Tiny Drone Swarm Navigates Bamboo Forest Autonomously

Because the robotic apocalypse can’t come soon enough for some people, researchers at China’s Zhejiang University have programmed a swarm of small drones to navigate autonomously to avoid obstacles. In this case, those obstacles are the entirety of a bamboo forest. It’s been real, folks, but there is officially nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.

All of the ten-drone army “are equipped with depth cameras, altitude sensors and a small computer, all running a custom algorithm for collision avoidance, coordination, and flight efficiency.” Wow, so not only are they flying around, not crashing into things, but they’re doing it efficiently. The future, ladies and gentlemen! Humanity doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in the devil’s butt.

The drones were allegedly developed to be utilized for aerial mapping applications, as well as conservation and disaster relief. Maybe they originally were, but all that goes out the window when they become sentient and decide the only disaster that needs relief is the planet wiped clean of humans. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a rocket to the moon to build.

[via TechEBlog]

Man Builds Custom Fish Tank Stroller to Take His Goldfish on Walks

Taiwanese Youtuber Huang Xiaojie had a dream: a dream of taking his beloved goldfish for walks around town with him. So what did he do? He built himself a custom fish tank stroller, of course! I think we can all agree it was the logical decision and way better than just filling a backpack with water and hoping for the best.

The stroller consists of a sturdy metal chassis that holds a cylindrical acrylic tube for the fish, with an integrated filter system, oxygen pump, AND under-tank light for showing off his fish at night. How about that! Just make sure you don’t push them past any seafood restaurants and traumatize them.

I swear, the things people do for their pets. Take me, for instance – I sleep dangling off the side of a king-size bed because my two 14-pound dogs like to starfish right in the middle of it. Remember: healthy relationships are all about compromise. I just had no idea I would be the one doing all the compromising.

[via OddityCentral]

Skeletonics Kinetic-Energy Exoskeleton: Humans In Disguise

Determined to win the costume contest at this year’s Halloween party? Look no further than the Skeletonics kinetic-energy powered exoskeleton – perfect for taking your Transformer costume to the next level. The next level being the 1st place pedestal at the costume contest, just so we’re clear. I can practically feel that $100 gift certificate to Spirit Halloween in my robotic hands!

Unlike some other exoskeletons, the Skeletonics relies on no outside power source, instead using a wearer’s kinetic energy to mirror their movements on a larger scale – including hand and finger movements like grasping. The whole thing stands approximately 9-feet tall and weighs only 88-pounds, making it easy to strap to the top of your car like you just bagged yourself a Decepticon.

The video demonstration really is impressive, considering the lack of an external power supply. Granted, the Skeletonics exoskeleton might not be capable of picking up a car or battling an alien queen like a Power Loader, but I really don’t want to be battling alien queens anyway – I just want to win a costume contest for once.

[via TechEBlog]

Carving and Build a Kinetic Whale Sculpture: A Whale of a Good Time

Have you always dreamed of building your own wooden whale kinetic sculpture? Who hasn’t? It’s one of the dreams that unifies humanity. And thankfully, photographer and artist Sylvain Gautier documented the process in which he built this particular model, so you can follow along and build your own. Or fail horribly and wind up with a bunch of blood-stained kindling as I did.

There’s a six-and-a-half-minute short version of the build video (above) for those of you with some existing knowledge of carving and building who only need the basics to get started, but there’s also a 26-minute extended version (below) for those of you who need their hand held a little more. Honestly, I don’t even think a six-hour version could have helped me.

I absolutely adore stuff like this – I’m a huge fan of whimsy. As an added bonus, Sylvain created a 10-hour looping video (below) of him cranking the sculpture and the whale swimming. So relaxing. I’m four hours in, and it just keeps getting better and better.

[via GeeksAreSexy]

Robotic Hands Taught to Delicately Peel Bananas

What good is a robot servant if it can’t even peel your breakfast banana without smashing it to bits? With that in mind, researchers at the University of Tokyo’s ISI Laboratory have used AI to teach a pair of robotic hands how to delicately peel bananas. What a time to be alive and not a banana!

To achieve banana peeling success, the researchers first recorded 811 minutes of humans peeling bananas, with the process divided into nine stages, “from grasping the banana to picking it up off the table with one hand, grabbing the tip in the other hand, peeling it, then moving the banana so the rest of the skin can be removed.” The how-to data was then fed to the robots, which can now successfully peel bananas without damaging the fruit a relatively unimpressive 57% of the time. Hopefully, those bananas are going into smoothies, because they certainly wouldn’t pass inspection for banana splits.

There was probably a time just years ago when scientists thought robots would never be able to peel bananas but look at us now. Welcome to the future! We may not have hoverboards, but at least we have banana-peeling robots. Just to be clear, I’m rolling my eyes right now in case you couldn’t tell.

[via Laughing Squid]

Man Builds a Functional Tabletop Flight Simulator Out of LEGO

Because if you can dream it, you can build it (at least with LEGO bricks), Riley of Youtube channel Brick Science wanted to build a tabletop flight simulator entirely out of LEGO. Something that would sit on the table, and you could move with functional controllers. And that’s exactly what he did.

The LEGO EV3 joystick and throttle control the plane, with the throttle making the airplane’s propeller spin faster and the joystick controlling the plane’s axis of movement. In addition to the biplane, Riley also demonstrates a helicopter and jet that also work on the flight simulator platform. Impressive! Now submit it to LEGO so they can make it an actual set you can buy!

Personally, I love flight simulators. They’re way less scary than actual flying, which is terrifying. Especially when your older brother and all his friends convince you to repeatedly jump off the roof with a pair of cardboard wings because you weren’t flapping hard enough on the previous attempt. Now that I think about it, maybe that’s where my lifelong fear of flying comes from.

[via TechEBlog]

Man Builds LEGO Brick Sorting Vacuum Attachment

Because everyone has experienced the pain of stepping on a LEGO brick and cursing life itself, Matty Benedetto of Unnecessary Inventions has created the Suck It, a vacuum attachment that not only vacuums up the little plastic landmines but also sorts them based on size. Smart. Maybe not as smart as making LEGO bricks out of foam instead of plastic, but apparently, LEGO hasn’t been reading my emails.

The Suck It consists of four magnetically connected chambers separated by filters with increasingly smaller holes, so the largest pieces are caught at the top, the smallest at the bottom, and, God willing, pet hair gets sucked all the way into the vacuum.

The device actually works better than Matty anticipated, making it not such an Unnecessary Invention after all. As a matter of fact, I’d argue this is actually a Necessary Invention. Of course, the devil is probably going to buy up the patent rights and never release the Suck It to the public because he wants us all to continue to suffer.

[via TechEBlog]

Giant Marble Run Constructed from Cardboard: Start Collecting Boxes

Marble runs: I remember constructing them as early as kindergarten with wooden block sets. Those were simpler times. And to think back then, all I wanted to do was grow up and be an adult already. What a mistake that was. But enough about a life of regret, this is a video of Marble Run Machine 37 Spin-Off constructed by marble maniac and YouTuber B-dama Friend almost entirely out of cardboard and a dream.

I estimate the marble run to be made out of approximately 98% cardboard and 400% glue. Those also happen to be two of my own favorite building supplies. Throw duct tape in the mix, and you have the holy trinity of all my do-it-yourself projects. I wonder if, during its construction, he ever accidentally glued a piece to his hand like I always do.

The machine releases green, red, yellow, and blue marbles in order and diverts them along different paths throughout the run with spinners so that by the time they reach the bottom, they’re dropped into trays consisting of only their own color. How about that! For comparison, whenever I built marble runs, I was lucky to have a marble reach the bottom at all unless it jumped out of the track at the very top.

[via The Awesomer via Laughing Squid]

This origami engineered chess board unfolds in the most oddly-satisfying way. Watch the video!

We can’t stop watching the magnetic and compact chess board’s video. It has self-centering and stores all the pieces securely. The chess pieces are as custom as well functionally tactile just like the board’s clever underlying mechanism. You can “feel” the center of each square on the solid walnut playing surface. Most importantly, the pieces remain arranged while the set pivots into its playing configuration.

The designers explain, “Weighing in at almost eight pounds, the LE1 set carries a solid walnut playing surface in a precision-machined, black-anodized aluminum chassis. Four integrated panels are joined using brushed stainless steel hardware in an origami-inspired mechanism that can dynamically transition between storage, setup, and playing states. Self-centering on the playing surface and securely stored piece trays, our custom magnetic chess pieces are CNC machined from solid blocks of Dymalux, a resin-infused birch laminate normally reserved for high-touch objects like knife handles, jewelry, and pistol grips. The force of their magnetic base is subtle, leaving play uninterrupted and feeling more like additional piece weighting. Thanks to the set’s single degree of freedom playing configuration which is constrained by its planar resting surface, even with its cantilevered corners, it feels as solid and square as the surface below it.”

“I’ve heard that the Knight is a good measure of the quality of a chess set. Having acquired an impractical number of wooden chess pieces over the last two years, I can confidently say that the level of detail we’ve managed to achieve with our CNC-machined Dymalux Knights is unparalleled amongst other wood pieces. Muscle tone, eyebrows, nostrils, a flowing mane, you can even look this gift horse in its tiny little mouth. Not to be outdone, the Kings are topped off with polished stainless steel crosses. All of these features withstand handling thanks to the impressive durability of Dymalux’s resin-infused birch laminate. No wonder it’s normally used for knife handles, pistol grips, and wood jewelry.”

 Each piece is CNC machined from a solid block of Dymalux, a resin-infused birch laminate normally reserved for high-touch objects like knife handles, jewelry, and pistol grips for maximum shelf life and durability. The force of the magnetic base is subtle, leaving play uninterrupted and feeling more like additional piece weighting. It must literally be therapeutic for Monica Geller, a Virgo, or someone who loves staying organized to pack this set up after a match!

Designer: Degrees of Freedom

Click Here to Buy Now!

The post This origami engineered chess board unfolds in the most oddly-satisfying way. Watch the video! first appeared on Yanko Design.

This immensely lightweight glider with wings of water can fly like the real thing. Watch the video!

While the wheel of innovation is moving toward powerful motors, electric drivetrains and high-efficiency fuels; a simple instructable water-winged glider puts us back to think how simple things can make a big difference. This is a plastic-based 3D printed glider plane that works with the help of soap and water.

The innovative DIY project of an advanced glider is only a toy for the physics class, but its small form factor, 3D printing makeover and significant flight range make it more than just an experiment. Going forward, the design may not have any commercial significance, but it’s an interesting project for someone beginning to get his hands dirty on a 3D printer. The 3D file to replicate this creation is not available, but if you have some experience, you should be able to figure out the process from the video above.

For the others, this is a small plastic plane featuring wings and a large tail with wide openings. The frame when dipped in a mixture of water and washing liquid, a thin film (like soap bubble) is created in the openings, which then allows this ultra-thin creation to glide to a fair distance. As seen in the video, it can fly for pretty long distances without faulting.

This visually enticing glider is one of the three iterations by viral video lab. The YouTube channel tried out with a smaller version before migrating to this advanced glider. It also has a historical inspiration in the ranks – a water-winged glider based on the DFS SG 38 Schulgleiter, which was designed back in 1938 as a training glider for basic flight training.

Designer:  Viral Video Lab

Wings made out of Water – Advance Glider

Wings made out of Water – Beginner Glider

Wings made out of Water – SG 38 Historical Glider

The post This immensely lightweight glider with wings of water can fly like the real thing. Watch the video! first appeared on Yanko Design.