News & Events


Oct13

First 3D-printed rocket set to liftoff

2014 at 12:46 pm by admin | Comments Off

Article3DRocket1

Researchers and designers at the Special Projects Bureau of The Register, a British technology magazine, have announced their plans to launch a 3D-printed rocket into outer space later this year! The rocket, which was recently completed by the team of 30 designers after four years of testing, cost over $9500 to construct, and will feature an outer frame made entirely of 3D-printed material, similar to the metal parts that NASA is using in its own 3D-printed rocket parts. The rocket was even modified to use a standard hobby rocket motor at extremely high altitudes. The team will launch the freshly completed rocket later this year from Spaceport America in New Mexico, where the rocket will be lifted to 65,600 feet by a helium balloon. There, the rocket will ignite and launch into space, where it will then use on-board cameras and autopilot to return safely to the surface.

Article3DRocket2

Oct13

Star Wars arcade game shown at New York Comic-Con

2014 at 12:07 pm by admin | Comments Off

ArticleStarWarsArcade

As the New York Comic-Con astounded and entertained audiences with a variety of panels, cosplay contests, merchandise, and more this past weekend, entertainment company Bandai Namco Games has announced a brand new arcade game based on the hit Star Wars franchise, titled “Star Wars: Battle Pod”! This first-person piloting game will take users through a number of iconic battles from the Star Wars franchise, and immerse users into the gameplay experience using an innovative spherical display, titled the Panoramic Optical Display. This display, which was originally used in a Gundam-themed arcade cabinet in 2006, creates a 3D view of the battlefield around the user in its hemisphere display, and will feature controls and sensors identical to the ones that appeared throughout the Star Wars franchise. “Star Wars: Battle Pod” will release in arcades across North America on January 2015, so keep an eye out for this cool new immersive experience!

Oct08

Satellites create first map of ocean floor

2014 at 12:48 pm by admin | Comments Off

ArticleOceanMap1

Researchers at the Scripps Insitituion of Oceanography, located in San Diego, California, have taken advantage of innovative technology in order to create the world’s first complete map of the ocean floor! Older seafloor maps only mapped about 10% of the depths, leaving 90% of the ocean uncharted and unknown. Thanks to never-before-used technology aboard the CryoSat-2 and Jason-1 satellites, a full map has finally been created. These satellites gathered the data by measuring the density of gravity across the ocean floor and turning it into usable altimeter data.

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The satellites, which sent out thousands of radar pulses a second, were able to calculate the topography of the ocean floor with gravity due to the nature of large objects. Matter with extra mass warps the gravitational field around it, which is what the satellites used to create the maps. The maps show off the valleys and mountain ranges of the ocean floor, and even denote the locations of large earthquakes with red dots, showing off the massive fault lines of the Earth’s crust. Researchers hope that these maps will be used to help survey ships, underwater exploration vessels, and even one day create a high-resolution map of the entire ocean floor.

Oct06

Artist creates illusionary floating building in London

2014 at 01:49 pm by admin | Comments Off

ArticleBuildingFloat1

Experimental designer and artist Alex Chinneck has created many unique architectural pieces using illusions and clever solutions, including sliding building fronts and even upside down apartments. True to his past work, Chinneck recently opened up his newest exhibit at the Covent Garden in London, England, where his work has wowed crowds by creating a seemingly floating building! Titled “Take my Lightning, But Don’t Steal my Thunder”, the installation recreates a section of the 184-year-old Covent Garden Market Building, and seemingly splits it violently in half, leaving a large chunk of the building floating 10 feet above the foundations on the ground below.

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The building, of course, is not simply floating on its own, but is a clever installation piece that takes advantage of the use of lightweight polystyrene shaped around a system of 15.5 tons of steel beams. The piece is attached to a small nondescript stall next to the piece, which contains 4.4 tons of counterweights that keep the piece afloat. The polystyrene shell of the building was meticulously crafted and hand-painted over the course of 500 hours by Chinneck and his team of 100 contributors to create a lifelike representation of the building, using over one ton of paint to complete the installation. The finished piece, which has dazzled and confused visitors to the Covent Garden, will be on display until October 24, 2014.

Oct05

The Little Prince 70th anniversary at TOMODACHI

2014 at 02:15 pm by admin | Comments Off

ArticleLittlePrince1

Originally written in 1943 by French poet and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince, also known as Le Petit Prince, quickly became one of the most popular illustrated novels in the world. The novel, which has since been translated into over 250 languages across the world, recently celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2013, and designer figure company Muttpop helped celebrate the occasion with a miniature vinyl figure of the titular prince! Standing at 4″ tall, this figure is now available at TOMODACHI’s Rosedale Shopping Center location, and retails for $21.95. Make sure to stop by and grab this adorable representation of one of the most beloved classic characters in 20th century literature!

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The Little Prince was written by poet Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, who based the story off of his own experiences as a pilot during troubled times in the early 1940s. The story follows a stranded pilot in the middle of a desert, who encounters a mysterious boy prince who fell to Earth from outer space. The story that follows, while it reads like a children’s book and features charming watercolor drawings, discusses mature themes about the nature of humanity and one’s role in life, and has been named the best French novel of the 20th century. The book has since reached worldwide appeal, and has been adapted into film, stage plays, and comic books, along with receiving several museum galleries and art pieces dedicated to the characters of the book.

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Oct03

Pharrell Williams collabs with Murakami in new video

2014 at 04:22 pm by admin | Comments Off

ArticleItGirlVideo

Musician and pop art enthusiast Pharrel Williams has been known to collaborate with internationally renowned artist Takashi Murakami in a number of mediums, from museum exhibits to starring together in a recent Hatsune Miku music video. Now, Pharrell Williams has released the latest music video for his recently released song, “It Girl”, and has produced it alongside Murakami to create an entirely animated piece! Designed around Murakami’s iconic graphic style and motifs, the video features a variety of retro references, including subtle nods to classic 90s computer gaming, anime, and other forms of media. “It Girl”, which comes from Pharrell William’s March 2014 album, titled “Girl”, is one of Pharrell Williams’ first studio album songs since his 2006 debut, and shows off his adoration for pop art and classic entertainment in this newest video. Take a look below to check out the new video!

Oct03

Disney wedding cakes feature custom animation

2014 at 04:05 pm by admin | Comments Off

ArticleDisneyCake

In a fitting move for the classic animation company, Disney has presented their all-new wedding cakes, which take advantage of projection mapping to create magical custom animations! The new cakes were announced at the Fairy Tail Weddings Expo earlier this week, and are available as part of Disney’s new Wishes Collection at the DisneyWorld location in Florida. The cakes, which at first glance look like minimalist white rectangles, become animated light shows as different backgrounds, characters, and animations are displayed onto the sides of the cake. The cake itself is topped off with a recreation of the iconic Disney castle, and features light-up interior! The following video shows only a few examples of what the projection mapping technology is capable of with the newly announced wedding cakes, and shows off the cake under several different themes and lighting conditions.

Sep30

Pilot FriXion Ball pens at TOMODACHI

2014 at 11:17 am by admin | Comments Off

ArticleFrixionPen

TOMODACHI often carries a wide variety of stationery and pens, and one of our newest products is the Pilot FriXion Ball retractable gel pen! A variation on the popular Pilot FriXion line of pens, the FriXion Ball pen takes advantage of thermo-sensitive inks to create an easy-to-use gel pen that can be erased with the specialized rubber tip at the end of the pen. Not only that, unlike other FriXion pens, the FriXion Ball is retractable, simply by pushing on the clip! A special trick is that since the pen uses thermo-sensitive gel ink, you can make any erased text reappear by chilling the writing to under 14 degrees Fahrenheit; just put the paper in your freezer, and watch the writing reappear! These cool erasable pens are available at TOMODACHI, at both our Rosedale Shopping Center location as well as our Mall of America store, and are available in a wide variety of colors.

Sep29

Robot cheerleaders show off new communication tech

2014 at 01:05 pm by admin | Comments Off

ArticleRobotCheerleader

Japanese robotics lab and company Murata has uploaded a video showing off their new innovations and technology in a fun way: through the use of miniature robotic cheerleaders! These 6″ tall cheerleaders, based off of Murata’s previous works with vehicle robots like the Murata Girl unicycle bot, ride atop of a specially designed ball that allows the robot to perform precise movements and turns. While adorable, the Murata cheerleaders’ dance is also meant to educate as well as entertain. The video shows off new developments in Murata’s robots, including the use of ultrasound microphones and infrared sensors, which is shared to the other cheerleaders through a Wi-Fi connection. This allows each cheerleader to not only know her own position, but the position of all the other members of the group in real time. This technology is used in the video to maintain the squad’s formation as they dance and light up, but Murata says this new tech can be implemented in the real world, such as in groups of rescue team robots and in disaster-hit areas, as well as in everyday tech like glasses, watches, and even cars.

Sep29

New life-size Pikachu plush features classic design

2014 at 12:51 pm by admin | Comments Off

ArticlePikachuPlush1

With the new Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire video games releasing worldwide in late October, the Pokémon Company and Japanese clothing chain Beams have teamed up in the creation of a brand new, official life-sized collectible plush of Pikachu, the iconic electric rat from Nintendo’s hit franchise! The plush figure, which is set to retail in November, is perfectly accurate with its 1′4″ height from the franchise, and is even built to replicate its 13.2 lb weight given in the video games.

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On top of that, the design of the plush is based on the original Pikachu art, where the Pokémon was depicted as chubbier and stubbier than how its current incarnation looks. All these factors make this new Pikachu plush the perfect collectible for enthusiasts of the original games as well as Pokémon fans as a whole! The plush will retail for around $170 in November, and comes with its own specially designed tote bag to carry the large plush around.