Tag Archives: robots

The Sniffer, Feb 9th, 2013: Trends in Trackers and Robots

This time on the podcast, Nora Young talks about the Pebble smart watch. We used the Pebble as a topical ‘hook’ to a recent piece on watches on Spark, and that got me thinking about what makes this great looking little watch so appealing. It reminded Cathi Bond of the Little Printer, a smart, digital solution that looks analog, that looks friendly. Nora mentions all the self-tracking tools and health monitors that were at CES recently (see, for example, Technology Review’s coverage here).

Cathi Bond talks about the RP-VITA which is a remote presence robot that can wander health care facility halls, checking in on patients, thus allowing doctors who are far away to see patients virtually (via Medgadget). It can even allow the remote physician to consult with other doctors. Interestingly, it’s from the iRobot people, who brought you the Roomba.

And, Nora has a quick hit: Swisshotel has a handy dandy ‘single serving’ website that notes handy tips for travellers to different cultures: stuff like tipping, gestures, and dos and don’ts (via Lifehacker). Nora thinks lots more businesses will do this sort of thing for branding purposes – useful info connected to your product’s brand that can live as an app. Have you seen any good examples of this?

Trends in Cars and Wind Turbines

In today’s trendwatching podcast, Nora Young mentions AIDA, MIT’s new research into automated driving assistance devices. Cathi Bond is not convinced. What do you think?

Plus, Cathi mentions a new wind turbine using biomimetic design to mirror the way a bee flies. (via Gizmag)

Trends: Cold Water on Robots; Cool Clocks

In this trendwatching podcast, Cathi Bond, lover of all things robotic, reports on an interview with roboticist, Noel Sharkey, about why he thinks robots will never have enough of a nuanced response to fight wars or take care of elderly or ill people (via New Scientist)

Meanwhile, Nora Young mentions QlockTwo, one of a growing number of clocks that display time in unusual ways.  She wonders whether it’s just that we have so many embedded, functional clocks, that we know crave clocks as art. (Via Michael Surtees’ DesignNotes blog)

Wild Trends in Food, Robots, and Water

In this trendwatching podcast, Cathi Bond talks about Le Wif, the chocolate bar that you don’t eat….you smell.  It’s being marketed through Le Laboratoire.

Nora Young mentions research into microrobots that use mag lev to manoeuvre.  It’s a project of the University of Waterloo; read the press release here.

And, need some incentive to save water? How about a killer shower!! (via MocoLoco)

Trends: The Return of Drugs in Therapy; Is Fake the New Real?

In this trendwatching podcast, Nora Young talks about research into the potential return of drugs like LSD and MDMA in a therapeutic context, to treat problems ranging from anxiety to headaches. What do you think? (via The Economist )

Meanwhile, Cathi Bond speculates on the growing trend towards fake entertainment and sports, such as virtual skiing with the Wii (via Engadget) or playing Guitar Hero instead of bothering with a real guitar (via this satirical article in The Guardian)

Plus, Nora mentions that Denmark is importing 1,000 animatronic, artificial Paro seals from Japan to keep people company in health care facilities.  Does it matter that they aren’t real? (via Pink Tentacle)

Trends: Today in Robot News

In this trendwatching podcast, it’s a robot special!  Nora Young talks about this BBC report on a play featuring human and robot actors. Cathi Bond thinks the play, “I, Worker” is something Samuel Beckett would have liked. Meanwhile, Cathi Bond talks about Feelix Growing, a new project to design robots so that they can respond appropriately to human facial expression.

Cathi’s also a good egg. She donated $$ to wikipedia!