Imagine that you are the pilot of a six story high walking battle machine that is armed to the teeth. Your mission is to destroy the opposing force that has put dibs on your beloved city. As you turn a corner down a deserted street a rocket arcs towards you and you let fly a volley of machine gun fire at the six legged mech that fired it. Well, thats kind of what happens in ‘MechWarfare‘, a young sport where roboticists use sophisticated off the shelf wireless technology to give themselves the point of view of their remote controlled creations. Oh, did I mention they they are armed? Fully auto 6mm AirSoft guns are common and in the heavy class they use unguided rockets and flamethrowers! How can this not be the most fun you can have with r/c robots? Go read the article and see if you have what it takes to become the mech fighter of the future! Heck, if you want to help out you can drop them a few bucks in their Kickstarter Project, they want to build a better arena.
The little truck was used by the troops to run ahead of them on patrols and look for roadside bombs. Fessenden has had it since 2007, when Ernie and Kevin Guy, the owner of the Everything Hobby shop in Rochester, rigged it with a wireless video camera and shipped it to him.
Last week, it paid off. Chris Fessenden said he had loaned the truck to a group of fellow soldiers, who used it to check the road ahead of them on a patrol. It got tangled in a trip wire connected to what Fessenden guesses could have been 500 lbs. of explosives. The bomb went off. The six soldiers controlling the truck from their Humvee were unhurt.
Another amazing science kit from Gakken! This time it features artist Theo Jansen, a world renowned kinetic sculptor that hopes to one day let his creations roam free on the wind swept beaches of the Netherlands. This kit looks amazing, not too unusual for a Gakken kit, and pretty easy to assemble. Like all of the projects in this Mook series, the instructions will be all in Japanese but drawn so well that you don’t need to read any of the text to understand it. The project takes you through building a beautiful wind powered walking creature that is as graceful as it is complex. I can’t wait to get my hands on one of these!
[via MAKE Flickr pool] cloud9science @Wiki – テオ・ヤンセンのミニ・ビーストを作ってみた
I have a pool of photos on Flickr that contains images of some kits and photos taken by some of the cameras that have been featured in the series. Have a look and if you have been graced by owning one of these inspiring products consider contributing a picture or two to the pool.
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – The U.S. Air Force’s first
unmanned re-entry spacecraft landed at Vandenberg Air Force Base at
1:16 a.m. PST today.
The X-37B, named Orbital Test Vehicle 1 (OTV-1), conducted on-orbit
experiments for more than 220 days during its maiden voyage. It fired
its orbital maneuver engine in low-earth orbit to perform an
autonomous reentry before landing.
The X-37B is the newest and most advanced re-entry spacecraft. Managed
by the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office (AFRCO), the X-37B program
performs risk reduction, experimentation and concept of operations
development for reusable space vehicle technologies.
“Today’s landing culminates a successful mission based on close
teamwork between the 30th Space Wing, Boeing and the Air Force Rapid
Capabilities Office,” said Lt Col Troy Giese, X-37B program manager
from the AFRCO. “We are very pleased that the program completed all
the on-orbit objectives for the first mission.”
OTV-1’s de-orbit and landing mark the transition from the on-orbit
demonstration phase to a refurbishment phase for the program.
The Air Force is preparing to launch the next X-37B, OTV-2, in Spring
2011 aboard an Atlas V booster.
When my boys were very young, I made a treasure chest from a cheap toolbox, placed an electronic lock in it (AT90S1200) and sent them on a treasure hunt, solving clues and ultimately opening the chest to get their pirate booty, a pair of N64 games. Over the years that chest has been used on many such hunts, created by myself or the boys.
Fast forward over 10 years later and I felt it was time for a new chest, one that would run the treasure hunt itself, playing videos, sound effects, and even hand out paper clues. The typical scenario would start with the chest playing a video clue on the iTouch, which would send the treasure hunters off looking for more clues and eventually get a key. Returning to the chest they would insert the key which would signal the chest that they completed that scenario and it’s time to start the next one, which could be another video, or dispensing a paper clue or map. Once the last scenario was completed the chest would release the big spring loaded trunk latch and the treasure hunters could reap the reward of what ever was inside waiting for them.
This is a pretty amazing project and the documentation is top notch. Thanks for telling me about this Kelly! Once you have seen the chest writeup go have a look at his robots, the man is a master of ingenuity and creativity. I’m proud to say that my robots have had their tin cans kicked by his ‘bots a number of times. Treasure Chest
Landing on Mars in May of 2008, the NASA Mars Phoenix Lander worked remarkably well until November of the same year. It sent back hundreds of images and did soil testing that found calcium carbonate and perchlorate. The mission was only supposed to last for three months but like other NASA missions the service life of the lander exceeded expectations and only ended when the winter sun could no longer charge the probes batteries. When the Martian winter had passe it was hoped that the lander might have survived the deadly cold (-87C) and contact could once again be established. However it was not to be. The lander was no longer responding to commands issued from NASA’s Mars Odyssey orbiter as it did a number of passes over the landing site in multiple listening campaigns. Eventually an image was obtained from the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter the that confirmed the speculation that an estimated 100 pounds of icy buildup has damaged the delicate solar panels. Phoenix Mars Lander is Silent, New Image Shows Damage.