Who woulda thunk it – gecko in the news!

Living in a tropical area, gecko’s are a very common sght.

 a gecko

My maid must spend more time cleaning gecko “kaka” from my walls than she does cleaning my laundry (only becasue I run around in the same pair of shorts for a week).

But now, the lonely gecko has made news TWICE in the span of that many days.

First up is a report by researchers at the University of California at Berkeley who used  a high-speed video camera to discover that a flick of a geckos’ tail is enough to right it in mid air. Once the gecko is right way up, it uses its tail and “hang-glides” to the ground.

That finding, along with already known knowledge that geckos use sticky pads on their feet to hang on to walls and ceilings has excited biologist Robert Full of UCB who said the research adds to development of wall-climbing robots.

YES, robots.  The R2D2 kind.

“This is an outstanding example of how important interdisciplinary collaborations can be in research,” said Full adding that researchers from the gecko-bot project, known as Robots in Scansorial Environments or RiSE, had told UCLA scientists the climbing robot needed a tail to make it more stable.

Both the University of Pennsylvania’s DynaClimber and Stanford University robots Spinybot and Stickybot had contacted Full to say further stability was needed if the gecko-bot was to be successful. And Full contributed with his high speed camera research.

The next gecko news comes from Thailand. 

Yes, home of Thai food, Thai smiles Buddhist temples and tons of geckos now comes the Gecko Laptop, a subnotebook built by a Thai based company, Norhtec which specializes in tiny servers.

The small machine will be built by Quanta and will run Linux Lite from Linpus.

It will likely sport a 7″ screen, a decent-sized keyboard, and a trackpad. The machine is unfortunately powered by a VIA chip – no other information is available. Design-wise, the machine looks nearly identical to the Eee PC.

Rumor has it Norhtec will announce the machine soon, and that will be priced at less than $300.

Norhtec’s Gecko Laptop

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