Freakology Friday

Nintendo 3DS Launch: South Africa

Hans and the Nintendo 3DSThe Nintendo 3DS was officially launched last night in South Africa.

I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to attend and be one of the first people in the country to play with Nintendo’s latest portable device.

My first hands-on impressions of the Nintendo 3DS and a general overview of the spectacular launch party are right after the jump!

Nintendo 3DS in South Africa: ‘Live Blog’

Nintendo 3DSThis evening I have the opportunity of attending the official launch of the Nintendo 3DS in South Africa. Since it is a private event, which is not open to the public, I have decided to try something different.

For the first time I will attempt to “Live Blog” the event as it happens – from 18:00 (6pm) GMT+2. Please bear in mind that I have never done anything like this before. So it remains to be seen whether or not this will be a “hit or miss” endeavour. Nevertheless, I look forward to your feedback.

If you are interested, the Live Blog is right after the jump.

Freakology Friday: Where Freaky and Technology meet!

 
Hey Milieu Pals,
 
Welcome to the first post of ‘Freakology Friday’. Similar to Tabloid Tuesday ("You Know You Love It") comes Freakology Friday. As can be deduced from the days theme, every Friday I will attempt to post information pertianing to technological advancements and the inexplicably freaky. Then again, I may just end up posting something which encompasses the term ‘Freakology’ in its entirety… Freaky Technology  ! Additionally each post will have a Freak-O-Meter rating out of five which will indicate the hair-raising intensity of the posted topic.
 

Freakology Friday
Report: 001

Airic’s_Arm by Festo
 

Sean Fallon, from Gearfuse.com, reported that "A project called “Airic’s_arm” has resulted in a robotic arm that mimics the movement and biological structure of a human being. If you believe that robots will eventually rise up to massacre their tyrannical humanoid overlords, this may very well feel like the beginning of the end". The project has been developed by a company known as Festo which lists the following under Airic’s_Arm development:

"The Airic’s_arm is a robotic arm fitted with artificial bones and muscles. The bone structure, consisting of the human bones such as ulna and radius, metacarpal bone and finger bone, shoulder joint and shoulder blade – joints that do not occur as such in the technical world – is moved via 30 muscles. The muscles are Festo products, which are already put to extensive use in industrial practice and known as Fluidic Muscle. Using this technology, in conjunction with Festo’s tiny, highly innovative piezo-proportional valves, it is possible to precisely regulate the forces and rigidity within the construction. These actuators can be coordinated using state-of-the-art mechatronic systems and software" (Festo.com, 14/09/07)

Granted I am all for technological development but I cannot help but feel a slight chill run down my neck when observing Airic’s_Arm in motion. Undoubtedly this kind of technological innovation can only mean good news for mankind… or does it?! Reading news of Festo’s latest innovation makes me think immediately of Will Smith’s blockbuster, I-Robot. Now the only facet left that these robotic ingenuities really need is a cognitive mind…

FreakOMeter


Articifial Cerebellum a reality!

If you thought Airic’s_Arm was somewhat chilling then think again. It has been reported that a team of scientists in Spain have developed an artificial robotic cerebellum (purple part of the brain in the picture to the right). This is part of a project known as SENSOPAC (SENSOrimotor structuring of Perception and Action for emergent Cognition).

For those who do not know, the cerebellum is the part of the brain which controls all human functions. It is "located directly behind the front part cerebrum, typically consisting of two hemispheres connected by a thin central region, and serving to control and coordinate muscular activity and maintain balance" (Microsoft Encarta 2007).

The project is reported to advance by means of implanting the human made cerebellum into a robot so as to make its movements and interaction with humans more natural. CORDIS news reports that "the overall goal is to incorporate the cerebellum into a robot designed by the German Aerospace Centre in two year’s time".

If creating and emulating the human cerebellum was not enough, the project, with the aid of scientists at the University of Granada, is looking into the design of microchips that incorporate a full neuronal system, emulating the way the cerebellum interacts with the human nervous system. Furthermore, the Sensopac project aims to develop an "artificial skin for the robots, making them look more human-like, as well as making them information-sensitive in the same way as human skin is" (CORDIS news 17/09/07).

At this rate movies such as AI (Artificial Intelligence), the Matrix and I-Robot will no longer be fictitious but more so a represenation of the future we are evidently building for ourselves.

FreakOMeter


It’s Chrissy… Bitch!

We all know about Britney’s less than stellar VMA 2007 appearance on MTV last weekend. Since then a countless number of individuals have created shameless parodies of her performance or tasteless re-enactments of her latest single, ‘Gimme More’. Personally I can see Britney Pulling through and wowing us all. Anyway, back to the topic of the post!

What you are about to see has to be one of the funniest yet freakiest re-enactments of Britney’s Gimme More performance. It is by an individual known as Chris Crocker who had a massive internet driven public meltdown regarding Britney Spears (you can find that video here) !

 
FreakOMeter

 


Well Milieu Pals, that is all for this report of Freakology Friday: 001!

– Hans