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News

Imagine fireworks that you can control through the air. That's the basic idea of Intel's Shooting Star drones, which are starting to change the game when it comes to spectacular light shows. For their latest outing, the diminutive aircraft were shown forming airborne snowboarders and iconic rings for the Opening Ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Intel's Shooting Star drones first arrived on the scene in early 2016, and since then they've gone from strength to strength. After initially claiming a Guinness World Record for the most drones in flight simultaneously with a fleet of 100, Intel soon followed that with a 500-strong effort and took its high-flying robots to Disney World for some Christmas-themed spectacles.

It has now eclipsed these efforts by unleashing a total of 1,218 Shooting Star drones in South Korea. Programmed to form snowboarders, Olympic rings and a bird flapping its wings, Intel had planned to launch the drones during the Opening Ceremony as part of a live event, but due to an "impromptu logistical change," it was left to simply air a pre-recorded version instead.

There is a little public relations trickery at play here, with Intel not making it all that clear that the flight shown during the televised opening ceremony actually took place in December. And broadcasters like NBC are playing along and Intel itself is celebrating the feat on Twitter.

"Could a world record be set even before the Olympic Games begin?" it asked on Twitter on February 8, knowing full well that the record was already in the bag.

Timing aside, the flight really is quite incredible, and is the most impressive example yet of how the Shooting Star drones can provide event organizers with new means of creating awe-inspiring sky shows. Equipped with LEDs, they weigh only 700 g (24.7 oz) apiece, and as we can see in the following video, can be programmed to follow intricate flight paths to form tight-knit and incredible shifting patterns in the sky.

Source: Intel

The name "Corbellati" definitely doesn't seduce the eardrum like a "Ferrari" or "Bugatti." Before teasing the could-be world's fastest car, it was better known as the surname of a family of jewelry makers and artists. This family's latest creation is much more a living creature than its past work, though – a retro-styled supercar with a grumbling 9.0-liter V8 beating heart. Corbellati will reveal the "Missile" at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show and perhaps go on to challenge the Koenigsegg Agera RS for the world speed record.

We're not quite sure what to make of Corbellati – it's an odd one. Usually when a complete unknown surfaces to reveal an inconceivable hypercar drenched in superlatives, it introduces itself by focusing on its team's automotive and design expertise.

Corbellati, on the other hand, says, "We are the Corbellati family, for 70 years creators of jewels, artists, art enthusiasts. Today, the last generation, passionate to the sports cars, has embarked on a new venture full of challenges to continue in the name of family tradition. Our goal is to create a car with unique performance and unique design, just like a jewel."

OK then.

However questionable its background, Corbellati intends to host its world premiere in March at the Geneva show, where the Missile will find itself but one among a fleet of the world's most powerful, beautiful supercars, some with more legitimate and believable claims of being the world's fastest.

But Corbellati has no intention of bringing a knife to a gunfight. According to the details the company has released so far, the Missile is powered by an 1,800-hp 9.0-liter V8 biturbo driving the rear wheels through a 6-speed transmission and limited slip differential. The engine also develops 1,733 lb-ft.

The 184-in (4,670-mm) Missile stands 46 in (1,170 mm) to the roof and 4.7 in (12 cm) over the ground below. A carbon fiber chassis and bodywork help to keep weight down, while exaggerated curves reminiscent of the race cars of the 1960s are structured to help the car slip its way to a (crazy-optimistic) estimated top speed above 310 mph (500 km/h). A self-leveling double quadrilateral air suspension fine-tunes and cushions the ride, and carbon-ceramic discs inside monoblock six-piston calipers bring that ride to a reliable stop.

An 1,800-hp car built by jewelers being the first to break the 300-mph and 500-km/h barriers definitely sounds like a complete fantasy, and on most days, we would probably dismiss it all together. But today, Corbellati held our attention, mostly out of curiosity of what this unknown entity will be showing in just a few weeks' time in Geneva. We're definitely looking forward to getting a closer look.

After hosting the Missile's world premiere in Geneva, Corbellati will also bring it to Top Marques Monaco in April. Whether or not the car will ever make good on its "world's fastest" bill remains to be seen. It faces some stiff competition from much more established players, though, with ink barely dry on Koenigsegg's production car speed record, and folks at Bugatti and Hennessey undoubtedly itching to run their own attempt.

We'll bring more details of the Corbellati Missile after its official debut.

Source: Corbellati

[GWG] BrushWolf Sexy in a 1950's - 1960's manner, I like.

A team of Japanese roboticists has built a new "human mimetic humanoid" that anatomically resembles the musculoskeletal intricacy of a human boy. Called Kengoro, the robot demonstrated its human-like abilities by completing a series of exercises including push-ups and sit-ups.

The JSK lab at the University of Tokyo has been developing these humanoid robots for several years now. The Kengoro is the most advanced iteration of a series that began in 2001 with a bot named Kenta.

The goal of the research is to develop a robot that can act as a completely accurate human analogue, allowing for a variety of applications from better crash test dummies to improved muscle analytics for athletes and sports training. Not to mention the science fiction potential in producing perfectly identical humanoid robots.

The most advanced robot produced to date by the team, Kengoro is more structurally complex than any of its earlier relatives, but perhaps the most interesting development is its artificial perspiration system. Ostensibly the system mimics the way a human being sweats, but the process also serves a pragmatic function, designed to prevent overheating by running water through its skeletal frame and allowing steam to vent out of small vents.

Kengoro was immediately put to work demonstrating a series of human-like movements that resembled a tough exercise workout, and while the robot doesn't have the supernatural dynamism of other androids (such as the latest backflipping bot from Boston Dynamics), it does have a human-like quality that is undeniably unsettling.

The new research was published in the journal Science Robotics.

Source: Science Robotics

Yale researchers have developed a new type of metallic glass, by shrinking down nanorods of the material until they're too small to have a nucleus(Credit: Yale University)

Metallic glass is an emerging type of material, so its secrets are still being discovered. While working with the stuff, a team of Yale researchers created a brand new type of metallic glass, by shrinking samples down to the nanoscale until it forms a unique crystalline phase.

Normally, solid metals have a rigid, crystalline atomic structure, but as their name suggests, metallic glasses are more like glass, with a random arrangement of atoms. Composed of complex alloys, they get their unusual structure when molten metal is cooled down extremely quickly, which prevents crystals from forming. The end result is a material that's as pliable as plastic during production but strong as steel afterwards, making them useful for objects like golf clubs and gears for robots.

The Yale researchers developed their new version of the material by taking samples of metallic glass and making nanorods out of it. With a diameter of just 35 nanometers, these rods are so tiny that the atoms have no room for a nucleus. The researchers dub the process "nucleus starvation," and it resulted in a new phase of the material.

"This gives us a handle to control the number of nuclei we provide in the sample," says Judy Cha, lead researcher on the project. "When it doesn't have any nuclei — despite the fact that nature tells us that there should be one — it generates this brand new crystalline phase that we've never seen before. It's a way to create a new material out of the old."

While it's difficult to tell exactly what applications this new form might have, the researchers say that the process of making it is the main advantage. By creating metallic glass nanorods of different diameters, the researchers can control how many nuclei they have and, as a result, open up a range of new crystalline phases. Testing the properties of those new materials could lead to some unexpected applications down the track.

"As we were doing this, more and more interesting phenomena popped up," says Cha. "We're unearthing all these interesting phenomena that occur at the nanoscale. We don't really know a lot about these systems, and when we work with them in smaller, nanometer scales, then a new science and a new physics emerge. That's exciting because it tells us that there are these new playgrounds emerging that we simply haven't paid much attention to before, and that there is still more to be explored."

The research was published in the journal Nature Communications.

Source: Yale University

Thirty-seven years after Dr. Amar Bose hit on the idea of beefing up a loudspeaker’s electromagnetic driver to be an adaptive car suspension, Bose is selling off the technology to ClearMotion, another Boston-area tech company founded by MIT graduates. Bose got as far as developing prototype cars that were exhibited in 2004, though it did bring to market an offshoot, electromagnetically suspended seats for long-haul truck drivers.

Genesis of the Electromagnetic Suspension

At a 2004 technology rollout at Bose headquarters in Framingham, Massachusetts, Amar Bose said, “This is the first time a suspension system is the same for a sports car and for a luxury car.” He was drawn to develop alternatives to the traditional springs-and-shocks suspensions after experiences owning a 1957 Pontiac with a fledgling air suspension and a 1967 Citroën with an always-leaking hydraulic suspension.

Bose believed a loudspeaker driver comprising a magnet and electromagnetic coil, which pushed the speaker cone in and out, could be seriously scaled up to move not just a paper cone but 1,000 pounds of automobile at each corner. Bose created a mathematical model of the suspension. It called for better and beefier electromagnetic motors, power amplifiers, control algorithms, and microprocessor power — all of which he believed would come available over time.

Bose set up a skunkworks project in 1980 and code-named it Project Sound to hide the true nature from the Bose accounting department. Twenty-four years later, the company felt comfortable enough with Project Sound to showcase it for the media and analysts.

Bose suspension in a 1994 Lexus LS400.

Day-and-Night Difference in Ride Quality

Linear motor at each corner replaced the traditional springs, shock absorbers.

At that summer 2004 unveiling, Bose showed off a modified and unmodified 1994 Lexus LS400 and a Porsche 911. They were driven hard around corners and over bumps that hit the front and then rear axles, and another set of bumps that raised the left tire but not the right front, then the rears.

The front-then-rear bumps were uncomfortable on the short road course in the stock Lexus and, amazingly, almost unnoticeable with the Bose suspension. Project Sound was not just damping the roadway bumps but actively counteracting them.

The alternating left-right bumps with the stock suspension were so vicious in the Porsche that the test driver had to wear a helmet to avoid concussing his head when it repeatedly struck the side window.

A repeat visitor to Bose knows the company always has a can-you-top-this moment for visitors. In this case, it was said to be a test of the Lexus driving at speed over a railroad tie. The driver approached the railroad tie at speed, the car hunkered down (the suspension had 8 inches of travel), then the linear motors went to full expansion mode, and the car lifted off the ground and sailed over the railroad tie with inches to spare. After that, the driver got out, bowed to the crowd, pointed to the car, clicked a button, and the front suspension dipped down, too, and bowed as the headlamps winked.

At the end of the demo, Bose representatives explained what was needed to bring the suspension to market in a production car by the end of the decade: the cost would have to come down to a reasonable level for a high-end car, and the weight would have to come down to no more than 50 pounds per corner more than the existing suspension. Meaning a production car would weigh an extra 200 pounds.

Many of the world’s premiere automakers met with Bose, but no Bose-suspension cars ever came to market. There was also talk of adapting the suspension for ambulances or luxury tour buses.

Bose Suspension Trucker Seats

As it tried to bring the air suspension to market, Bose hit on the idea of installing the electronics and mechanicals inside the seats used by long-haul truck drivers. The previous state of the art was air suspension seats that softened the ride, but not enough for many truckers with back problems.

In the Bose Ride seat, precision sensors detect up-and-down motion. Bose proprietary algorithms calculate how to adjust the seat, and the electromagnetic motor in the base counteracts the bumps. The seat is $3,700, less in quantity. In a survey of truckers who reported back problems that affected their ability to drive the stiffly sprung tractor units, 97 percent said the Bose seat significantly reduced discomfort.

[GWS] RedSpartacus Please don't let Harley Davidson know about that.
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