In August 2013, billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk released a 57-page white paper concept for Hyperloop — a supersonic mass transit system between high-traffic cities that lie within short distances. The founder of Tesla Motors and SpaceX envisioned it to be a frictionless system where pods inside low-pressure, vacuum-sealed tubes would transport passengers and cargo at up to 760 miles an hour — approximately the speed of sound. Powered by solar energy, it would be strong enough to withstand extreme weather and earthquakes.
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Unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, have tremendous potential to deliver emergency supplies to remote or disaster-struck regions. However, they are expensive to mass produce and often require special pads to launch and land safely. Additionally, the need for the aircraft to maintain enough battery life to return, cuts the delivery distance to half. But these issues may be history, thanks to an affordable and disposable drone that is designed for a one way journey.
In retrospect, 2016 was a banner year for exploding devices. The trend began when hoverboards — two-wheeled self-balancing motorized devices — randomly began to burst into flames, hurting riders and causing millions of dollars in property damages. Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 mobile phone, which debuted to stellar reviews in August faced similar issues and was withdrawn from the market by October. It turns out that all the mishaps were the result of malfunctioning lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries used to power the devices.
Gordon, the barista at San Francisco’s Cafe X, will not greet you by your name or wish you a pleasant day. However, the one thing Gordon will guarantee is “precision crafted specialty coffee in seconds, the way the roaster intended.” That’s because Gordon is not a human, but a robotic arm programmed to make the perfect cup of java, using beans and recipes from local favorites like Peet’s, Verve Coffee Roasters and AKA Coffee.
Avid Pokémon video and card game fans were recently called upon to use their expertise for an unusual task – to help scientists understand the inner workings of the brain. Specifically, Weiwei Zhang, an assistant professor at the University of California, Riverside, wanted to learn the connection between the short-term — or working memory — and long-term memory.
At the recent Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas, Korean car manufacturer Hyundai unveiled three battery-powered Iron Man-inspired robotic suits. Though the stylish exoskeletons developed as part of the company’s “Next Mobility” initiative, will not enable users to soar in the skies like the superhero, it will give them earthly “super powers” like mobility, strength, and endurance.
In 2013, Jeff Bezos, the CEO and founder of Amazon Inc., made headlines when he proclaimed that within a few years, the company would deploy unmanned drones to deliver packages within 30 minutes after an order was placed. Since Amazon Prime Air was unveiled the night before “Cyber Monday,” skeptics dismissed it as a publicity stunt, designed to draw attention to the company. It turns out they were wrong.
Japanese AI Robot To Get A "Real" Job After Failing University Entrance Exam For Fourth Consecutive Year
Since 2013, Torobo, a robotic arm designed to test the limits of artificial intelligence, has had one aspiration — to be admitted to the University of Tokyo, one of Asia’s top-ranked educational institutions. However, despite having an extensive database of textbooks and other teaching materials to draw upon, Torobo, (short for Todai Robot) has repeatedly failed to obtain the university's required minimum 80% score in the National Center Test, a standardized entrance examination adopted by Japanese universities. This year was no exception.