At just 55-pounds, Boston Dynamics’ Spot robot dog is capable of much more than just being a house pet. That’s right, it’s most suited for unstructured environments and is fully capable of climbing stairs, traversing rough terrain, helping the French Army, as well as dispensing beer, but not in a particularly useful way. Michael Reeves has taught this robot to actually pee bear, which required quite a few lines of code to help it identify cups on the floor, position itself properly over them, and then release a stream of liquid using plastic tubing. Read more for the video and additional information.
NASA has just announced that it has selected JPL’s Lunar Crater Radio Telescope advanced concept for further research and development. This ultra-long-wavelength radio telescope on the far-side of the Moon has several advantages compared to Earth-based and Earth-orbiting telescopes, including being able to observe the universe at wavelengths greater than 10m (i.e., frequencies below 30MHz) and having the Moon act as a physical shield that isolates the lunar-surface telescope from radio interferences/noises from Earth-based sources. Read more for two videos and additional information.
Photo credit: Hankook via NewAtlas
Hankook’s research team partnered with biorobotics experts at Seoul National University and Harvard engineers to develop an origami-inspired transformable wheel that could be used on future vehicles, including on the Moon. These three-layer wheels can shapeshift by expanding from 46 to 80 cm (18.1 to 31.5 in), while supporting enough weight to fit a full-sized chassis on it. Non-folding panels have been placed in between laser-cut aluminum facet panels for additional rigidity. Read more for a video and additional information.
Ingenuity is set to make its first flight this weekend, but NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover took a selfie with the tiny helicopter before the big event. You can see it here about 13 feet from the rover in this image taken April 6, 2021, the 46th Martian day, or sol, of the mission by the WATSON (Wide Angle Topographic Sensor for Operations and eNgineering) camera on the SHERLOC (Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman and Luminescence for Organics and Chemicals) instrument, located at the end of the rover’s long robotic arm. Read more for a video of the helicopter’s blades spinning and additional information.
Elon Musk’s Neuralink has just released a video of its nine-year-old monkey named “Pager” playing MindPong using its brain. How is this possible? It has two Neuralink devices implanted in its brain, which can be used to not only play games, but soon, interact with others on Twitch and Discord. However, the monkey does use a joystick at first to interact with the computer for a banana smoothie, delivered through a straw. Read more for the video and additional information.
There are electric cars, planes, tractors, and now, the CAPTN Vaiaro. This fully autonomous electric ferry by the team at Kiel University, in partnership with the Muthesius University, is touted as a networked, inter- and multi-modal mobility. In addition to utilizing an electric propulsion system, the autonomous technology enables it to operate continuously, ensuring that the residents of Kiel can quickly cross the bay at any time of the day or night. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.
Photo credit: Saint-Cyr Coëtquidan
École Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr, the French army’s military school, tested Boston Dynamics’ Spot robot in a few exercises: an offensive maneuver taking place at a crossroads, a defensive mission during both day / night, and an urban-combat scenario. These exercise were performed twice by four students, once without the robots and another with them. They were testing to see if the robots offered some benefits in reconnaissance, with a student saying it saved them at least once. Read more for a video.
THX’s first consumer electronics product isn’t a home audio system, but rather a digital-to-analog converter / amplifier. Unlike its competitors, this gadget has THX’s AAA amplifier technology built-in to ensure lossless, pure sound that empowers listeners to hear content the way the artist intended. It features both THX AAA and ESS Pro DAC chips inside, as well as MQA support, thus offering the best-in-class portable DAC/Amplifier solution on the market today at this price for powering wired headphones. Read more for a nearly hands-on video review and additional information.
Piestro’s automated pizza vending machine has just gone contactless with PopID, a facial recognition payment company that offers consumers a faster, easier and safer way to pay. That’s right, simply open up the Piestro app to place pre-orders for pickup and then look at the camera to pay. The machines consist of advanced robotics, precise dispensing, and temperature sensors, including a complex temperature isolation system that keeps the toppings and dough at proper temperatures from the heat of the oven below. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.
Photo credit: Amin Akhshi
Designer Amin Akhshi’s SN-3 Nova is basically a futuristic robotic dog designed to perform intricate surgery procedures aboard space stations, whether it be on humans or machines. To accomplish this, it has been equipped with a 48V lithium-ion battery to keep it powered up, while 3D laser scanner and HDR camera give it advanced vision in any lighting condition for extreme precision. The build does seem reminescent of Boston Dynamics’ BigDog, so it may be able to handle some lifting duties if necessary. Read more for additional pictures.