In this amazing video of the solar system, the asteroids that were discovered from 1980 to 2010 appear in the sequence as they were discovered. It's very cool to watch the process of discovery. You can observe patterns, as technological innovations come online and spur new batches of findings; and as groups of astronomers all look in the same direction at once -- for instance, when Voyager passed Jupiter, a lot of asteroids suddenly started to be discovered around that region of space.
With little more than a laser, a webcam and a MakerBot, you can make a 3D plastic replica of your face -- or anything else you might want to copy, just in case.
A research engineer at NASA’s Ames Research Laboratory has built a cheap 3D scanner that might go on sale this fall through the MakerBot store. You can sign up for updates on builder Andy Barry's Web site.
Robonaut-2, NASA's robot astronaut, now has a Twitter account. Indeed, the space-bound humanoid machine is taking questions from humans, tagged #4R2 on Twitter, and will be posting its answers tomorrow morning.
You may associate remote control with the urge to jump little R/C cars through walls of fire in your backyard, but that’s just the beginning of what you can do with the technology. Once you’ve mastered the basic concepts, the same parts and techniques used in toys can be used to control machines big and small, practical and absurd.
Some big news dropped quietly during a recent TED talk in the UK: Kepler co-investigator Dimitar Sasselov jumped the gun -- and likely angered a few colleagues -- with one of his presentation slides, letting the audience (and the world) know that Kepler has identified at least 140 "candidate" planets in the Milky Way that are "like Earth." That is, they are small, rocky exoplanets with at least an outside chance of harboring life.
It may not look like much, but NASA's next candidate to touch down on Mars has taken its first steps toward its larger ambition of exploring the Martian landscape in 2012.
Engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory had a big week last week, mounting the Remote Sensing Mast and an array of navigation and sensing cameras on their latest Mars rover. Then on Friday Curiosity took its first drive, traveling about three feet back and forth on its brand new 20-inch aluminum wheels.
Move over, hovercraft. This airplane can perch, bird-style, on a power line.
Using computer algorithms, MIT researchers have designed a foam glider with a single motor on its tail that can perch like a bird. The work has implications for robotic planes, potentially allowing them to recharge their batteries by perching on power lines, according to MIT News.
Slow and steady really does win the race. A diminutive robot perched atop stork-like legs has slowly strode beyond BigDog’s world record for robotic walking, making a continuous 11-hour trek around an indoor running track at Cornell University that covered 14.3 miles.