Archive for the ‘Engineering’ Category

Pizza-Making Robot

August 17, 2022

Pizza-Making Robot

We know, you’re thinking “Great, yet another pizza-making robot.” But the inventors of RoDyMan (RObotic DYnamic MANipulation) digitized the actions of noted pizzaiolo Enzo Coccia, who wore a motion-capture suit while making traditional pies. Result: a robot going through the motions of making pizzas while producing soulless, pizza-like objects.

More:

“$2.9 Million Pizza-Making Robot Still Can’t Make Pizza,” Joel Hruska, ExtremeTech

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Anvils Over Kabul

August 8, 2022

Anvils Over Kabul

In Kabul on Sunday morning, July 31st, Ayman al-Zawahiri, leader of al-Qaeda, was out on the balcony of his villa, smoking a cigarette, maybe, when his revery was interupted by two Hellfire AGM-114R9X missles, which killed him instantly without disturbing other occupants of the building.

The R9X (Romeo Hellfire) missile does not have an explosive warhead. While it has been called the “Flying Ginsu” since it sprouts a bunch of knife blades immediately before impact, it is the blunt kinetic force of the laser-guided, rocket-powered 100 lb. object dropping out of the the sky like a falling anvil that makes it effective. The missiles have been used to minimize collateral damage to bystanders while eliminating targeted individuals, often while they are in automobiles.

Face it, it’s a precision-guided assassin’s weapon, often called the Ninja Bomb, more a tool of vengeance than justice. Whether it’s an appropriate or ethical instrument for anti-terrorism or foreign policy is another matter.

More:

“Ayman al-Zawahiri: How US strike could kill al-Qaeda leader – but not his family,” Bernd Debusmann Jr, BBC News

“Ayman al-Zawahiri’s death: What is the Hellfire R9X missile that the Americans purportedly used?” Sandra Favier, le Monde

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Street Artists: Robots Are Coming For Your Job

March 4, 2022

Mihkel Joala has invented SprayPrinter, which performs automated printing of giant outdoor murals.

More:

“Robot Spray Paints Large Murals Onto Buildings,” Ayda Ayoubi, Architect

SprayPrinter website

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Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

 

The iPod is 20 years old.

November 1, 2021

The iPod is 20 years old.

In honor of the iPod’s 20th anniversary a few weeks back, the Panic blog gave us a look at the first iPod prototype, which was almost as big as a MacBook. The big box was functional, but it was mostly full of air. Apple engineers diguised the original form factor to protect the design from leakers.

More:

“The original iPod ‘prototype’ was an Apple design to prevent leaks,” Emma Roth, The Verge

“20 years of the iPod: how it shuffled music and tech into a new era,” Eamonn Forde, The Guardian

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Domino’s Robot Pizza Delivery In Houston

April 22, 2021

Domino’s Robot Pizza Delivery In Houston

Perhaps believing there aren’t enough unemployed delivery drivers in Texas, Domino’s Pizza will deliver pies via Nuro R2 autonomous robot vehicles in Houston. Domino’s selling point to customers: no tipping.

Houston traffic. Robot cars with a top speed of 25 MPH. Texan gun ownership rate. What could possibly go wrong?


More:

“Nuro’s self-driving robot will deliver Domino’s pizza orders to customers in Houston,” Kim Lyons, The Verge

“Houston, we have a robot: Nuro, Domino’s team up for autonomous pizza delivery,” Brian Straight, Modern Shipper, via FreightWaves

“Beep Beep: Domino’s Is Testing a Self-Driving Delivery Car,” Jenny G. Zhang, Eater

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Top image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

 

Spice Up Solar Panels With Chili Peppers

March 11, 2021

Spice Up Solar Panels With Chili Peppers

“Here’s some news hot off the press. Researchers have found a secret ingredient for making solar panels that absorb the sun’s energy more efficiently. Depending on what you like to eat, there’s a good chance you can find it at home. Capsaicin, the chemical that gives chili peppers their spicy sting, also improves perovskite solar cells – the devices that make up solar panels.

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Milan’s Robot Bartender

January 16, 2020

Bartender, you’re fired. An industrial robot mixologist has taken your job.

More:

“Robotic bar opens in Milan to ’empower’ city’s drinker,” Lucy Ingham, Verdict

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The Walkman Lives. Sort Of.

November 18, 2019

The Walkman Lives. Sort Of.

The Sony Walkman, the portable personal music device that let users enjoy music privately on headphones, is 40 years old. To celebrate, Sony designed a new anniversary Walkman:

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IBM’s Portable ‘E-Tongue’ Taster

October 16, 2019

IBM released a video for its AI-assisted e-tongue” Hypertaste technology, that can quickly identify liquids you should not drink. The portable device can transfer data to a mobile app in about a minute, determining water quality or if alcohol is counterfeit. It can’t do blind tastings at your wine cellar yet, but maybe they’ll introduce Hypertaste to Watson.

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Insect-Sized Solar-Powered Flying Robot

July 29, 2019

“At half the weight of a paper clip, ‘RoboBee X-wing’ has achieved untethered flight using ultra-lightweight solar cells, powering piezoelectric actuators, via a stripped down circuit board.”

More:

“Harvard’s RoboBee X-Wing can fly under its own power,” Mariella Moon, EnGadget

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