"Hey, pick up your trash!" No, that wasn't me talking. It was that little robotic trash can. It knows when there's garbage in the vicinity and asks humans to pick the refuse up.
The wheeled Social Trash Box, or STB, robot out of Japan's Toyohashi University of Technology comes equipped with a microprocessor, a video camera, and a speaker for making its desires for cleanliness heard. Motors enable it to twist right and left and bend backward and forward. A pyroelectric infrared sensor lets it detect people's body heat and move toward them, while a distance sensor helps it maneuver around them (and other obstacles). … Read more
NASA on Thursday revealed the first imagery of what the Milky Way galaxy likely looked like when it was much younger.
Thanks to evidence gathered by the Hubble Space Telescope, NASA has been able to determine what our galaxy looked like billions of years ago. Though the space agency obviously wasn't able to take actual photographs of the Milky Way in its infancy, it intuited its conclusions based on Hubble's observations of 400 similar galaxies.
When a volcano erupted in Iceland in 2010, it filled the skies over Europe with a massive ash cloud. From April 15-21, 2010, more than 100,000 flights were cancelled as officials scrambled to assess safety. The closures cost the airlines an estimated $2.6 billion.
Flights had to be cancelled because the ash can cause structural damage as it melts inside aircraft engines and sticks to engine blades. It also sticks to windshields and can interfere with other instruments. The ash is difficult to detect and track because it is incredibly fine.
Europe could see a repeat situation within the next couple of years, experts say, because Icelandic volcanoes erupt about once every five years. If the wind is blowing to the northwest, the ash ends up in European skies.
But the next time it happens, pilots should be better equipped to assess the dangers, with the help of a new sensor designed to detect ash in the atmosphere.… Read more
The late astrobiologist Carl Sagan eloquently referred to Earth, in the view from Saturn, as a "Pale Blue Dot."
"Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us," he wrote in his 1994 "Pale Blue Dot" book. "On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives."
Sagan is known for making the complexities of space and the universe accessible to ordinary people. As a consultant to NASA, he helped lead the US space … Read more
Telsa has experienced a spate of bad luck as of late. Not only have three of its Model S all-electric cars caught fire in the past two months, but an accident at the company's Fremont, Calif., factory caused three employees to be injured by hot metal on Wednesday morning.
"There was a failure in a low-pressure aluminum casting press," Tesla said in a statement e-mailed to CNET. "Three employees were injured by hot metal from that press. We are making sure that they receive the best possible care."
Local firemen said the incident is being … Read more
Four billion years ago, Mars would have been a pretty nice place for a spring-break trip. At least that's the way it appears in a new animation published to the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's YouTube channel on Wednesday.
The animated artist's rendition of ancient Mars begins with a flyover of a lake that bears a slight resemblance to, say, Utah's Lake Powell. Then we see time progress and a transition from a warm, wetter climate to a dry, colder one (like, say, 10 miles north of Lake Powell in January). … Read more
A glitch forced NASA's Mars rover Curiosity to perform a software reboot, known as a "warm reset," last week, but now the rover is running like normal again.
NASA said the successful reboot took place November 7, roughly four-and-half hours after administrators temporarily loaded new flight software into the rover's memory. For the next three days, Curiosity was put into what NASA called "safe mode." NASA said commands recovering the spacecraft were uplinked to Curiosity early Sunday morning.
The unexpected reset by caused by an error in existing onboard software, NASA said Tuesday, which … Read more