The New Second Tallest Building In The World Is An Urban Green Space Wonderland The second tallest building in the world is more like a vertical city than a building. Think of it like this: the 632-meter tall Shanghai Tower is a bustling mixed-use metropolis with more green space (and even more people) than many cities on the ground can boast of having. The statistics on the building, which ranks only behind Dubai’s Burj Khalifa in height, are staggering: 521,000 meters squared of floor space, 106 elevators, a weight of 1,200 metric tons, the ability to hold 30,000 people (it really is like a small city), and the kicker--one-third of the building is dedicated entirely to green space. "Our client essentially is the government," says Dan Winey, who leads Gensler’s Asia region (Gensler designed the building, which just held its topping-out ceremony this month). The government is looking for a symbol of the emergence of China, the development of Shanghai as a major financial center. If you look at the history of Shanghai, it’s a city of parks."
New high-tech airships are rising in Southern California Worldwide Aeros is building a blimp-like aircraft in a Word War II-era blimp… (Don Bartletti, Los Angeles…) Not since the waning days of World War II have the mammoth wooden blimp hangars at the former military base in Tustin seen as much airship manufacturing work as they do today. Inside the 17-story structures that rise above southern Orange County, Worldwide Aeros Corp. is building a blimp-like airship designed for the military to carry tons of cargo to remote areas around the world. "Nobody has ever tried to do what we're doing here," Chief Executive Igor Pasternak said of the 265-foot skeleton being transformed into the cargo airship. "This will revolutionize airship technology." PHOTOS: Next-generation airships Residents of Southern California are no strangers to airships. The federal government is buying blimps, zeppelins and spy balloons, and many of these new-generation hybrid "lighter than air" aircraft are taking shape across California.
Crazy Hoverbike is Capable of Flying to 10,000 Feet Even though this crazy hoverbike hasn’t yet left the inventor’s neighborhood, the high-flying invention has some amazing potential. Designed by Australian Chris Malloy the bike is capable of traveling at speeds of up to 173mph at 10,000 feet. It could potentially travel even higher, but then users would have to carry oxygen. Classified as an ultralight, users won’t be required to have a pilot’s license to ride it, but might we need traffic lanes at 10,000 feet if it does take off? The 1170 cc hoverbike engine is air-cooled and runs on regular unleaded fuel (if only it ran on algae… that would be cool!) In an urban context, the hoverbike would be an absolute nightmare. + Hoverbike
A smart-object recognition algorithm that doesn’t need humans (Credit: BYU Photo) BYU engineer Dah-Jye Lee has created an algorithm that can accurately identify objects in images or video sequences — without human calibration. “In most cases, people are in charge of deciding what features to focus on and they then write the algorithm based off that,” said Lee, a professor of electrical and computer engineering. “With our algorithm, we give it a set of images and let the computer decide which features are important.” Humans need not apply Not only is Lee’s genetic algorithm able to set its own parameters, but it also doesn’t need to be reset each time a new object is to be recognized — it learns them on its own. Lee likens the idea to teaching a child the difference between dogs and cats. Comparison with other object-recognition algorithms In a study published in the December issue of academic journal Pattern Recognition, Lee and his students demonstrate both the independent ability and accuracy of their “ECO features” genetic algorithm.
Aeroscraft The Aeroscraft is the name of a series of cargo-carrying rigid airships planned by the Worldwide Aeros Corporation. The company is seeking funding for its ML866 model, which will carry 66 tons of payload, and for its ML868 model carrying 250 tons. A model capable of lifting 500 tons, the ML86X, is also on the drawing board. A scaled-down prototype called the "Pelican" was completed in January 2013 with funding from the U.S. Technical details The current prototype, the Pelican, is 266 feet (81 m) long and is designed for a top speed of 60 knots (110 km/h). Technology The Aeroscraft, like the Zeppelins of the past, uses a rigid internal structure to maintain its shape. Unlike modern hybrid airships, the Aeroscraft is lighter-than-air during flight, and does not rely on aerodynamic lift to maintain flight. This will enable the vehicle to hover at full payload capacity. Uses Commercial cargo Military uses History Flight testing See also
Imagining A Future City Filled With Driverless Cars And Without Any Parking Spaces As self-driving cars move from fantasy to reality, what kind of effect will they have on cities? A fantastical research and urban prototyping project called Shuffle City investigates, and in the process, becomes a manifesto for a new kind of modern city--one that depends less on traditional public transportation like buses or light rail and more on creating a fleet of continuously moving automated vehicles to serve urban mobility needs. Focusing on Houston--the country’s car-oriented fourth largest city--the project "identifies opportunities outside of the ownership model to liberate an otherwise suppressed urban landscape, by programming a dynamic system of flow that is made more immediately possible through a public autonomous (driverless) vehicle fleet," according to its website. Shuffle City looks at the new possibilities that could arise from cities transitioning away from cars with drivers to cars without drivers.
Army lets air out of battlefield spyship project Near the height of the Afghanistan war, the Pentagon spent $297 million on a seven-story blimp-like aircraft — as long as a football field — that would hover over the war zone for weeks at a time, beaming back crucial intelligence. But as the military wound down its presence in the Middle East, plans for the unmanned floating spy center deflated. The aircraft fell behind schedule, became 12,000 pounds ...
This doohickey turns your normal bike into an electric bike Try not to think about how its name sounds like masturbation. Buying an electric bike is kind of a commitment — it can cost as much as a cheap car, weigh as much as a small boar, and be troublingly similar to riding an artificially intelligent Pegasus-android that could destroy you at any moment. On the other hand, conversion kits are often heavy and unattractive. In a Kickstarter that’s actually cool, some Lithuanian guys have invented a gadget you plop on your bike that turns your steel steed electric — without the weight and cost of an e-bike. When your thighs hit noodle state, the Rubbee can take over for up to 15 miles, driving your bike at up to 15 miles per hour. If you want your own Rubbee, donate to the Kickstarter, which has raised $64,000 of its $96,000 goal so far.