They're clever. They're creative. And some of them are just plain bizarre. How come we can't yet buy products based on these patents?
It's in essence an arm on wheels - and if you owned one, you could put it to work scooting around your house, picking up stuff, and putting it where it belongs.
Afraid that a robot helper would be a clumsy recipe for disaster? The patent explains that the arm is smart enough to treat each object appropriately. It whisks away empty glasses at high speed; but presented with a glass containing liquid, it handles the receptacle slowly and gingerly.
A hamster wheel for humans
You're wearing electronic goggles. You've donned a suit covered in sensors. But your virtual reality world still doesn't feel all that real, because you can't roam freely.
This solution comes from a Russian inventor. Explore the world inside a giant, Wiffle Ball-like globe mounted on rollers, so you can walk, run, or even zip along behind the steering wheel of a fake car.
The patent drawings seem to depict a truly mammoth sphere; even if you could afford it, you probably couldn't squeeze it through your front door.
But if there were any way to build a junior version - say as a Wii Fit accessory - we'd be all over it.
NEXT PAGE: Personal zipper network
- Clever and creative, why can't we buy the products based on these patents yet?
- Heckler's delight
- Getting all emotional
- Well armed
- Personal zipper network