Archive for the ‘Engineering’ Category

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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Steam-Powered New York

July 10, 2019

There are 100 miles of steam pipes under New York City’s streets, and many have been there since 1880. They currently serve about 2000 buildings.

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Tesla Robot Taxis?

April 29, 2019

Tesla Robot Taxis?

Elon Musk must feel sorry for those exploited, underpaid Uber drivers. He wants to replace them with self-driving robot taxis. By next year.

“I feel very confident predicting 1 million autonomous robo-taxis for Tesla next year. Not in all jurisdictions because we won’t have regulatory approval everywhere, but I’m confident we will have regulatory approval at least somewhere, literally next year.”

— “Elon Musk says Tesla will have 1 million autonomous taxis on the road by next year,” Michael Burke, The Hill

More:

“Elon Musk thinks Tesla can build 1M ‘robotaxis’ in the next year,” Cale Guthre Weissman, Fast Company

“Tesla’s 2020 self-driving car promise sounds too good to be true because it is,” Emily Stewart, Recode

Update:

“Tesla’s long-shot robotaxi plan,” Joann Muller, Axios

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

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Walmart To Replace Janitors With Robots

December 11, 2018

Walmart To Replace Janitors With Robots

“The world’s largest retailer is rolling out 360 autonomous floor-scrubbing robots in some of its stores in the U.S. by the end of the January, it said in a joint statement with Brain Corp., which makes the machines. The autonomous janitors can clean floors on their own even when customers are around, according to the San Diego-based startup.”

–“Robot Janitors Are Coming to Mop Floors at a Walmart Near You,” Pavel Alpeyev, Bloomberg

That means Walmart will retrain its janitors as cashiers and open more checkout lines, right? Ha.

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Tape Measure

October 2, 2018

How does a retracting tape measure work? The Science Channel explains. From Machines: How They Work.

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Robot Swans

April 6, 2018

Robot swans are gliding across Singapore’s reservoirs, monitoring water quality. The buoyant birdbots, which automatically return to shore bases when their batteries weaken, look a bit less swan-like when the water gets choppy.

More:

“Singapore recruits swanbots to test water quality,” BBC

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The Endless Runway

October 26, 2017

Henk Hesselink of the Netherlands Aerospace Centre believes circular runways could be the future of air travel. More information here and here.

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ATMs

October 24, 2017

After you insert your bank card and enter your PIN, how does the ATM know how to give you the right number of bills?

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