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Robugtix’s 3D-printed realistic spiderbot

Published by on Jul 5th, 2013, 8 Comments

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Robotics is certainly an area of technology getting a lot of attention in recent years. From drones, to walking robots, to self-navigating bots there certainly are a lot of people doing research in robotics. Realistic animatronics is also a focal point, and Robugtix has also taken to the field.

The 3D-printed spiderbot not only looks the part, but employs 26 servo motors to drive its unnervingly life-like movement. Bigfoot’s baked-in “Inverse Kinematics Engine” deals with all of the background computations, so you don’t have to be a coding genius to work it. Instead, users send “short and simple commands” to the bot via wireless XBee or any other method you can hook up to its Rx / Tx pins.

The movements of this spiderbot are extremely accurate and realistic. I’m sure you can give some arachnophobia a hell of a fright. It will be an expensive exercise if your friend then stomps on it, though. It is expected to be shipped at the end of Q3 and will cost $1,350. Check out the demo video below: (more…)

Modern computing pioneer and the man who invented the mouse, dies

Published by on Jul 4th, 2013, 1 Comment

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Douglas C. Engelbart, the man responsible for giving the computer world, among many other gifts, the mouse has died at the age of 88 at his home in California reports The New York Times. 

In 1950, Engelbart was just 25 years-old when he had an epiphany that  “spoke to him of technology’s potential to expand human intelligence” at a time when computing was in its very early stages where huge machines tabulated numeric data and personal computing was simply science fiction.

Keen to make an impact on the world, Engelbart began a series of inventions, one of which was what we know today as the mouse which he patented in 1970 described as a “X-Y position indicator for a display system”. Unaware of its true value,  no royalties for the device were ever collected.

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Uber coming to SA – an Uber Bad Idea?

Published by on Jul 4th, 2013, 6 Comments

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A recent job posting by Uber.com shows the service is coming to both Cape Town and Joburg according to this job posting. If you’re like me you’re probably thinking: “what the hell is Uber.com?” Here are the details:

Uber is a venture-funded startup company based in San Francisco, California that makes a mobile application that connects passengers with drivers of luxury vehicles for hire. The company arranges pickups in the San Francisco Bay, New York City, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, Washington, D.C., Toronto, Paris, Berlin, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Diego, Amsterdam, Atlanta, Denver, London, Melbourne, Minneapolis–Saint Paul, Munich, Baltimore Phoenix, Stockholm, Sydney, Baltimore, Detroit, Milan, Sacramento, Rome and Singapore.

Uber drivers have cars such as Lincoln Town Cars, Cadillac Escalades, BMW 7 Series, and Mercedes-Benz S550 sedans. Cars are reserved by sending a text message or by using a mobile app. Using the apps, customers can track their reserved car’s location.

Uber has indicated it is planning to expand operations to include non-taxi ridesharing in the near future.

Considering they’re taken the service to large parts of America, Europe, Australia and some parts of Asia I guess they’ve run out of places to try market the service. It’s great to see a massive startup looking at South Africa and Africa as a whole to enter however I wonder if someone forgot to do their homework. While it’s technologically a great product (you hail a car with your phone) and it’s going to be a good employer for drivers and the tech industry I’m skeptical. (more…)

2013 IMC Conference: Johannesburg speakers announced

Published by on Jul 4th, 2013, No Comments

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“Relevant content”, “inspiring speakers”, “professionally hosted”, “technologically up-to-date” – These are just a few of the valued compliments from delegates who attended the IMC Conference in Cape Town last month. Currently the only one of its kind in Southern Africa, the Integrated Marketing Communication Conference is proud to bring you its sixth installment to be held from 9th – 10th September at The Maslow Hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg.

With just over two months to go, delegates can expect to gain insights from the foremost industry leaders who will be sharing their most innovative and impactful marketing communication campaigns. They include: (more…)

Net Prophet 2013: Interview with Mike Butcher

Published by on Jul 4th, 2013, No Comments

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TechCrunch editor at large, Mike Butcher was interviewed at the 2013 Net Prophet conference held in Cape Town where he addressed the audience on startup communities and building bridges.

Butcher, who has also been named one of the Top 50 most influential Britons in technology by The Daily Telegraph, gave his thoughts on the startup ecosystem in Cape Town as well as Eastern Europe and the nature of entrepreneurs all around the world.

Watch the full interview below:

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LTE Advanced tested to 100Mbps in Korea

Published by on Jul 4th, 2013, 1 Comment

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SK Telecom, the company behind the first implementation of LTE Advanced, recently tested their network to blistering speeds. The company used a Samsung Galaxy S4 with LTE Advanced capabilities. The new standard is the successor to current-generation LTE technology, supporting much higher data transmission speeds — we saw downloads topping out at 102Mbps. SK Telecom says that the network supports even faster speeds up to a theoretical maximum of 150Mbps down and 37.5Mbps up, and it’s providing the new service to customers without increasing charges. (more…)

ZTE launches first Firefox OS phone for consumers

Published by on Jul 4th, 2013, No Comments

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Mozilla announced that they would delve into the smartphone operating system business some time ago, and some developer phones had been handed out at MWC 2013. Back then, we saw that it was going to be on the cheaper side of the smartphone scale and Mozilla did confirm it later on. Now they have launched their first consumer phone that is available for purchase, caused the ZTE Open, launched in Europe first. Later on it will be released in emerging markets in both Asia and South America, with plans to expand into Africa also being discussed. (more…)

Mobile app WeChat introduced to Africa

Published by on Jul 4th, 2013, 1 Comment

we-chat-logoWeChat, a new mobile social communication tool supporting voice, video, photo and text interaction, has confirmed its place in the African market with the announcement of cross platform compatibility for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Symbian and BlackBerry smartphones.

The service, available for free via a proprietary application, enables users to chat individually or in groups using a mobile data or a WiFi connection. To use, WeChat requires handset owners to undergo a subscription process via Facebook or mobile number.

Founded by Hong Kong-listed Internet company Tencent and supported by Naspers, globally, the service has over 50 million users, having grown exponentially since its launch in 2011.

WeChat’s recent introduction to the African mobile environment is yet another exciting development for this unique offering believes Brett Loubser, Managing Director WeChat South Africa. “We are extremely enthusiastic about WeChat’s prospects for growth in Africa. Traditionally, mobile users tend towards services that enable them to engage in conversation without restrictive costing models. The fact that WeChat is a free service equipped with unparalleled voice, video, photo and text sharing functionality bodes well for its continued progress on the continent”.

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