Hyperloop Construction Begins

The hyperloop has been one of Elon Musk’s many ideas that has gathered a lot of public attention. From the Space X rockets to Tesla, Musk is known for going beyond the normal and his idea of a Hyperloop was included in that list. Now that idea is becoming a reality.

First purposed by Musk, the hyperloop would work by creating a vacuum in which you could propel a pod carrying people around the country at high speeds. So imagine all those Sci-fi movies which had you stepping into a pod and speeding into the distance? That could soon be you!

Estimated to be able to transport people from San Francisco to Los Angeles in under 30 minutes the pods could go as fast as 760mph. The first step of construction is a 5-mile test track in Quay valley, the test track won’t just be for testing, though. It is designed to be the start of the system, with analysis and improvements made all throughout 2016 and 2017, while passengers will have to wait till 2018 to get a ride on something that will leave cars and roller coasters in the dust.

The idea behind the hyperloop is simple, use our understanding of physics and transportation to create a new, cheaper, more affordable and quicker form of transportation. Imagine taking a train journey across the country and then suddenly realising before you even open your book that you’re at your destination.

Bruno Is the World’s First Smartcan

Do we really need smarter trash? It appears so as a new project on Kickstarter introduces us to Bruno, the world’s first smart trashcan. While the idea in itself isn’t that bad, I can’t help to think that this is just taking it one step too far on both the laziness and smart scale.

Bruno will be available in five different colours, White, grey, blue, red, and as stainless steel version. Its mission, to make your life easier. It comes with a built-in vacuum at the bottom so you just have to sweep the dirt in front of it and remove the need to get out the dustpan and bend down to sweep it up. The next mission is for those who forget to take out the trash on trash day, although one could argue that every smartphone already has that feature in the calendar or alarm apps.

Bruno will also notify you on your smartphone before you run out of trash bags and gives you the option to order new ones directly. Surely a convenient feature, but is it really a common problem to run out of dustbags?  The lid has motion sensors and will open without the need to touch anything which indeed is a nice feature when you got both hands full with things to throw away.

As always with Kickstarter, you’ll find several offers to choose from. Early early birds were able to reserve a Bruno can for $139 plus shipping, but those 100 are already gone just as the 200 normal early birds for $149 plus shipping. The next step has a limited amount too for $159, but there are still some of them available. There are also family packs with up to 10 Bruno smart cans in one package for the large families or offices that want one of these everywhere.

If you got interested and want a Bruno for either convenience or just laziness, then you should head on over to Kickstarter and reserve yourself one and get it as soon as it rolls off the production line.

Optical Nanotechnology Sensor Claimed to be as Good as a Dog’s Nose

Researchers for the Oregon State University have created a new technology by combining optical tech with nanocomposite thin-films to develop a new type of cheap sensor, which is said to be fast, highly sensitive and able to detect and analyse a wide range of gases.

The sensor is said to be suited to detect carbon dioxide and may find potential use in industrial applications or systems designed to store the gas underground.

However, there are many other applications for the sensor. The researchers have filed a patent on the invention and are working in collaborating with a variety of industries to perfect and help commercialize the product.

“Optical sensing is very effective in sensing and identifying trace-level gases, but often uses large laboratory devices that are terribly expensive and can’t be transported into the field,” said Alan Wang, a photonics expert and an assistant professor in the OSU School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.”By contrast, we use optical approaches that can be small, portable and inexpensive,” Wang said. “This system used plasmonic nanocrystals that act somewhat like a tiny lens, to concentrate a light wave and increase sensitivity.”

The sensor works by having a metal-organic framework of thin films which can quickly absorb gases within material pores and be recycled by simple vacuum processes.

After the thin-film captures the gas molecules near the surface, the plasmonic materials act at a near-infrared range, help magnify the signal and precisely analyze the presence and amounts of different gases.

Detecting gas can also find its use in the explosive diffusion industry, with further applications seen in public places with high risk of terrorism and explosive use, such as airports or border security.

However, a lot of gases required to be monitored in the lab before the sensor can do its job in the field. Other fields that might find potential use for the technology include healthcare, automobile engines and prevention of natural gas leakage.

Thank you Phys.org for providing us with this information

Fire Department Rescue Woman From Robot Vacuum Attack!

OK so that headline sounds a little sensationalist, but it’s really one of the best headlines I’ve read all week, especially when you find out it’s true. Admittedly, it’s likely not that great for the woman who was attacked, or for many robots who’ve been working hard to earn a good name for themselves.

Earlier this month a 52-year-old woman in South Korea had taken a nap on her floor, for whatever reasons she wasn’t in a bed, or on a couch. She forgot she had a robot vacuum, which sprung to life on its usual schedule and surprise, it tried to hoover up her hair! Leaving the woman very much attached to the blood thirst cleaning bot and the fire department to come take the robot out of service and free her head.

I’m going to guess she doesn’t replace it anytime soon, but it’s a sign that the kind of robots we take for granted, aren’t as safe as we might assume. Although I will admit, this is a pretty rare example as not all robots are trying to remove the heads of their owners.

Dyson Makes £1 Billion Investment in Future Tech

Dyson, the company best known for producing hi-tech vacuum cleaners, fans, heaters and hand driers, has announced that it is investing £1 Billion in “future technology”.

This comes alongside an earlier £250 million investment in a new R&D expansion of their current headquarters in Wiltshire. That particular project is scheduled to bring 3000 jobs along with it.

This giant new investment will apparently go towards 100 new products as part of 4 completely new product categories to be introduced over the next 4 years. CNET says that some of these new products will also include outdoor products – perhaps an update to James Dyson’s reimagining of the wheelbarrow?

Source: CNET