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Concrete Airplane Takes (Brief) Flight

Engineering students have a lot of experience building concrete canoes, as we documented back in 2012. Some students at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology have taken things a step further by designing a small-scale concrete airplane that can actually fly (sort of). Continue reading

ARPA-E Summit Showcases Alternative Energy Concepts

Alternative energy ideas were on parade last month at the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) Innovation Summit in the nation’s capital. The event allowed energy startups to pitch their ideas to potential investors and venture capitalists.

The folks over at the IEEE highlighted some of the more off-the-wall technologies on display.Eight companies were selected out of more than 300 applicants to make their pitches at the Summit.

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Antarctic Research Station on Skis

It’s gotten pretty cold here in the Midwest the past few days, but not nearly as cold as it is in the Antarctic, where this peculiar looking research station (the Halley VI) opened up earlier this month.

As many as 52 scientists will be housed in the modular complex, a $40.6 million facility designed by Hugh Broughton Architects for the British Antarctic Survey. Continue reading

Help Save the World from Killer Asteroids

An international team of scientists plans to test a working asteroid deflection system in hopes of averting a devastating collision with a killer near-Earth asteroid—and they’re asking for your help.

The European Space Agency and Johns Hopkins University are collaborating on a trial run to test out the concept behind the Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment (AIDA) mission. Continue reading

Crowdfunded ‘Roboy’ to Debut

A team of researchers in Zurich turned to crowdfunding to launch an ambitious robotics project—developing an advanced, humanoid service robot in just nine months.

The project is being spearheaded by the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory of the University of Zurich. Dubbed Roboy, the cuddly-looking robot will be constructed using a human-like, tendon-driven design (rather than having motors in its joints). The new robot builds on work done at Sussex University on a tendon-driven robot called ECCE.

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