Archive for the ‘AIMES’ category

Chair that helps you sit and stand at the same time

June 11, 2013

The Standing task Chair helps you adopt and maintain the standing meditation pose normally...

There has been a trend of late towards standing desks, borne out of the very real notion that sitting down for long periods of time is bad for your health. The problem is that standing desks don’t suit everyone, and can in fact cause bad backs, sore feet, and varicose veins if not used correctly. One solution may be to aim for somewhere betwixt sitting and standing, which is where the Standing Task Chair may prove its worth.

The Standing Task Chair is a chair that encourages you to adopt and maintain an ergonomic working position. Designed to be used with standing desks such as XTable, the chair supports your body while it’s in a standing position, with the shape it encourages being something akin to the standing meditation pose seen in yoga. It shares some similarities – and raison d’etre – with the Focal Locus workstation.

A diagram showing how Standing Task Chair is purported to help distribute your weight more...

Your body is supported in three ways: the seat (which looks like an oversized bicycle seat) takes the pressure off your legs, the pressure on your knees is relieved by a cushioned pad, and your feet are kept in an angled position by a raised platform. The creators of the Standing Task Chair claim this combination helps distribute your weight evenly.

The seat is fully adjustable via the gas cylinder most office chairs use, and it also pivots at the floor allowing the user to twist and turn as needed. The Standing Task Chair is portable, featuring small wheels at the front which are activated by lifting the whole thing up by the seat.

The Standing Task Chair is designed to take the pressure off while you use a standing desk

There are two options available in terms of materials used, with one frame made from solid oak and another made from welded steel. Both feature a knee pad made from high density foam and a seat made from contoured gel.


The Standing Task Chair is currently on Kickstarter, with funding of US$40,000 sought. This money will be used for tooling and for completing the first production run. Early backers can get a single Standing Task Chair for $499 (steel frame) or $599 (oak frame). The retail prices have been set at $699 and $799 respectively. US shipping is included, with international shipping calculated separately.

The video in the link below shows the creator of the Standing Task Chair explaining the thinking behind the design and demonstrating how it’s meant to be used.

Source: Kickstarter

Airport lets travelers rest up in cocoon-like GoSleep pods

May 14, 2013
Ten GoSleep pods have been installed at Abu Dhabi International Airport to give weary trav...

GoSleep pods have been installed at Abu Dhabi International Airport

If you’re a claustrophobic insomniac, the GoSleep sleeping pods probably won’t be of much interest to you, but for international travelers fighting with jet lag and tight schedules, being able to rent a private place to kip for an hour can be godsend. Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) announced last week that it has installed ten of the Finnish-designed GoSleep pods at Abu Dhabi International Airport to provide passengers with individual sleeping quarters while waiting for flights.

Though billed as a “world first,” the GoSleep pods aren’t the first people lockers. Such mini-hotels have already been installed in airports and other places around the world, but the GoSleep opts for a highly compact design with a chair that converts into a flat bed and a roller blind to enclose it and cut off noise and light and provide a bit of privacy.

The pods can be rented for about US$12.25

Ten GoSleep pods have now been installed in Terminal Three and in the Al Dhabi Lounge in Terminal One at Abu Dhabi International Airport, with 35 more due for installation later this year. After a run-in period, the pods will be upgraded with internet access, secure storage for luggage and charging points of for laptops, mobile phones, and other electronic devices.

The pods can be rented by credit card for about US$12.25 an hour.

Source: ADAC via Daily Mail

Laser Weapon System on U.S. Navy warship

April 11, 2013
Laser Weapon System (LaWS) temporarily installed aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS D...

Laser Weapon System (LaWS) temporarily installed aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS D…

The U.S. Navy took a step farther away from John Paul Jones and closer to James T. Kirk as it announced that a solid-state laser weapon will be deployed on a U.S. Navy ship in fiscal year 2014. The announcement that the Laser Weapon System (LaWS) will deployed on board USS Ponce (AFSB[I] 15) two years ahead of schedule was made on Monday at the Sea-Air-Space exposition, National Harbor, Maryland. The deployment is the latest in a line of recent recent high-energy laser demonstrations carried out by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and Naval Sea Systems Command.

LaWS undergoing shore testing

LaWS uses a fiber-optic,solid-state laser as part of a system developed at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC. It’s not intended to replace any weapons on board the Ponce, but rather acts as an adjunct weapon. Ultimately, LaWS will be paired with a rapid-fire anti-missile system, such as the Mk 15 Phalanx CIWS and its radar system.

LaWs optics

Obviously, the main attraction of the laser is its ability to destroy targets at long range at the speed of light, and LaWS has many advantages as both an offensive and defensive weapon. The Navy envisions it being used for precision and covert engagements, starting fires, and what it calls “graduated lethality.” It also sees it as a countermeasure against UAVs, missiles and swarms of small boats.

“We expect that in the future, a missile will not be able to simply outmaneuver a highly accurate, high-energy laser beam traveling at the speed of light,” Chief of Naval Research Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder said.

LaWS also has the advantage of having a “deep magazine,” meaning that it doesn’t need propellants or explosives and can keep firing as long as a power source is available. Also, unlike conventional weapons, each “round” comes at a bargain price. “Our conservative data tells us a shot of directed energy costs under $1,” Klunder said. “Compare that to the hundreds of thousands of dollars it costs to fire a missile, and you can begin to see the merits of this capability.”

However, since flat-out fighting is rare in naval operations, less lethal applications for the laser system are more likely to be used on a daily basis and therefore of equal value. The optics that LaWS uses for its beams make it ideal for targeting, and the laser can also heat targets, making them easier for infrared tracking to lock on. In addition, the laser can dazzle pilots and electronics of aircraft, surface vehicles, or submarines. Electro-optical sensors and infrared missile systems are particularly vulnerable. LaWS also works as a 21st century version of a shot across the bow, by shining an intense beam of light warning the target that a lethal blast could follow instantly.

For all its advantages, LaWS has its limitations. For example, the rate of fire is restricted by the time needed to illuminate a target and then moving on to the next one, so the system can be overwhelmed. Also, lasers aren’t ideal in all situations or against all targets, so it needs to be teamed with another weapon that can put lots of iron into the air at the same time.

The deployment is partly a demonstration, but it’s also part of the testing and development program. Areas that need addressing are developing the gimbal mounting for the laser, hardening the hardware for a sea environment, dealing with optical turbulence, and evaluating how to use the laser in less-than lethal tasks.

Monday’s announcement was accompanied by the release of a video showing LaWS in action against a drone, which can be seen below.


Source: U.S. Navy

Two ton turbo diesel hexapod you can drive

April 5, 2013
Matt Denton, chief designer and founder of Micromagic Systems, sits in the cockpit of his ...

Mantis, built by Matt Denton of Micromagic Systems, is the largest operational hexapod in the world

The term mad scientist gets thrown around quite a bit, but in the case of one Matt Denton it most certainly applies. His company, Micromagic Systems, has been working steadily over the past four years to design and build a walking robot that’s big enough to carry a human passenger. The resulting beast is described as “the biggest, all-terrain operational hexapod robot in the world.”

Mantis' six legs are powered by a turbo diesel engine and 18 hydraulic actuators

The robot weighs a massive 1,900 kg (4,188 pounds), stands 2.8 meters (9.18 ft) tall, and is powered by a Perkins 2.2 liter turbo diesel engine and hydraulics. It’s outfitted with a variety of sensors (including force transducers, angle sensors, and an inclinometer) that help it walk. A Linux PC running HexEngine – software designed to control hexapod locomotion – takes care of the 18 hydraulic actuators in its legs, while a panel PC puts you in the driver’s seat.

Mantis, built by Matt Denton of Micromagic Systems, is the largest operational hexapod in ...

Mantis takes a break during the filming of its promotional video

“This is definitely the largest hexapod we have built so far,” says Micromagic founder and Mantis’ chief designer Matt Denton. His company, which produces animatronics for the film and television industry, has worked on hexapods before – including one that appeared as a six-legged turtle in the Harry Potter films. Mantis, however, was a passion project that is now being rented for events.

Mantis' legs contain a number of sensors and are controlled by HexEngine software, which w...

This isn’t the only ginormous hexapod robot being built. A team from Massachusetts is working on one of a similar size called Stompy, following a successful Kickstarter campaign last year. However, Matt and his team beat them to the punch with Mantis, which you can see in action in the video below.


Source: Mantis Robot, Mantis Facebook page