- Jibo Robotics has acqui-hired CloudKid, a digital studio best known for producing animation, entertainment and interactive content for kids. It's a smart move to bring in the kind of rare skills required for robotics to move out of the dull, disembodied or dumb patterns users are accustomed to seeing.
- Computational design that brings new functional efficiency (if not manufacturing efficiency) to one of humanity's oldest products: the bow.
Roadmapping the Future:
- A robotic cat that's supposed to help the elderly be less lonely. One more product in a seemingly never ending stream of devices to help Americans keep their elders at a distance while alleviating guilt. Elders need to be provided opportunities and tools to remain empowered, not placated.
- Coal miners are turning to coding in the face of changing economics.
- Airbnb figures out how to design its own spaces by borrowing heavily (or stealing, depending on your point of view) from its users.
- The tiny drone company producing Zano admits it can't make it happen after raising $ 3.6 million on crowdfunding, making it one of the best-funded crowdfunding campaigns to totally throw in the towel. It says it shipped 600 units that didn't perform as promised, and won't be able to fulfill the rest.
- Some clever manufacturability and design details mixed with a little video game nostalgia via teardowns of Nintendo controllers.
- Most of the plastics that claim biodegradability will do nothing to alleviate the amount of plastic lingering in the world's oceans. Another instance where clear, well-defined standards would help to make sure materials make good on their marketing copy.
- StoryCorps, the program developed to record oral histories before they are lost forever now has an app and is asking everyone to do a little social archiving this holiday season. 120,000 people have signed up.
More next week.