Uber’s autonomous vehicle unit has just received a $1-billion investment from a coalition of investors comprised of SoftBank Group Corp ($333-million) and Toyota / Denso ($667-million) ahead of its public stock offering, valuing the division at $7.25-billion. “This investment and our strong partnership with the Toyota Group are a testament to the incredible work of our ATG team to date, and the exciting future ahead for this important project, alongside great partners. The development of automated driving technology will transform transportation as we know it, making our streets safer and our cities more livable. Today’s announcement, along with our ongoing OEM and supplier relationships, will help maintain Uber’s position at the forefront of that transformation,” said Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. Read more for another video of Uber’s self-driving car technology and additional information.
For those who don’t know the PUMA Fi self-lacing training sneakers are a direct descendant of AutoDisc, a wirelessly-connected adaptive-fit shoe Puma announced way back in 2016. Unlike Nike’s Adapt BB, which automatically tightens, these shoes have a swipe-activated motor on the tongue that tightens the hidden laces. Wearers simply swipe up to tighten, swipe down to “untie” and / or control them using the Fit Intelligence app over Bluetooth. The motor is powered by a battery concealed within the shoe’s insole, and when it runs low, you can recharge it by placing the sneakers on a wireless charging plate. Read more for a hands-on video and additional information, including a link to the sign-up page.
What better way to show off your new robot than by using them to haul a giant truck? That’s exactly what Boston Dynamics did to showcase their Spotpower robotic dog. Based on the SpotMini, this 66-pound robot can perform a variety of tasks, like climbing stairs, traversing rugged terrain and transporting up to 31 pounds. Best of all, the video announced that the SpotPower model will be available to the public for a “range of applications soon.” Read more for another video comparing the SpotMini to a competitor.
The Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 and GLC 63 S Coupe have been revealed ahead of the NY Auto Show, both sporting new headlight / taillight designs, an AMG grille, an updated sports exhaust, a matte gray paint option, as well as a fresh set of optional 21-inch wheels. Power comes from a twin-turbocharged V-8 in the GLC 63 that generates 469 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque, while the S gets 503 hp and 516 lb-ft, mated to a nine-speed automatic, meaning 0–60 mph times of 3.8 seconds and 3.6 seconds, respectively. Read more for an in-depth video, additional pictures and information.
Aston Martin’s Rapide E, the company’s first all-electric vehicle, has been officially unveiled at 2019 Auto Shanghai. It’s powered by 800V, 65 kWh battery encased in carbon fiber and Kevlar, complete with over 5600 ltihium-ion 18650 format cylindrical cells, that generates 601 hp and 700 lb-ft of torque, enabling it to hit 60 mph in just 4-seconds. You can expect a driving range of over 200 miles on a full charge, and the high power AC on-board charger can fully power the battery in just 3-hours at the standard 185 miles per hour through a common 400V 50kW charger or fast charging at 310 miles per hour. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.
Scientists from Tel Aviv University (TAU), Israel have created the world’s first 3D vascularized, engineered heart with real human tissue and blood vessels. “This is the first time anyone anywhere has successfully engineered and printed an entire heart replete with cells, blood vessels, ventricles and chambers,” said professor and the study’s lead researcher Tal Dvir of TAU’s School of Molecular Cell Biology and Biotechnology, Department of Materials Science and Engineering in the Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, and the Sagol Center for Regenerative Biotechnology. Read more for a video and additional information.
Industrial engineer Guillermo Martinez purchased his first 3D printer for $172 in 2017, and them promptly started watching YouTube tutorials that showed how to build robots and other devices for fun. One day, he stumbled upon a tutorial for a prosthetic hand, and that video changed his life forever. “I started making many 3D-printed hand prostheses for fun…then I thought to myself, ‘what if this can actually help someone?’ I had already prepared my trip to Kenya and I contacted the NGO Bamba Project, as well as one of the orphanages that operates in Kenya. I didn’t think I was going to find anyone,” said Martinez. Read more for a video and additional information.
Stratolaunch, currently the world’s largest airplane, has successfully completed its first test flight on Saturday morning above California’s Mojave desert. Boasting a wingspan of 385 feet, it flew for 2½ hours at altitudes up to 17,000 feet, while hitting a top speed of 189 miles per hour. It comes equipped with two fuselages and six Boeing 747 engines that are designed to launch rockets from the air. That’s right, it can carry rockets up to 35,000 feet and then drop them. Read more for two videos and additional information.
Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang wants to use 3D holograms to hold multiple campaign rallies simultaneously. “We are exploring rolling a truck out that would enable someone to see a hologram of me that is three-dimensional give my stump speech. When you see the hologram, the whole thing is very fun and invigorating. Certainly, when I saw the technology in action, I enjoyed it a great deal, so for folks in Iowa and other places, I think it will just be a fun way to experience it. It might be even more fun than seeing me in person,” said Yang. Read more for the video and additional information.
The origami-inspired Bang & Olufsen Beovision Harmony television is designed to fold away to reduce its visual presence. It consists of the display and two rotating speaker units that conceal the screen by lowering it behind behind them. At the push of a button, the speakers fold outwards and the display rises up into its viewing position. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.