Multiple companies have outlined plans for flying taxis, but Boeing just took an important step toward making them a practical reality. The aircraft maker has completed the first test flight of its autonomous electric VTOL aircraft, verifying that the machine can take off, hover and land. It’s a modest start, to put it mildly — the taxi has yet to fly forward, let alone transition from vertical to forward flight modes. That still puts it ahead of competitors, though, and it’s no mean feat when the aircraft existed as little more than a concept roughly one year ago.
Nine rotating LED works light up the sky with full, waxing, and waning phases of the moon in a new installation by Taipei-based arts studio Whyixd. The work, #define Moon_, is installed on the campus of National Chiao Tung University in Hsinchu, Taiwan, and provides a completely different visual experience depending on the angle. Utilizing motors, the LED lights spin to create each shape, providing a kinetic element to the satellite-shaped structures.
Jacob publishes his works to his Tumblr, Necessary Disorder, and provides step-by-step instructions for how to make your own versions of the GIFs on his blog.
Robo-Vac, a self-proppeled vacuum cleaner part of Whirlpool’s Miracle Kitchen of the Future, a display at the 1959 American National Exhibition in Moscow.
The Bennie Railplane was a form of rail transport invented by George Bennie (1891–1957), which moved along an overhead rail by way of propellers. Bennie, born at Auldhouse, near Glasgow, Scotland began work on the development of his railplane in 1921. In 1929-1930 he built a prototype on a trial stretch of track over a 130-yard (119-metre) line at Milngavie, off the Glasgow and Milngavie Junction Railway, with one railplane car to demonstrate the system to potential clients. The car ran along an overhead monorail, stabilised by guide rails below. It moved by propellers powered by on-board motors. It was intended to run above conventional railways, separating faster passenger traffic from slower freight traffic. Bennie believed his railplane cars had the capability of travelling up to 120 mph (193 km/h) and would offer a “fast passenger and mails and perishable goods service”. Slow and heavy goods freight and local passenger services would continue on the traditional rail service below. Each car could carry a maximum of 48 people; the prototype had seating for fewer.
In spite of interest from around the world, Bennie could not obtain the financial backing he required to develop his revolutionary transport system. The proposed line from Edinburgh to Glasgow was not built, nor was the one between Southport and Blackpool. By 1937, Bennie was bankrupt. He had financed most of the work himself.
After a two-year chase, a NASA spacecraft arrived Monday at the ancient asteroid Bennu, its first visitor in billions of years.
The robotic explorer Osiris-Rex pulled within 12 miles (19 kilometers) of the diamond-shaped space rock. It will get even closer in the days ahead and go into orbit around Bennu on Dec. 31. No spacecraft has ever orbited such a small cosmic body.
It is the first U.S. attempt to gather asteroid samples for return to Earth, something only Japan has accomplished so far.