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Business of Engineering

350 posts
Nine teams representing 21 universities will participate in the Indy Autonomous Challenge (IAC), with the winner taking $1-million in prize money. (Image credit: IAC)   The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is known worldwide as a premier race track that's been in service for over 112 years. This Saturday, it will host the first Indy Autonomous Challenge, where nine teams representing 21 universities will compete for a $1-million prize. The race was organized by the Energy Systems Network and t ...
The Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft carrying the Russian film crew approaches the International Space Station. (Image Credit: NASA)   Tom Cruise got all the headlines for potentially filming a movie on the ISS. It seems he was beat to the punch. But I wonder if it will even be that noticeable vs. Hollywood effects. Nevertheless, this is a whole new industry… real space-based films. I suspect that the civilian passenger space flights will become a coveted location. But, what happened on the f ...
Blue Origin’s New Shephard rocker launched William Shatner and three other private citizens into space, where they experienced four minutes of weightlessness. (Image Credit: Blue Origin)   After a few delays, Star Trek actor William Shatner finally launched into space! At 10:50 a.m. EDT, Blue Origin’s New Shepherd spacecraft lifted off from Launch Site One in West Texas with three others aboard. The capsule continued its ascent into space, crossing the Karman line 62 miles up. ...
Shatner will join Blue Origin’s Audrey Powers, former NASA engineers Dr. Chris Boshuizen and Glen de Vries of Dassault Systemes aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard NS-18 mission. (Image credit: Willian Shatner via Twitter)   Willian Shatner of Star Trek fame is finally headed to space next week aboard Blue Origins’ New Shepard NS-18 tourist mission. He will be joined by Blue Origin’s Vice President of Mission & Flight Operations Audrey Powers, former NASA engineers ...
The seabed is loaded with trillions of polymetallic nodules, an amalgamation of cobalt, nickel, manganese and other rare earth metals that could help with the climate crisis. (Image credit: The Metals Company)   Three miles below the Pacific Ocean lies trillions of tiny black nuggets that could provide a solution to the climate crisis and bolster green energy but could dramatically impact the environment. Those nuggets are polymetallic nodules composed of cobalt, nickel, manganese and othe ...
The foundation plans to use the $45 million funding toward further developing its hardware and boosting product marking. (Image Credit: Raspberry Pi)   Have you paid scalper prices for boards? I have. So, I’m glad to hear this news…   The UK-based organization behind the Raspberry Pi recently announced it secured a $45 million funding after demand increased for devices during the COVID-19 pandemic. Founder Eben Upton says that this investment into the Raspberry Pi Founda ...
With the International Space Station set to retire by the end of the decade, NASA is looking over proposals from 50 entities to build new private space stations. (Image Credit: NASA)   It’s kind of sad, in a way…   Now that the International Space Station expects to retire by the decade’s end, NASA is looking over proposals that would see new private stations orbiting Earth, saving the agency over $1 billion annually.  So far, NASA has already received a dozen ...
The SonicASL system relies on Doppler technology to detect tiny echoes from an individual performing sign language. (Image Credit: University at Buffalo)   Researchers at the University of Buffalo recently developed SonicASL, a system that utilizes modified noise-canceling headphones linked with a smartphone to detect and translates American Sign Language. The system relies on Doppler technology to pick up tiny echoes in acoustic soundwaves generated from an individual's hand signals. Duri ...
(Image credit: Sci-Hub)   Sci-Hub is an online database that provides free access to millions of research papers and journals without regard to copyrights, which are usually blocked by publisher's paywalls. Computer programmer Alexandra Elbakyan founded the site in 2011 due to the high costs to access research papers, followed shortly after by lawsuits from the US on behalf of Netherlands-based Elsevier, which was granted an injunction against her for $15-million. The American Chemical Soc ...
SpaceX launched its Crew Dragon spacecraft with four private citizens aboard on September 15th. (Image Credit: SpaceX)   This opens a lot of doors to the future of space travel. Private contractors in space soon? I hope that's good news.   On September 15th, SpaceX launched its Crew Dragon spacecraft with four more private citizens into Earth orbit, bringing the population to a record-breaking 14, one more than the previous high. The Inspiration4 mission lifted off from Pad 39A at NA ...
The CAPSTONE spacecraft is scheduled to launch in October 2021 from New Zealand. (Image Credit: NASA/Rocket Lab/Advanced Space/Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems)   The Earth is surrounded by literal space garbage, making it hard to maneuver already. Now it seems we plan to do the same with the Moon. Is this really a good idea?   NASA’s Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation CubeSat (CAPSTONE) is set to jump-start plans for human exploration of th ...
NASA recently awarded $500,000 to 13 teams for their moon mining development technology. (Image Credit: NASA)   Quick question, what is the mass of the mined material brought to Earth that would change the rotational speed of the planet?   NASA granted $500,000 to 13 teams through its Break the Ice Lunar Challenge, a competition designed to promote and kick-start moon mining development technology. Extracting water, ice, and other lunar resources is vital to the agency. NASA is also ...
Australia’s federal court has ruled that artificial intelligence systems can be recognized as an inventor. (Image Credit: Timisu/pixabay)   I tried to patent something once. It was super expensive. Ultimately, I ran out of money to continue it. But, during the process, I discovered it could be a mad race to get it down on paper and filed. With the “first to file” law in the USA, you could feel panicked trying to patent anything. When I read about AI designing and filing ...
The RAISE the Roof bill allows solar roof installments to be included in the ITC. (Image Credit: Michael Wilson/Unsplash)   My desire for a solar roof is slowly becoming inescapable. You?   House Representatives Mikie Sherill and Bill Pascrell introduced the RAISE the Roof (Revamping Appropriate Incentives for Solar Energy) Act that revises the solar investment tax credit (ITC) to include solar roof installations. It also covers expensing roof repairs and replacement required for so ...
University of Minnesota researchers created a new technique that transforms metals into thin films. It involves adding organic ligands into tungsten and platinum. (Image Credit: Bharat Jalan MBE Lab, University of Minnesota)   Researchers at the University of Minnesota developed new inexpensive, safer, and simpler technology that turns a group of "stubborn" metals and metal oxides into thin films. These thin films could have applications for computer components, electronics, and displays. ...

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