Jason Bradbury, the "U.K TV gadget maestro", has a great blog/website that features lots of technology and ideas that could be easily adapted for use in robotics. . .
The two that immediately come to mind are his phone glove, and his steadicam project. In our world of robotics, both of these would be called 'hacks', and both of them are definitely Grade A hacks to say the least.
To hack together a phone glove (yes, it does bring to mind Maxwell Smart talking into his shoe), Jason totally ripped apart a Bluetooth headset and proceeded to mate it with a "gentleman's driving glove." Once he got it up and running, he could carry his Bluetooth equipped cell phone in his pocket or breifcase, then operate it via his glove, including talking and listening.
Extremely cool, especially when you think about doing something similar to replace the complex robot controls for second generation robots like the Robosapien V2. Marry it up with a wearable PC and Robert's voice operated robot control application, and you could dance through town like the Pied Piper with your robots dancing along behind you.
His steadicam project is something I happen to be lusting over at the moment. A quick, relative inexpensive way to use off the shelf components to solve the jitter and movement problems that crop up in a lot of my robot video clips.
The website is regularly kept up to date with new content almost daily, and the archives are worth spending the time to mine for ideas. The next up on my list is his heads up display. That has to have some great application for robot experimentation.
Jason's talents are truely amazing. Not only is he a gadget hacking guru, there are rumors going around that he's a pretty mean breakdancer as well. Prior to The Gadget Show, he was regular co-host of "Combat Cars", and before that, "Mercenaries" - a show that pitted teams of computer geeks against each other.
World's First Phone Glove - Jason rips apart a Bluetooth headset, does a little magic, and repackages it in a gentleman's driving glove to create a phone glove definitely worthy of James Bond's Q.
Jason's Website - Full of interesting news, features, accounts of Jason's technology safari's, and his really unique build projects.