Last time PopSci checked in on Singapore-based Lovotics, roboticists there were trying to create an interface for human-robot love by imbuing robots with all the biological and emotional nuances that characterize human relationships.
While NASA waits with bated breath for the Curiosity rover’s arrival on the Martian surface, engineers at NASA and the Canadian Space Agency are already at work testing a new lunar rover designed to seek out water and other natural resources closer to home. The rover payload, known as the Regolith and Environment Science and Oxygen and Lunar Volatiles Extraction (RESOLVE), is designed to spend nine days prospecting for water resources on the moon sometime in the future.
We've been impressed in the past by aerogel, a lattice-like solid that's almost entirely made of air but can support weight and also has tremendous insulating properties. Then last year an ultralight metal caught our eye, weighing in at 99.99 percent air, which leaves 0.01 percent solid.
Now we are excited to meet aerographite, a sponge grown of carbon nanotubes that's the least dense solid ever: a cubic centimeter of it weighs just two ten-thousandths of a gram.
In an effort to outfox antibiotic resistance, a team of researchers based out of U.C. Berkeley--and including none other than Nobel laureate Steven Chu--want to build a wrecking ball that tears down bacterial cities. It’s not quite there yet, but in a paper released today the research group announced that via a new imaging technique it has for the first time revealed the structure of these biofilms -- and where they are vulnerable to attack.
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 idea of building small, thorium-based nuclear reactors – thought to be dramatically safer, cheaper, cleaner and terror-proof than our current catalog of reactors – can be shooed away as fringe by some. But the germ of the idea began with some of the country's greatest scientists, in the U.S. government's major atomic lab, at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, in the 1960s.
The "uncanny valley" principle--the idea that when robots (or politicians) look human but not quite realistic enough, it makes real humans terribly uncomfortable--is a persistent problem for roboticists pursuing realistic humanoid robots. But research also shows that the uncanny valley effect can be somewhat mitigated by making the robotic more attractive and lifelike.
Using a smartphone and ultra wide band (UWB) transmission technology, Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) and Fujitsu have teamed to create a realtime positioning system for the blind that works indoors where GPS can’t reach. Using base stations to triangulate a user’s position, the system is accurate to within 30 centimeters, or roughly one foot.
Isn't it a pain when you forget to stir your soup and it scorches? Or when you're trying to play Madden whilst hungry, but you need both hands on the controller? Ben Heckendorn, game device modder extraordinaire, came up with some solutions. Watch the videos past the jump.
Happy Fourth! We've resurrected a highly festive video from our archive to get you in the holiday spirit.
The Phantom line of ultra-high-speed video cameras have held PopSci's rapt attention even before the v12 model won our Best of What's New Award in 2008. So what better way to celebrate our nation's independence than aiming a Phantom v641 from New Jersey's Vision Research at all manner of explosives, resulting in high-definition footage of fireworks going off at a glorious 2,000 frames per second?
After enthusiastically covering the debut of Parrot at the Consumer Electronics Show back in 2010, PopSci went on to honor the camera-equipped, remotely-piloted quadrotor with a Best of What's New distinction. And so with that in mind I unboxed the newest iteration--properly named AR.Drone 2.0--prepared for some degree of disappointment.