Solar panels have long been plagued with lower power output when they are not directly facing the sun. The Kyosemi Corporation is the first company with the balls to tackle this problem. I got to see these first-hand at Wired NextFest. Basically, if I understand this correctly, the solar cells are actually tiny balls connected with fine wire, which can be embedded in clear plastic shapes, like the half-dome shown in the image. This fits in the palm of your hand, and performs consistently regardless of the angle to the sun. They can also embed large grids of these balls in a transparent flexible sheet, or flexible ribbons, which are as shapable as they are beautiful.
Zou Ren Ti was testing the uncanny valley at Wired NextFest with his robot doppleganger. The real Zou is seated on the left; his robot counterpart on the right. The matching nametags were a nice touch. For the most part, they both sat there, looking around, making similar facial expressions. Only the real Zou entertained questions.
I got to see Chroino live at Wired NextFest. That’s the male type on the left, and the female type on the right. Chroino can strut, do yoga poses, and kick a ball with quite some grace. The female type does her little turn on the catwalk. They have no exposed wires, weigh less than a kilogram, and look just like a character out of an anime movie. They were developed entirely by Tomotaka Takahashi, who also ran the demo at the show. Check out the video:
Everyone loves the keepon! Seriously. I went to see the keepons at Wired NextFest. You may have seen the original youtube. While taking this photo, I overheard a grown man say “he’s adorable!” The developers hope to have keepons on store shelves someday, as soon as they can get the costs down. Take a look at the video: