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Science, Space & Robotics Posts - Page 1

SpaceX plans first private customer for Moon trip in 2023

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Sep 19, 2018 2:23 am

SpaceX CEO and Tesla founder Elon Musk has announced that the first private customer to ride around the Moon on SpaceX's new futuristic rocket: the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR). The person in question is Japanese billionaire and founder of Zozotown, Japan's largest online clothing retailer, Yusaku Maezawa.



Maezawa will be jetting off to the Moon inside of SpaceX's new BFR sometime in 2023 in an art project called #dearMoon, where he will take artists on the trip with him, and then ask them to create pieces of art that will inspire the human race once they get back. Maezawa said: "Finally, I can tell you that I choose to go to the Moon! I choose to go to the moon with artists!"


Maezawa "bought all the seats" on the BFR and will be looking for 6-8 artists from a round the world to take the week-lone trip to the Moon and back. He explains: "I would like to invite six to eight artists from around the world to join me on this mission to the Moon. These artists will be asked to create something after they return to Earth, and these masterpieces will inspire the dreamer within all of us".

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Coca-Cola looking into making cannabis-infused drinks

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Sep 18, 2018 2:43 am

Coca-Cola is looking into cannabis-infused drinks, a new market that they could quickly dominate with the legalization of marijuana spreading throughout the world, except in Australia where Reefer Madness plays 24/7 in all government offices.




BNN Bloomberg reports that Coca-Cola is "in talks" with Canadian marijuana producer Aurora Cannabis, with Coca-Cola spokesman Kent Landers telling Bloomberg News: "Along with many others in the beverage industry, we are closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world. The space is evolving quickly. No decisions have been made at this time". The two companies are in "serious talks" with each other according to the sources. The cannabis-infused drink would "ease inflammation, pain, and cramping".


Aurora spokeswoman Heather MacGregor told BNN Bloomberg that the company is looking at the infused-beverage market and has plans for products in that market, but wouldn't comment on the purported deal with Coca-Cola. MacGregor said: "As a rule, we do not discuss business development initiatives until they are finalized, however we have a responsibility to our shareholders to give proper consideration to all relevant opportunities that are presented".

Want to make $750K? Turn CO2 into other molecules for NASA

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Sep 4, 2018 5:30 am

If you are in need of a large injection of funds, you can always put your white coat on and work something out for NASA in their newly-announced CO2 Conversion Challenge.




NASA's new CO2 Conversion Challenge will see a team of scientists and inventors discover a way to convert CO2 into molecules that can be used to produce many other things... if this discovery happens, there will be a winner who secures a huge $750,000.


The initial focus NASA has on the CO2 Conversion Challenge is for teams to convert CO2 to Glucose, in any way they can. NASA explains: "Help us discover ways to develop novel synthesis technologies that use carbon dioxide (CO2) as the sole carbon source to generate molecules that can be used to manufacture a variety of products, including "substrates" for use in microbial bioreactors".

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DeepMind's AI can play Quake III Arena like a human

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jul 9, 2018 3:37 am

I pumped in some serious hours into Quake III Arena when it first launched, so I hereby challenge the DeepMind AI to a game of Quake III and I know I'll destroy it.



As for the story itself, the OpenAI bots were playing Dota 2 last week and moved into the FPS world with Quake III where their training agents were able to beat humans in a game of capture the flag in Quake III Arena. The training agents had to run through the 3D environment of Quake III which isn't the easiest for code to do, but DeepMind's researchers train the AI through reinforcement learning: training by trial and error, in a larger scale.


The AI bots aren't provided instructions on how to play the game in question, so it's serious trial and error on how to win. It takes up to 500,000 games lasting 5 minutes each to train the DeepMind AI bots, and they don't just learn the basic rules of CTF, they'll also define strategies like guarding their flag, camping enemies' bases, and following teammates so that you can attack the enemy in larger numbers.

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Chinese firm laser rifle burns clothes and skin at 800m

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jul 4, 2018 2:39 am

I didn't think we'd be here already but here's where we are now: we're living in a world where a Chinese firm has the aspirations to arm the country's police forces with the next generation of weapons: an assault rifle that fires lasers that burn clothes and skin at 800m away.




If that wasn't scary enough the lasers themselves are silent, and invisible, and they can pass through glass windows as well. ZKZM Laser developed the laser in collaboration with Xi'an Institute Optics and Precision Mechanics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The purposes of this rifle if were in the hands of the good guys would be the police in hostage situations, where they could use a precision laser to take the kidnapper down, without hurting the victim.


A research that worked on the super-powered ZKZM-500 rifle said that "the pain will be beyond endurance" and that it will be "non-lethal" as it doesn't kill on impact. The laser rifle weighs around the same 6.6lb of an AK-47, with a lithium battery that is good to fire over 1000 'shots' that last for two second each.

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This new 'computer' makes a grain of rice look big

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jun 25, 2018 5:35 am

University of Michigan has reached a new technological milestone, with researchers producing a temperature sensing 'computer' that measures just 0.04 cubic millimeters, which is magnitudes smaller than a single grain of rice.




IBM was the previous record for the world's smallest computer, but U-M researchers had some tricks up their sleeves for reducing the effect of light. The researchers used switched capacitors instead of diodes, where they worked against the relative increase in electrical noise that is created from a device running on low amounts of power.


The sensor that the University of Michigan created is capable of measuring changes in super-small regions, such as groups of cells in your body. Scientists have said for a while now that tumors are ever-so-slightly hotter than healthy tissue, but it has been hard to detect that... until now. This new device could be used in cancer treatments, opening the door to very exciting developments.

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Oculus founder building 'virtual wall', protects US border

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jun 13, 2018 3:41 am

Oculus founder Palmer Luckey is one of largest names in Silicon Valley, but since leaving with his bag of $2 billion after Facebook acquired his VR startup, what has he done? He's created a startup called Anduril Industries and they have been working on a virtual wall.




Wired has an awesome piece on Anduril which reports that the startup has constructed a propotype of its virtual wall down on a ranch in Texas, and is also working on a government-funded test of its technology. The virtual wall uses a mix of cameras, sensors, and VR with the startup looking at US defense contracts and making border security in the US magnitudes cheaper.


Lattis is the technology that Anduril is working on, with Luckey talking about the technology earlier in the year, but it has now received the attention of the US government. The startups engineers use open source data to train machine learning systems so that they can tell the difference between people, animals, tumbleweeds, and cars.

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NASA has found something on Mars, we find out tomorrow

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jun 6, 2018 1:23 pm

Well... NASA has discovered something on Mars after 2054 days on the Red Planet, with the US space agency set to hold a press conference tomorrow to tell the world about their discovery.




NASA said in a statement when they announced the press conference: "The media and public are invited to ask questions during a live discussion at 2 p.m. EDT Thursday, June 7, on new science results from NASA's Mars Curiosity rover. The results are embargoed by the journal Science until then".


No one knows what NASA is going to talk about, but we do know that NASA's new drilling technique has worked, and now they're going to talk about something mysterious. The US space agency will have a bunch of scientists and experts on the ready, including:


  • Paul Mahaffy, director of the Solar System Exploration Division at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland
  • Jen Eigenbrode, research scientist at Goddard
  • Chris Webster, senior research fellow, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California
  • Ashwin Vasavada, Mars Science Laboratory project scientist, JPL

YouTube signs Iron Man to narrate its docu-series on AI

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: May 17, 2018 12:35 am

YouTube is spending "hundreds of millions' of dollars this year on its Red premium platform, with these plans including some greenbacks being flung over to Iron Man himself, Robert Downey, Jr.




Robert will be alongside his wife Susan Downey as they will serve as executive producers on the yet-titled show, which will concentrate on the experts and sciences of AI, and how AI will change Earth. It will be an 8-episode affair that will air on YouTube Red in 2019.

NASA plans autonomous helicopters to land on Mars in 2020

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: May 14, 2018 12:30 am

The next vehicle that NASA is sending to Mars is going to be an autonomous helicopter of sorts, where the US space agency will bundle in an autonomous helicopter into the Mars 2020 rover in order to test airborne vehicles on Mars.



The drone itself weighs 1.8kg (just under 4lbs) while the dual, counter-rotating blades will be spinning at 3000RPM, around 10x faster than a regular helicopter. Why the high-speed blade rotation? The autonomous helicopter needs it because of the low atmospheric density on Mars.


When the helicopter is on the ground, it will be at an Earth-equivalent altitude of 100,000 feet, which is harder on the helicopter.

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