Freaky fembots and non-splatted bats

Adjusting turbines means these happy bats won't become splatty bats

If we were asked to describe the last seven days in one word, we'd say "week" - but if we weren't allowed that word, we'd say "roboty", "batty", "flashy" or "printy".

The Uncanny Valley is when a robot or image is almost, but not quite, indistinguishable from a human being. Our brains spot that something isn't quite right and we get a severe case of the creeps - which is exactly what happens when you see Actroid-F in action.

FREAKBOT: Actroid-F is a robot. We think the F stands for "freaky", or "Fuuuuuuuuuuuuu-" [that's enough - Ed]

This humanoid robot is designed to work in hospitals, presumably by frightening old people to death so that someone else can get their beds. It's just a matter of time before someone tries to mate her with NASA's R2D2-ish Robonaut 2.

It's a lot less bovver with a hover

There's something deeply disturbing about machines that seem to work by magic, and the Quadrocopter definitely falls into that category.

WHIRRRRRR: Flying with lasers? Pull the other one. IT'S MADE BY ALIENS!

It "is designed to get energized by converting beams into power via a set of photovoltaic panels on its underside, and in a recent test, lasers were able to keep it afloat for over 12 hours". Laser-powered aircraft? Sounds like magic to us.

Walls have ears (and USB plugs)

If you've ever thought "Peer to peer file sharing is ace, but it'd be much more convenient if I had to visit New York, locate a USB drive stuck to a wall and plug it into my laptop" then artist Aram Bartholl has a sharing system for you.

Bartholl is happily sticking USB drives around New York so that "people will share something important to them, possibly pictures, art, or words." LOLCATS and viruses are much more likely, we reckon.

Bat for smashes

Dinner, dinner, dinner, dinner, BAT-AAAAGH! That's the sound of wind turbines in action: it seems that US wind farms have an unfortunate habit of turning bats into blancmange as the vision-impaired rodents fly through the turbine blades. It's a particular problem for the Hoary Bat, which wind farms tend to turn into the Splatty Bat.

Good news for bat fans: a slight change to the way wind farms work could stop them shredding the cheeky little squeakers. A new study found that a slight increase in the turbine speed reduced bat splatting by as much as 93 per cent, with virtually no loss in power generation.

Print your own Porsche

Wouldn't it be great if you could print your own car? That's the thinking behind the Urbee Hybrid, which claims to be the world's first 3D printed car.

OUCH: Imagine printing your own car. Now imagine the cost of the inkjet cartridges

Before you get excited about downloading BMW blueprints from Bittorrent, we'd better point out that the Urbee is a bit more complicated than that: while its bodywork was printed using 3D printing technology, the oily bits that make it go weren't. Given the cost of inket cartridges that's probably for the best: our quick back-of-envelope calculations indicate that printing an Urvee will cost you a million jillion pounds.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now and her next book, about pop music, is out in 2025. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band Unquiet Mind.