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  • NASA Announces Next Steps on Journey to Mars: Progress on Asteroid Initiative

    Gear  |  Tech
    NASA Wednesday announced more details in its plan for its Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM), which in the mid-2020s will test a number of new capabilities needed for future human expeditions to deep space, including to Mars. NASA also announced it has increased the detection of near-Earth asteroids by 65 percent since launching its asteroid initiative three years ago.
    For ARM, a robotic spacecraft will capture a boulder from the surface of a near-Earth asteroid and move it into a stable orbit around the moon for exploration by astronauts, all in support of advancing the nation’s journey to Mars.
    "The Asteroid Redirect Mission will provide an initial demonstration of several spaceflight capabilities we will need to send astronauts deeper into space, and eventually, to Mars," said NASA Associate Administrator Robert Lightfoot. "The option to retrieve a boulder from an asteroid will have a direct impact on planning for future human missions to deep space and begin a new era of spaceflight."

    New Braking System Can Stop a 40-Ton Truck Automatically on a Dime

    Gear  |  Tech
    Volvo has developed a new completely automated braking system for tractor trailers. The video below shows it in action, stopping a truck loaded with 40 tons of cargo in a very short distance.
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    An Affordable 3D-Printed Arm

    Gear  |  Tech
    Students at UCF are designing an inexpensive 3D printed arm for kids.

    Incredible Disguise: Praying Mantis Mimics Flower

    Gear  |  Tech
    A praying mantis that mimics an orchid attracts unsuspecting insects and then eats the duped victims.

    DARPA's RE2 Robotics making a  balloon animal

    Gear  |  Tech
    Watch DARPA's RE2 Robotics is making a  balloon animal!
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    Launch rockets into orbit using jet fighters

    Gear  |  Tech
    DARPA's new idea, they are planning to lauch rockets into low earth orbit using jet fighters. 
    "DARPA’s Airborne Launch Assist Space Access program (ALASA) seeks to propel 100-pound satellites into low Earth orbit (LEO) within 24 hours of call-up, all for less than $1 million per launch. The current ALASA design envisions launching a low-cost, expendable launch vehicle from conventional aircraft. Serving as a reusable first stage, the plane would fly to high altitude and release the launch vehicle, which would carry the payload to the desired location. The program is moving ahead with rigorous testing of new technologies that one day could enable revolutionary satellite launch systems that provide more affordable, routine and reliable access to space."

    A View From The Other Side - NASA

    Gear  |  Tech
    What the other side of the Moon looks like, the side that can't be seen from the Earth. This video answers that question.

    Someone Built AdBlock For the Real World

    Gear  |  Tech
    Real World AdBlock. That's the idea behind BrandKiller, a project developed by four Philadelphia developers named Jonathan Dubin, Reed Rosenbluth, Tom Catullo, and Alex Crits-Christoph as part of as part of Penn's annual PennApps hackathon.

    Drones based on birds

    Gear  |  Tech
    Scientists have turned to Mother Nature’s most adept aerial acrobats – birds, bees, bats and other animals -- to inspire their designs for self-directed drones. With the right tweaks, these drones have the potential to fight forest fires, spot poachers and catch polluters. But first the unmanned machines have to be able to maneuver in tight spaces and think for themselves. And that’s where nature’s original high-fliers come in.
    Swallows, for example, swoop and swerve in patterns that would knock top fighter pilots unconscious. Tracing the birds’ paths, along with those of other species, scientists are learning how to make their drones more nimble.
    Recently, a team from MIT created an artificial pilot that could control a birdlike drone to twist through different sets of goalposts. To zoom through vertical goalposts, the drone knifes sideways and just slips by. The drone can do this and then quickly right itself to shoot through a set of horizontal goalposts too.  
    To navigate obstacles a bit more complex than lab set ups, the team also created an autopilot system for the drone to track how close it got to things like trees and buildings. Ultimately, the goal is to create an onboard computer that can tell the drone to pitch and roll out of harm’s way.
    That same team also created a drone that can hit the brakes and safely park itself on a thin wire. If a fixed-wing aircraft did this, it would stall and crash. But by creating a computer algorithm to read airflow over the wings and adjust its tail flaps, the drone sets itself down safely without a scratch.

    Mars Helicopter

    Gear  |  Tech
    NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory's prototype helicopter that could ‘scout’ a trail for future Mars rovers, but getting a chopper that could fly in the Martian atmosphere is tricky.

    Microsoft Hololens

    Array
    Gear  |  Tech


    Microsoft announced their latest device called HoloLens. A holographic headset that aims to rival the most advanced virtual reality devices out there. The first demo, created in partnership with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, takes me to the surface of a near-photorealistic Mars. Using real photography from the Curiosity rover, Microsoft was able to re-create a Martian landscape and overlay a 3D-map around a small, conference-room-size environment. With HoloLens, I'm not just able to see what it's like to walk around on Mars, but I'm also able to interact with the contents on the surface. Using a finger gesture called Air Tap, the HoloLens lets me mark certain spots on the surface for investigation and even lets me talk with another floating figure and collaborate on examining the surface...Watch the video of it in action.
    "For the first time ever, Microsoft HoloLens seamlessly blends high-definition holograms with your real world. Holograms will improve the way you do things every day, and enable you to do things you've never done before."
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    Lingerie Made from Recycled Christmas Trees

    Array
    Gear  |  Tech
    French fashion designer Sophie Young developed Do You Green, a line of lingerie made from Christmas trees.  Her company chemically processes evergreen trees to create a functional fabric. Then it makes this cloth into bras, panties, camisoles, and more.
    "A French company is showing that it’s possible to turn pine trimmings into a soft fabric that can be used to make panties, bras, or slips. The new fabric was the brainchild of an architect who originally wanted to find another use for tree trimmings that couldn’t be used in construction.
    After the wood is transformed with an enzyme bath, it feels like silk. “It’s soft to the touch,” says designer Sophie Young, founder of Do You Green. “You won’t want to wear anything else after touching it. It’s very smooth and thin."
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    3D printed prosthetic leg

    Array
    Gear  |  Tech
    William Root's "Exo-Prosthetic" is a 3D printed artificial leg made from laser-sintered titanium.
    Root says his process produces a cheaper, more durable, more functional, more comfortable product than the traditional model. The lacy, minimal-materials 3D printed form produces something strong but light.
    Cool design!
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    World's Simplest Electric Train

    Gear  |  Tech
    The world's simplest electric train is made with a made with a magnet, some copper wire and a dry cell.

    Astronaut - A journey to space

    Gear  |  Tech
    Filmed from the ISS between 2011 and 2014.
    "What does astronaut see from up there? From the red soil of africa, the blue water of oceans, to the green lights of the poles and yellow light of human activity, discover, throught this journey to space, something astoundingly beautiful and strange at the same time.
    I wanted to do something different from what has been done before with those shots. Something more dynamic and fast. After all, ISS travel through space at 28.000km/h! There are also more recent footage that have never been used (at least I thinkā€¦) in other edits"
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