BigDog is a cinderblock-hurling robot that shambles like a something out of Lovecraftian horror. DARPA and Boston Dynamics are developing the four-legged robot to go anywhere troops can go on foot, while carrying up to 400 pounds of gear for them. It’s basically a donkey, except without a head or any distracting biological needs.
Last week, DARPA awarded a $10 million contract to Boston Dynamics to further develop BigDog, with a planned culmination in a military exercise two years from now. To reduce risks to soldiers in combat, the research agency has asked Boston Dynamics to build a quieter and more bullet-resistant version of the robot. Scary.
A mothballed satellite that languished in storage for years is now on track to launch in early 2015.
The Deep Space Climate Observatory, or DSCOVR for short, passed a key review that determined the mission is on target to meet its cost and schedule requirements, according to a statement from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Tuesday (Sept. 10).
The satellite is designed to detect potentially Earth-threating space weather that could cripple electrical grids, hobble communications systems and disrupt air travel, satellites and spaceflight.
The need for more passwords that our feeble human brains struggle to remember can make it feel like we work for the machines instead of the other way around. Wearable, and even embeddable, login storage has emerged has a possible solution.
After Google researchers floated the idea of a USB stick or a ring that would generate login keys, it appeared the Web giant would lead the way. But a UK project recently closed a $380,000 Kickstarter campaign, promising delivery of 61,000 password-bearing rings in September.
The company, NFC Ring, makes a simple silver ring with two near-field communication transmitters inside it, storing access information that can potentially be used to unlock phones, cars or houses or even to log in to websites.
One transmitter faces out and stores information that the user may want to share, such as his or her contact information. (The Android operating system allows users to share data via NFC.) The other faces inward and stores more private information, such as the home-unlocking passcode. The transmitter must come within a millimeter of an NFC reader to transmit its data.
One of the largest single volcanoes in the solar system is right here on Earth. Researchers from the University of Houston have determined that a structure long-hidden beneath the ocean, Tamu Massif, is actually one large volcano — not a series of smaller ones. At just over 400 miles wide, it has an area that’s about the size of the British Isles and compares to Mars’ massive Olympus Mons, the biggest known volcano in the solar system. But despite Tamu Massif’s gigantic size, determining what exactly it is has taken years.
“WE KNEW IT WAS A BIG VOLCANIC ‘SOMETHING.’”
“We knew it was a big volcanic something,” William Sager, the Houston team’s lead researcher, tells The Verge. “The problem is we really don’t know what’s out there. We can’t see the structure very clearly.” As Sager says, marine geologists are in a tough spot when it comes to observing their subjects — they can’t exactly walk right up to them.
At SpaceX, we love to play with cutting-edge technology and are always looking for ways to turn science fiction into reality. It not only advances our work, but it’s also fun! Shown here is a concept we’re exploring: natural gesture-based interaction with a computer-aided design program, leveraging a Leap Motion Controller.
This system is just the beginning, and gives a glimpse into what may come in the worlds of engineering and design. Special thanks to Leap Motion, Siemens and Oculus VR, as well as NVIDIA, Projection Design, Provision, and to everyone enabling and challenging the world to interact with technology in exciting new ways.
A species of shark that uses its fins to “walk” along the bottom of the ocean floor has been discovered off the coast of Indonesia. The shark, Hemiscyllium halmahera, uses its fins to wiggle along the seabed and forage for small fish and crustaceans, scientists from Conservation International said on Friday.
The shark, which has wide horizontal stripes, grows to a maximum length of just 30in and is harmless to humans.
It was found off the remote eastern island of Halmahera, one of the Maluku islands.
The conservation group said it hoped the discovery would once again demonstrate that most sharks pose no threat to humans.
The find also highlights the extraordinary marine diversity in Indonesia whose chain of islands is home to at least 218 species of sharks and rays, and the country’s recent efforts to protect species under threat of extinction, Conservation International said.