Future Tech: Plus…magnetic tape stores huge amounts of data & lasers clean power lines.
A drone that can cling to a wall and then take off again
This drone doesn't just hover, it's capable of covertly perching itself on a vertical wall, just like a fly does.
Designed by Createk Design Lab at the Université de Sherbrooke in Quebec, the Multimodal Autonomous Drone (S-MAD) can repeatedly land vertically and take off again. Luckily, it wasn't designed for spying.
Instead, the team at Sherbrooke imagines the S-MAD could one day be used for less creepy tasks, like aerial monitoring after an earthquake or assisting with building inspections.
330 million books in the palm of your hand
From The Verge:
In a new world record, scientists at IBM have captured 330 terabytes of uncompressed data — or the equivalent of 330 million books — into a cartridge that can fit into the palm of your hand. The record of 201 gigabits per square inch on prototype sputtered magnetic tape is more than 20 times the areal density currently used in commercial tape drives. Areal recording density is the amount of information that can be stored on a given area of surface.
Tape drives were invented over 60 years ago and were traditionally used for archiving tax documents and health care records. IBM’s first tape unit used reels of half-inch-wide tape that could only hold about 2 megabytes.
The magnetic tape was developed by Sony Storage Media Solutions, and the milestone indicates the viability of continuing to scale up storage on tapes for another decade, IBM said.
A laser beam that cleans power lines
From Popular Mechanics:
Power lines are tough to clean. They're high up and difficult to reach, not to mention the dangerous electricity flowing through them. If something gets stuck on a power line, typically a work crew will have to climb up there and clean it off, which is dangerous and time-consuming. So one company found a better solution.
Cai Xiaofeng, a worker at China's Southern Power Grid, took inspiration from cutting-edge military tech and developed a high-powered laser that can shoot debris off a line.
This isn't the first time that a Chinese power company found a better way to clean a power line. A few months ago, workers in another province debuted their flamethrower-cleaning drone. But this new laser is arguably easier and safer to use.
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