Wheels, as we know them, could stand a little reinvention. They take fiddling and time to move into parallel spaces, and the whole world would be a better place if wheels could simply pull us sideways without any forward momentum. Fortunately, "mecanum wheels" exist. Here, watch a robot demonstrate them:
In the near future (possibly by the end of this year) Americans will have to register almost all of the small personal drones they buy in a great big government database that the public can't access. At least, that's one possible conclusion in the the final report from the FAA's task force, appointed to study and provide recommendations for future drone laws.
Sailors have for millennia known that the sea hides far more than it reveals. Nowadays, finding robots under the water is almost an inevitability, though that didn't mean Maryland crabber David Haas was expecting to find one. On November 5th, near the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, Hass was crabbing with his crew when they caught an underwater military drone.
Zano drones promised a beautiful, ephemeral moment. The palm-sized drones, controlled by a smartphone app, were supposed to be the selfie-stick-without-a-stick, a drone based solution to a minor problem no one really had. It was still a delight, and when the project closed in January this year, 12,075 backers pledged £2,335,119 (or $3,556,386) to it. Now, Zano makers Torque Group Limited are pursuing a “creditor's voluntary liquidation,” which leaves the company dead and the already-in-production Zano drones with an uncertain future.
What's over six feet tall, 216 pounds, and poses no direct threat to America? If you guessed “the latest humanoid robot from Iran,” you can probably skip this story—but for everyone else, the Surena III is Iran's latest human-shaped technology demonstrator, as IEEE Spectrum reports.
On Monday, the FAA is going down to North Carolina to see if drones can learn to avoid obstacles. The tests will take place at Butner, about 200 miles away from where the Wright Brothers first flew, and the milestone in aviation they'll mark is much more modest. The brothers proved planes could fly with people on board. On Monday, the FAA wants to prove planes without people can fly themselves safely.
In the age of screens, technology lacks a certain tactile edge to it. What if, instead of watches with screens, we instead wore on our wrists robotic snakes? Or perhaps, instead of rectangular slabs for phones, we held up to our heads robotic snakes? Want a lamp to stay in the right place while reading? Why not attach a lightbulb to the body of a robotic snake. Instead of transferring files through emotionless cords, what if the files traveled through robotic snakes, which undulated as they passed.