Starting the Machine Revolution now in Japan!
According to The Verge, the Japanese hi-tech company Suidobashi Heavy Industry is developing a 13-foot, diesel-powered real Mecha robot for personal users!
"Japanese engineers are working on everything from robots that walk like humans, to robots to help you in the lab, to robot babies for studying human development, but where are the mechs? Thankfully, Wired Japan shows us that Suidobashi Heavy Industry is on the case, having completed a 13-foot-tall, 4.4-ton, diesel-powered robot called Kuratas. The two-man team â" artist Kogoro Kurata and robotics researcher Wataru Yoshizaki â" isn't stopping there, either. Suidobashi wants to mass produce, starting at the low price of $1.35 million.
So what do you get for the money? Kuratas has over 30 hydraulic joints that allow it to freely move its arms, legs, and torso. It can fire water bottle rockets and fireworks, and its 6,000 round-per-minute BB gattling guns are controlled with the pilotâ(TM)s smile; part of Yoshizakiâ(TM)s V-Shido (read like bushido, as in "way of the samurai") control system. In order to get around, the four-legged mech uses ordinary wheels, but the Suidobashi team wants to get it walking in order to navigate uneven terrain. If youâ(TM)d like to see more, you can check out the rest of Wiredâ(TM)s photographs of the teamâ(TM)s garage, and check below for video of the prototype's unveiling this past weekend in Chiba, as well as promotional videos â" complete with CG of the robot driving through Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo."
Full story and videos here > http://www.theverge.com/2012/7/30/3201328/kuratas-suidobashi-mech-robot-japan
"Don't ask 'Why?' if Your Dad's a Chemistry Professor"
A DIALOGUE WITH SARAH, AGED 3: IN WHICH IT IS SHOWN THAT IF YOUR DAD IS A CHEMISTRY PROFESSOR, ASKING "WHY" CAN BE DANGEROUS
By Stephen McNeil
- FROM THE ARCHIVES -
SARAH: Daddy, were you in the shower?
DAD: Yes, I was in the shower.
DAD: I was dirty. The shower gets me clean.
DAD: Why does the shower get me clean?
DAD: Because the water washes the dirt away when I use soap.
DAD: Why do I use soap?
DAD: Because the soap grabs the dirt and lets the water wash it off.
DAD: Why does the soap grab the dirt?
DAD: Because soap is a surfactant.
DAD: Why is soap a surfactant?
DAD: That is an EXCELLENT question. Soap is a surfactant because it forms water-soluble micelles that trap the otherwise insoluble dirt and oil particles.
DAD: Why does soap form micelles?
DAD: Soap molecules are long chains with a polar, hydrophilic head and a non-polar, hydrophobic tail. Can you say 'hydrophilic'?
DAD: And can you say 'hydrophobic'?
DAD: Excellent! The word 'hydrophobic' means that it avoids water.
DAD: Why does it mean that?
DAD: It's Greek! 'Hydro' means water and 'phobic' means 'fear of'. 'Phobos' is fear. So 'hydrophobic' means 'afraid of water'.
SARAH: Like a monster?
DAD: You mean, like being afraid of a monster?
DAD: A scary monster, sure. If you were afraid of a monster, a Greek person would say you were gorgophobic.
SARAH: (rolls her eyes) I thought we were talking about soap.
DAD: We are talking about soap.
DAD: Why do the molecules have a hydrophilic head and a hydrophobic tail?
DAD: Because the C-O bonds in the head are highly polar, and the C-H bonds in the tail are effectively non-polar.
DAD: Because while carbon and hydrogen have almost the same electronegativity, oxygen is far more electronegative, thereby polarizing the C-O bonds.
DAD: Why is oxygen more electronegative than carbon and hydrogen?
DAD: That's complicated. There are different answers to that question, depending on whether you're talking about the Pauling or Mulliken electronegativity scales. The Pauling scale is based on homo- versus heteronuclear bond strength differences, while the Mulliken scale is based on the atomic properties of electron affinity and ionization energy. But it really all comes down to effective nuclear charge. The valence electrons in an oxygen atom have a lower energy than those of a carbon atom, and electrons shared between them are held more tightly to the oxygen, because electrons in an oxygen atom experience a greater nuclear charge and therefore a stronger attraction to the atomic nucleus! Cool, huh?
SARAH: I don't get it.
DAD: That's OK. Neither do most of my students.
Original text: http://www.scribd.com/doc/1063/-Dont-ask-Why-if-Your-Dads-a-Chemistry-Professor-