Monday, November 24, 2014

Final Assembly of Next Mars Lander

Lockheed Martin is beginning the final assembly of the next Mars lander, which is a revolutionary step in a revolutionary project.  This lander will distinguish itself from previous explorers by digging beneath the surface of Mars to investigate the planet's past and help us learn about its beginnings.  Not only do scientists want to know more about the history of Mars' surface, but also other planets; missions with the new lander might provide insights about other planets, and earth's place in things.  Since all the inner planets of the solar system are rocky and solid, we may be able to find similarities between them and figure out even more about the genesis of our solar system, and beyond.  This lander will overcome the Phoenix and the Viking, previous Mars landers, in functionality and capability.  Thus, the exploration of space and our surroundings continues.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Teaching Robots How to Fall

    Nature is often drawn upon for inspiration in developing technology. In this case, future search and rescue robots are being designed to imitate the way natural organisms fall, specifically human athletes and cats.  
    The intention is to develop robots that can land softly and reorient themselves in midair. In hopes of integrating these abilities into robots, everything from how to achieve the ideal landing angle to safe landing techniques are skills currently being observed in human athletes and cats.
    Robots today definitely have the processing power to compute what motors to move, and how to move them. The problem is that current motor technologies are not capable of moving fast enough. 
    Ideally, with this technology, robots will be able to reorient themselves and land safely regardless of how high they are falling from or how fast they are going.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Invisible Cloak


If you ever watched a movie from or played a video game you have seen an invisible cloak in use. An invisible cloak is cloak that someone would put on and become invisible to naked eye. As much as this cloak is a futuristic sci-fi thing its actually being made in Germany. Tiemo Bueckmann, a researcher and PhD student in Karlsruhe Institute of Technology is making this happen. He invented a material in which is a matrix of long, thin, tiny cones. When someone applies pressure on these cones they collapse, and any object beneath becomes undetectable. It is a solid that acts like a liquid. However there are many complications. One is that the liquid can only hide a pea. Also you cannot use two by two matrix, you have to use there by three by three and only material on earth that can have that kind of matrix is liquid. It will take long time for Tiemo or other researchers to invent something for full human body and that is actually a solid, but the good news is that the research is happening.

American Steel Today

In the American steel industry, few companies outperform Nucor Corporation, which is a steel company that recycles more scrap metal per year than any other company. This makes for a highly cost effective process that also conserves natural resources. Rather than processing raw pig iron, Nucor takes scrap metal from all sources to produce their steel. Yet, this process of constantly recycling gradually reduces the quality of steel, as more and more of its original quality is lost in the recycling process. For a while, Nucor steel was on the decline due to this loss of value over time.  Now Nucor is starting to incorporate small portions of highly pure steel and iron to improve the quality of these recycled batches.  Many people believe that this subtle boost in quality will put Nucor back on the rise, not only as an American standard of excellence, but also as a role model in foreign countries.

Propelling Cat


The Bendy iPhone 6

The delicate and fragile iPhone 6 has created a scandal dubbed “Bendgate,” which unleashed waves of criticism and complaints from users only a few days after release. Users reported that the phone bent in their pockets or even that they could bend it using their hands, and that bending it back resulted in a cracked screen. However, future electronics may have flexible capabilities without the same risks—due to new materials that allow electronic functionality even under stress or strain. Typically, our display screens are limited by the required rigidity of pixels within the LCD, but carbon nanotubes have the potential to change all of that. Though they are vulnerable to impurities resulting in poor performance, encapsulating non-polar carbon nanotubes in polar materials such as polyvinyledenedifluoride-tetrafluoroethylene (PVDF-TrFE) may be able to eliminate this risk. As a result, our future phones will be rigid when we need them to be, and flexible when we want them to be.

But rather than asking how we can make a flexible liquid crystal display, we should be asking why. What technical purpose does it serve, or what problem does it solve? Curved displays allow us to create large scale special effects, such as changing the color or appearance of a wall inside a building. However, curved displays that serve this purpose already exist. We can create curved displays, but why create a flexible display? The possibilities are endless, but to me, devices like this are just solutions to problems that don’t exist. Money could be better spent elsewhere—we won’t have LCD devices forever, and it’s time to start thinking about what will come next, rather than making minor improvements on something that’s already as good as it’s going to get! 

"Make it Wearable" by Intel - Mad Scientists Unite

Imagine the world’s greatest inventions; now imagine wearing them. Cool right? Intel thought so too and launched the “Make It Wearable” challenge for all tinkerers and inventors who think outside the box. A global project posed to the greatest minds across the globe the “Make It Wearable” challenge. The challenge consists of two parts: Dream It and Build It. Dream It is known as the “visionary track,” a section of the competition that allows contestants to submit ideas they believe will change the course of technological advances. Build it, also known as the Development track, is for those who think with their brains and hands, anyone who designs and builds. It focuses on the “concepts that are both excitingly innovative and feasible to execute.” There are currently five finalists who have submitted their concepts and designs including the BABYE, an emotional prosthetic that allows a mother to relay real time haptic information, that of which is related to a sense of touch, to a new born child in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). Due to the importance of touch between a mother and her developing baby, Raphael PM Lang and Camilo Anabalon have developed this technology to maintain a physical relationship while the child is separated in intensive care. Another group, Nixie, is developing a Flyable Wearable Camera that hangs on your wrist. By the wearer’s cue, Nixie will fly off the wrist travel out so many feet snap a picture and return to its operator. Christoph Kohstall
, Jelena Jovanovic
, and Michael Niedermayr
 wanted a device that was capable of, “capturing the moment without interrupting the moment.” Although applications are long overdue, interested individuals are able to follow the competition on makeit.intel.com. The Development Track Winner will be announced on November 11, 2014.
-Alexandria Miranda