Boston Dynamics, of course owned by Google, is causing quite a stir in the world of robotics with the introduction of their latest version of their original robot mule called Big Dog.  Now, 10 years on, it has released a video of Big Dog’s smaller and nimbler offspring – Spot.

This is an electric powered, 70Kg (with battery), hydraulically- actuated, four legged robot that we here at Spycatcher think is a thing of genius.

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Right, it’s time for all you boffins to shape up – the future of Back to the Future is less than a year away (21st October 2015, to be precise) and you’ve still not created a time-travelling DeLorean!

I suppose we’ll have to cut you some slack, what with you inventing 3D tellies and Blu-ray players. But how can we expect Marty McFly to skate around quaint towns like a joyous manchild if we’ve not even invented hoverboards?

Well, we’re at least one step of the way – Californian tech company Arx Pax are on their 18th prototype of a live functioning hoverboard. And it actually works! Sort of…

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Let’s be honest now, who doesn’t come out of the cinema craving and longing for a go or to own  the futuristic gadgets and gizmos that have just been demonstrated as if they were everyday run of the mill items.

And, if like me, you were a child of the 80s the absolute ultimate was the Star Wars Speeder Bikes and Landspeeder only eclipsed by Michael J Fox on his Hover Board in Back to the Future.

I would dream of floating above the ground screaming through the woods on my speeder bike or imagine myself embarrassing Biff Tannen with the manure ending to the epic car and hover board chase around the town square in Hill Valley.

Well, over 30 years on from then, these longed for futuristic forms of transport are about to take off (sorry could not resist that)

An American company have announced their release of the Aero-X HoverBike by 2017 and you can pre-order them now with a refundable US$5,000 deposit.   There have been some test videos on their youtube channel since around 2012 and they are planning scheduled test flights for 2016.

There is a lot of information about the specifications and how they have solved the many problems they faced but it would appear they are now treating this like a large drone with much of the same technology.

Well all I can say is I for one am very excited about this and will definitely be keeping my eye on this one.

Jane Bond

The geniuses at Robotic Solutions have taken Lego, combined it with Samsung Galaxy SII and created the Cubestormer II which they claim is the world’s fastest 3x3x3 Rubik’s cube solver and judging by this video they could well be right.

When I say Lego and a Samsung Galaxy that is not strictly where the story ends.

As well as a lot of Lego parts they have used a few of the Lego Mindstorms. These are large Lego bricks that incorporate intelligent, computer controls with ports for motors, sensors, USB’s and speakers and are usually used as the brain for Lego Robots.

And of course the Samsung Galaxy SII is not your ordinary run of the mill Smartphone as these clever lab rats (well David Gilday actually) have custom made an app. that has includes the algorithm to crack and complete the Rubik’s cube.

Have a look and see for yourself:

Jane Bond

Over the years much technician and laboratory time has been spent developing and innovating the much desired amphibious vehicle from landing troops onto beaches to driving to a water mass and deep sea fishing without changing vehicles.  The latest adaption of this seems to be this offering which comfortably travels at up to 80mph on land and half that on the water and if seeing is believing check out this video.

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Jane Bond