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Prototype


— Space

NASA working on RASSOR robot space excavator

Recently we've seen preliminary asteroid mining plans from Planetary Resources and Deep Space Industries, but what about NASA? The government agency would like to do some excavating on the Moon, Mars, and asteroids, too – but it isn't in it for the profit. NASA wants to clear the way for construction projects and mine materials for use by astronauts, and is developing a teleoperated robot called the Regolith Advanced Surface Systems Operations Robot (RASSOR, pronounced "razor") to get the job done. Read More
— Space

Planetary Resources shows off full-scale asteroid mining prototype

Last year, we took an in-depth look at Planetary Resources’ asteroid mining plans. Now the Bellevue, Washington-based company has revealed a full-scale prototype of its Arkyd-100 Low Earth Orbit spacecraft that will search for promising mining candidates. In a video update, Planetary Resources President and “Chief Asteroid Miner,” Chris Lewicki gave a tour of the 11 kilogram (24.2 lb) spacecraft’s features and outlined the company’s immediate goals. Read More
— Home Entertainment

Sony goes one (inch) better with "world’s first 56-inch 4K OLED TV"

When Sony showed up to CES 2012 with a Crystal LED prototype TV rather than an OLED TV like its rivals Samsung and LG, it prompted reports that Sony was abandoning OLED TVs aimed at the consumer market. The company might finally have put paid to these reports by displaying a prototype OLED TV at this year's CES. And in the spirit of one-upsmanship, Sony is touting the prototype TV as the "world's first and largest 56-inch 4K OLED TV."

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— Automotive

ECOmove revises production estimate for QBEAK EV

The close of 2012 is but a few short days away, and the promised production version of the QBEAK electric car has yet to appear. Its Danish developers have advised that unforeseen challenges along the route to producing what they claim will be the most environmentally-, energy- and city-friendly car in the world have eaten away at the original time schedule and forced a launch date rethink. Meanwhile, the company has unveiled a third prototype that marks a significant improvement on earlier versions. Read More
— Environment

World-first wooden wind turbine starts spinning in Germany

Getting a wind turbine to a decent height to allow it to reach stronger winds than those found closer to the ground generally means sitting them atop a tower. Despite the eco-credentials of wind turbines, these towers are usually constructed from steel, which is not only expensive, but requires large amounts of energy to process. In an effort to make wind turbines even greener, German company TimberTower has erected a wooden 1.5-MW wind turbine in Hannover, Germany. Read More
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