Amazing time-lapse video from China shows 1,300-tonne bridge built in less than 43 hours

It took more time to design the plan than to actually construct the bridge.

The Sanyuan Bridge in Beijing links 48 key routes and three major highways: the Airport Expressway, the China National Highway 101 and the 3rd Ring Road. Over 200,000 vehicles cross the bridge daily, so there were some major safety issues when it was discovered that the bridge was severely damaged due to the daily wear and tear from the hundreds of thousands of cars.

Engineers and city planners racked their brains in order to figure out the best and least intrusive way to overhaul the bridge in the fastest amount of time. It took 11 different iterations of the plans and countless hours of painstaking preparation, but the deconstruction of the old bridge and construction of a new one took only 43 hours to complete.

China’s first all-electric planes to hit the market, for about US$160,000 each

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RocketNews 24 (by Meg Murphy):

Global warming is just one of many reasons why we as humans should make more of an effort to reduce our impact on the environment. Much of the technology we use in our daily lives has made things a lot more convenient, and it’s wonderful being able to zoom to the other side of the planet in the space of a single day, but the environmental impact our cars, planes, and the like have had is something we should all be seriously concerned about.

But what if we could make air travel cleaner, and cheaper? Last year at the Shenyang Faku International Flight Convention in China, Shenyang Aerospace University and the Liaoning Universal Aviation Academy revealed China’s first all-electric plane, which it soon plans to begin mass producing for the foreign market.


The aircraft, named RX1E Ruixiang, has a wingspan of 14.5 meters and a body made of carbon fiber. It reportedly runs on a battery which requires only 10 kilowatts to charge, which in mainland China would cost less than US$1. Despite that, the plane can reach speeds up to 160 km per hour (99mph), and fly at an altitude of up to 3,000 meters (9,800 feet).

With a maximum flight duration 90 minutes – allowing it to travel up to 240 km – the RX1E isn’t quite ready to carry passengers and cargo internationally, but its a start. Hopefully the technology can be further developed and electric airplanes more widespread, allowing those of us with the travel bug to scratch that itch in a more environmentally friendly way.

Vietnamese engineering student Viet Tran invents fire extinguisher that puts out flames with sound waves

AsAm News: 

Engineering students Viet Tran and Seth Robertson have recently invented a fire extinguisher that can put out blazes by using sound waves, according to Time Magazine. What started out as a senior research product has developed into a working device with much practical use.

Tran cited several potential uses for the device, which included “In the kitchen, as part of a countertop, and in drones, to fly over areas which aren’t safe for human inhabitation”.

Although this pair of George Mason University students haven’t fully developed this technology, they have high hopes for the future, as they hope to soon seek a patent.

To view the pair’s technology in action, see the video below. To learn more about the theory behind it, read Time Magazine.

Japanese hobbyists build a working Transformer

 

Move over Michael Bay, a duo of Japanese inventors – Kenji Ishida and Wataru Yoshizaki of Brave Robotics and Asratec – have designed a Transformer that can walk and when in sports car form, drive around autonomously. The J-deite Quarter as it has been dubbed, stands at about four feet tall, weighs 77 pounds and operates for just one hour with a three kilowatt battery.

Unfortunately however, the J-deite Quarter can only drive a little more than six miles per hour, so it won’t be catching Megatron anytime soon. Nevertheless, this is only the beginning as the duo plans to make a full, eight-foot model within the next year.

For more on the J-deite Quarter and the team’s future endeavors, visit their site.

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Filipino teen creates footwear that can charge phones and access electricity

A fifteen-year-old Filipino teen named Angelo Casimiro has created a new way to charge a phone or flashlight with footwear that can generate electricity by walking.

He recognizes that this concept may not seem necessary for everyone. After all, who wants to walk when they can just plug their phone into a charger and go on with their full day of watching Netflix? Well, this is certainly not the average day for everyone.

I’m a Filipino. I live in the Philippines. And just by looking around my surroundings, I can see that a lot of people are suffering from poverty,” explains Casimiro. “A simple source of light is a big deal for people who don’t have electricity.”

The footwear was Casimiro’s entry to Google’s Science Fair this year. He realized that the average human takes 7,000 steps a day and wanted to find a way to utilize that energy.

Of course, this will still take quite some effort. During Casimiro’s experiments, he was able to give his phone about 10 minutes of battery life after two hours of playing basketball. None the less, this is clearly a start to something extraordinary.

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The singularity is coming: Eerily lifelike androids converge in Odaiba for exhibition

 

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RocketNews 24:

 

What does it mean to be human? That’s the question being asked in a thought-provoking new exhibition of stunningly lifelike androids, which also suggests that maybe the singularity could be closer than we think.

On June 25, the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, more commonly known as the Miraikan, will open an exhibition of humanoid robots entitled ‘Androids: What makes us human?

The exhibition is headed by Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro, the director of the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory, which is part of the Department of Systems Innovation in the Graduate School of Engineering Science at Osaka University. Ishiguro is a researcher at the cutting edge of robotics technology, and is famous for creating robots that look just like humans, including the Geminoid, an android modeled after himself.

 

▼ The real Ishiguro is on the left. Just kidding.

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Professor Ishiguro’s research is driven by the question of what it means to be human, and by studying human behaviour and reactions in order to create an android that mimics them perfectly, he believes we can learn much about the human condition and consciousness.

This newest exhibition, which will become a permanent installation, features three different androids that each seek to provoke a different set of responses and questions in visitors.

 

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Kodomoroid

The Kodomoroid is a remote-controlled android in the form of a human child, and its name comes from ‘android’ and ‘kodomo‘, the Japanese word for child. It looks just like a little girl, but functions as an announcer, relaying information and news on the weather and situations on earth and in space. She is designed to make a statement about the lack of knowledge many of our children have about the world today, and make the listeners think more profoundly about our futures on this planet.

 

Otonaroid

This name comes from a portmanteau of ‘android’ and ‘otona‘, meaning adult. Visitors will be able to try conversing with and operating this android, which is the spitting image of a real, adult human woman. Her function is to give people the experience of socializing with a robot face-to-face.

 

Telenoid

The Telenoid is an interactive android built to answer the question: ‘What are the minimum characteristics necessary for something to be considered human?’

Its neutral shape and features do not resemble any particular person, so it can take on the characteristics of any partner the viewer chooses; male or female, old or young. It’s small, and the shape and texture are designed to make it pleasant to hold and even hug, but its makers seem to neglect to mention the fact that it’s also incredibly creepy to look at. However, since it’s clearly not going to be mistaken for an actual human being, the robot probably doesn’t make it into the ‘uncanny valley’.

 

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Another Japanese professor of robotics, Masahiro Mori, originally coined the term ‘uncanny valley’ to describe the response of revulsion among human observers when faced with something that looks almost, but somehow not quite, human. The theory goes that as a robot starts to look more human, actual humans will become more sympathetic towards it, until it reaches a certain point where it looks almost, but not exactly, like a human being, at which point real humans will reject it because of the feeling of the uncomfortable feeling it evokes.

 

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At the same time as Ishiguro’s robots are getting closer and closer to pulling out of the uncanny valley and becoming indistinguishable from real humans, research into artificial intelligence is also progressing rapidly, and before we know it we might find that today’s far-fetched sci-fi stories have become tomorrow’s reality. The technological singularity is a hypothetical moment when artificial intelligence surpasses that of human beings, and many experts predict that it will occur during our lifetime. So perhaps it’s time to get yourself down to Odaiba to start trying to gain an understanding of our potential future overlords. You might just discover something about yourself, too.

 

▼ Will the real Ishiguro please stand up?

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Check out this link:

The singularity is coming: Eerily lifelike androids converge in Odaiba for exhibition

 

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MIT unveils shapeshifting furniture of the future at Lexus Design Amazing exhibition in Milan

Professor Hiroshi Ishii of MIT’s Tangible Media Group recently unveiled a shapeshifting table dubbed the “Transform.” The successor to the group’s previous successes with the inFORM — a tactile visual display — the Transform is its vision of what tomorrow’s furniture would be like.

Prepared for the Lexus Design Amazing exhibition in Milan, the Transform is a table composed of 1,000 square columns — each attached to a motor beneath the surface — and changes shape depending on how users interacting with it or based on a pre-set animation.