fans (like me) will get a vague sense of deja vu
when they see this flying sphere in action. Weighing in at about 12 ounces (350 g), the 16-inch (42 mm) diameter flying ball can launch and return vertically, maintain a stationary hover and zip along at up to 37 mph (60 km/h). Coupled with the ball camera
we reported on earlier this month, it could become a valuable reconnaissance platform. Who knows? In time, more advanced autonomous versions might actually be used to train would-be Jedi knights. Once again, life imitates art.
If you’re like me, you’re waiting for storage capacities to increase and prices to decrease before ditching the traditional platter-based hard drive and jumping on the SSD (solid-state drive) train to take advantage of lower power consumption and faster boot up and access times. Having already released the world’s first 3.5-inch 1 TB SSD
in 2009, OCZ has now removed the capacity hurdle for laptops with the release of the world’s first 2.5-inch SSD that is available in capacities up to 1 TB.
Italian architecture firm Boeri Studio hopes to merge vegetation and urban architecture, with its Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest) project. The Italian firm has designed a model that could see the "reforestation and naturalization" of metropolitan cities, by growing forests sky-ways. "Bosco Verticale [is a] device for the environmental survival of contemporary European cities," says Stefano Boeri, who worked with Gianandrea Barreca and Giovanni La Varra on the project.
Yacht tenders are generally open top boats that leave their passengers exposed to the elements, but Alex Pirard Yacht Design has created a more civilized option. Laying claim to the title of the the first yacht tender in the world to feature a convertible and completely automatized hard-top, Pirard's Oronero is designed to ferry its passengers in style regardless of weather conditions.
We've seen iPad docks that mount an iPad on a wall
, on a car dashboard
and on a fridge
, but the iRoom iDock is the first we've come across that mounts an iPad in
the wall. Featuring a motorized docking system that automatically opens and closes thanks to a proximity sensor, the iRoom iDock is flush-mounted to the wall, which means you'll need the services of an electrician to connect the unit to your home's electrical system.
It's easy to look back at the history of exploration and aviation and feel like there's no mountains left to climb, that the age of the great pioneers is behind us and we're doomed to a future of LCD tanning and monitor hypnosis. But don't try telling that to Pascal Chretien. On August 12, this electrical/aerospace engineer and helicopter pilot took to the air in the world's first untethered, fully electric manned helicopter flight in a prototype machine that he designed and built almost entirely by himself within a 12 month development period. In his 2 minute, 10 second test flight, Chretien beat aviation giant Sikorsky into the record books - but it was not without significant risk. As the man himself puts it: "in case of crash I stand good chances to end up in kebab form."
Toshiba has taken the wraps off a 55-inch, 16:9 ratio LED backlit TV with glasses free 3D capability and Quad Full HD resolution. That's a massive 3,840 x 2,160 pixels, or in other words, four times as many pixels as a 1920 x 1080p TV. We've just checked out the Toshiba 55ZL2 on the floor at IFA and the consensus is that it looks great.
While there have been some intriguing developments recently in the field of stretchable electronics
and flexible OLED displays
, one thing we haven't heard much about is stretchable displays
. So, is it possible to make a screened device in which every part of it could be stretched? The answer could now be yes, with news that researchers from UCLA's Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have demonstrated a stretchable polymer light-emitting device.
Ecotricity has unveiled plans to install green-energy-powered electric vehicle (EV) charging points at selected motorway service stations running up the UK's automotive backbone. Aiming to end potential range anxiety and speed up the adoption of EVs in Britain, the national network of charging posts will be rolled out to every Welcome Break service station, as well as other key locations, in the UK by the end of the year. Each charging post will receive its power from the company's wind and solar parks across the country, and one of the first three to go live is directly connected to the resident wind turbine at Reading's Green Park business park - offering electric motorists true zero emission driving.
Marrying space saving efficiency with a touch of 21st Century hospitality, Yotel hotels treat guests to a fully automated check-in service featuring Yobot, a theatrically lit robotic baggage drop-off machine that creates a mechanical performance for guests as it loads and stores their belongings. The robot porter is just the beginning of the novel hotel experience offered by Yotel, a capsule style hotel chain with locations in London, New York and Amsterdam.