The Haptic Tech That Could Let You Touch The Person You're Skyping With

I was skeptical. Two cubes sat side-by-side, looking like stripped-down 3D printers. I sat in front of one as instructed, and reached my hand inside, toward a floating disembodied finger. Just at the moment I knew I’d stab through the illusion, I had the ultimate “E.T. phone home” moment—I swear I could feel the other… »8/12/15 4:20pm8/12/15 4:20pm

Inflatable Stickies Make Building Robots as Easy as Arts and Crafts

In recent years, taking a simpler approach to science and engineering has paid off handsomely in certain fields. It's part of the reason there are now rovers exploring Mars, and many feel it will be the easiest way to make robots more commonplace. After all, what could be a simpler way to build an automaton than with… »1/28/15 9:25am1/28/15 9:25am

This Quadcopter Turns Into a Self-Balancing Rolling Wheel

Researchers at the University of Tokyo have managed to teach a quadcopter some impressive new tricks that vastly expand its capabilities past flying. Their Multi-field Universal Wheel for Air-land Vehicle—or MUWA for short—features variable pitch propellers so the thrust can be directed in opposite directions,… »11/05/13 8:50am11/05/13 8:50am

Robot Does Chores, Learns Not to Put Socks in Refrigerator

The new “Home Assistant Robot” is the product of joint research between Toyota and the University of Tokyo. And while it's not as fancy as Asimo »10/27/08 9:15am10/27/08 9:15am, the 5-foot, 286lb home robot is probably a whole lot more practical—it cleans instead of dancing and packs two wheels instead of tricky legs.The HAR uses five cameras and…

Scientists Serve Up Bluetooth Replacement in the Form of Inkjet-Printed Plastic Sheets

Scientists at the University of Tokyo have developed a new 1mm thick plastic sheet inkjet-printed with various nanoparticles and insulating and semiconducting polymers that enables electronic devices placed on it to communicate with one another. A technology like this would have advantages over other means of… »12/14/07 4:30pm12/14/07 4:30pm