Mobile Suit Gundam
premiered on April 7th, 1979 in Nagoya, Japan, and with it came the now three-decade-old franchise that launched a thousand plastic model kits.
MAY CONTAIN spoilers for a thirty-year-old beloved cultural touchstone that you've likely never seen or possibly even heard of.
DEFINITELY CONTAINS many, many links to TV Tropes.
Upgrade to 56K already. You're going to need it. [more inside]
posted by DoctorFedora
on Dec 15, 2011 -
are inspired by animals which don't have hard internal skeletons, like squid, worms, and starfish. Developed at Harvard, with funding from DARPA, this
particular soft robot, "not only walks, it knows several different gaits and can deflate to stuff itself through tiny little gaps." Another design here
, and another
), and another
. In addition to movement, soft robotics can also be used for grip
. More information about the Harvard lab is available here
(with a student describing the research here
posted by codacorolla
on Nov 29, 2011 -
Oh hi! You're here just in time for a trifecta of things we love: Cute little robots, fixed gear bicycles, and single-link YouTube posts! I hope you like it!
posted by ardgedee
on Oct 27, 2011 -
Do Androids Dream of Electric Authors? [NYTimes.com]
"So who was Lambert M. Surhone? Just looking at the numbers, you could argue that he’s one of the most prolific creators of literature who ever lived. But was he even human? There are now software programs — robots, if you will — that can gather text and organize it into a book. Surhone might be one of them."
posted by Fizz
on Oct 16, 2011 -
[The principal] strode in front of the astonished student body in December with the $6,000 VGo robot ... "Meet the new electronic Lyndon," the principal announced. "Don't touch him when you pass him in the hall. Give him space. Don't sneak up on him—he doesn't have rear-view mirrors. Let him be like the other kids. Don't ruin it for him. This is Lyndon's only way to be a part of you."
Lyndon Baty's compromised immune system means he can't go to school. So his robot goes for him. [more inside]
posted by Horace Rumpole
on Aug 8, 2011 -
Jim Babb first appeared in the ARG scene as Tim Scribbles, roommate to a robot in search of love
. More recently, he's been honing his skills with a family-friendly production called Socks Inc.
, where the only barriers to entry are an old sock, a webcam, and some imagination.
Now what happens when he applies his unique blend of quirky humor and unself-conscious style to the real world in a heartfelt proposal to his partner in crime? Julie, will you marry me? [more inside]
posted by SpaceBass
on Jul 16, 2011 -
Here, we refer to personality as the use of human personality characteristics to describe a robot vacuum cleaner. The translation from personality to behavior was inspired by a role play in which a group of actors was asked to act like a robot vacuum cleaner with these desired characteristics... Attributes, such as macaroni, were available to support acting out some of the situations (e.g. ‘cleaning a dirty spot’)... The actors were asked to act out situations—as if they were the robot vacuum cleaner—making use of motion and sound... In general, the actors either crawled about or walked around at a slow pace to imitate a vacuum cleaner. Often, a typical vacuuming sound was simulated by them. [more inside]
posted by jasper411
on Jun 30, 2011 -
Current TV previously & previously
, the media company founded by Al Gore after the 2000 election, has picked up the kinds of in depth long form journalism being rapidly dropped by major networks, but has been tantalizingly unavailable for those without cable; until now. They have been putting their Vanguard episodes up on their website and on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Apr 30, 2011 -
"Welcome to the Zion Archive. You have selected Historical File #12-1: The Second Renaissance.
So begins the short film of the same name by Mahiro Maeda [Flash: 1 2 - QuickTime: 1 2]
-- a devastating yet beautiful work of animation.
Originally produced to explain the backstory behind the Matrix
trilogy, Maeda's project ended up telling a story far darker and more affecting than any blockbuster.
Using a blend of faux documentary footage
and visual metaphor
, his serene Instructor relates in biblical tones the saga of Man and Machine, how age-old cruelty and hatred birthed a horrifying, apocalyptic struggle that consumed the world.
Packed with striking imagery and historical allusions
galore, this dark allegory easily transcends the films it was made for.
But while "The Second Renaissance" is arguably the best work to come from the Matrix
franchise, it's hardly alone -- it's just one of the projects made for The Animatrix
, a collection of nine superb anime films
in a wide variety of styles
designed to explore the universe and broaden its scope beyond the usual sci-fi action of the movies.
Click inside for a guide to these films with links to where they can be watched online, along with a look at The Matrix Comics
, a free series of comics, art, and short fiction created for the same purpose by some
of the best talent in the business. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Feb 14, 2011 -
"I've always loved the music from the Saturday matinee serial, and I figured a short that was animated to this music could be a really cool piece. I designed the character mixing all the traits from my favorite Superman actors from the past, and then looked at the work of Hugh Ferriss for inspiration on the background design."
- Superman Classic
(yt) - A Superman fan film by disney animator by Disney animator Robert Pratt
posted by Artw
on Feb 9, 2011 -
A 3 hour podcast interview
here) with British comics legend Pat Mills, most famous for the anti-war WW1 strip Charley's War
, the creation 2000ad and many of the most enduring characters within it, superhero hunter Marshall Law
and numerous other comics
. His work usually combines combines dark humour, a dash of left wing politics and ludicrous amounts of violence, now as much as ever with puritan zombie hunter Defoe
. Subjects discussed in the intreview include the death of artist John Hicklenton
, being Irish-English, Sláine
and the comparitive lack of celtic heroes in modern popular culture, Oliver Cromwell and the Levellers
. Bonus link: 20 pages of Metalzoic
, Pat Mills and Kevin O'Neills "lost" story.
posted by Artw
on Dec 19, 2010 -
Robots Guarding US Nuclear Stockpile
"The US National Nuclear Security Administration
recently announced that it has started using autonomous robot vehicles to patrol the vast desert surrounding its Nevada National Security Site (NNSS
). The 1360+ square miles of territory is home to millions of tons of low grade nuclear waste, as well as Cold War Era nuclear weapons, and cutting edge nuclear testing research. Guarding those precious nuclear materials is the Mobile Detection Assessment Response System (MDARS
) robot, which is essentially a camera on a mini-Hummer. The MDARS can roam and scout the desert on its own, alerting a remote operator when it encounters something that shouldn’t be there (two headed coyote?). Human controllers get real time video feed form the bot and can communicate with trespassers using speakers and a microphone. There’s just one MDARS robot on patrol now, but NNSA plans on adding two more in the next six months." Via: [Singularity Hub
posted by Fizz
on Oct 8, 2010 -
How to Train Your Robot (to Lie).
"A military base has just fallen to enemy fighters. A robot containing top-secret information has to escape detection by the invading army. The robot is facing three corridors: right, center, and left. It could randomly pick a corridor and hope the enemy soldiers pick a different one. Or it could leave a false trail—assuming robots can be trained to lie. A new study using this scenario suggests that they can be. 'Those lying toasters.' click for picture
(Georgia Tech's Decepticon) knows how to mislead pursuers to shake them off." Also, worth checking out is a video that can be viewed from the main link which demonstrates the robots in a game of hide-and-seek.
posted by Fizz
on Sep 13, 2010 -
Swarming spacecraft to self-destruct for greater good.
"Future space probes that operate in cooperative swarms must commit hara-kiri if they begin to fail and risk damaging their comrades, says a recent patent application
The agency foresees a day when space missions are undertaken not by one large spacecraft but by swarming formations of much smaller, cheaper ones
. Such craft could collectively provide a "floating optics" system for a space telescope comprising separate craft flying in formation, for instance.
However, should one spacecraft in such a swarm begin to fail and risk a calamitous collision with another, it must sense its end is nigh and put itself on a course that takes it forever away from the swarm – for the greater good of the collective."
posted by Fizz
on Sep 6, 2010 -
"The TV Wheel
was a television experiment created by and starring Joel Hodgson
, of Mystery Science Theater 3000
fame. Cable network HBO ordered a pilot, but ultimately passed on picking up the show. The pilot episode eventually aired once on Comedy Central as a special presentation following the last new episode of MST3K to be broadcast on that network."*
The pilot, bookended by introduction segments, is right through this door: [more inside]
posted by item
on Aug 11, 2010 -