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David Szondy

Robotics

Bipedal robot conquers uneven ground

Getting a robot to walk is one thing, getting it to walk without tripping on the first obstacle it encounters is quite another. Engineers at the University of Michigan are developing a set of algorithms that allow an unsupported bipedal robot named MARLO to negotiate steep slopes, thin layers of snow, and uneven, unstable ground without toppling over. Designed as a general purpose robotic system, the algorithms may also have applications in advanced prosthetics.Read More

Space

Luxembourg joins asteroid mining space race

With a population of under 600,000, it's not surprising Luxembourg isn't currently on the list of spacefaring nations. But that hasn't stopped its government, along with the Luxembourg Société Nationale de Crédit et d'Investissement (SNCI), entering into a partnership with the US asteroid mining company Deep Space Industries (DSI) as part of the country's spaceresources.lu initiative to develop new commercial space technologies with an emphasis on asteroid mining.Read More

Out: Boaty McBoatface. In: RRS Sir David Attenborough

It looks as if Britain's £200 million (US$284 million) state-of-the-art polar research ship won't be christened "Boaty McBoatface" after all. According to the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), the UK Science Minister Jo Johnson confirmed today that the vessel will be named "Royal Research Ship Sir David Attenborough" in recognition of the broadcaster's contributions to natural science and education.Read More

Aircraft

NASA and Honeywell (literally) look at sonic booms

NASA has teamed with Honeywell Aerospace to help bring its dream of the return of commercial supersonic flight a bit closer to reality. NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center and Honeywell have flight tested a cockpit display that allows pilots to visualize the location of sonic booms before they occur. With this knowledge, aircraft can change course and minimize the boom over populated areas.

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Space

Mouthy sea urchin inspires engineers to take a bite out of other planets

The sea urchin may be a restaurant delicacy, but it's also well equipped to satisfy its own appetite. The spiny invertebrate has a rock-crushing mouth so powerful that a herd of them can destroy a kelp forest or devastate a coral reef. Now its dinner manglers have inspired a team of engineers and marine biologists at the University of California, San Diego, to create a claw-like manipulator for robotic rovers tasked with collecting soil samples on other planets.Read More

3D Printing Feature

3D printing goes to war

From the bow to the bunker buster to the hydrogen bomb, new technologies have changed the face of warfare, and 3D printing looks set to be just as revolutionary. It's been around since the 1980s, but as key patents expire and access to the technology becomes more readily available, its effects on the military promise to be considerable – though the biggest and most immediate impact may be from a surprisingly humble quarter.Read More

Space

British astronaut pilots earthbound rover from aboard ISS

Deep space exploration has taken one small step (or roll) forward with the successful test of space-based control of a robot rover from aboard the International Space Station. The experiment saw British ESA astronaut Tim Peake take control of a British-built rover named "Bridget" and guide it around a simulated Martian landscape back on Earth, avoiding obstacles and locating scientific targets along the way.Read More

Science

Weasel takes down Large Hadron Collider

A small furry animal today took on the largest atom smasher ever made, and won. According to internal documents at CERN, the Large Hadron Collider was knocked out of commission at about 5:30 am CEDT when a weasel caused a "severe electrical perturbation" when it stepped on the bare connections of a 66,000 volt transformer. This not only proved instantly fatal to the weasel, but it also short circuited the power system, causing the LHC to execute a fast abort as the sudden power loss created a series of anomalies.Read More

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