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

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

 

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

 

Next Gen Bipedal Robot Cassie – Behold The Future

Unlike most robotics creations, Cassie’s agile legs and light weight keep it stable while walking across various terrains and even in bad weather conditions…

Behold The Future…Agility Robotics evolves from OSU research, aims to revolutionize robot mobility CORVALLIS, Ore. – The rapidly expanding robotics program in the College of Engineering at Oregon State University has spun off one of its first businesses, a company focused on legged locomotion that may revolutionize robot mobility and enable robots to go anywhere people can go…

Cassie the walking robot? This model was originally created to explain animal running and walking gaits by Agility Robotics, based in the city of Albany, Oregon, US. Soon, such robots could be applied in various industries and perform different jobs, such as military service, delivery, telepresence and search and rescue operations.

Cassie has a natural gait, similar to our own. Just like ostriches and humans, this bipedal bot has three degrees of freedom in its hips and flexible, powered ankles, but its knees flex one way only. Quick and careful placement of the feet makes Cassie resistant to slips and stumbles…

Video Credit: UPHIGH Productions

 

The Lilium Jet – The world’s first all-electric VTOL jet

The Lilium Jet successfully completed its maiden test flight series in the skies above Bavaria. The 2-seater Eagle prototype executed a range of complex maneuvers, including its signature mid-air transition from hover mode to wing-borne forward flight…

German startup Lilium Aviation has completed test flights on the world’s first electric vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) jet at a private airfield in Bavaria. Controlled remotely by a pilot on the ground, the two-seater prototype performed a successful vertical takeoff and transition between its hover mode and forward flight mode…

“There is a growing need for transport solutions that are emission free due to worsening urban pollution and global climate change,” Wiegand said. “Congestion and noise pollution are also making our cities harder to live in. The Lilium jet is less harmful on the environment than other existing modes of transport. The jet is a zero-emissions aircraft and requires minimal ground infrastructure.”

The most intriguing aspect of Lilium’s electric VTOL is its potential to transform transportation,  like Tesla has transformed the automotive industry, by providing a clean and energy-efficient alternative…

Video Credit: Lilium

Russia has a Terminator Humanoid Robot “FEDOR” it can Shoot With Both Hands!

Russian military research videos usually deliver something to behold, whether it’s tanks on parade or just Vladimir Putin totally not worried that this sub is going to sink. Take a moment to watch this clip, which features a humanoid robot mowing down targets with a pistol in each hand like some movie bad-ass…

Russia’s space-bound humanoid robot FEDOR (Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research) is being trained to shoot guns from both of its hands. The activity will help improve the android’s motor skills and decision-making, according to its creators, who have also tried to address concerns that they’re developing a real-life Terminator

While the video clip does make one feel like the Terminator apocalypse is nigh, the purposes of FEDOR (Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research) are more benign, for now. Once its non-militant motor skills are refined, it will embark on a mission to space in 2021, possibly alone. Stay clear of this cosmonaut, E.T…

Video Credit: Roberto Leones Masini

 

Is Having Sex With A Robot Considered“Cheating”?

Long gone are the days when sexual intercourse took place between two human beings. Now, if you have hidden desires – just tap in your details online and have sex delivered direct to your door step. Recently there have been untold advances in virtual reality technology and a wave of new liberation is sweeping the world, to the point where the thought of intimacy with a loved one appears practically medieval to many…

Here is what Neil deGrasse Tyson said to Andy Samberg about having sex with robots and cheating…

Virtual affairs could also present a problem in the future, with some partners seeing sex with a machine as similar to sex with another person.  When the anatomically correct, customizable, touch-responsive, personality-changing sexbot named Roxxxy was unveiled at the Adult Entertainment Expo it was a sensation despite the assumption that only losers and perverts would be interested in shelling out $7,000 for a glorified sex toy.

David Levy, author of Love and Sex With Robots  believes that the “availability of regular sex with a robot will dramatically reduce the incidence of infidelity as we know it today,” he also acknowledges there may be some potential sticky points. “some human spouses and lovers might consider robot sex to be just as unfaithful as sex with another person.”

People who have lost their partner or who live alone are the people who might benefit the most, psychologically, from a virtual sexual relationship. ‘After all, a virtual partner is surely better than no partner at all…

Video Credit:  The Late Late Show with James Corden