Call it job creation: this week a handful of sea lions and dolphins trained to locate undersea mines earned their jobs back, jobs that were supposed to be turned over to undersea mine-sweeping robots. And why were these seafaring mammals brought back into service? To find the very robots that were supposed to replace them, four of which have gone AWOL somewhere off the coast of Virginia. You can't make this stuff up.
Here are PopSci's very first looks at technologies, like the telephone and the Internet, that went on to be rather successful
By Alessandra CalderinPosted 06.10.2010 at 1:57 pm 1 Comment
In PopSci's 138 years of publishing, we've seen some things. For instance, we were around in 1877, when Professor Alexander Graham Bell successfully used his telephone on wires between Boston and Salem. We were there when movies first started to talk. We've been here throughout the audio evolution, from LPs to cassettes to CDs to MP3s. We witnessed the birth of the Internet. We've seen a lot.
For this gallery, we've hit the archive and assembled a few of our often-breathless first looks at these now-ubiquitous, then-revolutionary technologies that went on to reshape our modern lives.
Another rocket launch on the Korean peninsula ended in failure today as South Korea’s second attempt to put a satellite into orbit exploded 137 seconds after takeoff. Footage of the launch shows the rocket successfully clearing the launch pad and heading for the upper atmosphere, but a bright flash captured by a camera-mounted rocket was among the last transmissions the rocket sent back to Earth before launch handlers lost contact with the rocket completely.
Further validating the increasing role that unmanned aerial systems (UAS) play in 21st-century defense, the United States Air Force announced yesterday that it will institutionalize the remotely piloted aircraft pilot service field, establishing undergraduate RPA training that will make UAV pilot less a specialization and more a full-fledged operational career.
It’s sink or sail time for Japan’s IKAROS spacecraft, and according to initial reports from JAXA the unfurling of the first solar sail deployed for actual deep space travel went off without a hitch.
But the successful sail deployment isn’t a guarantee of success. IKAROS (Interplanetary Kite-craft Accelerated by Radiation Of the Sun) still has to get moving, and mission handlers say in their blog posts today that it will be a few weeks before we know if the sail is really working the way it is supposed to.
In Popular Science's July issue, we look at the phenomenon of stem-cell tourism: patients who head overseas for experimental medical treatments unavailable in the U.S. For the article, I spent a few days checking out Regenocyte, a Florida-based medical operation that coordinates experimental stem cell treatments in the Dominican Republic.
Now another developing country known for courting overseas patients -- Costa Rica -- has discontinued stem cell procedures at its biggest clinic, the Institute of Cellular Medicine (ICM) in San Jose, which has treated about 400 people since it opened in 2006.
It's 2:30 in the afternoon in the Dominican Republic, and Karen Velline, a 66-year-old grandmother from Cold Spring, Minnesota, is lying on an operating table, swaddled in sterile surgical sheets. She's just moments away from a procedure so experimental that no doctor will perform it on U.S. soil. Yet she calmly stares up at the ceiling, more excited than anxious.
The Federal Aviation Administration wants you to fly the robot-friendly skies, but the regulatory overseer has more than a few challenges to overcome before it can extend that invitation in earnest. The FAA today announced it has added a research project aimed at figuring out exactly how the U.S. can safely fold unmanned aircraft into its national infrastructure and eventually the airspace it governs.
A Switzerland-based chemist who invented solar cells that mimic photosynthesis is the winner of a million-dollar technology prize announced Wednesday.
Michael Gratzel invented low-cost solar cells that can be turned into electricity-generating windows, mobile solar panels and other devices. He won the $960,000 (€800,000) Millennium Technology Prize, awarded every other year by Finland's Technology Academy.
Imagine a gesture-based mobile device with no screen, no keyboard, and no other peripheral inputs or outputs, a mobile device that's not really a device at all. Can you see it in your mind's eye? If so, you're probably picturing something akin to a new "imaginary" interface envisioned by a German research student who wants to let users imagine their own graphical interfaces, operating their conjured keyboards via spatial memory and proprioception.