Curling seems like a low-tech sport: just a broom, a heavy stone, and a sheet of ice. However, new technologies have led some curling broom companies to innovate. But there are concerns that new directional fabrics and broom designs could be giving players an advantage--they're just too good to use in competition. So much so that they're often dubbed "frankenbrooms" and have been banned from the sport.
Roach robots are evolving. First, they needed to work together with a fellow robo roach to climb over things. Now, a collaboration between Seoul National University in South Korea and UC Berkeley has developed a roach that goes leaps and bounds beyond that. IEEE Spectrum reports that the researchers showed off their appropriately named JumpRoACH at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Stockholm this month.
Small drones are inefficient birds. They fly for short bursts of time, and get thrown about in the wind. That's not great for anyone hoping to use a drone as a hovering sentry, but there's a better way: tethers. Put a leash on a drone, and suddenly it's a flexible flying watchdog, able to peek up high and then recharge safely in its mechanical nest.
Activists say their drones delivered thousands of memory cards to North Korea. The totalitarian communist Democratic People's Republic Of Korea, long isolated from the rest of the world, tightly controls what media people inside the country can access. For decades, human rights activists and others have tried to get messages into the country, which is difficult because of the the heavily fortified demilitarized zone between North and South Korea.
The first Maker Faire of the year took place last weekend in San Mateo, California, and among the many thrillingly geeky sights and sounds on display was an indoor drone racing course set up by the Aerial Sports League, which bills itself the "only Major Drone Combat and FPV Drone Racing League."