Rolls-Royce makes luxury vehicles, jet engines, and now, all-electric aircraft. One of them, the “Spirit of Innovation”, recently completed its first 15-minute flight after taking off from the UK Ministry of Defense’s Boscombe Down site. Powering this one-seat airplane is a 6,000 cell battery pack with a three-motor powertrain generating 400kW (500+ hp), making it the most power-dense battery pack every assembled for an aircraft. The company hopes said the aircraft will eventually achieve a top speed of over 300 mph. Read more for the video, additional pictures and information.
Alphabet’s Project Taara team bridged a connectivity gap between Brazzaville in the Republic of the Congo and Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo. These two cities are separated by the Congo River, and despite being just 4.8 kilometers apart, internet connectivity is 5-times more expensive in Kinshasa because the fiber connection has to travel more than 400 kms to route around the river. Read more for a video and additional information.
Sir Clive Sinclair is widely considered the pioneer of home computing and other consumer electronics, as well as the bizarre Sinclair C5. Belinda Sinclair, his daughter, told the press today that her father died at his London home early this morning, aged 81. Most have heard about the Sinclair ZX81 / ZX Spectrum, but his company also produced the TV80, a cathode ray tube-based portable mini television. Unfortunately, the Sinclair FTV1 (TV80) was a commercial flop, with only 15,000 units produced. Read more for two videos, including one on his quirky C5 battery-powered vehicle.
Unlike the Ray-Ban x Facebook Stories smartglasses, the Xiaomi Smart Glasses combines both an imaging system and sensors into a standard design using MicroLED optical waveguide technology. Weighing in at just 51g, it’s capable of displaying messages / notifications, make calls, navigate, capture photos, and even translate text right in front of your eyes. The imaging system fits seamlessly into the frame due to the fact that MicroLED pixels are individually lit, while having a simpler structure. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.
Michelin conducted the first public test of its Uptis Prototype (Unique Puncture-proof Tire System) on a Mini Electric. This airless tire system eliminates the dangerous risk of flat tires and blowouts, making drivers of passenger vehicles feel safer on the road. Operators of these vehicles minimize downtime and improve efficiency resulting from flat tires as well as near-zero levels of maintenance. Read more for two videos and additional information.
Mercedes-Benz has integrated the first brain-computer interface (BCI) in its Vision AVTR concept car, and it made its debut at the IAA MOBILIY 2021 show in Munich. That’s right, it forms a biometric interaction with the vehicle using a direct connection to the human brain. Users wear the BCI device implanted with electrodes on the back of their head to records brain activity and establish a direct connection to the vehicle after a one-minute calibration. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.
NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission may sound like the plot for the 1998 movie Armageddon, but this is real and aimed to demonstrate kinetic impactor technology. In other words, impacting an asteroid to adjust its speed and path. DART’s main target is the binary asteroid system Didymos, and while not currently on a path to collide with Earth, thus posing no actual threat to the planet, the spacecraft will impact Dimorphos nearly head-on at 15,000 mph, shortening the time it takes the small asteroid moonlet to orbit by several minutes. Read more for two videos and additional information.
Hexagon AB’s Leica BLK ARC and the Leica BLK2FLY laser scanning sensors will be used in autonomous robots of the future. These two solutions extend the company’s iconic and award-winning BLK series known for speed, portability and mobility with fully autonomous mobile reality capture. Both connect directly to Hexagon’s cloud-based visualization platform, called HxDR, where users can immediately data upload from the field, while AI-enabled cloud processing and storage of the captured data enables instantaneous delivery of a purpose-built smart digital reality. Read more for two videos and additional information.
Photo credit: Tomoaki Ishiyama
An international team of researchers has generated an entire virtual universe for anyone to explore for free on the cloud. Called Uchuu (“Outer Space” in Japanese), this is currently the largest and most realistic simulation of the universe yet, consisting of 2.1 trillion particles in a computational cube spanning an unprecedented 9.63 billion light-years to a side. To put things into perspective, this is approximately three-quarters the distance between Earth and the most distant observed galaxies. Read more for a video and how to explore for yourself.
Photo credit: ESA/Hubble and NASA, A. Sarajedini
NASA / ESA’s Hubble Space Telescope has imaged NGC 6717, a dazzling globular cluster of stars located over 20,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Sagittarius. This spherical collection of stars are tightly bound together by gravity, with more in the centers than its outer fringes. When looking at NGC 6717, we see sparsely populated edges instead of the massive collection of stars at its center. Read more for two videos on globular clusters and additional information.