Lightyear, a pioneer in clean mobility, unveiled the world’s first long-range solar car today. It boasts a 450-mile range and a small battery that can be charged directly under sunlight, or with conventional charging stations. “Climate change is such a frightening development that it’s almost paralyzing. We decided to do the opposite; as engineers, we believed we could do something. Lightyear One represents an opportunity to change mobility for the better,” said Lex Hoefsloot, CEO and co-founder of Lightyear. Read more for another video and additional information.
SpaceX’s latest Falcon Heavy rocket is set for its third and most complicated launch yet later today from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. How? It’s carrying two dozen satellites into Earth orbit, and the entire mission will span over six hours since its upper stage must deliver its payloads to three different orbits. These satellites include an atomic clock for deep space navigation and the Planetary Society’s LightSail 2, which uses pressure from light particles hitting the sail for navigation. Read more for another video and additional information.
When it comes to exoskeletons, $40K isn’t a high price to pay for the opportunity to walk again. That is exactly what suitX’s Phoenix modular exoskeleton is set out to do, and at a mere 27-pounds, it’s also touted as one of the lightest models ever made. Building on technology developed by a team from the University of California at Berkeley’s Human Engineering Lab, the exoskeleton is basically a motorized lower-body brace. Users can comfortably wear the exoskeleton in a wheelchair, thanks to an “intuitive interface” that makes transitioning between getting up, walking, and sitting back down, a breeze. Read more for another video and additional information.
Northwell Health’s ‘The FIN’ is the world’s first amphibious 3D printed prosthetic leg. It’s made from carbon fiber enhanced nylon and was 3D printed using 3HTI/Markforged’s printing technology. It’s compatible with land or water, which means you can freely move in and out of the water without having to remove their prosthetic leg. “My hope is that this device creates unforeseen opportunities for amputees everywhere. This study is the first step in making this innovative prosthetic available to the millions of amputees looking to return to the water,” said Todd Goldstein, Prosthetic Designer at Northwell Health stated. Read more for a video and additional information.
Photo credit: Roberto E. Rosales / Journal
Say goodbye to drones in restricted airspace, and hello to the Tactical High Power Microwave Operational Responder (THOR). Engineers at Kirtland Air Force Base only took 18-months and $15-million to complete the project. “We create a counter electronic effect, we target the drones and drop them. We implement a hard kill on those drones, and drop them out of the sky,” said Amber Anderson, the Program Manager for THOR. Read more for a video and additional information.
Carnegie Mellon researchers unveil a new brain-computer interface (BCI) that enables a person to control a robot arm with their minds without requiring invasive surgery. In their test, they asked participants to control a robotic arm and point it at a moving cursor across a computer screen. They discovered that it was capable of continuously tracking the cursor in real-time smoothly. Read more for a video and additional information.
London’s Imperial College and Samsung’s AI researchers have developed a new algorithm that can turn a static photo and audio file into an animated singing video portrait. Similar to other deepfake AI algorithms, this one also uses machine learning to generate their output, and even though the clips may be rough around the edges, it shows just what is possible in the future for better or worse. Read more for two videos showing the algorithm in-action, all created from a static photos and audio files.
An international team of researchers has discovered two new Earth-like planets orbiting Teegarden’s Star, one of our closest stars, located about 12.5 light years away. Teegarden’s Star is estimated to be at least eight billion years old, which means those two potentially habitable planets orbiting it are also as ancient, so evolved intelligent life is a possibility. “Both Teegarden’s planets are potentially habitable. We will eventually see if they are actually habitable and, perhaps, even inhabited,” said Ignasi Ribas of the Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia. Read more for a picture of the sunsets on these two new planets compared to Earth.
Byton has just released new images of its M-Byte electric crossover’s interior, showcasing the wraparound dashboard display that measures 48-inches across in all its glory. That’s not all, it boasts two additional screens as well, includinng a 7-inch driver tablet and an 8-inch Byton Central Touchpad placed between the front seats. The 48-inch Shared Experience Display (SED) has physical buttons rather than it being completely touchscreen. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.
Designed by Yiyang Xu and Jingyi Ye of the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology department, “The Arctic Saver” may look like a futuristic base of sorts, but it’s designed to protect glaciers. When the ice starts to melt each April, the outer frame of the tower begins rotating while the under water unit starts storing water. The internal sea water would then begin to freeze when the two units above the surface are exposed to cold air during rotation, thus extending the migration periods for many different animals there. A sprinkler on the outer frame sprays this water onto melting glaciers, thickening the ice. Read more for a video and additional information.