High Voltage = Electric Chair, Low Voltage = Einstein ?
Courtesy Lucas Mearian, ComputerWorld.com
An example of the nanostructures created with 3D laser lithography (Source: Karlsruhe Institute of Technology)
Computerworld – A team of German scientists used 3D laser lithography to print microscopic trusses and shells that are as strong as steel — and lighter than water.
The objective of the research is to someday create materials stronger than anything yet produced, yet lightweight enough for use in products such as aircraft or armor.
The honeycomb-like structures, made of ceramic-polymer composite material, are only about 50 nanometers thick. A nanometer is one billionth of a meter.
To give you an idea of how small the microarchitectures are, consider that a strand of human DNA is 2.5 nanometers in diameter and a human hair is about 80,000 to 100,000 nanometers wide.
The German team recently published a paper on their research.
The "polymer composites … exceed the strength-to-weight ratio of all engineering materials, with a density below 1,000 kilograms per meter (kg/m)," said Jens Bauer, a materials scientist leading the research at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany, in the paper.
The Nanoscribe Photonic 3D Professional printer from Nanoscribe GmbH, is a table-top laser lithography system used for creating three-dimensional photonic structures (Source: Nanoscribe)
The scientists took their inspiration from nature, which has produced materials far stronger, yet less dense than those created in a lab. For example, natural cellular materials such as bone and wood are strong and yet have considerably lower densities than aluminum alloys, Bauer stated.
The team used a 3D printer from Nanoscribe GmbH to create the nanostructures they hope can someday enable the creation of super-strong materials.
"Applying 3D laser lithography, which allows for producing almost arbitrary structures with sub-micron resolving power, micro-truss and -shell structures may be manufactured," he stated in a recently published paper. "Ratios comparable to those of advanced metallic alloys or technical ceramics have been obtained."
The nanostructures are created by placing a small amount of photocurable resin on a glass slide. Then a stereolithography 3D printer projects a laser in a grid-like pattern on the liquid material, hardening it where the light strikes. The resulting hardened structure is then coated with alumina, or aluminium oxide.
Nanoscribe’s stereolithography 3D printers are unable to as yet create structures larger than micrometers in size.
Courtesy JACK SMITH IV, BetaBeat.com
Hexacopter-style drones are known for delivering flowers, beer, and, in Jeff Bezos’s dreams if nowhere else, delivering your latest Amazon Prime order. Well, now a drone named CUPID is delivering 80,000 volts through an on-board stun gun.
For one of the more theatrical presentations at SXSW this weekend, software developer Chaotic Moon Studios gave a live demonstration of how its flying drone CUPID handles unwelcome house guests. They did this by tasing their intern.
The powerful, Taser-equipped drone isn’t going to be offered in stores any time soon. It’s part of a series that William “Whurley” Hurley, Chaotic Moon’s CIO, hopes will get people thinking about the social impact of tech developments.
“The things we thought were science fiction aren’t anymore,” Mr. Hurley said, “This conversation isn’t just between innovators, entrepreneurs, legislators – we’re trying to bring the discussion beyond our peers in technology to the people this technology will affect.”
The demonstration was of a hypothetical home-intruder scenario. CUPID can be programmed to sense unfamiliar trespassers when a set boundary line is crossed. It activates itself, takes off, and sends a notification to your phone so that you can view via remote video who the drone is seeing. You then cue CUPID to “authorize” or “detain” the intruder.
The ominous “detain” option causes CUPID to fire barbed prongs, pumping the target with “80,000 volts of awesomeness,” and can keep the electrical current running until the police arrive. The stun gun fries all electronics within a 5 foot radius, save for CUPID’s carefully protected components, of course.
The drone (seen above tasing Jackson the Intern) is built from a commercially available tarot hexacopter, and the drone can be piloted remotely, or can perform its duties on fully automatic mode.
This is where things get legally troublesome. With little-to-no precedent for automatic attack robots, legality is dubious. For the demonstration, Chaotic Moon’s legal team worked with local law enforcement and military to create the most safe testing environment possible, including a team of seven operators (the founder, the range master, the pilot, someone to load the charge, someone to fire it, and two layers of override). They decided fully automatic mode was off-limits for human testing, though Chaotic Moon insists that CUPID is quite capable of going solo.
CUPID’s implications are far-reaching. Such small, armed drones could be used for law enforcement to keep officers out of harm’s way or to automate basic patrol patterns — but it’s not hard to imagine how an airborne Taser could be abused. Similar technology also might be used to bring broadband networks into developing countries thanks to big investments by Facebook.
There’s no indication from Chaotic Moon or other developers that home defense technology like CUPID would be available for purchase or use any time soon, but Mr. Hurley is uncomfortable with the possibilities. “Usually when we finish a project with Chaotic Moon, we’ll open source the project for everyone’s use,” said Mr. Hurley. But not this time.
“Now we’re going to kill it.”
Courtesy John Farrier, Neatorama.com
How much can two heavy duty helicopters in tandem lift off the gound? A lot!
(No offense, ma’am.)
HeliGraphix is club of radio controlled helicopter hobbyists that puts videos of its amazing stunts online. Their latest project is HULC: Heavy Ultra Lifter Crane. HeliGraphix claims that it has completed the first successful human flight by an RC aircraft. In fact, they did several, some of which were over 40 seconds long.
Courtesy Ellie Zolfagharifard, DailyMail
Contact lenses that allow the wearer to see high-definition virtual screens are to be unveiled in Las Vegas next week.
Dubbed iOptik, the system allows the users to see projected digital information, such as driving directions and video calls.
The tiny ‘screens’, which are the invention of Washington-based group Innovega, sit directly on a users’ eyeballs and work with a pair of lightweight glasses.
Together, they provide an experience equivalent to watching a 240-inch television at a distance of 10 feet, according to Innovega’s chief executive Steve Willey.
Courtesy Greg Kumparek, techCrunch
Hello, and welcome back to today’s episode of “Why? LOL BECAUSE WE CAN.”
Tired of your dumb old microwave that justshoots friggin’ radio waves at food to cook it? Stupid thing probably can’t even play animated GIFs or send Snapchats or download the Fergie. What’s the point?
In the coolest mod I’ve seen in ages, developerNathan Broadbent has hacked away at his microwave to add stuff that any self-respecting microwave manufacturer of the year 2013 should have probably added themselves. Voice commands! Barcodes that pre-set cooking times! A SELF SETTING CLOCK.
Meet the Raspberry Picrowave. As you might’ve gathered from the name, it’s a Microwave mashed up with a Raspberry Pi, the $25 micro-computer adored by modders, hackers, and geeks ’round the world
Here’s what it can do so far:
- Clock sets/updates itself across the Internet
- A barcode scanner pulls cooking instructions from an online database. Such a database didn’t actually exist, so he’s building one himself, adding directions as he goes.
- Voice Commands, like “Microwave, Twenty seconds, Low.” (Alas, Nathan says his kitchen’s acoustics screw this up a bit.)
- Custom sound effects (because beeps are for chumps).
- You can control the microwave from your phone. The only uses I can think of for this are: when you know you’ll want microwaved popcorn later and can preload a bag, or when you want to convince your friends that you’re the biggest geek on the planet because you have a microwave that you can control with your phone.
- It tweets when it’s done cooking, because of course it does.
If nothing else, man oh man do I want that self-setting clock. My (two-year old) microwave uses the most ridiculous and impossibly obfuscated series of button presses for clock setting, so a power outage at my house generally means at least three months of the microwave swearing that it’s blink-thirty.
Stuffing a Pi into your microwave is cool and all, but the scale of the project gets a whole lot more impressive once he starts getting into the deeper details, from wiring the Pi into the microwave’s power supply, to designing a new control panel, to etching and producing a custom PCB that fits in the place of the original.
Courtesy Brooks Crothers, CNET
Touch devices — including laptops and tablets — based on Intel’s upcoming ‘Bay Trail’ chip will come in as low as $200.
Windows 8 touch devices will dive in price, according to Intel executives.
The price of Windows 8 touch devices, including laptops, will sink to price points that penetrate inexpensive tablet territory. These new "innovative" designs will be based on Intel’s upcoming quad-core "Bay Trail" chip, Intel executives said today during the company’s first-quarter earnings conference call.
"If you look at touch-enabled Intel-based notebooks that are ultrathin using [Bay Trail] processors. Those prices are going to be down to as low as $200," said Intel CEO Paul Otellini.
The Bay Trail chip is a complete redesign of the Atom micro architecture and is expected to get Atom chips closer to mainstream Intel chips in performance.
"Bay Trail is going to be a great product in that segment of the market and enable stunning performance relative to what the competition can bring," said Stacy Smith, Intel chief financial officer.
Earlier this month, an Intel executive in China said Bay Trail will be "the most powerful Atom processor to-date, doubling the computing performance of Intel’s current-generation tablet offering" and will allow designs "as thin as 8mm (0.3 inches) that have all-day battery life and weeks of standby."
Though neither Otellini or Smith mentioned screen size specifically, those price points would imply that at least some devices would use smaller-sized screens.
The Bay Trail chip is expected in products for the holiday season.
Otellini also said he expects more standard ultrabook designs based on the upcoming Haswell chip to come in as low as $499.