Posts Tagged ‘engineering’

Google Wind

April 1, 2017

Google Wind, starting April 1st. Tour the repurposed windmills of the Netherlands on a self-driving bike.

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NASA Wants Better Astronaut Diapers

January 19, 2017

NASA Wants Better Astronaut Diapers

NASA scientists are good at … well rocket science, but t here’s one problem that has them stumped: how to handle space suit poop. The agency issued the Space Poop Challenge late last year, and is currently judging the entries. The winner will get $30,000.

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UK: Drink Tea, for the Love of God!

October 14, 2016

Mark Rittman of Hove, East Sussex, spent 11 hours trying to make his morning cuppa with a Wi-Fi tea kettle, live-tweeting his ordeal because of course he would. As an Englishman, he required his morning tea; as a 21st-century man, he wanted to brew it by voice command through his Amazon Echo and iPhone.

Mr. Rittman is a data specialist and not unfamiliar with things digital, but the “Internet of Things” needs work. The connection between the kettle and the Wi-fi base station was problematic; a“mandatory recalibration” caused the iWifi base-station to reset; the Hadoop cluster in the garage went barmy, saturating the network and blocking MQTT integration with the Amazon Echo. Or something. He finally boiled water in a saucepan and made tea by hand before writing code to integrate and debug the system.

Video: “Drink Tea (for the Love of God!)” by  Kula Shaker, 2008. George Orwell narrates. Animation by Model Robot.

Kula Shaker website

Related:

Tea Making Tips,” 1941 (i.e. wartime) film by the Empire Tea Bureau (10:00).

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German Robot Grills Sausage

August 2, 2016

German Robot Grills Sausage
German engineers have built a robot that grills brätwurst because of course they would. The FZI Research Center for IT at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology hooked a robotic arm to a laptop to create BratWurst Bot, which grills, flips, and plates sausages.
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Space Elevators

June 12, 2016

Space elevators explained, by Kurzgesagt (German for “in a nutshell”).

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NASA’s Bouncy Castle in Space Stays Flat

May 27, 2016

Bouncy Castle in Space!

Last month NASA sent an inflatable room — the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module or BEAM — into space via SpaceX as a home improvement for the International Space Station’s Tranquility Module. Like many home improvement projects, all did not go according to plan, and yesterday the big balloon didn’t inflate worth a damn. Perhaps a Rubbermaid garden shed will do? Home Depot is open until 10 tonight.

More:

“The ISS’s New Space Module Fails Its First Inflation Attempt,” Emma Grey Ellis, Wired

“ISS controllers defer BEAM module expansion,” Pete Harding, NASASpaceFlight.com

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Image (“BEAM deployed – artist concept”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Hyperloop One Open Air Test

May 13, 2016

Hyperloop One let the public watch a test of its propulsion system on Wednesday. The sled, powered by a linear induction motor, only traveled a half mile on the North Las Vegas test track, but it did that in 2 seconds. The plan is to use this technology to propel passengers and freight, in vehicles suspended over tracks by passive magnetic levitation, through sealed low-pressure tubes at 750 mph (1,207 kph). That’s San Francisco to Los Angeles in 30 minutes, theoretically.

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Marie Antoinette, Dulcimer Player

March 26, 2016

La Joueuse de tympanon,” Queen Marie Antoinette musical automaton created by watchmaker  Pierre Kintzing (1745–1816) and cabinetmaker David Roentgen (1743–1807), presented to King Louis XVI in 1784. The French queen purchased it the following year. From the collection of the Musée des arts et métiers de Paris. Video via the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

h/t: Sadie Stein

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Domino’s Robot Pizza Delivery

March 25, 2016

Domino's Robot Pizza Delivery

Domino’s R&D lab in Australia, in collaboration with Marathon Robotics, has developed the Domino’s Robotic Unit (DRU) prototype, a self-propelled autonomous unit that will deliver hot pies to your door. DRU is said to be “cheeky and endearing” with “a friendly persona.” Do you still have to tip?

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Boeing Planes Will Have Self-Cleaning Toilets for Fastidious Fliers

March 14, 2016

Boeing Planes Will Have Self-Cleaning Toilets for Fastidious Fliers

Engineers at Boeing Research & Technology (BR&T) are testing an airplane lavatory that cleans itself of microorganisms with ultraviolet light. Maybe they can fix that smelly hand soap while they’re in there. The UV light isn’t the kind that will give you a tan, so you’ll have to wait until your plane lands in Hawaii. Actually, the purifying lights won’t go on at all if someone is in the john.

We don’t know how the competition will respond to this tech development. Will the new Air France toilets have bidets? Peut-être.

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