Posts tagged technology

Posted 1 year ago

Sun Angel - this solar blimp is a solar powered aircraft designed to carry medical supplies through the most remote areas to those who need them. Developed by Canadian company Solar Ship, the Caracal Caracal (named for the quick, fierce feline that ranges throughout Africa) is the aerial equivalent of the 4×4, and often the only way to get around in remote regions where roads are a rarity.

The Solar Ship is a hybrid aircraft, gaining lift from both buoyant gas and aerodynamics. Its wing-ship design allows for short take-off and landing (STOL), such as in a soccer field. This design also provides a large surface area for solar electric power, allowing long, self-sufficient range. The result is transportation without depending on things that often aren’t available in remote areas – fossil fuels, roads, or runways.

Posted 1 year ago

Shooting Space - an interesting video about both historic and recent efforts to accelerate payloads into space using very large guns, rail launchers, etc. The concept has been around for a while (much longer than real space travel), and over time there have been a number of large projects to make it real.

Posted 1 year ago

Heavy Metal - an awesome video of Compressorhead performing an ACDC cover of TNT. The best part? All musicians are robots, humans need not apply! Stickboy (drums), Fingers (guitar), and Bones (bass) not only have the heavy metal sound, they look the part too. Stickboy was created in 2007 with 4 arms, 2 legs, 1 head, and no (meat) brain. Fingers joined Stickboy in 2009 and has 78 purpose built fingers; take that you lowly humans. Bones was crafted in 2012 as the highest precision bass player in known existence. To quote the original article:

"Standaside meatbags. Oil is thicker than blood."

Posted 1 year ago

Touching the Sky - I’ve previously mentioned the Heiroglyph Project, created by famous author Neal Stephenson to put big ideas back into scifi. Since then, Stephenson has started his own real world scifi project: building a 20 kilometer tall tower to bridge Earth and Sky. In this interview he discusses his motivation for the project, and how soon it may become reality.

Another part of the problem was a modern inclination to hold off on starting really big projects in the belief that it would be better to wait for some enabling advance. Noting that he could have used artistic license and built the tower in his Hieroglyph project story twice as high with a fictional superstrong nanotube-based material, Stephenson said he choose to stick with steel to underscore the idea that we don’t have to wait for a future technology to fall into our laps.

Posted 1 year ago

DRONE - A series of 4 scifi shorts which really impressed me. The story centers around an autonomous combat android, but what really grabbed me is that it’s very unclear who the good and the bad guys are until the very last episode.  Go to the original site for the links to all four episodes and a making of video. 

Despite it short length, however, the movie manages to deliver a few good plot-twists and multiple points of view as well as raise a number of important questions about the rules of engagement and the laws of war in the context of drone warfare; human nature and the laws of robotics.