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.
Anyone who regularly uses a video camera will know that the devices do not see the world the way we do. The human visual system can perceive a scene that contains both bright highlights and dark shadows, yet is able to process that information in such a way that it can simultaneously expose for both lighting extremes – up to a point, at least. Video cameras, however, have just one f-stop to work with at any one time, and so must make compromises. Now, however, researchers from the UK’s University of Warwick claim to have the solution to such problems, in the form of the world’s first full High Dynamic Range (HDR) video system.
Ishay found that shining light on the hornets—live, anesthetized or even dead—could produce voltage differences of several hundred millivolts across their hard exoskeletons, which suggested that the cuticle material making up the exoskeletons was effectively an organic semiconductor converting light into electricity. Indeed, Ishay even found that shining ultraviolet light on an anesthetized hornet would wake it up faster, as though the light were recharging the insect.
If this proved to be an accurate assessment of the insects abilities it might be possible to ‘grow’ photovoltaic cells.
(Thanks to special field researcher Greg for this link)
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.
I wonder if the X-37B has enough delta V to make it to the ISS? If it did then there might be hope for more re-supply missions that don’t rely on the Russian Progress launches.
My friend Kelly built this:
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.
Yarr… The idea of placing a file server in orbit around Earth sounds cool but the practicality of it verges on the crazy insane. Anyway, a server that is on orbit my be exempt from international law but the ground stations that serve it are not. I suppose you could put a satellite up/down link on someplace like Sealand and worry about feeding data to and from that. It’s still not going to solve the problem of hosting data that countries don’t want being hosted.
This week, Pirate Parties worldwide started brainstorming about a similarly ambitious plan. Instead of founding their own nation, they want to shoot a torrent site into orbit.