The U.S. Air Force has announced that a ground-based surrogate for a laser weapon system that could protect American fighter jets as well as other aircraft from incoming threats in the future has successfully destroyed multiple air-launched missiles in a test. Officially called the Self-Protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator (SHiELD) Advanced Technology Demonstration (ATD) program, the system works on a turreted mount and a self-contained pod to attach the complete system to a fighter jet-sized aircraft. They are two separate components of the SHiELD Turret Research in Aero Effects (STRAFE) and Laser Pod Research & Development (LPRD) projects, respectively. Read more for another video and additional information.
Researchers at DataGrid, a startup based at Japan’s Kyoto University, used an AI-generated algorithm, called GAN (Generative Adversarial Networks), to generate nonexistent human models, complete with poses, clothes, and even hairstyles. GAN takes one artificial neural network and uses it to fool another until the latter can no longer distinguish between real human images versus ones generated by a computer. Read more for a selection of interesting images from the web.
NASA’s InSight lander recently captured an incredible series of sunrise and sunset images on April 24-25, the 145th Martian day, or sol, of the mission. In local Mars time, the shots were photographed starting at 5:30 a.m. and then again around 6:30 p.m. As a bonus, a camera under the lander’s deck also caught a few clouds drifting across the Martian sky at sunset. “It’s been a tradition for Mars missions to capture sunrises and sunsets. With many of our primary imaging tasks complete, we decided to capture the sunrise and sunset as seen from another world,” said Justin Maki, InSight science team co-investigator and imaging lead at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Read more for a video explaining why Mars has blue sunsets and additional information.
You’d think a smartphone claiming to offer 50-days of battery life would sell like hotcakes, right? Well possibly, that is if…it didn’t look like an actual brick. The Energizer P18K Pop Smartphone campaign on Indiegogo received only 11 backers, who contributed a total of around $15,000, with perks including a single device at $549 up to a three-pack for $1,587. The crowdfunding campaign was seeking $1.2 million, but only reached 1 percent of its target. Read more for two additional videos and information.
Hate folding laundry and don’t mind spending on a robot? Then FoldiMate is exactly what you’ve been waiting for. First introduced in 2016, this device is almost ready for production, as the latest prototype has been further advanced from its previous model, and now automatically adapts to the clothing item type and size. It can now fold a full load of laundry (around 25 items) in 5 minutes. When launched, it’s expected to retail for around $980, or less than many washing / drying machines. Read more for a video and additional information.
Photo credit: Lets Go Digital
Samsung recently had a patent that was filed with the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) for an ‘electronic device having multiple of displays and method for controlling the same’ approved. This mobile device with a ‘multi-plane display’ is essentially a smartphone boasting a display on both the front and back that can be used simultaneously. The entire front is all-screen and the display surface extends up top and to about 3/4 of the back. Since the screen is placed in a bracket, it retains its fixed shape, therefore making it a double-sided phone. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.
Here’s another look at Russian designer Yuriy Dmitriev’s Bio-Robot Refrigerator, which is a zero-energy device, thanks to a special gel-like substance that suspends and cools food placed in it. This wall-mounted appliance can be set up horizontally, vertically or even on the ceiling, and does not have a motor, but instead a gel that does all the work, making 90% of the appliance actual usable space. To use, simply place food into its bio-polymer gel, which is odorless nor sticky, and it’s suspended and cooled until you need it. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.
At first, this appears to be just a slightly modified 1969 Ford Mustang Coupe, but step inside? It looks like a car from the future. This stunning vehicle is owned by Hassane El-Khoury, the president and CEO of Cypress Semiconductor, and in addition to the supercharged 5.0-liter V8, mated to a six-speed manual transmission, generating 785 HP, the interior is out of this world. Featuring 3D-printed panels, a digital instrument cluster, and touch-sensitive controls. Read more for another video, additional pictures and information.
Russia-based luxury accessory maker Caviar has created a geeky Infinity Gauntlet charger just in time for the Avengers: Endgame movie premier. At $7660, this luxurious Infinity Gauntlet is covered with gold and boasts six semi-precious stones: topaz, chrysolite, amethyst, garnet, citrine and amber. It stands 11.8-inches (30-centimeters) and is a near-exact replica of Thanos’ glove. When charging your smartphone, simply place it in the palm of the glove, plug in the connector, and you’ll be ready to go. Read more for additional pictures and information.
UCSF researchers have developed a brain machine interface for people with neurological conditions who have lost the ability to speak. This implant turns brain signals into recognizable synthesized speech by picking up on individual nerve commands and translating them to a virtual vocal tract. The system isn’t perfect just yet, as while it can accurately capture the distinctive sound of someone’s voice, the are times it produces garbled words. Read more for a video and additional information.