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How ion thruster technology will power future NASA missions

Hall thrusters use a magnetic field effect to accelerate ions (charged particles) to high speeds, producing thrust. Here’s how it works: a spacecraft’s solar panels or other power source charge an anode’s walls to a high positive energy level. Electrons injected by a downstream cathode are attracted to the anode and drawn into an insulator channel. At that point, they’re trapped by powerful magnets to form a circling ring called a Hall current.

An inert gas, usually Xenon, is then injected into the anode tube, where it collides with the electrons to form positive ionized Xenon gas, otherwise known as plasma. The magnetic field accelerates the plasma to speeds of up to 35,000 mph, generating thrust. With a positive charge, the plasma also pulls electrons from the original downstream cathode, neutralizing the charge and preventing static from building up on the spacecraft.

Engadget

There’s a new interactive video game exhibit at The Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment (MADE) in California, and it’s not showing off just any game-related material. No, it’s putting a spotlight on the accomplishments female game developers — eight women who worked on influential titles, in particular. Those include Roberta Williams (King’s Quest), Yoko Shimomura (Street Fighter III) and Kim Swift (Portal). According to the museum’s announcement, the exhibit aims to raise awareness about women’s contributions to the industry, as they can be easy to overlook in a male-dominated field. “Women are not some oddity in the video game industry,” MADE founder Alex Handy told Kill Screen. “We hope this exhibit helps to highlight that fact for the next generation of game developers.” The exhibit has been open since the 12th and will run throughout the summer.

Filed under: Gaming

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Via: Kill Screen

Source: The Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment Follow @DailyTechWhip

Source: Engadget - Read the full article here

The post Interactive exhibit honors women in game development appeared first on Daily Tech Whip.

Watch this little robot learn to walk after taking damage

Robots are getting pretty good at carrying on after taking a knock, but what if they lose a limb? Scientists from the US and France have given a six-legged ‘bot the smarts to keep going even if two of its legs are disabled by, say, a Sarah Connor sho…

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May 28, 2015 at 05:01PM
The new Shazam identifies boxed items, books and magazines | Engadget

Reposted from http://ift.tt/1JWzKOE on May 28, 2015 at 06:00AM

It’s true: Shazam’s adding more useful features to its application, as was reported by Reuters back in March. Now, the famed discovery software can identify more than music, movies, TV shows and commercials, which has been the core functionality to d…

If you think you’ve got a bright future in spaceship design, the Kerbal Space Program simulator will quickly humble you — beneath the playful surface is an accurate, unforgiving physics system. The lucky few that manage to get their virtual craft in orbit or beyond can’t be blamed if they’d like to commemorate the achievement. A printing company called Eucl3D now lets you do exactly that in PVC — all you have to do is upload your Kerbal .craft files, and for $99, you’ll get a plastic replica of your ship.

You may not get the epic grandeur you expect, as Eucl3d will scale all models to the size that $99 worth of PVC will allow. Also, tiny unprintable details like struts may be deleted automatically by the system. But those are minor details, and many of the finished models look fantastic. In fact, considering how many NASA engineers actually use Kerbal, you may even see your ship retrieve a freaking asteroid one day. If you’d like to try it, you can upload your files here.

Filed under: Peripherals, Science

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Via: Polygon

Source: Eucl3d (Reddit), Eucl3d Follow @DailyTechWhip

Source: Engadget - Read the full article here

The post Wannabe Elon Musks can 3D print their virtual spaceships appeared first on Daily Tech Whip.

Watch this little robot learn to walk after taking damage

Robots are getting pretty good at carrying on after taking a knock, but what if they lose a limb? Scientists from the US and France have given a six-legged ‘bot the smarts to keep going even if two of its legs are disabled by, say, a Sarah Connor sho…

Robot@Engadget: http://ift.tt/1FcDzbZ
May 28, 2015 at 05:01PM

Department of Energy 3D prints an all-electric Shelba Cobra

Carroll Shelby’s iconic Cobra roadster has been making jaws drop for half a century now. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Cobra’s debut the US Department of Energy built one of its own. The new Cobra’s entire chassis and bodywork–from the passenger monocoque to the grille and headrests–were 3D printed from carbon fiber reinforced ABS using the Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) machine at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. And while the exterior of the new Cobra is nearly indistinguishable from its predecessor, they look nothing alike under the hood. The DoE’s Cobra is, in fact, completely electric.

Engadget

Google's URL shortener deeps links directly to iOS and Android apps

Google’s URL shortener deeps links directly to iOS and Android apps

By Engadget: You know those goo.gl shortcuts you regularly come across on Twitter or Facebook and other places online? They now open the exact pages they link to either on the website’s official app or on your browsers. For instance, if you click on a shortcut th… * More Of: Google’s URL shortener deeps links directly to iOS and Android apps

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Watch these artists 3D print animation into reality

Engadget is reporting on a group of Dutch 3d animators that literally printed out every frame of a short film in with a 3d printer and made it into an exhibit.

Disney wants to make robots of your favorite animated characters

Folks working as Disneyland mascots may want to start looking into possible employment opportunities for the future. The company’s crazed scientist branch, Disney Research, is developing a biped robot that can walk like an animated character. See, Di…

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May 27, 2015 at 04:29PM
'Nano-paper' chips end up in compost heaps, not landfills

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Today’s cast-off gadgets are far more likely to end up in a landfill than they are being responsibly disposed of. In fact, 41.8 million tons of e-waste were scrapped last year alone. To combat this, a team from the University of Wisconsin-Madison has…


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If the combined might of Batman and Gandalf wasn’t enough to intrigue you, how about throwing in a Timelord (with a Scottish accent)? More details of the Skylanders-baiting Lego Dimensions game have been gleaned from a building instruction sheet for its Back To The Future set, with a catalog of level packs (read: figures and accessories) we’re going to see alongside the game itself. As well as Doctor Who, expect to see a Portal 2 pack, as well as Jurassic World, The Simpsons and Scooby-Doo. You can also expect multiple figures from Lego’s own brick-based franchises like Ninjago as well more characters from Lord of the Rings — these will be part of “fun packs”, likely to cost less than the aforementioned full-blown level add-ons. And if it sounds like a lot, remember: we haven’t even seen the DC comics sets yet.

Filed under: Gaming

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Via: Kotaku

Source: Lego Follow @DailyTechWhip

Source: Engadget - Read the full article here

The post ‘Lego Dimensions’ will include 'Portal’, Doctor Who and Homer Simpson appeared first on Daily Tech Whip.

Jawbone sues Fitbit for 'plundering' product information

Jawbone sues Fitbit for ‘plundering’ product information

By Engadget: Jawbone is suing its archrival, Fitbit, for “systematically plundering” confidential information. According to the complaint, Fitbit recruiters attempted to poach almost one-third of Jawbone’s staff. Some of those employees left the company, but not … * More Of: Jawbone sues Fitbit for 'plundering’ product information

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Extra, Extra! MindMeld’s Speech Technology in the Press

Speech technology is heating up, and MindMeld – with our recent partnership announcement – has been landing a fair bit of press recently. Here is an overview of the recent buzz. (Many thanks to these journalists for sharing our story and creating smart, interesting reads.)


CIOFetch for Apple Watch is your wrist-based, ecommerce concierge

Fetch uses Expect Labs’ MindMeld, which bills itself as “the first platform for building advanced voice-driven applications.”

EntrepreneurHow MindMeld Is Letting Companies Add Voice Recognition to Any App

Tuttle believes that up to 40 percent of the apps launched for mobile devices will come with voice recognition by the end of this year. Three years from now, he says, voice will be the primary user interface with our devices. “And we’re still just scratching the surface,” he adds.

Financial TimesThe challenge from digital concierges

Eventually, if the recommendation algorithm works well enough, it could be used to suggest things direct to users without human intervention, says Tim Tuttle, chief executive officer of Expect Labs, the company supplying the AI. A single tap would trigger the entire process of automated fulfillment and delivery.

Upstart Business Journal: Startups aim to make Apple Watch smarter using AI

Oakland-based Fetch says it now has the first AI-powered smartwatch app, thanks to MindMeld technology developed by San Francisco-based Expect Labs.

MacWorld: Fetch and MindMeld debut the first AI-powered Apple Watch app

On Tuesday, Fetch announced an integration with MindMeld’s artificial intelligence technology to better interpret on-demand voice requests on its Apple Watch app. This partnership makes Fetch, an on-demand personal shopping service, the first third-party AI-powered app for the Apple Watch.

Silicon Valley Business Journal: Startups partner on voice-activated concierge for Apple Watch

Mobile commerce startup Fetch has joined forces with Expect Labs to add artificial intelligence to its top-rated voice activated Apple Watch concierge app.

ProgrammableWeb: Fetch, MindMeld API Provide Apple Watch Concierge Service

This means Apple Watch owners can make requests through their smartwatch. Yes, the future is fully here, thanks in part to MindMeld’s API.

Engadget: Fetch’s shopping app puts a smarter concierge on your wrist

If you wanted to buy, say, a sweet messenger bag someone was rocking in SoHo, you could snap a photo, send it along, and someone would eventually respond with the cheapest, most appropriate listing they could find. With Expect Labs’ voice recognition and analytical chops now being baked into the existing iOS/Apple Watch app, though, those requests can be chopped up and acted on more quickly.