tech-savvy household items

"I don't know if anyone would venture to say the Magic Self-Stirring Mug is a truly useful addition to your coffee-drinking arsenal, but I can't help but wonder what it would be like to swear off teaspoons forever. Those tiny buggers have long been a nemesis of my clumsy mitts. With just the push of a button, the mug employs a tiny propeller (not real "magic," I guess) to mix your drink up. All you need is $21.51, two AAA batteries, and no shame. Yeah, it doesn't get much lazier than a self-stirring mug." via SciFi Tech.
"Wouldn't it be great if you could command a robot to fetch another brewski from the fridge while you kept right on watching the big game on Sunday? Judging from this picture of the HRP-2 in action, that's exactly what scientists at Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) have in mind. But how many robots does it take to retrieve a can of suds? AIST did it with three HRP-2s: one to map the room, one to understand the spoken command, and a third to actually walk to the fridge and collect a frosty beverage. The three robots communicated with each other over a network, but AIST says it will soon get one robot to do all three tasks. AIST also has a great FAQ on its Web site on why humanoid robots are superior to robots with more than two legs. One reason: bipeds can make turns in a smaller space. At any rate, now we know why Sony's Aibo robot dog was put to sleep on January 27 along side Sony's humanoid robot, the QRIO — both were too short to reach the fridge door." via SciFi Tech.

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