The Direct Fusion Drive (DFD) engine could propel a 22,000-lb. robotic spacecraft to Saturn in a mere 2-years instead of 6.75-years, or way out to Pluto within 5-years of launch rather than 9.5-years. Plus, since the engine doubles as a potent power source, it could have a broad range of off-Earth applications too, like to help power NASA’s future moon-orbiting space station, called Gateway. “DFD is different from other fusion-reactor concepts,” said Stephanie Thomas, vice president of Princeton Satellite Systems in Plainsboro, New Jersey. Read more for two additional videos and information.
It’s nearly impossible to detect a professionally altered image these days, but Adobe teamed up with UC Berkeley researchers to train an AI to detect facial manipulation in images edited with Photoshop. A convolutional neural network (CNN) was trained to spot changes in images made with Photoshop’s Face Away Liquify feature, or the function used to change people’s eyes, mouth and other facial features. The neural network was 99% accurate detecting altered images, and for comparison, real people who saw the same photos only spotted the differences 53% of the time. Read more for a video and additional information.
Based on on a new platform, the Honda e’s exterior design by Yuki Terai pays homage to the first generation Honda Civic and is about the same length as the Honda Fit. A 35.5 kWh Lithium-ion battery sends powers to the rear wheels and can be charged using a Type 2 AC connection or a CCS2 DC rapid charger – up to 80 percent charge in just 30 minutes. When fully charged, you can expect a 124-mile range, which is plenty of city cruising.
For those who aren’t familiar with Boston Dynamics, it’s basically an American engineering and robotics design company founded in 1992 as a spin-off from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, now a wholly owned subsidiary of the Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group. They’re most well known for their development of BigDog, a quadruped robot designed for the U.S. military with funding from Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). What if they eventually developed an AI-powered, self-aware robot that was able to fight back? Bosstownn Dynamics attempts to show us with their parody video. Read more to watch.
Volvo’s Vera, a fully autonomous, electric, and connected vehicle has begun testing, with its first job being to transport goods from a logistics center to a port terminal in Gothenburg, Sweden. Its powertrain is sourced from current FL Electric and FE Electric trucks, which are designed for repetitive assignments in logistics centers, factories, and ports. The goal is to eventually implement a connected system of several Vera vehicles driving at up to 25 mph while monitored by a control tower. Read more for another video, additional pictures and information.
Drone engines are great for flying, but Gamechanger Audio has found a new use for them, and it utilizes Motor Synth, their new analog electro-mechanical synthesizer. Put simply, it uses these motors as oscillators to generate unique sounds with a gritty, industrial tone. In other words, this synthesizer uses pickups to react to the changing magnetic field of its eight spinning motors, and since the sounds are created by the spinning motors while the pickups are reacting to a physical behavior, its unique sound is created. Read more for another video and additional information.
Samsung unveils “The Wall Luxury,” and luxurious it most certainly is. This gargantuan display boasts a maximum resolution of 8K and spans 292-inches diagonally from corner to corner. Unlike traditional displays, “The Wall Luxury” features self-emitting diodes with 100,000 hours of life, thus doubling as a “digital canvas” when turned off since users can switch on an Ambient Mode that can be used to show paintings, photographs and video art. There’s no pricing information available yet, but the company did say that you’ll be able to purchase one starting next month.
Aska, a flying car developed by the American-Israeli startup NFT (Next Future Transportation), is classified as an eVTOL (Electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing) vehicle. This means you can drive it like a regular car with its wings folded back or used as a small private airplane with vertical take-off and landing like a helicopter. It uses a total of 14 ducted fans to create lift, while power comes from a large battery pack and there’s even a gasoline range-extender to provide a total flying range of an estimated 350 miles. Read more for a video and additional information.
Photo credit: SHoP Architects
Uber’s announced today that it is planning to start delivering fast food by drone in San Diego this summer, but it won’t be coming straight to your doorstep. That’s right, there will be “designated safe landing zones,” like roofs, parked cars, or in the future skyports, where Uber couriers will unload the package by hand and take it to your front door. How much will this cost you? Expect to pay the regular fees, which average $8.50 in San Diego, and since McDonald’s is an early partner, special delivery packages arrive piping hot, fries and all. Read more for two additional videos of proposed skyports.
Photo credit: Eureka Magazine
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos demonstrated HaptX’s robot gloves at the re:MARS conference last week. Simply put as possible, this haptic telerobot can be used to manipulate a pair of robotic arms and finely control objects, like a Rubik’s Cube. In this demonstration, he can be seen moving a ball back and forth between hands as well as placing plastic rings around a rung. HaptX plans to integrate this technology into virtual reality applications, such as training software in medicine, aerospace, and first response to life. Read more for two videos and additional information.