The UpStream

It's a Wheelchair! It's a Scooter! No Wait, It's a Universal Vehicle!

posted Saturday Aug 29, 2009 by Jon Wurm

It's a Wheelchair! It's a Scooter!  No Wait, It's a Universal Vehicle!

The term "next gen" is synonymous with certain things like gaming consoles, graphics cards and wheelchairs... wait, what? Yes, you read it right, wheelchairs. Veda International Robot R&D Center, located in Japan (big surprise) has completely blown away all normal conventions of the wheelchair, if you can even call it that anymore. With its slick and innovative design not only does it look cool (yes I said the wheelchair looks "cool") but the design also improves upon its functionality and ease of use on both the rider and any caregivers as well.

Nurse Teddy RoboBear

posted Friday Aug 28, 2009 by Nicholas DiMeo

Nurse Teddy RoboBear

Now here's something you don't hear about too often! Imagine a robot that can lift you in and out of bed when you're in the hospital, help you use the restroom, and assist with your wheelchair. Sounds unrealistic right? Well researchers at Japan's Institute of Physical and Chemical Research, also known as RIKEN, and Tokai Rubber Industries, Ltd. teamed up to create just that. This 400 lb robot was created to assist nurses primarily in lifting patients up to 135 lbs. This may sound unsafe, but sources assure us it operates with human like characteristics. This machine resembles a teddy bear and possesses long, multi-jointed arms that are equipped with tactile sensors allowing the robot to lift and carry humans with ease. RIBA (Robot for Interactive Body Assistance) is completely covered in lightweight urethane foam, developed by TRI, to make it more comfortable and safe.

Whoa... Beats!

posted Sunday Aug 23, 2009 by Nicholas DiMeo

We never really think of the music flowing out of our iPods being "poor quality," but what if there was something better? Dr. Dre and HP are teaming to blow the competition away. After all, we have the right to hear our music they way the artist meant it to be heard. The duo, along with Jimmy Iovine and company at Interscope/Geffen/A&M plan to "reinvigorate the entire music ecosystem."

A new brand was created by HP, known as "The beats by Dr. Dre," and with this HP announced that it will release a line of laptops, software, and headsets, according to CNET. Now, $349 may sound outrageous for a headset, but sources assure us that it is certainly worth it.

Deceiving Robots?

posted Sunday Aug 23, 2009 by Nicholas DiMeo

Lying robots? And we always thought they would have morals! According to a new study, it's been discovered that robots are able to learn certain human survival techniques. Researchers at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland have discovered a new type of "rebellious" robot, one that doesn't always play by the rules. These robots, equipped with artificial neural networks, were programmed to locate food.

Originally when the food was found, the robot would flash a blue light indicating his find to the other robots and allowing them to also locate the food. With limited room in the area of the food, fights between the bots would break out, forcing them to battle each other for the space.

I See the ZuneHD!

posted Sunday Aug 23, 2009 by Nicholas DiMeo

I See the ZuneHD!

I mentioned last week about the deal Best Buy struck with Microsoft regarding the ZuneHD. It appears that we have the first sighting of the box! It sure does look like the rest of the Zune boxes that are out to the masses right now, but certainly the words "HD Radio" in big purple print must have somebody other than me excited! Get your pre-order in! The ZuneHD releases on September 15th.

Apple Responds to the FCC

posted Sunday Aug 23, 2009 by Scott Ertz

Apple Responds to the FCC

A couple weeks ago I told you about Google's CEO leaving Apple possibly over the Google Voice app on the iPhone. Well, Google wrote a letter to the FCC asking them to investigate the situation. The FCC, in turn, required both AT&T and Apple to respond with their versions of what had happened. It may sound like a summer camp counselor breaking up a fight, but this is some serious stuff.

So, this week, Apple responded, and their response was pretty much expected. They said:

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