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Latest Google self driving car. (via Google) Google never ceases to amaze (or scare) us with their bright ideas. The innovation headquarters is at it again, this time bringing us a self-driving car that doesn’t have a steering wheel, brake pedals or accelerator pedals. Why not? Google says, because its new cars “don’t need them.” Need a lift? Just push “Go.”   The cars look like something you might find in a Dr. Seuss book – a cross between a ...
PocketQube Kit for amateur satellite makers (via PocketQube Kit)   Building a satellite is a hard job if you aren't a NASA space engineer, and buying all the components to build one is extremely costly. For instance, a 'less' expensive packet (from Cubesat) to build a cube satellite will set you back six figures. It's not exactly as accessible as a 3D printer.   However, a new company is making cube satellites easy to build and easier on the pocketbook. While you won’t be able ...
Smart skin made of stretchable silicone that can 'feel' touch, temperature and more (via Kim et al/Nature Communications)   Researchers from Seoul National University, Korea have developed a silicone smart skin that can stretch over prosthetic limbs to enable touch sensations for the user. Previous attempts at enabling senses in prosthetic limbs have focused on sensing pressure to avoid the user applying too much or too little pressure ( think: me Hulk, me smash).   This skin is the ...
Updated mind-controlled robot arm from DARPA (via Journal of Neural Engineering/IOP Publishing) Expand NY is a team of scientists and engineers that have been funded by DARPA to work on a mind-controlled robotic arm, among other things. While they released a prototype two years ago, the robotic arm needed much improvement and testing. The results of their current prototype along with notes on all of the improvements the project has implemented in the past two years is documented in an articl ...
Bitsbox kit co-created by Scott Lininger to teach kids aged 7-11 to code. (via Bitbox) Learning to code, teaching kids to code, teaching Obama to code, are all in the news recently as the campaign to keep code alive is continuing – spearheaded by MNC giants like Apple and Microsoft. This has always been a hot topic as the high-tech world continues to find new ways to engage a younger generation that will become the coders and engineers of the future.   While there are already p ...
The first Christmas tree with lights, by Edward H. Johnson from 25 Dec. 1882 (via US National Park Service)   Tis' the season when you can see lit Christmas trees in windows, rows of houses with glowing Santa with his reindeer on the front lawn. Lights blink and dazzle, occasionally set to dance to Christmas themed music, but who came up with the original string of Christmas lights that we horde today for special occasions? While Thomas Edison came up with miniature lamps, his friend and b ...
Unnecessarily eerie digital double of a model’s face and eyes (via Disney)   Do you wish your Disney animated characters were more creepily realistic? The computer graphics scientists at Disney Research Zurich have found a way to more accurately depict the human eye and make on-screen characters seem more life-like.    From human model to digital mod The researchers at Disney developed a new technology, called PAPILLON, to scan and reconstruct the eyes of human mode ...
Technological advances have not only made our lives easier, but also made entertainment, like gaming, more immersive. As we wait on the edge of our seat to see if hover boards and ray guns will become a reality, more practical, if less glitzy, breakthroughs are being made. For example, a team of researchers at the University of Bristol's Department of Computer Science has invented a new method of haptic feedback using ultrasound with the ability to produce 3D shapes that can be touched in mid-ai ...
Photographer Ignas Kutavicius and his mega hipster pinhole selfie contraption (via Ignas Kutavicius) A project by photographer Ignas Kutavicius takes the selfie mania to a new level. Actually, it takes selfies not just to a new level, but creates a new form of media, and takes you into a different time period.   Kutavicius has created a pinhole camera for the single purpose of taking selfies that make you look like you're from the 1800's. Truth be told, Kutavicius simply took two thi ...
A Punching bag keyboard for you work and exercise needs (via Bless) Let's face it. Sitting in front of a computer all day is horrible and it's made continually worse by having to come up with brilliant ideas which are expected to float effortlessly across the page. Unfortunately,  sometimes when you've been sitting on your butt all day ideas don't come. Sometimes you need to exercise and stop drinking so much coffee. But is it possible to do both at the same time?   Practically ...
A demo of the new Prynt case for instant smartphone picture printing (via Prynt SAS) Coming to the market is a smartphone case that instantly prints photos, directly from your phone. It's a modern-day Polaroid camera, but better and hopefully cheaper.   A French start-up called Prynt SAS, recently demo’ed their working prototype of the Prynt case to TechCrunch and is expecting to launch a Kickstarter campaign in early January. The cost for the Prynt case on Kickstarter will be ...
Printed LEDs from bionic nanomaterials by McAlpine Research Group (via McAlpine Research Group)   The McAlpine Research Group from Princeton University are the first to successfully 3D print fully functional quantum dot LEDs. Not only did the group successfully print LEDs, but all of the electrical components, housings, and more have been 3D printed as well, making this the first functioning electrical device to be 3D printed from scratch.   The creation of LEDs may not be as excit ...
Folding electric bike – or art project? (via Impossible Technology)   If you live in the city, you probably already know that commuting sucks and companies have been working towards finding better, electric ways at getting us to our destination. As of late, there are tons of companies creating better electric skateboards to get you to the office, but what about the old fashioned bicycle?   There haven't been many innovations on the portable, traveler’s bike – espec ...
Airgonay club’s drone racetrack in the French Alps is a tough go for any pilot   Drones are being deployed for more than just spying and taking out terrorists. Civilian enthusiasts, law enforcement and even scientific researchers are getting in on the craze at an exponential rate. Besides being used for bogus UFO sightings, drones are being harnessed for racing, HD photography and as two-in-one rescue tools (among a host of other uses). Below is a roundup of the more interesting and u ...
Tesla Motors has opened the floodgates on their patents for free use as open-source material. (via Tesla)   Back in June of this year, the enigmatic CEO of Tesla Motors, Elon Musk, released the company’s patents on electric vehicle technology for anyone and everyone to use. Obviously, this was done in an effort to help other automobile manufacturers speed up the development of all electric vehicles, but could it have an adverse effect for the pioneering EV company? Looking at the mob ...
AM Turing Award, sponsored by Google (via AMTURING) Google and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) announced the prize for the annual AM Turing Award will be reaching Nobel Prize levels with a one million dollar cash prize for the 2014 winner.   The lucky winner won’t know until spring 2015 at the ACM Awards Banquet, but Google will be single-handedly shelling out the prize money.   The AM Turing Award has been going on annually since 1966, and while it is the ...

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