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K9 may be The Doctor’s most loyal companion, but working within the limitations of what amounted to a glorified, disguised remote controlled toy car, was challenging at best. Apparently the people who designed K9 to function only in the most ideal of studio controlled conditions missed the memo that mandated that nearly every other episode of Doctor Who would be filmed in a quarry. There was just no way K9 could cope with all those obstacles, let alone deal with a Dalek at the same time. But fear not, a mobile robot animal is in development.
Boston Dynamics has developed WildCat. WildCat is capable of bounding, and galloping at speeds of up to 16mph.

We must be on to something.  No sooner did we start our investigation into robot companions, than Japan launched the world’s first talking robot into space to serve as
companion to astronaut Kochi Wakata who will begin his mission in November.

Measuring 34cm (13 inches), Kirobo arrived at the ISS on August 9th.  Kirobo is part of a study to see how machines can lend emotional support to people isolated over long periods. Kirobo has been programmed to communicate in Japanese and keep records of its  conversations with Mr Wakata who will take over as commander of the ISS later this year.In addition, it is expected to relay messages from the control room to the astronaut.

Kirobo’s name derives from the Japanese words for “hope” and “robot”. The small android weighs about 1kg (2.2 pounds) and has a wide range of physical motion. As if this was not cool enough, looks like someone is applying their geekdom. Kirobo’s design was inspired by the legendary animation character Astro Boy. 

How does fiction quickly indicate that the story takes place in an altered history? Easy, the sky will be full of airships.  With few exceptions this mode of transport has been relegated to the past.  To see airships in wide spread use now is mere fantasy.  Or is it?

Mac Byers came up with this design for his final project while at the University of Huddersfield.  As you can see from the video below, it combines the luxury cruise concept with air travel.  Now all they need to do is add a little more 19th century flare, and I am sure our Steampunk brethren will be the first to purchase a ticket.

The technology behind this design is currently being developed by Aeroscraft.  Lift is primarily coming from the engines, leaving the helium to offset the weight of the cargo.