This robot is flexing its circuits and servomotors in pursuit of gold at the first International Humanoid Robot Olympic Games held in Harbin City, China, in June. Along with weightlifting, automatons competed in 24 events, including track and field, dancing, and medical care.
Photo: Imaginechina/AP Photo
These adorable twin girls are showing off old-school 3-D glasses that have been repurposed for a new-age application: a 3-D version of a daily newspaper. Pop-up papers became all the rage in China last year after screenings of the blockbuster film Avatar ignited interest in 3-D technologies.
These models could easily be showing off a new type of energy-saving window at a home technology show. But the street scene they’re pointing at is provided by an array of 60-inch LCD screens installed on the wall. Sharp, the maker of the monitors, has arranged their electronics so that the panels’ edges are only 6.5 millimeters apart.
Photo:Patrick Bernard/AFP/Getty Images
Suspicious about the provenance of a bottle of wine being sold by a dealer or restaurant? Snap a picture of the label on any bottle of Bordeaux on your smartphone and an app uses a special code printed on the label to pull up details about where the wine’s bee
Photo: Denis Doyle/Getty Images
This house, shaped like a giant loaf of bread, was one of the entrants in the 10-day Solar Decathlon Europe, which took place in Madrid in June. The houses, built by 17 teams from universities around the globe, consumed less than half the energy they generated. The surplus went to the grid.
Photo: Christian Hartmann/Reuters
Researchers at HeiQ Materials in Bad Zurzach, Switzerland, present yet another potential cleanup tool for the rapidly expanding crude oil spill fouling the Gulf of Mexico. The company makes a water-resistant, feltlike material it says is capable of absorbing up to seven times its weight in oil.
Photo: Phil McCarten/Reuters
It’s not Star Trek’s holodeck, but the Virtusphere, a hollow globe 3 meters in diameter mounted on rollers that let it rotate in place, may be the next best thing. The Virtusphere registers your footsteps while you’re wearing virtual reality headgear so that the simulator or gaming system responds accordingly, helping to immerse you in a digitally created environment.
Photo: Heinz-Peter Bader/Reuters
These artificial hands won’t be just dumb pinchers. Engineers at Otto Bock Health Care Products in Vienna are endowing them with technology called targeted muscle reinnervation, which connects the prostheses to nerve endings in the wearer’s arm so he or she has complete dexterity and the ability to “feel” what the hand is touching.
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/Reuters
Icarus would be supremely envious of this Solar Impulse plane, which is powered by the sun’s rays. The 12 000 solar panels blanketing the HB-SIA’s fuselage and the 64-meter wingspan allow it to soar for days on end without jet fuel. Batteries store some of the solar energy during the day for use after dark.
Photo: Jonathan Fickles/AP Photo
Amid the bright lights and giant billboards of New York City’s Times Square is ample evidence that anonymity is a thing of the past. The still image of passersby was created using a tiny but sensitive surveillance camera perched more than 18 meters above the street.