Here at PopSci, there's nothing we love more than figuring out how something works, be it the latest technology, or a scientific breakthrough. That moment of discovery - let's call it a "how it works moment" - is almost as exciting for us buffs as it is for the researchers.
Based on shipwreck-salvage technology, the SARbot will fish you out
By Bjorn CareyPosted 02.08.2011 at 11:01 am
Things get very bad, very quickly for people in cold water. Just minutes after total submersion, heart and brain activity stop. But the cold also protects. If rescuers can reach a drowning victim in less than 90 minutes, it’s possible to resuscitate, often with no long-term ill effects. Inspired by this fact, Duncan Winsbury, a former station manager at the Fire & Rescue Service in Derbyshire, England, set out to build a robot that could find and retrieve cold-water drowning victims fast.
More than a year after the first consumer 3-D-ready HDTVs were demoed at CES, the next generation of sets are going on sale this week. But, aside from the new TVs, glasses, and Blu-ray players, the question of content remains. While there are already brand partnerships with networks like Discovery and ESPN, that's just the tip of the iceberg.
A new electronic notepad may be lifelike, cheap and energy-efficient enough to replace those wasteful paper slips we still use for memos and grocery lists. The four-ounce Boogie Board runs for years on a single watch battery and, thanks to a novel use of the material inside ordinary computer screens, even mimics the feel of putting pen to paper.
You don’t need big speakers to get big sound from your television. Emo Labs’s Edge Motion pumps tones out of a vibrating plastic sheet, just two hundredths of an inch thick, that sits over a TV screen. Its wide surface produces louder and more realistic sound than the small speakers in most TVs, but it takes up a lot less room than a separate stereo system.
It seemed like nothing at first. The red patch that appeared on Roy Brillon's thigh could have been a spider bite. But as the weeks passed, it grew and grew. By December 2004, the innocuous-looking bump had become an open wound the size of the palm of his hand. Brillon's doctor, Randy Wolcott, prescribed just about every antibiotic he could think of to cure the infection, but the lesion just got worse. "It was really bad," says Brillon, a 62-year-old retired housepainter from Lubbock, Texas. "I had to give up work because I couldn't climb ladders anymore."
Brillon felt like he was being eaten away from the inside out. And in a very real sense, he was.
Consider a scene from a hypothetical Hollywood thriller: Our heroine, filled with dread and whispering into her cellphone, walks slowly down a dark hallway toward a closed door. The sounds that make this scene come alive—-her voice, her footsteps, the creaking floorboards, the background music—-began as a bunch of prerecorded digital files on a hard drive. It took a sound engineer’s touch-—and a machine like the Euphonix System 5—-to blend them into the final, seamless soundtrack.
A seven-layer screen—-as thin as a credit card—-will be better-looking and more efficient than LCD and plasma
By Darren MurphPosted 03.26.2009 at 4:01 pm 15 Comments
Q: What is OLED?
A: OLED, or organic light-emitting diode, is a display technology using man-made, carbon-based molecules that emit light when charged with electricity.
Q: How thick are OLEDs?
A: The latest prototypes are as thin as a credit card (0.3 millimeter), because OLED pixels produce their own light, with nothing behind the screen. LCDs need a fluorescent or LED lamp to illuminate the pixels, and plasmas need compartments of electrically charged gas.
As early as 2015, the Ares 1 rocket, carrying the Orion crew capsule, could replace the space shuttle. With more than two and a half times the interior space of Apollo-era crew capsules, Orion can deliver a crew of six to the International Space Station and up to four astronauts to the moon. And if something goes wrong within the first 300,000 feet of the rocket's ascent, the Launch Abort System (LAS) will whisk the astronauts to safety.