COOL TECH TOYS OF 2013
Advanced Humanoid Robot
Bipedal humanoid robot "Atlas," revealed to the public in July 2013, was developed by Boston Dynamics and is funded and overseen by a U.S. government advanced projects agency. The 6-foot (1.83 m) tall, 330-pound (149.7 kg) robot is made of graded aluminium and titanium and is designed for a variety of search and rescue tasks. It is capable of a variety of natural movements, including dynamic walking, calisthenics and user programmed behaviors. Image: Tyrone Siu/Reuters/Corbis
Super Smart Mini-Cars
Anki Drive is not your grandparent's collection of toy cars. Not much bigger than match box cars, Anki uses Artificial Intelligence to create what's more like a video game in 3D. The cars have been engineered to drive themselves and they can rip around the track without rails, tracks or slots. No remotes are needed since the cars can be controlled wirelessly from iPhones and iPads. And after you're addicted to these cool speedsters, there are upgrades for even more thrills. Image: Courtesy of Anki
Game-changing Virtual Reality
A gamer at London's Eurogamer Expo tests out the new Oculus Rift, an HD Virtual Reality Headset for 3D gaming. According to gaming experts, the new experience offered by Oculus "changes everything." The 7-inch screen has much faster pixil switching time that produces a far more convincing VR effect. The stereoscopic 3D imaging is now much closer to real vision and a combination of 3-axis gyros, accelerometers, and magnetometers means the Oculus responds in almost real-time to actual head movements. A video of a 90-year-old grandmother hooked up to the Oculus went viral on You-Tube. Image credit: Rex Features/Associated Press
Speedy Electric Motorcycle
The Mission R is the ultimate electric racing motorcycle, the first that can compete with gas-powered bikes in about every category except maximum sustained speed. It actually has more raw power than a Ducati, but battery conservation means the Mission R must hold back sometimes. Like every top-line electric vehicle, power is delivered so quickly - 0 to 100 km/h in about 3 seconds - and silently that you'd better hang on. With its batteries, the Mission is a bit heavy but it has one of the smoothest rides on the road with no shifting gears, no vibrations and incredible handling. Image Credit: Courtesy of Mission Motors/Kevin Wing and Greg Alter
SpaceshipTwo Heads For Orbit
SpaceShipTwo, christened VSS Enterprise, soars through the upper atmosphere during its second successful supersonic flight in May 2013. Entrepreneur and dreamer Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic leads the way in the stunning quest to make civilian space flight a near-future reality. Building on the breakthough successes of visionary space vehicle engineer Burt Rutan, Branson's Virgin Galactic plans to build 5 space planes that will begin commericals flights in 2014. Image credit: MarsScientific.com/Clay Center Obsevatory
Britain's Prince Harry, left, and British Prime Minister David Cameron watch Max Bogue, right, co-found and CEO of 3Doodler, demonstrate a 3D printing device during a meeting with entrepreneurs in New York City in May 2013. The 3Doodler takes the ancient pleasure of "doodling" to a new level. A mini 3-D printing device, the 3Doodler uses plastic threads that are melted and then cooled in the pen to bring your sketches to life - like the 3-D blue bike (lower right) that was created as part of this demo. Image credit: AP Photo/Brendan McDermid
Sony Smartphone Lens
The Sony DSC-QX100 is considered by many tech reviewers as the best of both worlds for those who want a high quality picture but are wary of giving up their smartphone camera. The portable and detachable lens attaches to a variety of smartphones and connects to the camera via Wi-Fi, allowing the photographer to use it either attached of removed from the phone. Image credit: Courtesy of Sony
Naval Super Drone
The US Navy's experimental unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV), the X-47B, successfully lands on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt in July 2013 while completing successful tests demonstrating the drone's ability to take-off, land and be controlled from an aircraft carrier. This is the first time a tail-less, unmanned drone has landed on a carrier deck. When ready for service in 2019, the X-47B will be one of the world's most formidable naval combat systems, with advanced stealth technology and weapons that will allow it to strike at all types of targets with almost invisible lethality. Image credit: U.S. Navy
Nest Protect's Friendly Alarm
The Nest Protect is the new wave of smoke detectors that combines smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and warns you with a friendly voice before the alarm goes off that you can also silence with a calm wave of the hand. No more ambushes by ear-shattering alarms! It can even connect with a mobile device and warn you when the batteries are getting low and give you nightly reassurances that the batteries are fresh and working. But even more than an alarm, Nest Protect also uses LED lights to multitask as a night light. Image credit: Courtesy of Nest Protect
Diabetes Treatment Revolution
The first commercial user of a revolutionary artificial pancreas called the MiniMed 530G shows the device at a press conference on 14 November 2013. This remarkable medical machine can take over most of the functions of a normal healthy human pancreas and thus transform the life of diabetics around the world. This externally worn system continuously measures and displays glucose values and also continuously delivers insulin to the user, a breakthough that reduces the need for constant manual blood monitoring and injections. Image credit: AP Photo/Evansville Courier & Press, Brien Vincent
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