Dubai plans to launch autonomous flying drone taxis by mid-2017

February 17, 2017 by  
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Adding to its reputation as a leader in experimental transportation , Dubai is hoping to launch autonomous air taxis capable of transporting people far above the city’s traffic woes as soon as the middle of 2017. According to Auto Blog, the United Arab Emirates Roads and Transportation authority announced the plans earlier this week, after a demonstration of the technology at the three-day World Government Summit . The Chinese-made Ehang 184 drone used in the demonstration can travel at 62 miles per hour at heights up to 984 feet. The drone is powered by an electric motor that can spin its eight propellers for up to 30 minutes at a time, with a two-hour recharge cycle in between. Specially designed to withstand the extreme desert temperatures of the Middle East , the Ehang 184 also comes equipped with a variety of safety features designed to provide peace of mind to those brave souls who choose to fly in it. This includes a program that tells the drone to automatically land at the nearest safe destination if even the most minor thing goes wrong, and secure networks designed to ward off hackers. The fact that its flights are all monitored throughout by ground control should add additional assurance. Related: Meet Gita, an intelligent autonomous cargo robot that can carry your stuff And people could be trusting the Ehang drone with their lives sooner, rather than later, as the head of Dubai’s transportation authority has told the Kuwait Times his ministry is already experimenting with using the autonomous vehicle in-flight. Dubai’s experiments with autonomous drone taxis are just one part of its forward-thinking approach to transport. The country is also the future home of the Elon Musk’s first Hyperloop project , which will connect Abu Dhabi to Dubai, a 100-mile trip that will take just 12 minutes. Via Auto Blog Images via ETC-USC and Sam Valadi , Flickr Creative Commons

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Dubai plans to launch autonomous flying drone taxis by mid-2017

Tesla to cover repair costs after Model S owner sacrifices his car to save a life

February 17, 2017 by  
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Not only are Tesla cars saving the environment , they’re also saving lives. Earlier this week a Tesla Model S driver in Germany noticed a Volkswagen Passat swerving on the Autobahn. Realizing the car’s driver was unconscious, Tesla driver Manfred Kick risked his vehicle to save the driver’s life. Then Elon Musk got wind of Kick’s heroism. When he saw the Volkswagen hitting the guardrail, Kick pulled up next to the car and realized the driver was unconscious – it’s possible he experienced a stroke. So Kick pulled his Tesla in front of the Volkswagen and tapped the brakes until he could bring both cars to a halt. He was able to administer some first aid and ask other drivers who stopped to call for help. A Munich fire station, who commended Kick for incredible courage, reported an emergency medical team treated the Volkswagen driver, who is around 47 years old, before taking him to a special clinic. Related: Did Tesla Autopilot predict an upcoming accident before it actually happened? https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/831972613912080384 At first Kick wasn’t sure whose insurance company would have to cover repair costs. In the process of bringing the Volkswagen to a safe stop he incurred around 10,000 Euros of combined damage. But he told German publication Muenchner Merkur, “The most important thing is that the man is all right again.” The police reported the Volkswagen driver’s condition is stable, according to Muenchner Merkur. But it turns out Kick won’t have to worry about repair costs after all. Elon Musk praised his actions on Twitter, and said his electric vehicle company will cover repair costs “free of charge and expedited.” Mashable reported while German police must conduct an investigation into Kick, policemen said he probably won’t get a fine, but an award. Via Jalopnik and Muenchner Merkur Images via Feuerwehr München on Facebook

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Tesla to cover repair costs after Model S owner sacrifices his car to save a life

Japanese scientists build tiny drone that pollinates like a bee

February 10, 2017 by  
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As concern over dwindling bee populations mounts, a team of chemists at a Japanese institution came up with a robotic solution. They designed pollinating drones : tiny machines that grab and deposit pollen in flowers . The scientists hope their drones won’t utterly replace bees, but would instead take some of the pressure off the remaining pollinators should more perish. Chemists from Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology designed the little drones. On the underside of a two-inch G-Force PXY CAM drone they attached animal hair, and covered it in sticky gel. When the altered machines brushed up against Japanese lilies, they were able to pick up and drop off pollen. Related: Bees placed on the endangered species list for the very first time The journal Chem published a study this week about the advance. Paper co-author Eijiro Miyako told Gizmodo, “TV programs about the pollination crisis, honey bee decline, and the latest robotics emotionally motivated me. I thought we urgently needed to create something for these problems.” Miyako said this is the first instance of drones pollinating flowers, but the little machines aren’t yet ready to zoom out into the world. The scientists aim to add GPS, artificial intelligence , and high resolution cameras to the small machines, which also need to crawl inside certain plants, as bees do. Critics aren’t so convinced pollinating drones is the best solution to the worrying bee crisis. Biologist David Goulson of the United Kingdom’s University of Sussex wrote a blog post on the topic and said, “I would argue that it is exceedingly unlikely that we could ever produce something as cheap or as effective as bees themselves. Bees have been around and pollinating flowers for more than 120 million years; they have evolved to become very good at it. It is remarkable hubris to think that we can improve on that.” Goulson said there are roughly 3.2 trillion bees – which feed themselves at no cost to us but also give us honey – and argued to replace them with machines would be incredibly expensive. Gizmodo points out it could cost $100 per bee to employ pollinating drones. Plus, unless the machines could be made biodegradable , Goulson said we’d potentially experience a huge amount of drone litter. Via Gizmodo and Engadget Images via Eijiro Miyako and G-Force Hobby Facebook

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Japanese scientists build tiny drone that pollinates like a bee

Avoid Obvious designs the first drone highway for a utopian Chinese city

August 15, 2016 by  
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http://youtu.be/rj3aUPSiolQ Located in the heart of the Pearl River Delta, Bao’an is a quickly modernizing area eager to transform from a manufacturing hub to a sustainable and tech-oriented center. As part of this vision, the city asked architects to redevelop its 30-kilometer-long, 12-lane G107 highway , a massive piece of infrastructure longer than the length of New York City’s Manhattan island. Avoid Obvious and Tetra Architects & Planners responded by splitting the G107 into two elevated four-lane enclosures surrounded by green space and topped with landscaped parks. Related: Foster + Partners’ Droneport will launch aerial vehicles to deliver medical supplies in Africa Multi-functionality is at the heart of this new green spine. Not only would cars and pedestrians use it, but the redesigned G107 would also be used as a drone highway for flying bots making deliveries. The subway line would run underneath the highway. “The multi-layered design will not only create a smooth transit experience, but it will also carry smart technology to manage water and air pollution ,” write the architects. “The new G107 will no longer be a deterrent to development, but a valuable asset for Bao’an. Our smart design will drastically reduce the city’s carbon footprint. The ultimate goal is to make Bao’an a smart city that can be carbon neutral by 2045.” + Avoid Obvious Architects + Tetra Architects & Planners

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Avoid Obvious designs the first drone highway for a utopian Chinese city

Foster + Partners unveils Droneport proposal to help save lives in East Africa

September 16, 2015 by  
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GOP congressman demands impeachment of EPA administrator Gina McCarthy

September 16, 2015 by  
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A Republican member of congress wants EPA administrator Gina McCarthy impeached, but the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) plans to fight back and they need your help. The Huffington Post reports that Arizona Republican Congressman Paul Gossar is circulating a resolution calling for McCarthy’s impeachment. He accuses her of perjury, claiming she lied to members while appearing in front of House and Senate panels earlier in the year. This, combined with the risk of the government shutting down , has the LCV calling for donations to aid in a show of strength for the environmental movement. Read the rest of GOP congressman demands impeachment of EPA administrator Gina McCarthy

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SOM completes elegant LEED Silver skyscraper in Nanchang, China

September 16, 2015 by  
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SOM completes elegant LEED Silver skyscraper in Nanchang, China

Austrian scientists create a cheap, flexible solar cell just 3 micrometers thick

August 27, 2015 by  
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The age old mineral perovskite has been something of a holy grail in solar cell development; the mineral is abundant, cheap, lightweight, and highly efficient when it comes to absorbing light. It does, however, have one major downside: perovskite is water-soluble. In experiments to utilize the mineral, this has meant solar cells have either been light and degradable or heavier and less efficient. But an effort by researchers at Johannes Kepler University Linz in Austria has created a relatively stable solar cell that is just three micrometers thick and yields 12 percent efficiency. Read the rest of Austrian scientists create a cheap, flexible solar cell just 3 micrometers thick

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Can technology make us better stewards of wildlife?

August 4, 2015 by  
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Here’s where data analytics, sensors, virtual reality games and drones can help to protect wild lands and creatures.

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Can technology make us better stewards of wildlife?

Sustainable Development Goal 5: Achieve gender equality

August 4, 2015 by  
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How can companies help to empower all women and girls? Look to the workplace, products and services, and the value chain.

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Sustainable Development Goal 5: Achieve gender equality

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