Posts Tagged ‘‘Walk’

A Walk Through The Surface Pro 3, Microsoft’s Ultralight Laplet

To top off our cavalcade of Surface coverage today, I present a very quick walk-through of the Surface Pro 3 with a special guest star. So far, the laplet (laptop-tablet) is quite an improvement over the original Surface. Make no mistake: This is a full PC. It has a powerful Intel Core processor — this model contains an i5 and runs as fast as any Windows 8 laptop. The improved hinge… Read More

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TC Makers: A Walk Through The Amazing Townhouse That Grado Labs Calls Home

Grado Labs appears to be a much bigger company than it is. Founded 60 years ago by Joseph Grado, the company made millions of phonograph cartridges in its long history and, during the rise of portable music, hit pay dirt by making some of the best-sounding headphones in the business. Where is this company located? In some massive office park in the depths of New Jersey? In a manufacturing town on… Read More

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TC Makers: A Walk Through The Pinball Hall Of Fame


Before Pac-Man, before Pong, before Space Invaders there was pinball. And it was good.

While we were in Las Vegas this week for CES 2014 we had the distinct pleasure of stopping by the Pinball Hall of Fame, an amazing space dedicated to all things electromechanical. I spoke with Tim Arnold, Director of Things And Stuff (or, alternately, Stuff And Things) who has made it his life’s mission to maintain some amazing amusements.

Arnold has a collection amassed over many years. He was – and still is – a trained Bally’s pinball technician and he has hundreds of machines in storage that he has amassed in fire sales back at the tail end of the pinball craze. He rebuilds many of the machines from scratch, using good parts from bad machines to make one uber machine that anyone can play in his nondescript museum.

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Arnold has it all: Gottliebs, Ballys, Midways, and more. He has standup arcade games, as well, including amazing electromechanical games like Bally Road Runner, one of the first arcade games to use transistor controlled electronics. He also has a mini workshop in back where he repairs the old machines, keeping them in working condition even 60 years after they rolled off the factory floor.

There’s a lot of history – and a lot of fun – to be found in the Pinball Hall of Fame. Arnold is a tinkerer and a dedicated maker. He recommended that young makers learn to build things, not just mash things together. By being good with your hands, he said, you ensure your job and your skills are always in demand.

Visiting a place like the Pinball Hall of Fame makes you feel in touch with the long arc of history that led from the first bells and gears of the original pinball parlors to the ultra-realistic game machines of today. It’s mind-boggling to think that we moved from the pinball machine – essentially a glorified gas pump – to the arcade machine to the home console in a less than 20 years. Plus the games are really, really fun.

TechCrunch Makers is a video series featuring people who make cool stuff. If you’d like to be featured, email us!.

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Swiss researchers created a cube that can sit, jump and walk (video)

Swiss researchers have created a metallic cube that can “walk” across a surface. Staff at the Federal Institute of Technology Zurich crammed a series of inertia sensors and constantly-spinning rotors (called reaction wheels) into a 15-centimeter …

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Watch a robotic cube walk and balance under its own power

Cubes aren’t usually the go-to shape when creating an object that’s meant to move around, but researchers in Switzerland have created one that can do just that — along with a handful of other surprising tablets. Called the Cubli, it measures nearly 6 inches on each side and can walk around by continually flipping itself over. Perhaps more impressively, it can also balance on any of its sides or even just a single corner. As the research team from ETH Zurich’s Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control demonstrates in a video, the cube can even remain balanced while a surface is raised up at an angle beneath it.

Continue reading…

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Sony offers a walk down memory lane with every PlayStation (video)

Whether you grew up in London or not, Sony’s latest PlayStation 4 ad will assuredly trigger a memory or fifty of the past 25 years. The short video starts with the very first PlayStation and brings viewers all the way through to the upcoming PlayStation 4’s November launch, bridging the gap with …

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A Duck Named Buttercup Can Walk Again Thanks To A 3-D Printed Prosthetic Foot

Oh my gooooooodddddd

This is Buttercup. Buttercup is a boy, and he was born with a backward foot.

This is Buttercup. Buttercup is a boy , and he was born with a backward foot.


His backward foot made walking around really tough.

His backward foot made walking around really tough.


So the good people over at Feathered Angels decided to help Buttercup out by making him a brand new one with a 3-D printer courtesy of NovaCopy.

So the good people over at Feathered Angels decided to help Buttercup out by making him a brand new one with a 3-D printer courtesy of NovaCopy .


Buttercup's backward foot was amputated. :(

Buttercup's backward foot was amputated. :(


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Disabled Duck To Walk Again Thanks to 3-D Printing


This is Buttercup the duck. He’s a dude though, not a chick. Although I guess all ducks were chicks at one time. “No, they were DUCKLINGS.” Damn it all to hell. Anyways, Buttercup was born with a backwards foot that prevented him from walking normally and hurt, and nobody wants to see a lame duck.

Because the foot needs to be flexible, the usual plastics used in 3D printing aren’t viable. Instead, NovaCopy printed a mould, which will be used to cast a silicone foot for the lucky duck, creating several iterations of the design to come up with the perfect one. It will be attached to his foot via a silicone sheath.

Heck yeah, he’s getting an all new lease on life! I could use one of those myself. I haven’t really been paying my life rent lately and my landlord is getting pissed. Isn’t that right, God? “You’ve got till the end of the month to do two good deeds or I’ll lightning bolt you.” So, uh, any of you want to fake needing help crossing the street?

Thanks to PYY, who wants to know what the name of Butttercup’s little teddy bear in the picture is (please be Westley, please be Westley!)

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A quick walk through Nintendo’s E3 2013 Wii U lineup

Nintendo’s Wii U may not be the main star of this year’s E3, but that doesn’t mean the company’s sitting this year out. Super Mario 3D World, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Bayonetta 2 and The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD were just some of the titles that Nintendo’s showing off this week. We’ll direct you to our friends at Joystiq for more detailed impressions of Nintendo’s E3 2013 lineup, but we’ve got a quick run through the aforementioned quartet of titles — what we consider to be Nintendo’s biggest games at the big game show. Join us past the break for a video and our impressions.

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RunKeeper For Pebble Arrives, Bringing Run, Walk And Bike Ride Progress Tracking To The Smart Watch


So far, the Pebble smart watch has done little besides offer up watch faces for users to tinker with, but the apps are starting to come in, and today marks the much-anticipated debut of early marquee partner RunKeeper. RunKeeper was an early player in the smartphone-based activity tracker market, and continues to be an industry leader. It was a natural partnership for both Pebble and RunKeeper, and now consumers get to see what the two can do together.

The new Pebble RunKeeper integration works with both Android and iOS apps, and provides the same functionality for both. RunKeeper CEO Jason Jacobs says that his company is very interested in the wearable tech market, and he believes that the key to cracking open a much broader audience for fitness and health tracking tech could be gadgets like the Pebble, which make it even easier to access and use information gathered by tools like RunKeeper.

“What’s really exciting for me is that what people were expecting was that it just makes it easier to have a RunKeeper controller on your wrist,” he said, describing the experience of the Pebble integration’s early beta testers. “But what they’re finding is not only can it do that, but it’s actually more powerful than an app because it’s starting to change the way they’re interacting with the data, it’s more seamless to their experience, it’s not disrupting their flow.”

Jacobs says RunKeeper’s thesis as a company is that that’s exactly what needs to happen in order to help this kind of activity tracker technology find wider purchase among a mainstream audience. “The data needs to be more actionable, and it needs to be proactively given to you so that you don’t need to hunt and look for it,” he said. The Pebble is a good way to achieve that, since it can surface any data that a smartphone, either Android or iPhone, can gather on its wrist-mounted display.

On the Pebble, RunKeeper will display pace, speed, and distance travelled and offer workout start and stop features. It can work with runs, and also bike rides and walks, and does everything most will need to get a lot more out of their smartphone supported workouts right away. It offers RunKeeper a way to compete with wearables like the Nike+ GPS sport watch, all the while allowing them to focus on the tech they do best, leaving hardware to more specialized partners.

“The software is really hard, and we think it’s a really big opportunity, and we want to be the best at the software piece,” Jacobs explained. “Part of that is pushing the phone’s capabilities so that you don’t need hardware, but part of that is also playing nice with all the best of breed hardware that comes out. In terms of being that best of breed hardware ourselves, it’s not in our roadmap or aspirations. It is in our road or aspirations to be a good neighbour.”

This version of RunKeeper for Pebble is just a start, Jacobs says, noting that during the development process they realized they could add in much more, like setting pace on the smart watch, setting distance targets and more. RunKeeper also worked closely with Pebble to get this particular integration developed, and says we’ll see similar UI elements used as other fitness tracking apps come on board. Future work could go into helping RunKeeper differentiate its experience further as the development ecosystem for Pebble progresses.

Jacobs leads me to believe that RunKeeper will be opportunistic about partnerships with hardware companies and other software efforts operating in the same general space, and this Pebble partnership is just one part of a larger strategy to try to find the key to cracking the mainstream market with a product that, while successful, has had more niche appeal up until now. The Pebble is also arguably a niche product, but taken together, it’s possible two things aimed at a very specific audience could combine in just the right way to attract a much broader following.

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