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Solar-plane pilots say trip was also test of human endurance

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) — The two Swiss pilots taking turns to fly a solar-powered airplane around the world said Sunday the endeavor is not only a demonstration of the importance of renewable energy but also of the many challenges the human body can endure.<p>Pilot Bertrand Piccard completed a …

Solar Impulse

Human Head Transplant Proposed—How Did We Get Here?

Yes, in case you haven’t heard, a doctor in Italy has announced plans to transplant a guy’s head onto a new body two years from now. Sound nuts?<p>Many of the headlines say so. “No, Human Head Transplants Will Not Be Possible by 2017,” said <i>Popular Science</i>. The <i>International Business Times</i> pronounced …

Data Protection

This Futuristic Concrete Heals Itself With Built-In Bacteria

A solid idea<p>Concrete has been a go-to building material since Roman times. It’s durable, easy to make, and relatively inexpensive. There’s just one problem: It has a tendency to crack.<p>There are a lot of different reasons that concrete cracks, but in general, it gets stressed either from the load …

Watch This Super Fast Robo-Roach Launch A Robot Bird

If it runs any faster it will fall apart<p>Ever turned on a light at night in summer and watched roaches scatter, and then subsequently thought, “You know, what I’d really like is if these roaches were both faster and robots”? Well, weird-thought-haver, you are in luck. Made by researchers at UC …

This Bricklaying Robot Can Build A House In Two Days

Replacing ancient human art with mechanical precision<p>An engineer in Perth wants to mechanize one of humanity’s oldest jobs. His robot is named “Hadrian,” after the Roman Emperor who built a wall in Northern Britain, and it can lay 1,000 bricks an hour. With a building plan programmed in, it …

Robotics

Superfast Lasers Create A Hologram You Can Touch

At quadrillionth-second bursts<p>The halls of science fiction are well-decorated with dreams of holograms—Jules Verne introduced holography to literature in 1893 with <i>The Castle of the Carpathians</i>, and how else would we know that Obi-Wan was Leia’s only hope?<p>Now, researchers at the Digital Nature …

Why your smartphone takes better photographs than the Hubble space telescope

Given that we’re living in a golden age for space photography, it’s surprising how antiquated the hardware responsible is…<p>For those who keep up with the latest developments in space exploration, the last couple of years have offered a rich feast of images: from close-up pictures of water-worn …

New Horizons Probe Focuses on Pluto’s Moon Charon … and Vader Crater?

LAUREL, Md. — Pluto is the star of the show for NASA's New Horizons mission — but its biggest moon, Charon, is a close second. The two icy worlds are sometimes characterized as the first known double dwarf planets because they orbit a common center of gravity in a complex gravitational dance.<p>So …

Darth Vader

NASA probe set to make history at Pluto

<b>(CNN) —</b> It's traveled more than nine years to get there and it will only stay a few hours, but a small space probe already is revolutionizing the way we look at Pluto.<p>NASA's New Horizons spacecraft will be approximately 7,800 miles (12,500 kilometers) from Pluto's surface at 7:49 a.m. ET on July 14 …

Solar System

Self-Aware Robot Shows Progress of AI

A Small Self-Aware Robot Showed Minimal Intelligence During a Test<p>We’re a long way off from having a self-aware robot with an artificial intelligence close to what is seen in movies such as <i>Her</i> or <i>Ex Machina</i>. But for the first time, three humanoid robots showed a glimmer of self-consciousness by …

Now That We've Explored All The Planets, What's The Next Frontier?

Pluto is just the beginning<p>When I was growing up, there were nine planets in the solar system: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. By 1989, all of those planets had been explored … except Pluto. Though it's no longer classified as a planet by some folks, Pluto …