We’re living in an age of extremely ambitious urban technology. Floating pools that filter dirty river water. Artificial eco-habitats. And even green parks that sit under cities, nourished by actual sunlight literally piped down from above. »
Space colonization has reached an impasse, for reasons far more fundamental than a lack of money for the Space Shuttle program. There is simply no way humans can travel easily offworld without using massive amounts of rocket fuel to escape the gravity well — and that’s both expensive and environmentally unsustainable.… »
Without much fanfare—and as quietly as a construction project can be—a new neighborhood is taking shape on the west edge of Manhattan. It’s the largest private real estate project the US has ever seen. But neither its size or cost are what make it interesting.
This simple device regulates its own temperature. Currently, it does nothing more than that. Still, it’s the kind of ridiculously clever machine that will brighten your day, provided you’re a Wallace & Gromit fan.
Spending more time in space requires the right tools for the job — and since these tools need to stand up outside the bounds of our own atmosphere, we have to make new tools.And of course, before they go up into space, they need to be tested. Here’s how — and where — they do it. »
In a remote stretch of the Pacific Ocean southeast of New Zealand, the broken remains of space stations and robotic freighters litter the ocean floor, four kilometers below the waves. The world’s space agencies call this region the South Pacific Ocean Uninhabited Area. But it’s also called the Spacecraft Cemetery. »
Here’s a question you’ve probably asked at some point in your life. Most likely you’ve asked it in passing, while parked in seat 22A on a flight to... wherever: What’s with that little hole in the airplane window? »
If we’re going to venture out into the Solar System and beyond, we’re going to need versatile and reliable spaceships. One possible solution comes in the form of “spacecoaches” — reusable vessels that are self-sufficient and capable of carrying explorers to virtually any destination. Here’s how they’ll work. »
Ah, spring has sprung. The weather’s warm, the trees are starting to bud, and robots are frolicking about — including ATRIAS, a two-legged bot developed by researchers at Oregon State University. »
Perhaps the better way to phrase this is, “Hamsters now work inside person wheels,” because the person wheel definitely came first. These comic-looking but useful devices helped build many of the landmarks we now cherish. »
As the world’s cities expand at faster and faster speeds, so does its use of cement. One oft-quoted statistic shows that China alone used as much cement in the last three years as the US used in the last 100. Just one problem: Cement is responsible for pushing a hell of a lot of carbon dioxide into the world. »
Additive manufacturing has come a long way in past few years, including recent advances in metal 3D printing. Given the penchant for firearms in the United States, it's of little surprise to see the advent of the first functional 3D-printed metal silencer. »
There's a famous legend that America spent millions on the development of a "Space Pen" that writes upside down, while the Russians used a pencil. Here's the truth behind the legend. »
More than a hundred years ago, physicists discovered that heat is simply the energy stored in the vibrations of atoms. This meant that heat and sound are related. Now, for the first time ever, scientists have experimentally shown that these atomic vibrations have magnetic properties, too. »
Netherlands-based artist Jennifer Townley combines wood, metal, and electrical motors to build spellbinding mechanical creations. »