The Ozone Layer Is On The MendAn international agreement to phase out use of chemicals that damage the ozone layer appears to be working. A new report finds that ozone-depleting substances in the atmosphere are down by 10 to ... More >
Lasers Reveal Underground 'Super Henge'Near the prehistoric Stonehenge monument, archeologists have found the buried traces of a "super henge" more than 4,900 feet in circumference. That's about as big around as the Astrodome and ... More >
Rosetta Takes A SelfieThe Rosetta robotic space probe has sent back this amazing photo of itself, illuminated in the sun's light. More >
An App to Detect Emotions?Sometimes people are hard to read. Why not leave all that work to a computer? Perhaps you could use this experimental app that works in Google Glass. Aim Glass's camera at a person's face and ... More >
A DIY ExoskeletonYouTuber the Hacksmith has built himself a set of Elysium style robot arms. Powered by compressed air, the system lets him easily curl a 77 KG barbell made from steel and concrete blocks. More >
Floating turbines and other offshore renewable energy generators can produce a lot of power, but face issues getting that electricity back to shore. The MacArtney 11kV Wet Mate Connector makes connecting and disconnecting cabling simple with what is literally just a really really big plug and socket.
Drones soon may be bound together by a common code. Airware, a commercial drone software company with MIT roots, hopes to unify drones in a shared code architecture. Airware already makes an autopilot, but that’s just the first step to creating a drone operating system, allowing hardware from different manufacturers to communicate with one another.
When Reshma Saujani toured New York City schools during her 2010 primary run for Congress, the gender divide in computer-science classrooms shocked her. “I’d be in a robotics lab on the Upper East Side where there would be a hundred boys,” says the politician and lawyer. “And then I’d be in Queens and there’d be one girl in the basement of a church.” With jobs increasingly dependent on computer know-how, Saujani saw girls facing an economic disadvantage—particularly since the number of women earning computer-science bachelor’s degrees has actually dropped by more than a third since the mid-eighties. The key, she decided, was connecting them with computer programming early.
NASA is deploying flight missions equipped with hyperspectral imaging instruments similar to those intended to distinguish dust components on Mars. The technology is being used to identify the components of algal blooms affecting the Western Basin of Lake Erie. The highly sensitive imaging instruments use spectral signatures to assign unique markers to each element and allow scientists to distinguish harmful algae from beneficial algae.
ComSonics, a company specializing in cable leakage detection, is working on a device that would sense when drivers are texting, the Virginian-Pilot reports. The Virginia newspaper suggests the final product, designed for police to use, might look something like the "radar gun" gadgets that police currently use to log drivers' speed and give out tickets. The text-sensing device looks for the radio wavelengths that phones use to send and receive SMS messages. Busted!
So in the summer of 2012, Petrone (then an engineer at a Portland startup) launched a site where flexible matrix boards and laser motion sensors could be sold alongside build-it-yourself weather monitoring kits and robot birds. Almost immediately, Tindie began attracting favorable attention from the indie hardware community—and then expanded from there. Today, around 600 inventors sell more than 3,000 different hardware products, which have shipped out to more than 80 countries around the world. Some customers are hobbyists like Petrone, but others are large entities like the Australian government, Google and NASA. These days, Petrone says, “NASA’s purchasing department just calls my cell phone.”
Designed to destroy enemy ships up to 300 KM off the coast, the Russian defence system is pretty formidable. But what makes the launch particularly impressive is how the missile launches vertically, then fires secondary rockets to flip it horizontal before streaking over the horizon.
The archetypical robot is a man of metal, a harsh mechanical construct contrasted sharply with the soft fleshiness of the humans that built it. A team of engineers, led by Michael T. Tolley of the Harvard Microrobotics Laboratory, created instead a soft robot. Using a flexible body, the robot moves like a flailing starfish over all terrain.