It's that time of year when student boffins the world over display their final projects, offering tantalizing glimpses into their mad-scientist machinations, and possibly the future.
If inventions out of the California Institute of the Arts -- founded by Walt Disney in the early 1960s and now one of the nation's top art schools -- prove prescient, that future includes a wearable interface that lets dancers control music with the flick of a finger and a virtual studio where you can compose tunes by crouching toward the floor. The school will feature those and more student and faculty innovations Thursday at its Digital Arts and Technology Expo, which this year focuses on future directions in gaming, animation, human computer interaction, digital performance, graphic design, projection mapping, and machine learning. … Read more
When you pedal a bicycle, the kinetic energy is channeled into propulsion, but what if it could be used in other ways? Architect Michael Strain isn't the first to think of using pedal power to charge your gadgets -- in fact, there are products on the market that already allow you to harness that excess energy -- but his concept bike, has a few other tricks up its suspension.
The bike, called Levitation and designed for the 2013 Hi-Macs Annual Design Contest, looks like a more low-tech Tron Cycle. It features an on-board generator and battery that stores the power collected while cycling. The power can then be used in two ways: charging small gadgets via the USB port on the bike's handlebars, or sending it into your home's power supply via a drain cable to alleviate grid usage. … Read more
While we remain dubious about the legitimacy of using the word "invisible" when visible light isn't involved, that's what a team of engineers at Duke University have dubbed their creation. Seven years ago, they demonstrated their first "invisibility cloak" in a laboratory; now, thanks to 3D printing, the fabrication process is a lot more accessible.
The object -- which looks more like a Frisbee made of Swiss cheese than a wearable cape a la Harry Potter -- has a large hole in the center, with seemingly random holes in the disc. The size, shape, and placement of these holes have actually been determined using algorithms to disguise any object placed in the center hole from microwave beams aimed through the side of the disc, making it appear as though the object isn't there. … Read more
A Texas man has become the first person to successfully fire a real bullet from a gun created on a home 3D printer. Sound crazy? In fact, the blueprint for the pistol is available for free online for anyone to access. And it's legal.
University of Texas law student Cody Wilson, 25, released a video of a 3D-printed gun named the "Liberator" taking test shots over the weekend. The gun is mostly made of plastic, with the exception of two metal pieces: a metal firing pin and a 6-ounce piece of steel that's required by law under the Undetectable Firearms Act. Of course, the piece of steel that makes the weapon visible to metal detectors, and legal, can certainly be omitted by future hobbyists.
Wilson invited Forbes reporter Andy Greenberg to witness the trial. Greenberg reports that 15 of the gun's 16 pieces were printed by a Stratasys Dimension SST 3D printer -- the metal firing pin is the 16th piece. … Read more
For its trip to Mars, NASA wants haikus like this, Why? Because it's cool.
That's pretty much the gist of this whole story, actually. Maybe I should start composing all stories in the form of a haiku to save us all time.
It's no joke, though, that NASA really is collecting submissions of three-line poems from the public to send into space aboard the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft, which will launch later this year for a mission to study the Red Planet's atmosphere.… Read more