Take An Ubercopter
Uber product head Jeff Holden announced that Uber is extremely interested in VTOL, or “vertical takeoff and landing”, technologies. VTOL vehicles can take off and land from small pads like helicopters, making flying from one random location to another much easier.
A Self-Driving Chair
Many car companies are investing in self-driving technology. But Nissan is taking it one step further with self-driving chairs. Aside from making sure the user never needs to stand up again, the technology, called ProPILOT, could also help a car stay in the center of its lane.
Rosetta lived a good long life. For 12 years, the NASA spacecraft successfully stalked Comet 67P, sending back load of data for its inventors to analyze. This morning, the spacecraft was intentionally sent into the comet where it crashed, ending its 12-year tenure. Like everyone, its life was full of ups and downs, including losing its Philae lander in 2014 and then recently finding it this past summer. Read more about its best moments here.
Pangolins Are Now (Officially) Protected
In recent years, the pangolin has received its deserved share of press coverage as being one of the most heavily trafficked mammals in the world. Now, it’s been officially named to the list of the world’s most protected animals. It has been uplifted from Appendix II to Appendix I of the of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Appendix II allowed for limited trade, but now at Appendix I, all trading is now illegal.
Anteater-like Dinosaur Found
This week, scientists announced in the journal Current Biology, that they had found the remains of a dinosaur, which they named Drepanosaurus unguicaudatus, whose bone structure was distinctly different from other reptiles’. In fact, it more closely resembled an anteater. An artist’s rendering, above, shows what its body would have looked like with its unique arm structure. See how it differs from other reptiles here.
Researchers this week announced that they had created a hydrogel–a jelly-like polymer–that can change its shape over time. And what better way to demonstrate this unique property than a blooming flower? Researchers think this technology could be applied to medical devices that grow inside the body.
3D Printed Implants To Help Bone Growth
Scientists have figured out a way to create a hyper-elastic bioengineered bone material that, when implanted into the body, could help to stimulate bone growth and regeneration.
World’s New Largest LEGO Structure
There is a record for the largest LEGO structure in the world. And it was just broken. A 42-foot tall replica of London’s Tower Bridge, which has 5,805,846 bricks, is now the reigning champ. Let’s hope it doesn’t all fall down.