Monday, April 12, 2021

Friendly Helper or BattleBot?

That lovable scamp from Boston Dynamics, the robotic dog Spo, was one of several robots tested by the French army during training sessions at a military school in the northwest of France. This is according to a French source.

It’s not clear what role Spot was playing (neither Shark Robotics nor the École de Saint-Cyr had replied to requests for comment at the time of writing), but Ouest-France suggests it was being used for reconnaissance. The 70lb Spot (31kg) is equipped with cameras and can be remote controlled, with its four legs allowing it to navigate terrain that would challenge wheeled or treaded robots. To date, it’s been used to remotely survey a number of environments, from construction sites to factories and underground mines.

Read more over at Engadget...

Thursday, April 8, 2021

From the Archives... a Sixty Minutes report on Steve Jobs and his biography

Apple Computers, Inc. was founded on April 1, 1976, by college dropouts Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, who brought to the new company a vision of changing the way people viewed computers. Jobs and Wozniak wanted to make computers small enough for people to have them in their homes or offices. Simply put, they wanted a computer that was user-friendly.

  • Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak co-founded Apple in 1977, introducing first the Apple I and then the Apple II.
  • Apple went public in 1980 with Jobs the blazing visionary and Wozniak the shy genius executing his vision.
  • Executive John Scully was added in 1983; in 1985, Apple's board of directors ousted the combative Jobs in favor of Scully.
  • Away from Apple, Jobs invested in and developed animation producer Pixar and then founded NeXT to create high-end computers; NeXT eventually led him back to Apple.
  • Jobs returned to Apple in the late 1990s and spent the years until his death in 2011 revamping the company, introducing the iPod, iPhone, and iPad, transforming technology and communication in the process.

On the 45th anniversary of the founding of Apple, a look back at the 2011 profile of Steve Jobs, which aired just weeks after his death. On Oct. 5, 2011, Steve Jobs passed away at the age of 56.2 He had just left the CEO post at Apple, the company he co-founded, for the second time. Jobs was an entrepreneur through and through, and the story of his rise is the story of Apple as a company, along with some very interesting twists.

See it here...

Monday, April 5, 2021

Perseverance Finds Interesting Rock on Martian Surface, Zaps It

The Nasa rover on Mars, Perseverance, found a weird rock that is confounding scientists. The rover’s Twitter account published an image of a weird, pockmarked rock. It has a smooth, greenish appearance and the caption underneath confirms that scientists are stumped. Perseverance zapped the rock with its on-board laser and is trying to learn more about it.

‘While the helicopter is getting ready, I can’t help checking out nearby rocks,’ the rover tweeted in the first person. ‘This odd one has my science team trading lots of hypotheses. ‘It’s about 6 inches (15 cm) long. If you look closely, you might spot the row of laser marks where I zapped it to learn more.’

It can identify the chemical and mineral makeup of targets as small as a pencil point from a distance of more than 20 feet (7 meters). In the picture, one can see the tiny indentations on the right side of the rock where the rover’s laser hit it.

Over the course of several years, Perseverance will collect and store up to 30 rock and soil samples that will eventually be returned to Earth where labs will analyze them.

Read the tweet from the robot here...

Saturday, April 3, 2021

lilium VTOL flying taxi


German company lilium has unveiled the design of its 7-seater jet which aims to revolutionize regional travel, saving people hours. The aircraft is capable of vertical take-off, quietly, allowing the company to access plenty landing sites and the opportunity to build higher network density, avoiding expensive ground infrastructure.

The aircraft has cruise speed of 175 mph at 10,000 feet and has a range of 155 miles, including reserves. planned to launch operations in 2024, the aircraft features ducted electric vectored thrust (DEVT). This flight system is integrated into the wing flaps -- electric jet engines provide advantages in payload, aerodynamic efficiency and a lower noise profile, while also providing thrust vector control to maneuver the lilium jet through every phase of flight.

Lilium flies with "electric jets", throwing out a non-combustion compression stream of air. The Lilium's ducted fan is an example of a wider class of ducted propulsor. They all work the same way, to accelerate air in one direction so that the reaction force pushes the fan or propeller in the other. If the blade disc were used to provide compression, the device would not be a propulsor but a compressor and would not exit to the free air stream.

Read more here...