Posts tagged technology

Video: NASA test firing of their new 3D printed rocket.

NASA was able to reduce the number of components in this rocket’s injector from 163, down to just two, by using a printing technology called “selective laser melting”.

Tropical storm Marie, from the ISS.
Taken by Alexander Gerst.

Tropical storm Marie, from the ISS.

Taken by Alexander Gerst.

DIY Johnny 5 robot kit available.
The US$1,400 kit lets you create a fully functional model of the robot from the 80s movie Short Circuit.

The robot is made from Servo Erector Set aluminum brackets, custom injection molded components, and ultra-tough laser-cut Lexan structural components. The torso is fully articulated utilizing 8 x HS-645MG, 3 x HS-475HB / HS-485HB, and 3 x HS-422 servos, and our SSC-32 servo controller. By utilizing heavy duty polypropylene and rubber tracks with durable ABS molded sprockets the robot has excellent traction. It includes two 12vdc 50:1 gear head motors and the Sabertooth 2 x 5 motor controller.
The combo kit includes the powerful Lynxmotion Sequencer Program for PC. You can control the robot from a PC with the included DB9 cable, or use our DFRobot bluetooth/APC220/Xbee modules for wireless PC control. 

DIY Johnny 5 robot kit available.

The US$1,400 kit lets you create a fully functional model of the robot from the 80s movie Short Circuit.

The robot is made from Servo Erector Set aluminum brackets, custom injection molded components, and ultra-tough laser-cut Lexan structural components. The torso is fully articulated utilizing 8 x HS-645MG, 3 x HS-475HB / HS-485HB, and 3 x HS-422 servos, and our SSC-32 servo controller. By utilizing heavy duty polypropylene and rubber tracks with durable ABS molded sprockets the robot has excellent traction. It includes two 12vdc 50:1 gear head motors and the Sabertooth 2 x 5 motor controller.

The combo kit includes the powerful Lynxmotion Sequencer Program for PC. You can control the robot from a PC with the included DB9 cable, or use our DFRobot bluetooth/APC220/Xbee modules for wireless PC control. 

Worlds fastest camera shoots 4.4 trillion frames per second.
A Japanese team has created a recording device able to acquire 4.4 trillion images per second, at a 450 x 450 pixel resolution. The technique could be used to further research into heat conduction and chemical reactions, according to its creators.
If the resolution can be improved, it could also prove useful for manufacturing, where it could keep track of laser cuttings in real time.

The technique, known as a Sequentially Timed All-optical Mapping Photography, or STAMP for short, shuns the conventional methods employed by other superspeed cameras to achieve results up to 1,000 times faster than has been previously available. The current leading brand of high-speed real-time recording is a method unfortunately known as the pump-probe process, where light is “pumped” at the subject and then “probed” for absorption. STAMP differs from this by skipping the need to constantly probe, or measure, the scene to construct an image, instead it uses single-shot bursts to acquire images and maps the spatial profile of the subject to the temporal profile at a 450x450-pixel resolution.

Worlds fastest camera shoots 4.4 trillion frames per second.

A Japanese team has created a recording device able to acquire 4.4 trillion images per second, at a 450 x 450 pixel resolution. The technique could be used to further research into heat conduction and chemical reactions, according to its creators.

If the resolution can be improved, it could also prove useful for manufacturing, where it could keep track of laser cuttings in real time.

The technique, known as a Sequentially Timed All-optical Mapping Photography, or STAMP for short, shuns the conventional methods employed by other superspeed cameras to achieve results up to 1,000 times faster than has been previously available. The current leading brand of high-speed real-time recording is a method unfortunately known as the pump-probe process, where light is “pumped” at the subject and then “probed” for absorption. STAMP differs from this by skipping the need to constantly probe, or measure, the scene to construct an image, instead it uses single-shot bursts to acquire images and maps the spatial profile of the subject to the temporal profile at a 450x450-pixel resolution.

Jawbone data shows which Bay Area residents were woken by the quake.
Interesting chart from anonymized data taken from Jawbone UP trackers, showing just how many residents of each area were woken by Sundays 3:20am quake.

Jawbone data shows which Bay Area residents were woken by the quake.

Interesting chart from anonymized data taken from Jawbone UP trackers, showing just how many residents of each area were woken by Sundays 3:20am quake.

8 Bit Future’s back (from the future?)
A few issues with 8bitfuture.com over the last couple of weeks have been resolved. My hosting provider completely disappeared, taking 6,000 websites with it by the look of things on their Facebook page, so the domain is now handled through GoDaddy which should be a bit more reliable, if not more expensive, but a good lesson that when it comes to the internet, you get what you pay for.
The image above is from a 2010 proposal to send ‘tumbleweed probes’ to Mars, where they could be moved around by wind instead of driving on six wheels like the currently active NASA rovers there. Video of the rovers here.
Another interesting space story this week is about the state of Curiosity’s wheels, which are currently developing large holes that could put the extended mission in jeopardy. The short version is that NASA didn’t realise just what kind of rocks they’d be dealing with, but the rover could continue indefinitely if they take it to more soft sandy areas. Below is a photo of a replica wheel, tested to breaking point here on Earth. Interesting to see it with a human - I never realised how big the rover was until seeing one of it’s wheels! Check out the full story here at Gizmodo.

8 Bit Future’s back (from the future?)

A few issues with 8bitfuture.com over the last couple of weeks have been resolved. My hosting provider completely disappeared, taking 6,000 websites with it by the look of things on their Facebook page, so the domain is now handled through GoDaddy which should be a bit more reliable, if not more expensive, but a good lesson that when it comes to the internet, you get what you pay for.

The image above is from a 2010 proposal to send ‘tumbleweed probes’ to Mars, where they could be moved around by wind instead of driving on six wheels like the currently active NASA rovers there. Video of the rovers here.

Another interesting space story this week is about the state of Curiosity’s wheels, which are currently developing large holes that could put the extended mission in jeopardy. The short version is that NASA didn’t realise just what kind of rocks they’d be dealing with, but the rover could continue indefinitely if they take it to more soft sandy areas. Below is a photo of a replica wheel, tested to breaking point here on Earth. Interesting to see it with a human - I never realised how big the rover was until seeing one of it’s wheels! Check out the full story here at Gizmodo.

Video: NASA’s ‘flying saucer’ tested in the upper atmosphere.

NASA is testing a “flying saucer” designed to land on Mars and deliver large payloads to the Red Planet, and the agency has released a spectacular video of a high-altitude test conducted over Hawaii this past June. In it, the Low Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) is brought up 180,000 feet high into earth’s atmosphere, a place where conditions are similar to those on Mars. After confirming that the vehicle could fly in these conditions, NASA then tried to slow the craft down with two new technologies — a funky, donut-shaped “Supersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator” and a massive supersonic parachute.

Fully functioning hard drive built in Minecraft.

Yep, it’s a computer within a computer. We need to go deeper.

More photos and info on how it works here.

"Visual microphone" can decode words from the vibrations in an object.

A MIT student has shown how the tiny vibrations caused by sound waves can be picked up by a high speed video camera, and decoded with software to figure out what sounds were being made.

The technique allows the researchers find out the subject of a conversation, for example, by watching the vibrations in a glass of water or a bag of chips.