Via Tech Insider:
The Japanese lettuce production company Spread believes the farmers of the future will be robots.
So much so that Spread is creating the world’s first farm manned entirely by robots. Instead of relying on human farmers, the indoor Vegetable Factory will employ robots that can harvest 30,000 heads of lettuce every day.
This German art student, Benjamin Harff, decided, for his exam at the Academy of Arts, to do something only slightly ambitious — to hand-illuminate and bind a copy of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Silmarillion. It took him six months of work. In very 21st century elvish-monk style, he hand-illuminated the text which had been printed on his home Canon inkjet printer. He worked with a binder to assemble the resulting book.
It’s a race befitting the goal of moving passengers and cargo at the speed of sound: Three Southern California companies are building separate test tracks to see how well the “hyperloop” transportation concept works in the real world.
Kyocera’s answer has been to target “unused” spaces like reservoirs. For its latest grand project, the company has partnered with Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation to build what it claims will become the largest floating solar farm in the world in terms of power produced.
Situated about 50 miles from Tokyo and scheduled for launch in 2018, the facility will dwarf the current largest floating solar farm (also built by Kyocera), using five times more solar panels and covering around seven times the space.
Koycera recently started work on constructing the facility using just over 50,000 solar panels that’ll cover a freshwater surface area of about 180,000 square meters.
Via The Guardian:
An electric, driverless shuttle bus has taken to Dutch public roads on Thursday, rolling six passengers along a 200m stretch of road in the first trial of its kind worldwide.
The WePod, one of a fleet to be rolled out in coming years, took a few people on a short journey back and forth along the side of a lake in the central Dutch agricultural town of Wageningen.
At 5 miles per hour (8kmph), it did not set a speed record, “but an unmanned vehicle has never been used on public roads”, the project’s technical director, Jan Willem van der Wiel, said. “This is a milestone.”
Via ABC News:
Thirty years ago today, the nation watched on live television as the Challenger shuttle carrying seven people, including a high school teacher, exploded into a fireball 73 seconds after liftoff.
On an unusually cold January morning, the astronauts’ families and other onlookers watched as the Challenger lifted off from Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida, for what was supposed to be a seven day trip. Shortly after liftoff an orange fireball and smoke could be seen in the sky.
“Obviously a major malfunction,” Stephen Nesbitt at mission control said, according to transcripts of the Challenger disaster.
Fontus is a gadget created by industrial designer Kristof Retezar that mounts to the crossbar of a bicycle, pulling moisture out of the air and filling up a water bottle while the vehicle is in motion. The device has a cooler built in to pull out the moisture from humid air.
Via Wired UK:
Chris Hadfield spent 166 days in space and spacewalked for almost 15 hours — but he’s eager for humans to venture further. The next “logical” space exploration? Humans returning to the Moon and building colonies there.
“We will be on the International Space Station for another ten years or so, and where’s the next obvious place we’ll go? The Moon. It’s only three days away,” the 59-year-old Canadian astronaut tells WIRED.
Kicking off an event that showcases Softbank’s Pepper robot working in a business environment, the Japanese phone carrier says it’s going to test it out for itself, announcing a Pepper phone shop staffed entirely by its robots. According to the company, you’ll be able to sign up to a phone contract with the robot.