Disney Star Wars land, AKA Nerd Heaven

Disney has finally given a first glimpse into its highly anticipated Star Wars lands currently being built in California and Florida, unveiling a 50-foot-wide 3D model of the area that will eventually cover about 14 acres. The Star Wars-themed attractions are due to open in 2019 at Disneyland in Anaheim, and at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Disney World in Orlando…

WATCH – STAR WARS LAND MODEL UP-CLOSE TOUR

Both Star Wars-inspired lands will take guests to a never-before-seen planet, a remote trading port, and “one of the last stops before Wild Space.” The unveiling came at the D23 expo, currently being held in Anaheim, California, where the models are on display through the weekend…

WATCH – STAR WARS: GALAXY’S EDGE MODEL FLY-THROUGH

There will be two main attractions: one that lets guests captain the Millennium Falcon on a secret mission, while the other places thrill-seekers in the middle of a “climatic battle” between the First Order and the Resistance. The images released show rugged terrain, lush forests reminiscent of scenes on Endor in Return of the Jedi, and metal cantina structures. According to Bloomberg, the new Star Wars lands will cost about $1 billion each…

WATCH – STAR WARS BOOTH TOUR

“This is the most ambitious land we’ve built to date,” said Bob Chapek, chairman of Disney’s parks division at the unveiling. Plans for Star Wars lands were announced two years ago and promised “total immersion” that would see guests walk around and interact with random characters…

As you move through the areas, you might be recruited to join one side or the other, Are you a spy? Are you part of the Resistance or willing to join the First Order? It’s up to you. And your role inside of that will be defined by how you choose…

VIDEO CREDIT: Inside the Magic

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Mushtari, a 3D Printed Wearable Microbial Factory

How can we design relationships between the most primitive and the most sophisticated life forms? Can we design wearables embedded with synthetic microorganisms that can enhance and augment biological functionality? Can we design wearables that generate consumable energy when exposed to the sun???

We can explored these questions through the creation of Mushtari, a 3D printed wearable with 58 meters of internal fluid channels. The wearable is designed to function as a microbial factory that uses synthetic biology to convert sunlight into useful products for the wearer. It does so with a symbiotic relationship between two organisms: a photosynthetic microbe – such as microalgae or cyanobacteria – and compatible microbes – such as baker’s yeast and E. coli – that make useful materials. The photosynthetic microbe converts sunlight to sucrose – table sugar – which is then consumed by compatible microbes and converted into materials such as pigments, drugs, food, fuel and scents. This is a form of microbial symbiosis, a phenomenon commonly found in nature. The wearer would ideally be able to trigger the microbes to produce a particular substance – for example a scent, a color pigment, or fuel…

The wearable was designed using generative growth algorithms. These computational form generation processes mimic biological growth by generating recursive forms over many iterations of the algorithm. Initial geometry and parameters defined by the algorithm inform the overall geometry, the local mesh geometry as well as variations in material property by altering the relative strength of relaxation, attraction and repulsion between mesh vertices. For Mushtari, the initial geometry and parameters created a single long channel that grew over numerous iterations into a wearable with 58 meters of inner channels varying in diameter from 1 mm to 2.5 cm. Transparency was graded regionally within the design to create areas where photosynthetic microbes could receive light and produce sucrose…

Mushtari was 3D printed using the Objet Connex3, a color multi-material 3D Printer developed by Stratasys. Printing internal channels required an innovative support solution. Typically, the Objet Connex3 dispenses a gel-like support material into internal channels that cannot be cleared. To overcome this barrier, the Mediated Matter group collaborated with Stratasys to develop an experimental liquid-based support that could be dispensed into the channels during printing and easily cleared afterwards.

Directed by architect and designer Neri Oxman, Living Mushtari was completed by the Mediated Matter Group in collaboration with Stratasys as a part of the Wanderers collection. Will Patrick of Mediated Matter was the lead researcher on the project. Additional collaborators include Christoph Bader and Dominik Kolb; Prof. Pamela Silver and Stephanie Hays of Harvard Medical School; and Dr. James Weaver of the Harvard Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. Mediated Matter researchers included: Will Patrick, Steven Keating and Sunanda Sharma.

Mushtari was designed as part of the Wanderers collection, an astrobiological exploration dedicated to the medieval astronomers who explored the worlds beyond by visiting the worlds within.

MUSHTARI from Mediated Matter Group on Vimeo.

NASA: NEW 6-Wheeled Mars Rover Concept Vehicle

Parker Brothers, a company that specializes in amazing custom vehicles, has built their own Mars Rover concept for NASA. It was shown off at the Kennedy Space Center‘s visitor complex in Cape Canaveral, Florida…

The rover’s electric motor is powered by a 700-volt battery, which is in turn charged by built-in solar panels. Its GPS- and radio-equipped front section seats four people, and can detach from the rear for outings such as scouting missions. That rear section houses a mock lab, and is made to be self-supporting while the rest of the vehicle is off exploring.

The vehicle’s six semi-spherical wheels are designed to provide optimal traction on both rocks and in sand, offering plenty of surface area while also incorporating slats to keep them from getting bogged down…

Following several weeks on display at Kennedy’s visitor complex, the Mars rover concept vehicle will be displayed at several locations. From July through August, it will be displayed at several locations during a tour along the East Coast…

If Batman were to go to Mars, is this what he would drive once he got there???

Video Credit: Raja That!

 

 

 

Stanford’s Humanoid Robot Diver

The robot, called OceanOne, is powered by artificial intelligence and haptic feedback systems, allowing human pilots an unprecedented ability to explore the depths of the oceans in high fidelity…

The concept for OceanOne was born from the need to study coral reefs deep in the Red Sea, far below the comfortable range of human divers. No existing robotic submarine can dive with the skill and care of a human diver, so OceanOne was conceived and built from the ground up, a successful marriage of robotics, artificial intelligence and haptic feedback systems…

The body looks far unlike conventional boxy robotic submersibles, but it’s the hands that really set OceanOne apart. Each fully articulated wrist is fitted with force sensors that relay haptic feedback to the pilot’s controls, so the human can feel whether the robot is grasping something firm and heavy, or light and delicate. (Eventually, each finger will be covered with tactile sensors.) The ‘bot’s brain also reads the data and makes sure that its hands keep a firm grip on objects, but that they don’t damage things by squeezing too tightly. In addition to exploring shipwrecks, this makes it adept at manipulating delicate coral reef research and precisely placing underwater sensors…

The humanoid form also means that when OceanOne dives alongside actual humans, its pilot can communicate through hand gestures during complex tasks or scientific experiments. Ultimately, though, Khatib designed OceanOne with an eye toward getting human divers out of harm’s way. Every aspect of the robot’s design is meant to allow it to take on tasks that are either dangerous – deep-water mining, oil-rig maintenance or underwater disaster situations like the Fukushima Daiichi power plant – or simply beyond the physical limits of human divers…

Video Credit:  Stanford

DIY Bio-hacking Can Change The World

In recent years, more than any new movement in the bio-based universe, bio-hacking is taking over labs and living rooms to become a global bio-based phenomenon. Bio-hacking is as varied as it is spectacular.  Bio-hackers, much like their computer hacker forebears, prefer asking for forgiveness rather than permission…

Whether you’re ready to convert your garage into a full blown laboratory or just want to try a few fun experiments with your friends, there are plenty of projects to inspire you to DIY…

Human-to-Human Interface

Makers are exploring a growing number of neural interfaces to control devices, but Greg Gage of Backyard Brains uses electromyography, or EMG, to control something more interesting than a robot — he’s using it to control humans! With DIY human-to-human interfacing you can send signals from your muscles to your friend’s and make them move under your command…

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Braincopter

OpenBCI’s boards and components allow amateur scientists to easily and affordably access the EEG, EKG, and EMG (brain, heart, and muscle) activity of a subject. Through its open protocol, you can track health data and brainwave activity and use those measured values to trigger and control any number of other programs or projects. One cool implementation: Controlling a toy helicopter throttle using just your brain’s alpha waves…

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Replicate DNA at Home

Being able to replicate DNA is a necessary part of experiments that involve mapping genomes, detecting viruses and bacteria, and diagnosing genetic disorders, but the lab equipment that enables this replication can cost upwards of $10,000. This DIY polymerase chain reaction (PCR) thermocycler setup is an affordable alternative targeted for high schoolers…

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Regardless of the approach to or application of bio-hacking, this growing, biotechnological social movement in which individuals, communities, and start-up organisations work together outside of traditional research institutions, will see a huge rise in the study of biology and life sciences. More than that, this kind of freestyle DIY biology brings bio-based invention back into the public domain, accessible at all levels of ability and training…

Video Credit: ReasonTV

 

Artificial womb successful in animal trials

Researchers are creating an artificial womb to improve care for extremely premature babies — and remarkable animal testing suggests it closely mimics the real thing…

Lambs born at the equivalent of 23 weeks in a human pregnancy were kept alive and appeared to develop normally while floating inside the transparent, womb-like vessel for four weeks after birth. Doctors said that the pioneering approach could radically improve outcomes for babies born so early that they cannot breathe, feed or fight infection without medical help…

In the biobag, the lambs were immersed in a substitute amniotic fluid containing nutrients and chemicals designed to stimulate growth. While floating inside the transparent plastic vessel – in some cases for four weeks – the lambs appeared to develop normally, transforming from bald, pink foetuses into fleecy, white newborns…

The study didn’t address long-term development. Most of the lambs were euthanized for further study that found normal organ development for their gestational age. One was bottle-weaned and is now more than a year old, apparently healthy and living on a farm in Pennsylvania…

The womb-like system isn’t intended to support preemies any younger than today’s limits of viability — not artificially growing embryos.  In essence, it’s to make it so babies who shouldn’t quite be “here” yet don’t have to be. In a video that accompanied the release of the study, Partridge described being struck by the sight of the zipped-up lamb fetuses, “breathing, swallowing, swimming, dreaming”—all with “complete detachment from the placenta and from mom.”

Video Credit: Cometa Suícidio

The Jetfoiler — Electric Hydrofoil (eFoil)

e•foil/ē,foil/

noun
1. a watercraft equipped with hydrofoils that uses an electric motor or motors for propulsion.

—Don Montague

Meet the new Jetfoil, the brainchild of legendary kite designer Don Montague who was more recently seen designing the kiteboat that tore across San Fransisco Bay! These are electric, they hardly make a sound, and they create no wake! We presume the jet is built into the foil and can only imagine the efficiency of the foil combined with the electric engine will make for an awesome way to cross the water. Imagine a solar-powered version which could cross oceans…

Created by Kai Concepts, a water sports innovation team led by Don Montague. As the developers of the kiteboat, the Kai Concepts team can lay claim to an unrivaled level of experience with the build, test, and control of hydrofoil systems. The Jetfoiler represents the next logical step in hydrofoil technology, pairing the sleek and silent foil with a clean and quiet electric motor…

Video Credit:  kiteboat

More Info Here:  Jetfoiler

 

 

Kitty Hawk Flyer ‘flying car’ coming soon

Backed by Larry Page, it looks like a mix between a flying Jet Ski and, as John Markoff of The New York Times puts it, “something Luke Skywalker would have built out of spare parts.” It’s designed to be flown over water and will be available for sale by the end of this year, Kitty Hawk says…

The Kitty Hawk Flyer is a fully electric aircraft with eight rotors that weighs about 220 pounds and seats one person.  ”

Kitty Hawk Flyer is designed to fly above fresh water with two pontoons at its bottom. The prototype “looks and feels a lot like a flying motorcycle,” according to Cimeron Morrissey, who tested it.  The flyer is controlled by two handlebars and what looks like a giant touchscreen. It travels at up to 25 mph at a max of 15 feet above the water…

Kitty Hawk is calling its current Flyer a “functional prototype” and says that “the shipping version will have a different look and feel.”  Kitty Hawk says you don’t need a pilot’s license to operate its Flyer and that it’s meant to be flown in “uncongested areas.”

The price hasn’t been unveiled, however Kitty Hawk says the Flyer will go on some time this year. Those who pay $100 to be put on a priority wait-list on Kitty Hawk’s website will receive $2,000 off the final price, it says.  The goal of Kitty Hawk and Zee.Aero is to one day reinvent personal transportation…

video Credit: Kitty Hawk

More Info: https://kittyhawk.aero/

The Tron roller coaster is one of a kind

The ride was inspired by the 1982 movie Tron,  It’s the first of its kind in a Disney park and is expected to be Shanghai Disneyland‘s most popular attraction…

On Shanghai Disneyland‘s Tron ride, an exhilarating roller coaster in the park’s Futureland area, riders race headlong into dark tunnels interspersed with shows of red, blue and yellow lights…

 

Adrenaline-pumping music, lights and 3-D graphics inspire a furious surge toward the winner’s circle. Traverse TRON’s electrifying multi-sensory environment as you speed, dip and dive through digitized darkness on one of the fastest indoor roller coasters in Disney theme park history…

Sync Chamber
Step inside the techno-style zone featuring glowing glass rails, a real-time Raceview and blue laser lights that etch patterns through space—this is where Users synchronize with their Lightcycles. Feel the power activating as you jump on, grab the handles and brace to face an unknown digital frontier…

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Anticipation heightens as the Lightcycles lunge forward with sound effects building to a feverish pitch. Suddenly, you’re throttling through a tunnel of flashing markers and, just as quickly, plummeting onto a turbo-charged track known as the Grid!!!

The Grid
Filled with brilliantly illuminated shapes and sleek, color-changing TRON iconography, this game-world “gravity box” seems to rev harder with enhanced energy as Lightcycles catapult past each Gate. Will Team Blue capture them all and take the championship? See if you can defeat the Programs, survive the Power Run and make your way back to the real world!!!

The reviews so far have been glowing and many Disney fans have been clamoring on online chat sites for Disney to recreate the attraction in other parks. No word yet if Disney plans to follow through on that idea…

Video Credit: Theme Park Insider

More Info Here: Shanghai Disneyland

Real Life ‘Iron Man’ Suit is not for the faint of heart

Gravity is a British human propulsion technology start-up. Their mission is to re-imagine the future of manned flight. Gravity has invented, built and filed patents for a human propulsion technology that re-imagines manned flight…

The technology combines body mounted miniaturised jet-engines with a specially designed exo-skeleton allowing vertical take off and flight. The ‘Daedalus’ our mark 1 jet-engine suit is pioneering an entirely new category in aviation history…

Each motor produces about 22kg (46 pounds) of force, so six are more than enough to heft Browning aloft. The device cost him £40,000 ($50,000) to build, but some of that cost was offset thanks to investors and partners like Red Bull.

UK inventor Richard Browning told Techcrunch  “I can just strap this on and go flying at a moment’s notice,”  adding that a mountain bike was more dangerous. Judging by the footage of his early trials, however, his rig “Daedelus” looks insane on multiple levels. Powered by kerosene jet fuel, it looks like the fiery explosion would kill you if the crash or fall…

After trying the suit with the rockets on both his legs and arms, he switched to an arms-only approach. That works well for him as an ex-Royal Marine and fitness enthusiast, but it would probably tire the average person’s arms rather quickly…

Recently Browning added a Sony-built heads-up display, that can show fuel levels. Prior to that, he had to ask family members to feel the back-mounted tank “and judge by their facial expression” how much was left, he told Wired. The aim is to eventually build a device that could be used by rescue or military personnel, but for now Browning is just doing exhibitions, perfecting the device and hopefully staying in one piece…

Video Credit: Gravity Industries

More info here: Gravity Home