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Astronauts on the ISS look down on our spinning Earth

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Watch along with Expedition 38 crew members Mike Hopkins and Rick Mastracchio as they look at various cities across the globe from the vantage point of the Cupola on-board the International Space Station...
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Two Weeks Under the Sea

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What it's like living two weeks underwater.

Google Introduces Project Wing

Gear  |  Tech
Google has introduces Project Wing, a similar drone delivery program.
"Project Wing is a Google[x] project that is developing a delivery system that uses self-flying vehicles. As part of our research, we built a vehicle and traveled to Queensland, Australia for some test flights. There, we successfully delivered a first aid kit, candy bars, dog treats, and water to a couple of Australian farmers."

This Pair of Bionic Pants Is a Chair That You

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Gear  |  Tech


Image via Noonee
Essentially a pair of mechanical pants that can lock in place, the Chairless Chair acts as a brace that any weary worker can wear at all times, and then simply lock into place and lean on when the opportunity presents itself.
"We are a startup offering you a low cost leg exoskeleton that allows you to sit anywhere - the Chairless Chair. A chair that walks with you."
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SaviOne by Savioke, a robot butler

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The bot is called the SaviOne, a hotel in California introduces first robot butler.
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Self-Assembling origami robot walks on its own

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"Footage from the researchers' laboratory shows a sheet of paper and plastic mounted with batteries and motors that folds itself into a working machine without human intervention and then scuttles out of shot.
The flat-pack robot uses "shape memory polymers" that contract like muscles when they are heated. The robot takes about four minutes to assemble from scratch and can walk at a speed of around 5cm per second.
...the robot could pave the wave for flat-packed machines for use in space or in hazardous environments on Earth where they can be put into confined spaces and left to assemble themselves."
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The Bionic Kangaroo

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Meet the bionic kangaroo, developed by robotics giant Festo to learn from nature for robotics. In this case, the focus is on the kangaroo, from which there is much to be learned with regard to the biomechanics of jumping.
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New Airline Seat Patent, the most uncomfortable plane seats ever

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Gear  |  Tech
Last month, Airbus filed a patent for a new kind of airline seat, called a “seating device comprising a forward-foldable backrest.”  A bicycle-like seat to squeeze in more passengers per plane. Its cushions are shaped liked bicycle saddles, and when the seats aren't being used, they fold vertically to save space. The backrest will be a tiny lumbar support. No more tray, which you don’t need because they don’t serve meals on planes anyway.
Airbus openly acknowledges that packing more passengers on board is going to result in reduced comfort, and that the goal is basically to figure out how far they can go without inciting an airborne revolt.
"Reduced comfort remains tolerable for the passengers in as much as the flight lasts only one or a few hours," Airbus sagely calculates, before going on to explain why reducing leg room provides diminishing returns:
"This second solution has also been pursued hitherto," the patent application reads, "and it is difficult to continue to further reduce this distance between the seats because of the increase in the average size of the passengers."
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Real World Third Person Oculus Rift

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The idea is to develop Virtual Reality in a Third Person Perspective view. This wearable can enchance human visual performance for use in real world applications where extended vision benefits the user.
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This is NASA's new concept spaceship for warp drive interstellar travel

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Gear  |  Tech


This is NASA's idea for a warp drive spaceship, capable of interstellar travel. It is a concept based on the equations of Dr. Harold White—lead at NASA's Eagleworks Advanced Propulsion Physics Laboratory—who also works in ion engines and plasma thrusters. Now he's collaborated with an artist to create a new, more realistic design of what such a ship might actually look like. Artist Mark Rademaker worked with White to create the updated model, which includes a sleek ship nestled at the center of two enormous rings, which create the warp bubble. In this video, above, you can see White talking about the new design, and explaining how it fits his mathematical analysis. More images of the ship from his Flickr gallery.
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Underwater Iron Man

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Gear  |  Tech
Called Exosuit, the suit has a rigid metal humanoid form with Iron Man-like thrusters that enable divers to operate safely down to depths of 300 metres (see photo).
"Though designed for diving in the bowels of New York City’s water treatment plants, earlier this month it underwent its first trials in seawater at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts. The tests are readying the suit for a daring attempt to excavate an ancient Roman shipwreck off the Greek island of Antikythera in the Aegean Sea. A century ago, divers pulled the world’s oldest computer – the Antikythera mechanism – from the wreck. They are hoping that they will find a second device when they go down in September. […]
The $1.5 million Exosuit falls somewhere in between. “It’s basically a wearable submarine,” says Phil Short, a diving specialist on the planned mission to Antikythera. “The pressure inside is no different from being in a submarine or in fresh air. We can go straight to the bottom, spend 5 hours there and come straight back to the surface with no decompression.” […]
The Exosuit is needed both because of the depth of the Antikythera wreck – it reaches 120 metres – and the delicacy of any artefacts that might lie within. When Greek sponge fishermen found the shipwreck in October 1900, the pressure was such that they had only 5 minutes on the seabed before having to ascend. It was risky: several divers were paralysed and one died from decompression sickness."
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Google's New Self-Driving Car, Doesn't Have A Steering Wheel or Brake!

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Gear  |  Tech


Google just unveiled its latest autonomous car, it doesn't have a steering wheel, accelerator pedal, or brake pedal...With a top speed of 25 MPH, buttons for start and stop, and a screen that shows the route.
"We’re now exploring what fully self-driving vehicles would look like by building some prototypes; they’ll be designed to operate safely and autonomously without requiring human intervention. They won’t have a steering wheel, accelerator pedal, or brake pedal… because they don’t need them. Our software and sensors do all the work. The vehicles will be very basic—we want to learn from them and adapt them as quickly as possible—but they will take you where you want to go at the push of a button. And that's an important step toward improving road safety and transforming mobility for millions of people. "
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The DEKA Arm System

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Gear  |  Tech


Last week, the FDA approves the Deka arm, the first commercial mind-controlled prosthetic arm. The new Deka arm (codenamed Luke, after Luke Skywalker’s artificial hand) was developed by Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway. The Deka Arm System is a battery-powered device that blends multiple approaches. Some of the Deka’s functions are controlled by myoelectricity, which means the device senses movement in various muscle groups via attached electrodes, then converts those muscle movements into motor control. This allows the user a more natural and (theoretically) intuitive method of controlling the arm rather than relying on a cross-body pulley system. The more advanced myoelectric systems can even transmit sensation back to the user.

Ultra-fast robotic arm catches objects

Gear  |  Tech
"A robot developed by EPFL [one of the two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology] researchers is capable of reacting on the spot and grasping objects with complex shapes and trajectories in less than five hundredths of a second."
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Minuum,  a keyboard app for Google Glass

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"Minuum is a one line keyboard that opens up an unlimited number of new ways to type, using touch sensors, motion sensors, eye-tracking, or computer vision gesture recognition."