In the wake of Curiosity’s landing on Mars, a return to regular science missions in Earth orbit may seem a bit pedestrian. But tomorrow morning just after 4 a.m. EDT, an Atlas V rocket is launching from Cape Canaveral carrying a unique mission aimed at doing some pretty critical science much closer to home. The twin Radiation Belt Storm Probes are bound straight for the Van Allen radiation belts that ring Earth, mysterious and hazardous regions of nearby space that we’ve known about for decades without truly understanding them.
With Neil deGrasse Tyson, visiting a simulated asteroid under the sea
By Alex PasternackPosted 08.23.2012 at 10:20 am 5 Comments
PopSci is pleased to present videos created by Motherboard, Vice Media's guide to future culture. Motherboard's original videos that run the gamut from in-depth, investigative reports to profiles of the offbeat forward-thinking characters who are sculpting our bizarre present.
The possibility that Earth will be hit by an asteroid in our lifetime isn't huge. But here's the thing: the threat is so potentially catastrophic that even a small chance of impact – and the utterly apocalyptic waves that could subsequently erase entire coastlines – makes an asteroid one of those things that someone should probably be thinking about.
Preparing for a newborn baby is a lot of work, from buying the bassinet to arranging the diapers. And soldering apart the Wiimote, installing the crib lasers and turning on the camera.
A new Hungarian dad, concerned about monitoring his baby’s breathing, did what any modder would do: He built a baby-breathing-tracker. His name is Gjoci and here are his plans.
DARPA's Tactically Expandable Maritime Platform (TEMP) program is a wide-ranging effort to pack standard ISO shipping containers with technologies that can assist during humanitarian disasters or aid military in solving other unconventional, international problems (like piracy). Essentially DARPA wants a modular means to quickly turn any ship into a technology-laden base of operations that can quickly execute ship-to-ship or ship-to-shore operations. We've seen the ship-based portion of this before. We're now seeing the ship-to-shore piece.
The future of military robotics isn’t all heavy metal and humanoid soldier-bots. If DARPA’s newest warbot implement is any indication, the future is soft, lightweight, and inflatable. The Pentagon’s blue-sky research wing is about to award $625,000 to iRobot to develop an inflatable robotic arm that can lift four times its own weight.
By The EditorsPosted 08.21.2012 at 1:26 pm 2 Comments
Here's the second video in our series of maker profiles as part of the Red Bull Creation competition. In this installment, you'll meet Greg Needel, mechanical engineer, combat roboticist and toymaker. For last year's program he built a beer tap that senses the size of a glass and pours the perfect brew, and then went on to create a swingset-powered vehicle. This year, he continued the party theme with a robotic cooler. Bravo, Greg. Enjoy.
A massive cosmic cataloguing effort released a new crop of star and galaxy data last week, noting the locations and brightnesses of hundreds of thousands of objects. Now you can fly through some of them in this new video -- click past the jump for a "flight through the universe."
Face capture technology has come a long way, especially as 3-D stereoscopic imaging and the like have made leaps forward in recent years. It's now relatively easy to capture a face in 3-D and reconstruct it digitally for applications such as the amazing CGI you see in movies like The Avengers (Ruffalo-Hulk was pretty visually awesome, no?). But facial hair is another story altogether. Current face capture systems don't capture it well, and the skin that it obscures on the face then becomes an issue as well.
Soft, bendy robots could have a wide variety of benefits, from squishing into tight spaces to conduct surveillance, to crawling through a person's body to deliver drugs or take medical images. But it's hard to build entirely soft objects containing soft bodies, soft batteries and soft motors.