’s architecture makes it a rather nimble, flexible little cat, as it borrows directly from a cat’s skeleton and even builds on its canine predecessor, the Bittle’s design. The cat’s movement and behavior are pretty lifelike, brought about by the 11 servo motors that operate all its joints and the software that lets you make your Nybble sit, stretch, sleep, balance, say hi, and play dead. Try getting your regular cat to follow commands… I dare you.

Click Here to Buy Now: $209

The robot cat comes outfitted with two ultrasonic sensors on its front that act as the robot’s ‘eyes’. It sports a USB input that lets you connect it to a device to tinker around with its open-source code and teach it new tricks (in Scratch, Python, or C++), and even comes with Bluetooth and WiFi dongles as well as an infrared remote controller. Other parts include a holder for two 14500 Li-ion rechargeable 3.7V batteries that give Nybble up to 45 hours of play-time, and even silicone covers for the cat’s feet, to give it friction as well as prevent it from accidentally scratching your furniture.

Built as an exploratory toy, Nybble takes about 4 hours to build from scratch, although its body kit could easily be modified to give it a different character. The cat’s highly extensible with support for Raspberry Pi and Arduino ecosystems, and a whole slew of additional sensors (all available on Petoi’s website) to make your robot cat even more advanced. Just promise us you won’t make it sentient…

Designer: Petoi

Click Here to Buy Now: $209

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Give your cat a companion with this adorable robot that follows them + keeps an eye on them!

Here’s a fact that all cat owners can completely attest to – our cats don’t really need us, in all honesty, we need them. I mean, where would I be, if I didn’t get to cuddle my two fluffy Persian cats almost ten times a day? Probably sulking away in some corner, completely unhappy and unfulfilled. Another thing I hate more than being unable to cuddle my kitties is leaving them home alone. Although cats are pretty self-sufficient and can take care of themselves (as long as they have their fair share of kibble and water), I still break out into stress hives just thinking of leaving my pets all by themselves! This is where MeowMate comes to the rescue! Designed by Joint Technology Co, MeowMate is the perfect companion for your cats when you’re away! The adorable little gadget basically follows your cat around all day (it simply replaces you), and helps you keep an eye on them!

It features a 1080p ultra-clear video quality and HD voice intercom, allowing you to watch and hear your pet clearly and sharply. It also boasts real-time delay monitoring compensation to ensure a high synchronization between images and sounds. You simply have to download the MeowMate app on your smartphone, switch on the MeowMate device, and scan the QR code at the bottom of it, to connect it to the app on your phone. You can then control MeowMate on your smartphone, and move it about as you please. It allows you to remotely interact with your pets, and help stay connected with them.

Amped with a built-in sensor, MeowMate can move around your home with ease, and sense and avoid any obstacles in its path. Its silicone side-wheels can never hurt your cat’s soft paws, and they also create almost no noise as the device moves. They provide more stability and support to the gadget as well. When MeowMate’s battery is low, it automatically recharges once it reaches the induction zone of the charging dock. Hence, you can move it towards the charging dock, and charge it, even if you aren’t physically present!

MeowMates’ ‘random mode’ enables the gadget to move freely, creating an interesting and playful interaction with your curious cat! The best part of MeowMate is that it keeps your agile cat busy! Its bionic structure makes it seem more approachable and encourages your cat to really interact with it while enabling you to keep one eye on your pet at all times. MeowMate is the ultimate boon for all cat lovers!

Designer: Joint Technology Co., Ltd.

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No, Doctor Octopus doesn’t have a minion drone. The Hexapod is a ‘non-evil’ robot that harvests fruits.

If fruits were sentient, they’d probably get the crap scared out of them.

As absolutely terrifying as it may look to most people, the Hexapod Pro is actually a pretty benign little robot designed to perform tasks that are too menial for humans. The 6-armed drone was actually envisioned as a multipurpose robot used to harvest fruits and vegetables, as well as perform cleanups on beaches and in forests.

With its jellyfish-inspired aesthetic, the Hexapod Pro comes with a central processing hub with multiple fisheye cameras for 360° vision, and a set of 6 flexible arms with 3 fingers per arm for being able to pick up objects. Envisioned by Australian designer Chris Koch, the Hexapod Pro is best employed at doing duties that require basic skills of tracking and picking objects. Perfect for using on orchards to pick fruits and veggies, or on beaches and forests to clean up after humans (that’s a robot uprising story just waiting to happen), the Hexapod Pro’s arms come outfitted with a pair of soft robotic grippers that are perfect for being able to firmly pluck produce without damaging them, or lift up various objects off the floor effectively without dropping them.

The Hexapod’s advanced design, however, doesn’t do it favors because of how immediately intimidating it looks. 12 fisheye cameras dotted around its ‘head’ allow it to see practically everywhere without any blind spots, and the 6 arms look almost identical to the ones found on Doctor Otto Octavius, one of Spiderman’s many nemeses. The Stormtrooper color-way sort of reinforces its sinister appearance… maybe coloring the robot pink would help?

Thankfully, though, the Hexapod Pro is a conceptual work of art… although just in case, maybe avoid littering the beach or trespassing on someone’s orchard, hm?

Designer: Chris Koch

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This sleek Apple Drone design is the logical addition to take the Apple products to the next level

A practically feasible Apple drone that germinates from the core idea presented in patents emerging in the last few years and in recent times by Apple. The quadcopter is all set to take to the drone market that demands advanced functions and the assurance of the Apple brand name.

Apple is looking interested in the drone market just like the electric cars – a few patents over the last few years have suggested the fact. The Cupertino-based giant is not giving up on its innovation for drone lovers as another couple of Apple patents related to drones have been spotted. One of them pertains to the pairing/unpairing of the quadcopter device and the other is related to the remote operation on a mobile network. So, are we looking at a drone announcement in the future by Apple? It could be the case as Apple has a knack for surprising the tech community fair and square.

What this drone will look like is left to pure imagination, and 3D graphics designer Eric Huismann gives us an Apple drone design to reference by. The quadcopter has the classic Apple vibe to it – the curves reminiscent of the long-forgotten 2001 iMac G3 are a cheeky addition. Very poetically Huisman defines the creation as a combination of glossy white contrasted with “dark blacks that lend the drone a very noble and high quality character.” The powerful rotors lift the drone in the air and keep it stable even in windy conditions. Of course, I’m expecting the flying machine to have next-gen collision avoidance tech too if it has to come anywhere near the market leader DJI.

Since a drone is nothing without excellent camera prowess, this Apple quadcopter gets an array of four cameras each having a super-wide-angle camera lens. These cameras will be able to shoot videos in 4K quality at 60 frames per second. The designer doesn’t stop his imagination there, as he believes the Apple drone (if we’ll ever see one) will have stunning panoramic shooting prowess and the videos will be directly live streamed to YouTube. The designer doesn’t delve more into the technical details or features of the drone, so we can all imagine it our own unique way!

Designer: Eric Huismann

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Boston Dynamics Spot robot mirrors Mick Jagger’s dance moves to absolute perfection. Watch the video!





To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the British band’s’Tattoo You’ album engineers at Boston Dynamics programmed the versatile Spot robot to mirror the hip-snaking sorcery of Mick Jagger.

Spot, the dynamic robot developed by Boston Dynamics has more tricks up its sleeve than just the usual chores such as quadruped machines venture out on. This time around the highly acclaimed dog robot moves to the Rolling Stones’ 1981 hit “Start Me Up” to unbelievable perfection. Not only that, the lead singer mimicked by Spot is accompanied by other two Spot robots to emulate the moves of Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood, and Charlie Watts!

This is not the first time Spot has surprised the tech world with its swaggy moves – earlier it twerked to the cover “Uptown Funk” and the classic “Do You Love Me?” Boston Dynamics has piqued the interest in such robotic machines worldwide with such creative initiatives, and we are loving it to the core. This is a clear example of the sophistication robots are capable of as the video shows the near-perfect movement and lip-sync (yes the robot actually does that) replicating the human counterpart. The clip begins with a split-screen having Mick Jagger and the solo Spot robot. Then as the dance moves get groovy the other rock band members enter the frame, mirrored by the other Spot robots.

In the video, the robot can be seen using its long neck and arms to mimic the rockstar’s motion. These dance moves further instill our faith in the flexible and stable nature of the incredible machine that’s already performing a variety of roles – things like jobs at Ford’s factory floor or oil rig inspection at BP. You can even buy one if you want, but the price is mind-numbing $74,500.

Designer: Boston Dynamics and Rolling Stone

This automated robotic arm is actually an unconventional photo booth that draws your portrait!





Pankraz Piktograph is a reinterpretation of the classic photo booth, only this one uses automated robotics to translate photographs into portrait sketches.

Photo booths are just as good as cake at parties. Everyone loves a photo strip souvenir they can take home with them and laugh at in the morning or keep for years to follow. Taking inspiration from ancient photo booths like Maillardet’s automaton from the 1800s that didn’t use flash to capture smiles and funny faces, but robotics to perform automatic sketches of people standing before the machine. Felix Fisgus, a design studio, in collaboration with Joris Wegner, multimedia artist, and product designer, designed their very own robotic automated sketch booth called Pankraz Piktograph, a self-contained portrait-drawing robot.

Turning the act of getting your very own portrait into the event itself, Wegner created their Pankraz Piktograph to draw portraits of bystanders at events like science exhibits, trade fairs, and museums for them to bring home. With the press of a button on a handheld remote, the Pankraz Piktograph snaps photographic portraits of its users to then transform into a delicate pencil sketch.

Once the photograph has been taken, it’s translated into a vector representation, which can then be drawn by the automated robot styluses. Equipping the Pankraz Piktograph with the technical makeup to master various drawing styles, users can choose to have their photograph drawn from fast minimalist styles to more intricate, or abstract renderings.

Running the whole show, the Pankraz Piktograph contains a Raspberry Pi 3 that takes charge of drawing on the 3.5” display canvas. The machine’s integrated technology generates vector-based graphics from photographs and increases its contrast to capture the essence and edges of each photograph, leaving out the softer details to prioritize the image’s harsher lines.

Describing the robot’s motion technology, Wegner states, “Each arm is moved by a stepper motor via a one-to-five pulley transmission. This helps to increase the torque as well as the resolution of the movements. We decided to go for an open control loop, thus light barrier sensors at each shoulder joint are used for calibration and determining absolute positions of the arms.”

With such accurate movements, the Pankraz Piktograph is constructed to capture even the finer details of each photograph’s distinct features – from moles to dimples. Attached to each moving arm, the spring-loaded pens are set into motion with a servo motor to make enough contact with the paper, but to keep the pen swift enough to capture slight irregularities in each photograph.

Designer: Felix Fisgus

This compact aerial photography drone fits inside your sling bag, deploys in an instant





A folding drone designed for aerial photography and stable video shooting – ideal for enthusiasts who don’t fancy the hassle of carrying around a pro drone like DJI Mini 2.

Drone photography has opened up countless options for social media influencers to give their followers a whole new perspective of things. Understandably, a drone that is compact and easy to deploy for quick shots or footage from the air is advantageous. This has triggered an influx of portable drones inspired by the DJI Mini 2 or Mavic Air 2. The likes of the LIFE DRONE or the Xenon Drone concept that already got our thumbs up.

Another palm-sized drone having a high probability of making it past the drawing board and in the possession of enthusiast photography travelers is the Drone 1, rotate and fly drone. Winner of the Red Dot Concept Design Award 2021, the portable flying machine designed by Maya Prokhorova is no bigger than the MacBook Air in the fully folded configuration. It comes with a 4K capable camera for hight quality photo or video shooting on the go – taking the gadget right out of your pocket or backpack.

Drone 1 rests inside the hard case, and when the need arises, you simply take it out, rotate the quadcopter with a click motion and it’s ready to fly. The 90 degrees rotating motion is highlighted by the tactile sensation, just like a Rubik’s cube. Also, the camera can be set to the functioning position by pressing the switch-like button on the bottom section. Now that is utterly satisfying, isn’t it? Weighing just 200 grams, the quadcopter is loaded with all the advanced sensors to navigate through tight spaces or follow the waypoints via the compatible app on phone!

Designer: Maya Prokhorova

 

 

This Faraday Future semi-truck concept makes autonomous vehicles more responsible, communicative, and modular.





Designed and visualized by Daniel Pokorný (with the video above by Darek Zahálka), the Faraday Future semi-truck presents a pretty novel direction for autonomous vehicles in general. The semi-truck comes with a set of hardware as well as AI upgrades that allow it to be a force to reckon with. Powered by artificial intelligence, the trucks have level-5 autonomy, requiring no humans to drive/control/regulate the vehicle when it’s on the roads. However, in Pokorný’s world, the vehicle isn’t just smart enough to drive on its own, it’s smart enough to communicate with people/vehicles on the road too.

Perhaps the most eye-catching part of the Faraday Future semi-truck is its front panel which features a dynamic display that lights up either with Faraday Future’s logo, or can transform into signs, PSAs, advertisements. The front panel also allows the semi-truck to communicate with people around it, letting them know of the truck’s intentions, whether it’s slowing down, making a turn, etc.

That versatile display on the front really gives the Faraday Future semi a wide range of capabilities, that are further enabled by the truck’s ability to operate autonomously. Capable of doing much more than just lifting and transporting cargo, the truck can help aid the city’s public utilities by rerouting traffic, displaying messages, traveling to specific locations with special cargo (like an ambulance or a fire-truck), and providing services for private companies like logistics as well as advertising.

The truck’s AI works as a hive-mind too, allowing multiple trucks to cooperate together for better efficiency. While this ability easily allows multiple trucks to communicate with and work alongside each other on a container yard or a loading bay, it also allows trucks to collaborate by forming a chain-link of multiple trucks, with one truck leading the way and the others behind following like carriages. A pretty unique feature for autonomous vehicles, it gives the vehicles modularity, allowing them to effectively expand their storage, just by lining up additional trucks behind one other. It also helps dramatically reduce drag, allowing subsequent trucks to travel with much lower energy consumption, making transportation of cargo much more energy efficient.

Needless to say, Pokorný’s views on transportation and autonomy are pretty interesting. Rather than having a vehicle that’s a one-trick pony, Pokorný leverages the power of AI to give one truck a versatile set of use-cases… beyond just transporting goods. While the Faraday Future semi-truck is currently just a fan-made concept, it does present an extremely interesting and diverse future for cities, citizens, businesses, and for the automotive industry!

Designer: Daniel Pokorný

This lightweight + durable drone can fold down and fit into a small case when not in use!

A super lightweight drone designed to operate in the most extreme environment and difficult terrain. In a way perfect for explorers who are curious to discover the unknown.

Explorers will go any length trying to satiate their curiosity, and any tool that aids them in this quest is more than welcome. While DJI is the preferred choice for most action sports or adventure activities – it’s time we ask for a drone that’s made specifically for exploration of the nook and crannies of the face of the earth. Yes, I’m talking about the explorers who take all the pain to bring home some of the most breathtaking shots from the jaw-dropping hidden landscapes of the planet.

The Drone Explorer aims to fulfill that little void which demands a drone that’s ultra-resilient, lightweight, has a longer battery life, and can carry advanced camera equipment in the most extreme weather and climatic conditions. Film-making crews who discover and bring to us the majestic never before seen footage of caves, forests, rock walls and more. This drone pushes the limits further, going into dangerous places that have still not been explored due to human limitations. Places like uninhibited islands, rainforests infested with dangerous creatures, or caves that are too risky to venture out into.

All this is possible with the drone’s terrain observation sensors, prior danger warning systems, and high-class connectivity for live streams. Keeping in mind the ease of carrying, the drone has a minimal foldable form factor – so small you can put it inside a small case without even knowing it is there in your backpack. The four propellers fold via hinged structure and fit inside a small carry bag too. Perfect for exploration and research activities with minimal fuzz.

Since the drone has to explore narrow caves or the rough rainforests – for instance – the aerodynamics need to be on point. This is fully proofed with the body line and aerodynamic shape for a stable flight no matter what the conditions or terrain. For complete protection from the elements, the Drone Explorer is made out of lightweight and durable titanium. It gets waterproof coating to make sure it doesn’t have an off day on a rainy afternoon!

Designer: Design One

These robot rangers are designed to help efficiently restore and rehabilitate forests!





With climate change moving at warp speed, we have to come up with solutions to repair the after-effects just as much as the solutions to slow it down in the first place. Floods and forest fires have been more rampant this year than ever before, restoring these natural habitats is crucial to help the surviving animals as well as to bring balance back to the ecosystem. Industrial design student Segev Kaspi designed a conceptual crew of robotic forest druids that will each play a role in rehabilitating forests through seed planting, data analysis, and more.

The futuristic and almost intimidating-looking robots are a team of three designed to support reforestation efforts and sustainable forest management. Called Rikko, Dixon, and Chunk, they will each have a specific role to play to make the process efficient.

The robotic foresters operate in systems that change in accordance with the forest’s needs and can work either individually or in groups. Each robot is assigned a defined role in managing and preserving the forest. Their roles and design language reflect a long process of studying the work of rangers in an attempt to gain an in-depth understanding of this important job.

The first robot is ‘chunk’, who is responsible for sawing, pruning and mowing. Then there’s ‘dixon’ who takes care of planting and reforestation of seedlings and cuttings. Last but not least is ‘rikko’, who gathers, monitors and analyzes data from the forest. Kaspi has brought the three conceptual robots to life through drawings, computer renderings and physical models.

Kapsi brings together two opposing worlds – nature and technology – to stimulate conversation on rising atmospheric CO2 and the importance of rehabilitating our forests, all the while proposing a possible solution to the problem.

Designer: Segev Kaspi