Posts Tagged ‘engineering’

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

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Self-Driving Car Crashes

June 22, 2022

Self-Driving Car Crashes

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealed that, since July 2021, 392 car crashes in the United States ocurred while vehicles were using advanced driver-assistance systems. Of these, 273, about 70 percent, were Tesla vehicles running its Autopilot software. During the same period, Honda reported 90 crashes and Subaru reported 10 crashes.

More:

“Teslas running Autopilot involved in 273 crashes reported since last year,” Faiz Siddiqui, Rachel Lerman, and Jeremy B. Merrill, Washington Post

“NHTSA: ‘Self-driving’ cars were linked to 392 crashes in 10 months,” J. Fingas, Engadget

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Top image (“Tesla Robot Taxi”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Roman Concrete

April 27, 2022

From the 2nd century BC on, concrete (opus caementicium) was everywhere in the Roman Empire, in breakwaters of artificial harbors, soaring vaults of great public baths, the Colosseum, and the dome of the Pantheon. But during late antiquity, concrete all but vanished, and would not be used again until the twentieth century. Garrett Ryan explains.

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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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Cable-Stayed, Suspension, Draw, Arch, Truss

October 12, 2021

Engineer Nehemiah Mabry explains which types of bridges are used in which situations.

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Why the Netherlands isn’t underwater

August 5, 2021

The Netherlands would be underwater, if not for the Delta Works. A TED-Ed video by Stefan Al, animated by Jody Ghani Nordby.

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Lighthouse Lenses

July 14, 2021

Augustin-Jean Fresnel invented a lens that helped lighthouses prevent more shipwrecks. A  Vox video by Phil Edwards.

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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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