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Ion Electrospray Engines Could Take Cubesats to the Moon and Beyond. CubeSats are one of the cheapest, most efficient ways to get to space. Each CubeSat unit measures just 10 centimeters on a side, which is usually enough room for solar panels, communications equipment, and a small science payload. It isn’t enough room for an engine, and generally, most CubeSats are dumped into orbit and left to fend for themselves, tumbling aimlessly until drag pulls them to earth after a few months or so. This makes them cheap for a spacecraft (usually a little over $100,000 each including launch costs), but places rather severe limits on what they’re able to accomplish. In 2013, NASA funded three different groups to develop small, highly efficient propulsion systems specifically designed to enable spacecraft like CubeSats to orient themselves, maneuver, and even change their own orbits.

In practice, the S-iEPS thrusters are mounted in a grid at one end of a CubeSat. Each thruster module is self-contained, with about a gram of fuel inside. Computing at the speed of light: Team takes big step toward much faster computers. University of Utah engineers have taken a step forward in creating the next generation of computers and mobile devices capable of speeds millions of times faster than current machines. The Utah engineers have developed an ultracompact beamsplitter—the smallest on record—for dividing light waves into two separate channels of information. The device brings researchers closer to producing silicon photonic chips that compute and shuttle data with light instead of electrons.

Electrical and computer engineering associate professor Rajesh Menon and colleagues describe their invention today in the journal Nature Photonics. Silicon photonics could significantly increase the power and speed of machines such as supercomputers, data center servers and the specialized computers that direct autonomous cars and drones with collision detection. "Light is the fastest thing you can use to transmit information," says Menon. Photons of light carry information over the Internet through fiber-optic networks. ARTIK. Good-Bye to Curved Lens: New Lens Is Flat. The gently curved lentil served as the namesake for the similarly shaped lens. Future cameras, however, may focus light by relying on flat lenses. Physicists are making major advancements with planar lenses that can scatter and bend rays of light, sans bulge. As we dream of smartphones that could roll up or slip into a wallet, laboratory researchers have made inroads with flexible circuits, batteries and displays.

The millimeters-thick camera lens, however, stands in the way, especially in cases where corrective lenses are necessary to overcome imperfections that would otherwise yield blurry images. A leap ahead came in 2012, when physicist and engineer Federico Capasso and his colleagues at Harvard University introduced a rudimentary flat, ultrathin lens. Despite its lack of curvature, the glass sliver could focus light via microscopic silicon ridges densely and precisely arranged to bend incoming waves in specific, calculated directions (above). NASA's Radar Found 4 Men Trapped in Rubble in Nepal By Their Heartbeats. Ten-engine electric plane prototype takes off. A team at NASA's Langley Research Center is developing a concept of a battery-powered plane that has 10 engines and can take off like a helicopter and fly efficiently like an aircraft. The prototype, called Greased Lightning or GL-10, is currently in the design and testing phase. The initial thought was to develop a 20-foot wingspan (6.1 meters) aircraft powered by hybrid diesel/electric engines, but the team started with smaller versions for testing, built by rapid prototyping.

Imagine a battery-powered plane that has 10 engines and can take off like a helicopter and fly efficiently like an aircraft. That is a concept being developed by NASA researchers called Greased Lightning or GL-10. The team, at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, is looking at the idea initially as a potential unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The GL-10 is currently in the design and testing phase. "Each prototype helped us answer technical questions while keeping costs down. NailO: A thumbnail-mounted wireless trackpad. Tiny trackpad uses your thumbnail to navigate devices. Several companies are working on eye-tracking tech as a way to navigate devices. A team of MIT researchers, however, have their eyes set on another body part: the thumbnail.

Graduate students Cindy Hsin-Liu Kao and Artem Dementyev are developing a tiny trackpad that fits over your thumbnail. They're calling it NailO, and it was inspired by colorful nail stickers popular in Kao's native Taiwan and many other Asian countries. The duo envisions NailO to be used in situations where both your hands are occupied -- for instance, you can use it to scroll down a website page to check recipes while cooking. Kao and Dementyev have already managed to build a prototype with swappable membranes on top, so you can change designs whenever you want. A Failed Lab Experiment Accidentally Invented a Replacement For Cement.

Jeff Bezos Says Blue Origin's BE-3 Rocket Engine Is Ready for Flight. Blue Origin, the spaceflight company created by billionaire founder Jeff Bezos, says that its hydrogen-fueled BE-3 rocket engine is ready for flight testing after years of development. "The BE-3 has now been fired for more than 30,000 seconds over the course of 450 tests," Bezos said in a statement issued Tuesday.

"We test, learn, refine and then test again to push our engines. The Blue Origin team did an outstanding job exploring the corners of what the BE-3 can do, and soon we'll put it to the ultimate test of flight. " Now that acceptance testing for the BE-3 has been completed, the engine will be integrated into the company's suborbital spaceship, Blue Origin President Rob Meyerson told reporters during a Tuesday teleconference. Eventually, the BE-3 will power an autonomously piloted suborbital spaceship that would take passengers on up-and-down rides into outer space.

Powered by hydrogen Blue Origin Rocket rivalries. Michigan Micro Mote - World's Smallest Computer. Michigan Micro Mote (M3), the world’s smallest computer, is taking its place among other revolutionary accomplishments in the history of computing at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA. Measuring in at less than a half a centimeter, it didn't take a truck to transport the computers from their home in Ann Arbor, MI. In fact, nearly 150 of these computers fit inside a single thimble.

Read what the museum says about their newest exhibit The M3 is a fully autonomous computing system that acts as a smart sensing system. In the IoT world, size and power are everything. The Michigan Micro Mote constitutes the first complete, operational computer system measuring as small as two millimeters across. The Michigan Micro Mote contains solar cells that power the battery with ambient light, including indoor rooms with no natural sunlight, allowing the computers to run perpetually. An Astonishing Lack of Power The extremely low-power Phoenix processor pictured on a penny M3 Versatility 1. 2.

Real-time magnet position detection using smartphone (iPhone) Self-fuelled liquid metal motor. PrintDisplay: DIY displays and touchscreens anyone can print. For years now, we've been promised miraculous new flexible touchscreen displays, but the deployment of such technology in big consumer products, like say the LG G Flex, hasn't started any revolutions just yet. That could soon change thanks to a team of computer scientists from Germany's Saarland University who have developed a technique that could allow anyone to literally print their own custom displays, including touchscreens. View all Using a regular inkjet printer equipped with a special ink, a DIY thin-film electroluminescence (TFEL) display can simply be printed out from a digital template of the desired size and shape using a program like Microsoft Word or Powerpoint.

"So far, nothing like this has been possible," says researcher Simon Olberding. "Displays were produced for the masses, never for one individual user. " However, the process – dubbed PrintScreen – is a little more complicated than simply pressing print in Word. Source: Saarland University Share. Tokyo's underground cycle rack holds 200 bikes below the streets. By Daily Mail Reporter Published: 14:30 GMT, 8 August 2013 | Updated: 12:39 GMT, 9 August 2013 It is one of the busiest cities in the planet and so space is at a premium.

So it is with little surprise that the Japanese have come up with a way of storing bicycles that takes up very little street space. This genius storage solution buried 11 metres beneath Tokyo stores up to 200 bicycles and each one takes just eight seconds to store. Scroll down for video Above ground: The bike parking appears to be just another small building in the street But underground the bikes are squeezed into one of 200 spaces below the small hut These artist's impressions show just how much space is saved above ground as a result of the idea The bike parks have saved lots of space and make the place look tidier with fewer bikes fastened to fences The idea came about because it had become so out of hand that finding a place to park one's two wheeler could be a series headache for commuters in the morning rush. Real Faces Student coding project by Rory Campbell...

MIT spinoff aims to be the next solution for battery life issues. We’ve seen our fair share of companies that claim they’ll “revolutionize” smartphone battery technology, though we haven’t seen many of those breakthroughs come to the mainstream yet. Even so, an MIT spinoff company called SolidEnergy claims to have created a new lithium-ion battery that can store far more lithium ions and still last hundreds of charging cycles. The size of the battery is reduced by a method that’s been tried many times before. SolidEnergy is replacing the usual graphite electrodes with a thin sheet of lithium-metal foil, which could potentially be dangerous. In the past, batteries using this method have either stopped working prematurely or in some instances have caused explosions. This problem is countered by using an ultra-thin metal anode and an electrolyte that both have solid and liquid parts.

SolidEnergy explains: SolidEnergy’s solution is to use both a solid electrolyte and a liquid one. So, what do you think? Scientist Duo Uses Laser To Create Super-Hydrophobic Material. With the help of lasers, an enterprising scientist duo at the University of Rochester has developed an entirely new material that is so hydrophobic that it causes droplets of water to bounce right off of it. Instead of coating a metal with water-repellent chemical, the team made use of laser-engraving to carve a specially-designed microscopic pattern onto its surface. According to the researchers, the substance could potentially be used to prevent rust or ice deposition on aircraft wings. Developed by scientists, Chunlei Guo and Anatoliy Vorobyev, the water-repellent capacity of the newly-created material is far higher than the Teflon used in non-stick frying pans. Unlike Teflon surfaces that need to be tipped at a 70-degree angle to let water droplets glide off, it allows water to slide off when tilted at only 5-degrees.

Recently published in the Journal of Applied Physics, the research also outlines the difference between the laser-etched metal and conventional chemical coatings. The power of paper | Ata Sina | TEDxRenfrewCollingwood. Tiny, ultralight Geco 1080p action cam mounts to sunglasses. The idea of video eyeglasses and sunglasses always sounds great at first – forget strapping a boxy camera to your head and get footage straight from your glasses.

What's not so great is the limited selection and acquired taste nature of the options currently available. Not everyone is into the "Red Bull-chuggin' extreme" styling of the Pivotheads or the "forgot my sunglasses so bought these at the pharmacy" look of Eyez glasses. The tiny Geco Mark II action cam solves the problem by letting you build your own using the glasses of your choice. View all Measuring 2.4 x 0.5 x 1.2 in (60 x 12 x 30 mm) and weighing in at 20 grams, the Geco Mark II is among the smallest HD action cams on the market. Geco calls the Mark II the world's first glasses-mounted action cam and believes it will be useful for everyday life and professional purposes, things you'd never dream of wearing a head-mounted GoPro around to film.

Product page: Geco Share About the Author Post a CommentRelated Articles. Elon Musk Boosts Hyperloop With Talk of Texas Test Track. Elon Musk Boosts Hyperloop With Talk of Texas Test Track Billionaire Elon Musk says he'll build a five-mile Hyperloop test track, "most likely in Texas," that companies and students can use to try out pod designs for the tube-based rapid transit system he proposed. Musk, who founded the SpaceX rocket company and heads the Tesla electric car venture, floated the idea on Thursday at the annual Texas Transportation Forum in Austin. In the past, Musk has said SpaceX and Tesla kept him too busy to pursue the Hyperloop concept — which he proposed as a way to go between, say, Los Angeles and San Francisco in less than an hour.

Supporters of the idea have already launched a crowdsourced venture aimed at turning it into a reality within a decade. Musk's comments could add to the momentum. He suggested that students could test their pod designs in a program similar to the Formula SAE competition for automotive design. . — Alan Boyle. [Premiere] MIT Made a Chair That Builds Itself. Fluid Assembly: Chair Test, Self-Assembly Lab, MIT + Arthur Olson + Autodesk Inc. Project Leads: Baily Zuniga, Carrie McKnelly, Athina Papadopoulou, Christophe Guberan, Chris Martin, Hannarae Annie Nam, Skylar Tibbits. Images courtesy the artists. A chair that builds itself sounds like an invention straight out of The Jetsons or Woody Allen’s tongue-in-cheek sci-fi satire Sleeper, not unlike the latter film's tooth brushing robot or in-car escape pod.

MIT researchers, however, have created just that: a squat, white chair that assembles itself solely on the power of water currents and small magnets, and it may very well change the way we build things. Designed to harness energy from natural forces to construct organized, sturdy structures, the small piece of furniture entitled Fluid Assembly: Chair Test is the most recent development in an ongoing collaboration between MIT's Self-Assembly Lab, digital design software group Autodesk, and molecular biologist Arthur Olson. Related: Texas Instruments builds an alternative energy for the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things is nothing without batteries and plugs. But it's possible to build a sensor network that uses harvested energy that comes from changes in temperature, vibrations, wind and light, as Texas Instruments (TI) will demonstrate at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.

The idea of harvesting power has a long history and there are many applications of it today. However, big solar panels or large sensors that can capture energy from vibrations, heat and light are impractical in many Internet of Things sensor applications, which are tiny in size. Texas Instruments TI said it has developed electronics capable of taking small amounts of power generated by harvested sources and turning them into a useful power source. All these ambient energy sources, such as the difference in temperature in a pipe carrying hot water and the outside air, can generate 300 to 400 millivolts, which isn't enough to power anything. X MARKS THE SPOT: FALCON 9 ATTEMPTS OCEAN PLATFORM LANDING. MULTI – the world’s first rope-free elevator system. 3-D Design Software “Evolves” Hundreds of Options. SpiderFab: Architecture for On-Orbit Construction of Kilometer-Scale Apertures. Elon Musk Compares Building Artificial Intelligence To “Summoning The Demon” Transparent optogenetic brain implants: Yet another amazing use for graphene.

Lockheed Says Makes Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project | Wochit. The Fortis exoskeleton let you lift heavy tools indefinitely – and it’s unpowered! A New Perspective (Multi-Person 3D system) - Computerphile. North Carolina's first retinal prosthesis at Duke Eye Center. FlexSense: A Transparent Self-Sensing Deformable Surface. Building lab-on-chip devices could soon be like playing with Lego. NASA Invents a Folding Solar Panel Inspired by Origami. 3D Printed Car: First Drive. New 3D Modeling Technique – Will it make 3D scanners obsolete? Real-Time Face Tracking and Projection Mapping ... Smart tattoo generates electricity from sweat, could power future wearable computers. Deep Photo: Model-Based Photograph Enhancement and Viewing.

First-person Hyperlapse Videos (Technical) Microsoft’s awesome Hyperlapse tech finally makes first-person GoPro videos watchable. These Smart Bricks Mean the Time Has Finally Arrived: Adults Have Legos of Their Own. Europe to Launch Robotic Space Plane Prototype in November. Man-made 'breathing' leaf is an oxygen factory for space travel. The Future of Desktop Computing? - Computerphile.

New Display Technology Could Do Away With Reading Glasses. SpaceX Landing Restoration. Researchers may have solved graphene’s production problems, cleared way for mass production. Russian PTK NP. This Woman Invented a Way to Run 30 Lab Tests on Only One Drop of Blood | Science. 'Smart glasses' help fix failing vision. Andy Green's 1,000mph Office Revealed. Private European Space Plane Prototype Passes 1st Drop Test (Video) Faster than Light: Warp Drive - SpaceVision 2013.

A First Drive. MIT researchers built 3D printable robots that self-assemble when heated. SpaceX unveils Dragon V2, the world’s first commercial manned reusable spaceship. Elon Musk's SpaceX Plans DragonFly Landing Tests. Stanford engineer invents safe way to transfer energy to medical chips in the body. Solar Roadways Could Power the Country and Pave the Way for Smart Road Network | Homeli. Enclosed tube maglev system capable of 1,800 mph tested in China.

Reinventing the wheel | euronews, hi-tech. 1er vol du E-Fan d'Airbus Group Innovations Works et ACS. Lytro Unveils the ‘Illum': A Beautiful Beast of a Light-Field Camera. Meet the Teams Who Are Building the World's First Medical Tricorder. Amazing Technology Invented By MIT - Tangible Media. Scientists just created some of the most powerful muscles in existence. Gibbs Amphitrucks - Phibian High Speed Amphibian Vehicle [360p] Magical, Retractable Tire Studs Only Deploy When You Need Them | Autopia. Bioengineering Dermo-Epidermal Skin Grafts with Blood and Lymphatic Capillaries. These Guys Are Creating a Brain Scanner You Can Print Out at Home | Wired Enterprise. Electronic Skin. World record solar cell with 44.7% efficiency. Split is an Entire Music Player That Fits in Your Ear. Sextupteron (Demonstrating each Degree of Freedom) Two young scientists break down plastics with bacteria.

Space travel, but not as we know it - meet the 'penetrator' probe. Martin Jetpack Climbs 5000 Feet Above Sea Level. World’s first telescopic contact lens gives you Superman-like vision. The Hollow (Thermoelectric) Flashlight - Google Science Fair. A cheap nanowire ink that can boost existing solar cell efficiency by 25% Graphene Aerogel Is The World's New Lightest Material. Spray-on clothing. I Didn't Know That - Concrete Tent. M.I.T. Computer Program Reveals Invisible Motion in Video. MYO - Wearable Gesture Control from Thalmic Labs. Fragile Italian Glass Snowboard: Every Third Thursday. Metaio announces AR processing unit for phones. The Official Ultra-Ever Dry Product Video - Superhydrophobic and oleophobic coating.

The Super Supercapacitor | Brian Golden Davis. Researchers create versatile 3D nanostructures using DNA 'bricks' (w/ video) (Tiny) Reconfigurable Robots at MIT. Reaction Engines Ltd - Video: Alan Bond Interview. Metamaterials manipulate light on a microchip. Nanotech device mimics dog's nose to detect explosives.