Flying Robotic Bird, It flaps it’s wings like a real bird.

These engineers over at Festo’s Have created a flying robot designed to flap it’s wings like a real bird. they call it the very ingenious name of “The Smart Bird” creative uh?
Festo has had a fascination with robotics since the start, and they have several pieces of technology that constantly make the news. A simple search for Festo on Youtube will pop up video after video of Festo’s advancements in robotics.

But lets get back to the bird, This bionic technology-bearer, which is inspired by the herring gull, can start, fly and land autonomously – with no additional drive mechanism. Its wings not only beat up and down, but also twist at specific angles. This is made possible by an active articulated torsional drive unit, which in combination with a complex control system attains an unprecedented level of efficiency in flight operation.   Now in order for this bird to fly, it has to be light weight and capable to glide, well at about 1 pound, “the Smart Bird” has this covered. Check the video below to see it in action.

Now you may be thinking it’s just a flying bird, whats up with the big deal? well like any other piece of technology, it has to start small, imagine airplanes developed using this type of technology, or even military implications like small un-maned air vehicles (UAVs)  the list could go on and on.Festo creates robots that move in a fluid motion, and once they get it figured out the advancements in aerodynamics would be tremendous.

Read more about it at Festo’s Website

Pay per Mile, or Per Gallon?

Well, the CBO acronym for – The Congressional Budget Office taxes vehicles via the gas pumps by taxing gas companies for selling gas. Well, this works great and all, but, since the new addition of the Electrical Cars and more efficient HyBrid vehicles, the CBO has been taking a pretty big hit at their Revenue brought in by Gas Taxes. So they are trying to propose the Tax Per Mile charge.

This means that the longer you drive, and depending on what times of the day you drive, the higher your taxes will be. So if you drive during rush hour for example, your taxes will be higher than if you drive at night. According to the CBO the more you drive, the more wear and tear you give the highways, the more liability you are for other motorist, and the higher chance you may be getting into an accident (which in turns takes time away from cops/hospitals) so for all of this they want to track down your vehicle’s movement and every time you pull near a Gas Station your vehicle will upload the information to their server and bill based on your mileage.

Dont get all worked up yet, the actual change may take years to implement since they have to start adding the tracking meters into the new vehicles that come out of the assembly. Upgrading all of the vehicles right now would cost to much, so far the only states that are really trying to jump on board are Oregon, and Washington, but they are only wanting to tax “Plug In Vehicles” and not regular gas guzzling trucks/cars. So I guess for the time being, were okay.

Just food for the thought in case you get hit with the tax in the future, don’t say you weren’t notified about it!

Read more at The Hill and CNET

Hey AT&T Peeps, Your Facebook Private data took a detour through China!

This one goes out to all you Facebook and AT&T Fans, guess what happened yesterday (March 24, 2011) Morning? well if you are an AT&T Customer, then your data took a small detour through China first and allowed unencrypted data to be viewed by China’s Routers first..
Here is what a Blyon posted yesterday: Quietly this morning customers of AT&T browsing Facebook did so by way of China then Korea. Typically AT&T customers’ data would have routed over the AT&T network directly to Facebook’s network provider but due to a routing mistake their private data went first to Chinanet then via Chinanet to SK Broadband in South Korea, then to Facebook. This means that anything you looked at via Facebook without encryption was exposed to anyone operating Chinanet, which has a very suspect Modus operandi. 
What this means to you is… well if you are an AT&T customer your data was at risk from someone in china simple as that. No harm Done I guess but it does make you wonder, what does China want with our facebook Information? Silly Americans, they have silly pet names, who calls their cat shnoodlefry!? 

Read more over at Blyon

U.S. Navy has a better flight simulator than the U.S. Airforce?

Who has the best flight simulator in the world? is not the Royal Air Force, or Chinese Air Force,it’s also not the U.S. Air Force…  it’s the U.S. Navy, yup for some reason the Navy feels they need to teach their pilots how to fly planes rather than how to Navigate Boats.

Now I know that the Army, Marines, Navy, also fly planes and you’re probably thinking “why doesn’t the Air Force have one of these? well it’s pretty simple, the Air Force train using real jets, since they need to have real time flight contact. Regardless of how BIG and accurate this simulator is, real life works better for them. Not dissing the Navy air force division at all since this is actually very sweet, trainees need to clock in 96 hours in the T-45C (the simulator) to fly a real T-45 Goshawk fighter. The actual details are still unknown as to how big the screen is, or how real the objects in the simulator look and how well everything works. But regardless, this is an amazing piece of technology here is a video of the OLD flight simulator that they had and it’s used to keep already trained pilots active and keep them trained without using their jets. while the NEW one is supposed to train pilots to fly a real jet.

the old one looks pretty cool if you ask me, I can only imagine how the new one looks and works. you can read more about the system here US Air Force Official Flickr

9′ Exoskeleton finally made from scratch…

So these group of Japanese engineers created a project that they call Skeletonics. This exoskeleton really doesn’t have any electronic mechanical parts like servo motors, or any other type of machines to operate it’s moving parts. This exoskeleton is more of a traditional exoskeletons. Instead, these guys went with a series of levers, springs, and pulleys to create the movements of the exoskeleton.

The benefits of the manual design over an electronic, or a mechanic exoskeleton are quite significant you really would never run out of power, energy, etc… that is until your body gives up, the skeleton also has a huge reduction in weight, and really cant malfunction due to programing errors etc. Simply, one just uses movements and mechanics.

Freezing your self at -270 degrees to be better at sports? How bout a hottub instead?

So you know that most athletes are trying to push their limits one way or another right? well they just figured out how to take their body one step further, and NO it’s not with drugs, or blood transfusions, it’s a very simple concept… Freeze your self by entering a nitrogen gas chamber. The chamber is called cryosauna and it cools skin to 32 degrees at a depth of around half a millimeter, which gives the body a mild shock and draws its blood supply inward to the vital organs. After two-and-a-half minutes, when the sauna is finished, that blood is supposed to rush back to the muscles, full of oxygen and nutrients, and repair damaged tissue. It is a $50,000 variation on the ice bath.

Sounds like fun right? well, like every other experimental tool it does have it’s risk, the vapors are hundreds of degrees below zero when pumped into the cylinder and cold enough to freeze body hair in seconds. But according to the scientist, the worst you can get is a minor frostbite burn… thats bad enough for me, call me a sissy but until they perfect this thing I’m going to stand clear of it all, but in case you want to read more about it, check it out here Cryosauna

His Helmet is better than your mom’s Helmet!

So get this guy, he found an old military helmet at lord knows where and he completely scrapped it apart. The helmet came with pre-installed speakers and microphone for communications int he battlefield, and he modified the whole thing to communicate with the video game system instead.

The only problem is that I think the helmet may be a little heavier than normal and not to practical, but for a home made project this thing is pretty sweet. Now we all just need to go by an old army navy store and find a surplus helmet bin and get it all together. You can learn more about it by visiting Make Magazine, or follow this link right here! and check everything this thing comes equipped with, a Blue tooth, a speaker, a head set, and lastly it comes with this *I quote*

‘—…a complete second circuit integrated to output to an RF-wireless headset that is also routed through the original system’s speakers. The combination allows for a unique helmet that allows me to both have the ambient video-game sounds as well as chat-communications integrated into a single helmet for gaming, but also allows me to use it as a regular bluetooth, radio, or wireless headset form the TV when the wife isn’t awake yet.—‘


Now THAT is innovative!