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Infrastructure

While it might appear that large structures, such as bridges and buildings, remain entirely unmoved by everyday forces like rain and wind, the truth is that they do experience very slight vibrations, too small to be seen by the human eye. Those vibrations can be indicative of structural damage or instability, but current methods of detecting them are impractical and costly. A new technique developed by MIT researchers is designed to spot those telltale signs of weakness using high speed video and a computer vision technique. Read More
One unfortunate fact of modern life is that functional new software becomes non-functional old software with depressing regularity. For most people, this means predictable episodes of frustration, but for the US military, it's a more serious problem. DARPA's new Building Resource Adaptive Software Systems (BRASS) project aims to take a major shot at avoiding this obsolescence by developing software systems that can still operate properly a hundred years from now. Read More
Philips has announced that it plans to make 110,000 LED street lights in Los Angeles connected. The company will bring the lights online using new plug-and-play CityTouch technology. It is said to be quick and easy to install, and will allow the city's lights to be monitored and controlled via the web. Read More
Imagine being able to drive from London to New York, via Russia. While such a trip would take a while and give you a carbon footprint the size of Bigfoot, The Siberian Times reports that it may soon be possible, thanks to the recently-unveiled Trans-Eurasian Belt Development, which would also include a high-speed rail route. Read More
Over time we have gotten used to machines assuming certain roles in society, but even at the dawn of the the age of robotics, some types of skilled labor still seem beyond their reach. After all, how does a machine wield a hammer and overcome the perpetual problem-solving involved in putting together a house or a high-rise? While we might be some ways off from watching buildings sprout out of the ground at the push of a button, flying robots are already carrying out surveying and mapping tasks on construction sites from the US to Japan. But leading researchers are adamant that when it comes to automating the building industry, these machines have more to offer. Read More
Following an announcement from London mayor Boris Johnson yesterday, cycling in central London looks set to become significantly safer. Two new Cycling Superhighways are planned for the city, and – subject to final approval from Transport for London – work on building the routes will begin in March. Read More
As water shortage is a serious issue in many parts of the world, a means of efficiently harnessing safe drinking water from thin air without the need of expensive infrastructure could be a real lifesaver. Italy's Architecture and Vision is developing an off-grid bamboo tower called Warka Water that promises just that: the firm says it could collect an annual average of up to 100 liters (26.4 US gallons) of water per day. Read More
On the night before its official launch, Toyota President Akio Toyoda announced that the company's fuel cell vehicle (FCV) will be called the "Mirai." The name, which means "future" in Japanese, marks what the car maker sees as a turning point in automotive technology with the development of both a hydrogen-powered vehicle and an expanded hydrogen fueling infrastructure. Read More
A plan is afoot to ease the congestion of New York City's existing transportation infrastructure with a cable car system similar to London's Emirates Air Line. The East River Skyway proposal envisions a high-speed urban gondola that would offer commuters swift transport between Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, reducing travel times and providing a great view of New York City's skyline. Read More
The office of Texas Governor Rick Perry has revealed that SpaceX has selected Brownsville, Texas as the site of a new launch facility for sending commercial satellites into orbit. The plans were revealed as part of an announcement by the Governor’s office that the Texas state government is providing US$2.3 million to provide infrastructure for the project, which is expected to create 300 jobs and generate $85 million in capital investments. Read More
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