You’re looking at a video clip recorded on a prototype camera that powers itself without needing a battery or electric cord. This innovation might represent the early stages of something big, not just for snapping selfies or recording the latest funny thing your cat is doing, but more as an enabler of the ubiquitous sensing that will be at the heart of the Industrial Internet.

The Columbia University computer scientists and engineers who created it say they are aiming to build computer eyes that can last forever without a tether. Their breakthrough came in marrying the fundamentals of how a solar panel operates with the light-capturing function of video camera image sensors.

“Digital imaging is expected to enable many emerging fields including wearable devices, sensor networks, smart environments, personalized medicine, and the Internet of Things,” said computer scientist Shree Nayar, the head of the Columbia Vision Lab and inventor of the device. “A camera that can function as an untethered device forever—without any external power supply—would be incredibly useful.” Learn more and see pics below.



Food isn’t just for eating; it’s an opportunity for fun and creative expression. During Close Encounters of the Third Kind Richard Dreyfus turned a pile mashed potatoes into Devil’s Tower. Meanwhile in Japan people are turning their curry rice into edible feats of industrial engineering. They’re making dams out of the rice to hold back the curry. That’s right, they’re making “Dam curry” and they’re doing it beautifully.

“Dam” curry rice, as you might expect, simply involves holding back the pools of delicious brown curry sauce using shored-up piles of rice, to prevent a curry overflow. Some will leak through, and that’s fine (think of it as generating lovely, delicious energy through it), but just enough to add to your rice a bit at a time rather than drowning it.

The edible barrier allows the diner to control the intermingling of rice and curry, creating perfect bites, and for preventing sides of salad from getting soggy. And of course they just look awesome too.

[via RocketNews24]

A Japanese bullet train just topped records at 374 mph.

Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai)’s maglev train — short for magnetic levitation, meaning a train that moves along by magnets and “hovers” four inches above the train’s rail-less path — reached a top speed of 374 mph for 10.8 seconds. The fastest train in America, comes pathetically no where close.


Smart Girls co-founder and Executive Director Meredith Walker sat down with Smarties from Qualcomm and the FIRST Robotics Competition to talk about robots, women in STEM, and the importance of mentorship! You might even see Smart Girl Amy Poehler make a surprise appearance — plus, hear about what these women would say on the red carpet (to accept their Nobel Prize, of course!)

Visit our site to learn more about Qualcomm, First Robotics, and these Smarties:

Women are Missing in STEM Fields 

“Don’t ask me; I’m just a girl.” It’s one of the most famous lines from The Simpsons. Lisa Simpson, an eight-year-old girl, is excited to get a talking version of her favorite Barbie-like doll but horrified at the words that come from her doll’s mouth. It’s a joke, social commentary and it speaks to a very large issue.

According to an infographic recently produced by Verizon, at the age of eight, 66 percent of girls say they like math yet, in college, only 18 percent of women study engineering. The problem starts early, girls begin to lose confidence in their technical abilities at a young age. Seventy-two percent of girls feel they’re good at science and math classes in middle school while only 55 percent of girl feel that way in high school.

The National Girls Collaborative Project reported that girls were more likely to have taken biology — a life science frequently viewed as “accessible” — in high school than boys (50 percent vs. 39). Whereas “hard” subjects, such as physics and engineering, were dominated by males. In college, according to the NGCP, in 2011, 57.3 percent of all bachelor’s degrees in the U.S. were obtained by women. In the sciences, women received over 50 percent of the degrees in biology. Yet, they held less than 20 percent of those awarded in the fields of physics, computing or engineering.  

By adulthood, while they compose half the population and half the workforce, only a quarter of STEM positions are held by women. Not only is this a problem — it’s a worsening one.

Read more:


SpaceX is set to launch CRS-6 cargo-laden unmanned rocket toward the International Space Station in a few minutes. You can watch the launch live in Huff Post Science (or directly in the LiveStream site).


Today’s launch has been scrubbed due to bad weather. The next launch opportunity will be tomorrow at 4:10 p.m.

Check out for new updates in NASA-SpaceX blog


Reader Realgar legitimately says:

Could you please add timezones to your times?

Of course, these are EDT (Eastern Daylight Time), the same as indicated on the linked references.


PhasmaBiomimetic Motion through Running Robot

  • Planning, Project Management and Design Engineering: Motohide Hatanaka (ex-takram, currently with YUKI Precision)
  • Design Engineering Support: Kinya Tagawa
  • Created for ‘bones’ exhibition held at 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT, Tokyo 2009.
  • Phasma is based on iSprawl developed at BDML, Stanford University, USA.

© 2012 takram design engineering

Are you a woman in engineering—or a woman who loves to write about engineering? You could be ‘The Next MacGyver.’

New TV show The Next MacGyver is seeking someone who can write a TV show with a female-engineer protagonist. Supported by the National Academy of Engineering and the creator of MacGyver, it hopes to improve female representation on TV while inspiring more women to go into engineering.

The top five applicants will receive $5,000 each to write their scripts.