Adding a drill to a quadcopter requires a design re-think
From Popular Mechanics:
Drones are primarily known for what they can do in the sky, like aerial photography or shutting down airports. A new project out of University of Nebraska–Lincoln (UNL) takes things in a different direction — this drone digs holes.
Built by UNL’s NIMBUS Lab, the quadcopter is equipped with a big ol’ drill that, once the drone has gingerly landed, can be used to burrow into the dirt, sand, or clay beneath it, primarily for scientific purposes.
But a digging drone isn’t as easy as just strapping a drill to a quad. Drones already tend to have short battery lives, with top-shelf drones like the DJI Mavic Pro Platinum topping out at 30 minutes. Adding a giant drill that is both heavy in flight and requires energy of its own while in use only exacerbates the problem.
“Battery powered drones have very short flight times, especially when flying with a heavy load, which (ours is) since we have our digging apparatus and sensor system,” says NIMBUS codirector Carrick Detweiler. The NIMBUS solution? More drones. “We need to hitch a ride on another vehicle,” Detweiler says. After flying with another drone, it parachutes in. “This allows it to save energy for return trips.”
Your next business meeting could be with a hologram
Sure, you can play immersive games and watch whales come out of the floor with Magic Leap, but another potential use case of AR is teleconferencing and work collaboration. That’s mostly done via avatars these days, but at CES, a small startup called Mimesys is showing off a way to do so via live volumetric video capture. This means you can actually see your fellow collaborator face-to-face, albeit in the form of a holographic image.
Mimesys set up two demo stations at the Intel booth at CES to show off the tech. Each had a Magic Leap, as well as four separate cameras positioned on a wall in front of you. I put on the headset, and the first thing I saw was an array of what appear to be Lego bricks, that I can play around with just to get a feel of the controls.
A Mimesys helper donned the other headset, and soon, he appeared in my view. He looked incredibly lifelike, and it did seem like the hologram version of him was sitting right across from me. Next, a drone appeared in front of us in a broken state, which we then worked together to re-assemble, simply by clicking and dragging on different components. All of it was done in real-time too, thanks in part to the Intel 5G network that it was hooked up to.
Get ready for massive dashboard screens
From CBC News:
Take a glance at the vehicle displays shown at CES — the global technology conference in Las Vegas — and you could be forgiven for thinking you are at the movies.
“This is not science fiction!” announced the head of Byton, an electric vehicle startup, onstage earlier this week. CEO and chairman Carsten Breitfeld was referring to the jaw-dropping, 48-inch screen inside the Chinese-funded company’s M-Byte car.
Byton’s vehicle will not be built until later this year. But its super-sized display — supplied by China’s BOE Technology Group — is proving an undeniable trend in the automotive world, fuelled by the rise of more connected cars.
“The screens are the window to the digital world,” said Gorden Wagener, chief design officer for Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz’s parent. “Screens are the new horsepower.” The 2019 Mercedes EQC crossover features two 10.25-inch displays behind a glass surface forming a free-standing screen.
See more IT & Tech innovation stories and let us know the interesting technology stories you come across.