Computational creativity and the future of AI

David Szondy

The ALASA concept uses an expendable rocket dropped from a conventional aircraft to launch...

If you've ever dreamed of turning your municipal airport into a satellite launching facility, then DARPA has your number. At this week's 18th Annual Commercial Space Transportation Conference in Washington, DC, Bradford Tousley, director of DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office reported on the progress of the agency's Airborne Launch Assist Space Access (ALASA) program, which is designed to launch 100-lb (45-kg) satellites into low-Earth orbit using an expendable rocket dropped from a conventional aircraft.  Read More

GE's new Laser MicroJet drilling holes in high-pressure turbine blades (Photo: GE Aviation...

Turbine blades for use in jet engines need to be made of a hard, unyielding exotic material made to exact specifications, which means the drilling of tiny cooling holes in the blades runs the risk of ruining them. To prevent this from happening, GE is combining the heat of the laser beam with the cooling of the water jet to drill holes without weakening the blades.  Read More

The latest Falcon 9 launch has been delayed 24 hours (Photo: NASA/Kim Shiflett) Today's launch of NOAA's Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) has been delayed 24 hours. With less than two and a half minutes on the clock, mission control placed the launch on hold due to problems in the first stage avionics and with one of the range safety radars.  Read More

Eve is capable of making and amending hypotheses based on testing (Photo: University of Ma...

Modern pharmaceuticals are a wonder of our age, but they also take years to develop at incredible cost. To shorten development time and increase economy, scientists at the Universities of Cambridge and Manchester have built Eve, an artificially-intelligent "robot scientist" that is not only faster and cheaper than its human counterparts, but has already identified a compound that could be used to fight malaria.  Read More

The Phantom Drophead Coupé 'Nighthawk' is part of Rolls-Royce's Bespoke collection

The Rolls-Royce badge has graced everything from luxury cars to nuclear reactors, but stealth aircraft have been a miss until now... sort of. As part of its Bespoke Collection, the upmarket car maker is showing off its high-tech street cred with its Phantom Drophead Coupé "Nighthawk". The limited edition aimed at the North American Market recently had its first public drive in Phoenix, Arizona and takes its cues from cutting-edge stealth aircraft.  Read More

Pluto and its moon Charon (Image: NASA/JHU APL/SwRI)

NASA's New Horizons deep space probe to Pluto and beyond has sent back its first images since waking up in December. Taken by the unmanned spacecraft's Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on January 25 and 27, it took until Wednesday to download the image data due to the great distance and bandwidth limitations, and shows the dwarf planet and its moon Charon.  Read More

Artist's concept of the Europa Clipper (Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Another celestial body has been added to NASA's bucket list as the space agency officially asks the US Congress for US$30 million for the first mission aimed at exploring Jupiter’s moon Europa. Part of the FY 2015 NASA Planetary Science budget, it would fund further development of an unmanned probe to study place in the Solar System outside of Earth where life may exist.  Read More

SAFFiR in a rain suit putting out a shipboard fire (Photo: US Navy)

If there's one job that a person would probably prefer to lose to a robot, it would be fighting fires aboard ships. To help make such a vision a reality, the US Navy and the Office of Naval Research (ONR) released details of demonstration exercises conducted by their Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot (SAFFiR) aboard the fire training ship USS Shadwell last November.  Read More

The component will be used to help reconstruct EDSAC

A piece of cybernetic history returned home as a long-lost component of the Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator (EDSAC), one of the first practical general purpose computers, was returned to Britain from the United States. The electronics chassis was given to the The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC) at Bletchley Park, where it will be used as part of the EDSAC reconstruction project and raises the possibility that more surviving parts may be recovered in the future.  Read More

The ONR study looks at bringing surrogates into military training (Photo: Shutterstock)

Robots and other mechanical beings are cropping up in the most unexpected places. Case in point: Pay a visit to the Institute for Simulation and Training at the University of Central Florida (UCF) and you'll find yourself greeted in the lobby by a human mechanical surrogate. Operated by a human in a remote location, the surrogate is not intended to put Walmart greeters out of a job, but is part of a program by the Office of naval research (ONR) to create robots, avatars, and animatronic surrogates for military training.  Read More

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