Weaponized Robot = Aggressive

I’m not one to be down-and-out-self-deprecating-bummed-out about things in general, but iRobot has just made my tri-colored LED progress look like peanuts. Tri-colored peanuts, but peanuts nonetheless.

Hats off to you all, iRobot dudes. This is awesome.

robo laser

maxximum pew

From spectrum.ieee.org:

iRobot released today new video of its Warrior robot, a beefed up version of the more well-known PackBot, demonstrating use of the APOBS (Anti-Personnel Obstacle Breaching System), an explosive line charge deployed by a rocket, with a small parachute holding back the end of the line. The APOBS, iRobot says, is designed for “deliberate breaching of anti-personnel minefields and multi-strand wire obstacles.” Although it may concern those who don’t like the arming of robots, it makes great eye candy for those who like robots, rockets, and explosions.

For those who like robots, rockets, and explosions?

Throw in Katie and Old Milwaukee Light, and that is me to a T.

Japanese Humanoid Moon Robot. Whoa.

I might have to move to Japan. First, they have that food thing down. Secondly, and more importantly, they are BUILDING A DAMN HUMANOID ROBOT TO GO TO AND RETURN FROM THE MOON BY 2015.

That happens, and we have officially lost, my friends.

japan humanoid robot

robot + humanoid + space = nerd boner

FTA:

Looking largely to inspire dreams of space among the Japanese, a manufacturing cooperative named Astro-Technology SOHLA announced on April 27th that they are planning to create and send a two-legged humanoid robot to the moon, have it draw the Japanese flag on the surface, and then hopefully get it back to the Earth, all by the year 2015.

Making inspirational ideas about space technology a reality is not new to the Osaka-based cooperative of six small and medium sized enterprises. SOHLA had previously built a small-scale satellite, named Maido-1, as a demonstration of the ability of SMEs to research and create short-term, low-cost space technology which could help improve local economic activity. Maido-1 was sent into orbit aboard a Japanese H-IIA rocket in January of 2009. Following that successful launch, the group asked people to start forgetting about the word “recession.”

SOHLA believes that there is a growing passion in Japan about space technology and exploration with recent national successes, such as two Japanese astronauts meeting on the International Space Station for the first time. However, the group also feels that the ISS’ highly visible robotic arms not being Japanese-made is a real letdown for a nation well-known for its robotic technology prowess.

Robotic prowess indeed. First the Gundham statue, now this. Fuck you Washington…we need MORE federal funding for space science. It will take a lot more than some accelerator problems on imports to spin this story into oblivion.

Come on…robotic astronauts…I am in awe.

Best…Urinals…Ever.

Kate and I went to Billngs last weekend to grab the wedding dress. The Olive Garden was, in fact, breath-taking…after we were able to eat. As it happened, my sister, cousin Keri, Katie, and I attempted to drink all of the beers in Billings. As it also turns out, Billings has a large population. Billings also has a lot of beer to quench that collective thirst. For the loss.

Anyhow, early-ish-ish in the night…we found out about these three elegant gentlemen:

here's to you, jeff

3-Pac Shakur

Uncle Jeff’s favourite urinals in the world. Mine too, now. We Swansons have great taste.

+1 Nerd

My Arduino is in da houze!

+1 Nerd

Awesome.

Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform…and it is awesome. I went for the Arduino Duemilanove, packaged nicely with some LEDs, resisters, leads, and solderless breadboard. Did I mention this bad-boy employs USB connectivity? Prototyping, FTW!

Next step: get this sucker talking to Ubuntu on my Mini 9.
Step after that: turn on some LEDs
Step even after that: MF-ing robot

+1 Nerd, indeed.

unixkcd easter eggs

I had a creeping suspicion that the best xkcd of all time might be integrated into unixkcd…turns out I was on to something

sudo-make-me-a-sandwich

sudo FTW!

This made my day. Especially, since /. is utter garbage with all of the “funny” stories…pretty retarded.
***Note: sudo rm -rf * does nothing…I tried.***

Nintendo to Rock Your World in 3D

Unfortunately, said world from the title is the world in the palm of your hands. Long story short, the DS is going to drop some sweet glasses-free 3D on yall suckaz.

dot awesome

swan tron dot com slash AWESOME

But don’t take my word from it…
TFA from PCW:

Imagine picking up a Nintendo DS and playing games in 3D without the clunky, dork-tastic glasses. Nintendo says a handheld gaming device that’ll do just that will launch in Japan before the end of March 2011, and that it’ll reveal its so-called “Nintendo 3DS” to the world for the first time at E3 2010 this summer.

But wait–3D without the funky eyewear? How does that work? Like those tricky picture perception puzzles, where you have to “relax” your eyes to see the mathematically embedded 3D picture? Or like the laser heads-up-displays that project an imagine onto your retina? Or how about actual head jacks, like the metal prongs plunged through occipital bones in The Matrix?

Matrix reference in aught-10. Poorly played, PC World. They continue…

Speculation aside, let’s assume Nintendo’s got the 3D part down pat, and that it’ll be at least as persuasive as the technology in the video above. The real question’s this: Will gamers buy a so-called “Nintendo 3DS” on the merits of 3D alone?

Ask that question in a broader sense, “Is anyone really interested in 3D?” and the answer’s “No one knows.” The technology’s all hype and punditry to date, a public relations push by technology vendors eager to sell pricey versions of existing view-screen technology with a slight visual twist.

Whatever, naysayers. 3D is awesome, and since it is Nintendo, it will be incredibly playable, and it will sell very well. Without any doubt.

I’m looking forward to it.

SpaceShipTwo

I’ve already gone on record saying that Richard Branson is my hero. In a ‘suck it, NASA’ move, Branson managed to take another step towards privatising space travel, by launching the shit out of SpaceShipTwo via a piggy-backed flight.

SpaceShip2

fuck everything...we're doing it ourselves

Per wired.com

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo made its first captive carry flight early this morning at the Mojave Air and Space Port. SpaceShipTwo, which was christened the VSS Enterprise at its unveiling in December, is being carried by WhiteKnightTwo on its first test flight.

According to Aviation Week, SpaceShipTwo has been undergoing ground testing with WhiteKnightTwo recently, but this is the first time the two aircraft have left the ground. SpaceShipTwo is expected to go through a similar flight test program as its much smaller predecessor, SpaceShipOne, but with much more rigorous and wider ranging evaluations in order to certify the vehicle for public use.

During SpaceShipOne’s development, two captive carries were followed by several glide tests where the space ship is released from several different altitudes to evaluate its flight characteristics. After glide flights, the flight test team at Scaled moved on to powered flight, eventually culminating with the first flight into space on June 21, 2004.

WhiteKnightTwo made its first flight on December 21, 2008 with test pilot Peter Siebold at the controls. At Oshkosh, we caught up with Siebold and got a first hand account of what it is like to fly the 140 foot wingspan, twin fuselaged behemoth that carries SpaceShipTwo.

Virgin Galactic has not set a date for commercial space flights, but has said passenger flights would not happen before 2011 at the earliest. According to the company, once glide flights are complete, the team will progress through subsonic powered flights, supersonic powered flights, and finally suborbital space flights. It will then undergo a lengthy certification process with the Federal Aviation Administration before launching the first commercial passenger space flights.

Seaplane was awesome…this is tubular. Perhaps more things that have been traditionally government mainstays should be tackled by bad-ass proprietors. FOR THE WIN.