Tags Science

Running at 150,000 RPM, this tiny motor could help satellites keep on course

femtosat-6 The future is small in space: picture Cubesats the size of toasters and Femtosats an inch across crowding the skies. A newly invented motor that’s both tiny and powerful goes hand in hand with that vision, providing compact spacecraft with the ability to adjust their position without using a drop of fuel. First, though, a little engineering lesson. Here comes the science! It’s… Read More

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Devin Coldewey

July 22nd

Gadgets

NASA’s Curiosity rover can now pick which bits of Mars to scan on its own

NASA's Martian rovers. From left to right, Spirit/Opportunity, Sojourner, Curiosity / Image courtesy of NASA Curiosity may be an older dog (the rover landed on Mars in 2012), but it’s still picking up new tricks. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory recently revealed (via Verge) that the robot can now pick its own targets when choosing rocks to scan with its laser spectrometer, a task formerly reserved for remote operation by scientists back here on Earth. JPL created the software that now… Read More

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Darrell Etherington

July 22nd

Gadgets

Shiny and chrome! Rendering sparkly surfaces in CG just got massively better

snail1 As the graphics in games and movies edge closer and closer to photorealism, even the subtlest tricks of the light must be simulated. For years an especially tough one has been recreating the sparkling, uneven surfaces of water, metals and other materials — but these glints can now be rendered 100 times faster than before thanks to a new technique from computer scientists at UC San Diego. Read More

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Devin Coldewey

July 21st

Gadgets

This amazing search engine automatically face-swaps you into your image results

feat_faceswap2 Ever wonder what you would look like with long, wavy hair? I think you’d look great. But how can you try on a few looks without spending a fortune at the salon, or hours in photoshop? I’m glad you asked. All you need is a selfie and Dreambit, the face-swapping search engine. Read More

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Devin Coldewey

July 21st

Gadgets

40 years after the first landing on Mars, this NASA scientist looks to resurrect Viking 1’s analog data

viking_bio_mfilmreader.jpg It’s been four decades since the Viking 1 lander touched down on Martian soil, the first lasting human presence on the surface of the Red Planet. It beamed its unprecedented data back to NASA, where it was stored on the hot new format of the day: microfilm. Now one scientist wants to bring these analog records into the digital world — for posterity and for science. Read More

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Devin Coldewey

July 21st

Gadgets

Tiny ‘stingray’ robot swims on light-activated rat cells

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Harvard researchers have created a penny–sized stingray robot that can swim using genetically-modified rat heart cells activated by LED light. It’s the latest in a new line of robotics that combines silicone with living cells. Prior to the stingray, the team, led by Kit Parker, professor of bioengineering and applied physics at Harvard University, built a robot jellyfish out of similar material back in 2012. When the robot’s heart cells were electrically stimulated, the jellyfish swam around… aimlessly. There was no way to steer it.

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FoxNews.com

July 20th

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Lockheed Martin’s Hydra Fusion builds 3D maps in real time from drone footage

hydra fusion A drone is a great eye in the sky, but if you want richer data than what its cameras show — for example, detailed 3D maps — you might be looking at a few hours of processing time. That is, unless your HQ is rocking Lockheed Martin’s cool-sounding Hydra Fusion tools, which can build that 3D map in real time from just video. Read More

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Devin Coldewey

July 20th

Gadgets

One professor’s quest to 3D scan every fish in the sea

Thoracocorax-stellatus-Spotfin-hatchetfish If you were wondering what a mottled sculpin looks like, there are plenty of pictures available online. But while they may satisfy a curious tidepooler, the discerning icthyologist demands more. That’s why a professor at the University of Washington is getting full 3D scans of every fish in the sea — every species, anyway. Read More

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Devin Coldewey

July 20th

Gadgets

Researchers Just Made a Breakthrough in Growing Crops During a Drought

Drought is spreading across farmland worldwide—and it’s only going to get more intense. New research offers a clue on how we might be able to continue to grow the staples we’re used to but with much less water.

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Ria Misra

July 19th

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Scientists built a biohybrid robot out of living tissue and 3D printed parts

Biohybrid Robot Living Tissue
If you’re already scared of the emergence of robots and powerful artificial intelligence, then you’re not going to like the thought of building machines out of living tissue. Scientists have built a functioning biohybrid robot made of living tissue and 3D printed parts, which is an incredible accomplishment. However, the robot prototype can only move at speeds of 0.04cm per minute right now, and it doesn’t yet have the wits that might put us in peril.

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Chris Smith

July 19th

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