Photo credit: ETH Zürich | Stefan Weiss
Researchers at ETH Zürich have developed an ultrasonic gripper that can pick up and manipulate small objects without even touching them, thanks to acoustic levitation. In other words, it uses ultrasonic waves to enable robots to handle fragile items, like precision watch parts. Currently, the prototype consists of a lab-bench robotic arm and a pair of 3D-printed semi-spheres. Read more for two videos and additional information.
The Performance Truck by Brad Deberti just might be the craziest Toyota Tacoma you’ll ever see, and not just for its looks. Speaking of aesthetics, this vehicle starts as an extended/access cab Tacoma body, but has been dropped ultra low, complete with a wide stance. The low front splitter goes all the way up to the iconic Toyota grille and headlights, while flared fenders, air intakes, rear wing as well as a diffuser were added to finish off the aggressive look. Read more for two videos and additional information.
Adam Savage’s Tested introduces new member to the family: Boston Dynamics’ Spot robot. In addition to this outdoor adventure, he’ll be conducting builds and projects with Spot, integrating it into the workshop as well as taking it in the field to see exactly what it’s capable of. The first thing he did is test Spot’s capabilities at an outdoor training course. Read more for the video and additional information.
Amazon’s Eero Mesh WiFi System delivers world-class, whole-home connectivity for everybody, and this 3-pack covers homes up to 5,000 sq. ft. in fast, reliable internet from the basement to the backyard, all for $174 shipped, today only, originally $249. When combined with an Alexa-enabled device, you can easily manage WiFi access for devices and individuals in the home, taking focus away from screens and back to what’s important. Product page. Read more for a video review and additional information.
Photo credit: WBHB
We’re just a couple of weeks away from the possible unveiling of Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip smartphone, but new details have been leaking out. Max Weinbach of XDA Developers claims the device’s flexible OLED screen may use “Samsung Ultra Thin Glass,” or an ultra-thin glass cover for protection, but unfortunately, doesn’t eliminate the crease down the middle. This alone would differentiate it from the new Motorola RAZR and the Galaxy Fold, which both use plastic screens. Read more for additional pictures and information.
Singer, songwriter, producer, and Icelandic artist Björk teamed up with New York’s Sister City hotel as well as Microsoft to create Kórsafn, an AI-powered composition that builds on the generative soundscape concept. In other words, this is a living and evolving soundscape, thanks to Microsoft AI, while the images in the installation are powered by a camera perched on the roof of Sister City. Read more for a video and additional information.
As of today, the Doomsday Clock is now 100 seconds to midnight, or to be more specific, the closest symbolic point from an “apocalypse” since 1953. This decision was made on Thursday by The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, which announced it at a press event from the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Astrophysicist Robert Rosner, who is also on the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists said the main concern is the undermining of the public’s ability to understand what’s true from what’s false. Read more for two videos and additional information.
Japanese startup SkyDrive Inc., led by former Toyota engineers, have begun test flights of their prototype flying car with a human pilot. They are planning a public demonstration with a human pilot this summer. It’s touted as the world’s smallest flying car and features a slim cabin with four horizontal drone-style propellers at each corner. Read more for a video and additional information.
The scenes above are not computer-generated, just a real Spanish town that has been engulfed in thick sea foam as a tidal surge along the Catalan coast swept at least two miles inland. Storm Gloria has pummeled the region with rain, snow and hail on Monday, leaving more than 200,000 people without power, leveling buildings, destroying rice paddies and triggering weather alerts in more than 30 provinces. Read more for a video compilation of the sea foam and additional information.
Unity teased The Heretic at the Game Developers Conference last year, and today, they released the full 7-minute short film made entirely with the game engine. Simply put, it features a virtual human exploring the underworld using a combination of 3D and 4D scanning to obtain high-quality textures. Read more to watch.