Sunbathing safely A student at London's Brunel University has developed a hand-sized tanning aid he hopes will revolutionise sunbathing. Ed Philips, a final-year product design student, made the device, called Mytan, to protect users from overexposure to the sun. Mytan provides the correct strength of sunscreen by determining the person's skin type, the sun's intensity and the time the user plans to spend outdoors. The device also warns when a sunbather is in danger of getting sunburnt. 'Many of us consider a suntan to be the No1 summer accessory. People feel better with one, so they forego the risks associated with tanning. This is where Mytan helps. It's designed to cut the risk of burning while enabling a person to tan,' Mr Phillips said. Man vs Machine in future Robo Cup Thirty-five teams from across the globe gathered in Osaka, Japan, last week to compete in the Robo Cup, an annual robotic version of soccer's World Cup. The event's organisers have set a lofty goal for 2050 of developing a team of fully autonomous humanoid robots (right) that can beat the human world champions. The competition provides unique challenges for participants, combining team work and individual skills. For example, each robot must identify relevant objects, determine its position on the field, dribble, and perform co-operative functions such as passing and crossing. Elsewhere in the robot world, the provincial science and technology pavilion in Jinan, Shandong province, hosted an exhibition titled 'I, Robot', displaying 25 robots (one pictured left) with different functions to promote a knowledge of robotics among young people. Superhuman effort A robotic Humvee developed by Carnegie Mellon University's Red Team Robot Racing drove a world record 212km in seven hours without human guidance in preparation for the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge, a 185km driverless desert race with a US$2million prize. The Humvee uses sensors to see and computers to drive. It completed 131 laps on the 2.41km racecourse at the BeaveRun MotorSports Complex near Pittsburgh. The drive was an endurance evaluation for the robot's computers, sensors and mechanical systems. The machine averaged 30km/h and hit a top speed of 38km/h to complete its marathon. 'That doesn't sound like a big deal for a human-driven car, but it is a big deal for the pioneering of computer-driven vehicles,' said Red Team's leader, robotics professor William 'Red' Whittaker.