3D Printed "biobot" [video] -
This. Is. Crazy.
Chinese company prepares robots for US invasion -
Yes the blog title was a bit dramatic, but anyone that thinks that Apple’s announcement about making Macs in the US and visions this brought about the “repatriation” of American manufacturing is going to create a lot of jobs is fooling themselves. But of course, how many repetitive factory jobs do we really want?
Foxconn, for its part, insists that automation would only help produce more advanced products, adding that robots would be able to perform more dangerous duties previously delegated to employees. This could also help mitigate some of the worker unrestFoxconn has seen in recent months, while allowing the company to invest in higher skilled human labor. “The younger generation of workers these days, they don’t want to continue to do boring, mundane, repetitive work, especially in the manufacturing sector,” Woo said. “We have to begin to add more value in the process, otherwise it will be difficult to attract a young generation of workers.”
Europe's first biohacking network -
I’m continuously fascinated, excited and terrified by the future.
On 1 December people descended upon Paris’s Musée des Arts et Métiers for a meeting to kick-off a new European science network. But with participants that included biologists, artists, sociologists, IT consultants and even a beekeeper, this wasn’t a typical science conference. This was the launch of DIY Bio Europe — an international biohacking network.
I love what Twine is doing. Not only is the design so simple and amazing, but it’s the start of real consumer connectivity to the “Internet of Things” (we really need to come up with a better name).
Twine - Listen to your world, talk to the Internet from Supermechanical on Vimeo.
What Can Enterprise 3D Printer Manufacturers Learn From Enterprise Tech About Competing With OpenSource? -
I’ll be the first to admit that I know absolutely nothing about either of these two companies, other than the fact that they make large 3D printers. But I do know a thing or two about large enterprise tech companies (having worked at HP on the Enterprise team and with Microsoft as a client for many years*) and mergers like this, in the face of disruptive low end competitors, is kind of a classic move.
The 3D printing space is undergoing some pretty serious disruption. While the DIY/hobbyist 3D printers aren’t a real threat to the big guys yet, they will be and these guys know it. It’s basically the same thing that Microsoft and others have had to battle with the OpenSource movement.
One of them already tried and failed to make low end 3D printers with HP (I actually never even heard about this). So with a failed effort to go downstream, they’re instead joining forces and going to swim hard upstream. This is probably a good move because they can’t compete in the low end. The prices are just to low, but they will want to come put with a low-end product so they can put a ceiling on the DIY crowd. Because I promise you at some point MakerBot or someone will come out with a product that there customers think “I can buy 3 or 4 of those instead of one of these big ones.” Not a s a way to replace a big model but as a way to not buy a second one.
But the smart thing they’re planning is to get into other materials. This is one place the DIY crowd will always trail on. But it means the big guys have to constantly be innovating while their margins are constantly eroded on the low end. They’ve got a tough battle but it they can also expand their services offerings, they can be real leaders. But man, it’s going to be tough for them.
*You can see all my disclosures here.
The future of parenting: Dad Builds Quadcopter To Track His Son -
I can see parks filled with kids being followed by drones while the nanies sit and gab on the side and parents can pull up the video feed from work of their kids playing.
We do worry about this kid’s overall safety, though mostly on a small scale — frankly, having a homemade helicopter that dad built in the garage follow your kid to the bus stop every day sounds like about the best way we’ve ever heard to ensure that your kid is regularly stuffed into a wide variety of lockers since severe acne. Of course, a better-armed companion drone could put that sort of behavior to bed in short order. Not that we’re encouraging that sort of anti-social behavior. Just an observation.
Where are the fashion brands in wearable computing? -
This is an interesting article not only because it brought my attention to a new “smart glasses” player, Vuzix, but because of the perspective the author writes in.
If either of these products catch on, it looks like we’re destined to a future with droid parts on our faces, as you can see above in Vizux’s version and to the right with Google’s Project Glass creation. Even on pretty women that look is straight out of the Stars Wars sequels that haven’t been made yet. Maybe one day android fashions will be in and computer face accessories will separate the hip from the square. But it doesn’t look like that will happen any time too soon.
She obviously thinks smart glasses are dorky. And she’s probably right - for now.
We know that Google Glasses were displayed as part of some NY fashion show, but where are the fashion brands when it comes to wearable computing?
The one and great example we have is Nike. While some may call them more of an athletic clothing brand than a pure fashion brand, they’re close enough for me.
I imagine that the fashion brands will come out when the products are already on the market and they can just add their name and design aesthetics to the tech, but I think they’re missing out.
Not even that many tech companies have jumped on wearable computing. Apple with their strong design ethic and their practically, ready made, iPod Nano, have stepped away from wearable computing with the Nano’s latest redesign.
Where are the watch makers and the glasses designers and the other bold, tech savvy clothing companies? Fossil, made an early effort but then chickened out. Come on fashion world, help us out.
Will 3D Printing Just Add To Our Wastefulness?
SciFi author Tim Maughan and I had a chat the other day on Twitter over the potential waste vs usefulness of 3D printing.
When you read the article linked below, you see the perfect examples of it potential. 3D printed jewelry? Junk. It’ll be worn once, maybe twice and then thrown away (if we’re lucky in recycling).
Prosthetic braces for children or prosthetic beaks for Eagles? Well it doesn’t get much better than that.
Again: 3D printed weapons vs. 3D printed art. I think there’s a college dissertation in there somewhere.
Chris Anderson wrote in hes new book, Makers: The New Industrial Revolution, that 3D printing will be bigger than the internet. And I believe like the internet it will come with the good and the bad that humanity carries with it wherever we go.
(via Replication Revolution: Best 3D-Printed Objects in Entertainment, Science and War | Wired Design | Wired.com)
What I find really interesting about this article is that military technology used to be far more advanced than civilian technology and now we’re seeing a time where they are both advancing together.
I mean, look at that picture. It’s just an armored golf cart. That’s kind of cool.
Yes there are a lot of things the military can do that most civilians can’t because of their obscene budget, but there are just as many things that the military is doing that’s being advanced much quicker by civilians because of their speed advantage (aka no government contractors involved).
(via Suicide Drones, Mini Blimps and 3D Printers: Inside the New Army Arsenal | Danger Room | Wired.com)