Robotic Baseball-Catching Claw
The Ishikawa-Namiki Komuro
Laboratory in Japan has
designed a claw device that can catch
baseballs up to 186 mph. This claw
will predict the ball’s movement and
trajectory to allow for it to catch when
being thrown at different angles.
The robot does not need a
catching mitt. It resembles a single
metallic claw, with just three fingers
instead of the human complement of
five. An array of 32 x 48 individual
photo detectors in its “palm” tracks a
ball's trajectory at high speed. A
series of specialized image
processing circuits recognize this
movement almost instantly.
An approaching ball triggers the
robot's three fingers into action.
Actuators embedded in each joint use
a burst of high current to move
through 180 degrees in less than one
tenth of a second. This enables the
machine to snatch the ball in the split
second it takes to arrive.
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Kyocera KX16 offers
Mobile Gaming with
The Kyocera Candid KX16 is a
color clamshell phone that can be
converted into a mobile gaming
handset and will be targeted to
International and US CDMA carriers.
With a style and affordability that will
appeal to many users, the features
include external caller ID, VGA
camera with flash and digital zoom,
speakerphone, voice-activated dialing,
and a raised keypad for increased
The camera features a front-facing
lens and flash which allows you to snap
a photo quickly while moving without
the worries of blurring. A five-step
digital zoom goes from 160 x 120
resolution to 648 x 480. It also supports
multi-shot mode, auto-focus, self-timer,
white balance, color effects adjusting,
and fun frames. With the Alienware
game pad, the KX16 will allow its users
to play Java or BREW games with a
more console-style feel to it. The
Alienware Gamepad is due out this fall
and will sell for $29.95, however the
Gamepad will be bundled with the KX5
Slider before the KX16 hits the street.
New Roomba Cleans
iRobot's next major goal for its
Roomba vacuum is for it to become
more invisible in the household.
Sounds counter-intuitive, but that's
the reasoning behind the popular
home vacuuming robot's next major
update, which adds a set-it-and-forget-it scheduling capability.
Nearly three years after it was
first introduced, the Frisbee-shaped
Roomba robot vac robot has become