World Record: 100 Drones Swarm in Formation
Ascending Technologies via Youtube
This week we have transparent metal, high-flying balloons to generate solar power, and a gargoyle skyscraper for Manhattan.
German company Ascending Technologies is known for their drones and precision flying algorithms. To demonstrate just how precise these programs are, engineers strapped a color-changing light to an AscTec Falcon 8 drone and then flew the vehicle along several pre-determined paths, while a camera took a long-exposure shot. The results were a series of large, holiday-themed light paintings. Watch a videohere
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Aerospace engineering company Windspeed Technologies has come up with a new and exciting way to experience air travel. They've designed a transparent viewing platform concept that passengers would get to via a staircase, or asthis video shows
, an elevator tube. Swiveling chairs would offer a panoramic view.
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Ford announced this week that it will begin trials next year in California for a self-driving Fusion Hybrid. It's not alone. Eleven other car companies including Tesla, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Nissan, the Volkswagen group, and Google are testing autonomous vehicles in the Golden State.
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High-flying balloons that harness sunlight up above the clouds are not affected by cloud cover or rainy days. That's the idea from researchers at NextPV -- a multinational lab jointly operated by France’s CNRS and the University of Tokyo. The company wants to create a prototype of a solar panel that floats 12.4 miles above the Earth on a balloon.
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Mark Foster Gage Architects
New York architect Mark Foster Gage thinks the skyscrapers of Manhattan are boring and lack any interesting architectural design. For a Midtown location near West 57th Street, he proposes a 102-story tower right out of Gotham City -- covered in Gothic sculptural elements. Avideo
reveals details up close. Holy gargoyles, Batman.
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Sitting at a desk too long is bad for your health and standing too long is not that great for your back. Introducing the inflatable Wurfboard, which lets you "surf" in front of your computer. The platform cushions your feet while at the same time providing an unstable surface that keeps your legs and core active. Watch a videohere
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For the last 60 years, a material called indium tin oxide has been used to make the transparent conductors found in more than 90 percent of displays. But the price has skyrocketed and so people have been looking for a cheaper replacement. Researchers at Penn State and Rutgers may have found it. It comes from an unusual class of materials called correlated metals, which is highly transparent and electrically conductive. Even better, the material is 5 percent the cost of indium.
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Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava presented his design for a science museum in Rio de Janeiro. The Museum of Tomorrow embodies Calatrava's signature style with it's skeletal roof that projects over an 81,805-square-feet public plaza. The building will allow for 53,819 square feet of exhibition space. You can see more images onDezeen
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Everywhere solar power is getting cheaper and easier to install. Take the Solar Pods, for example. The modular panels, which just received their UL certification, mount to any roof type including shingle, wood shake, metal, tile and corrugated metal without the need to drill holes. They can be tilted to any angle to maximize solar potential and are designed to withstand winds up to 130 miles per hour.
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In the Guinness World Records category of Most Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Airborne Simultaneously, the award goes to…Intel.
The record-breaking feat involved 100 drones flying along pre-programmed paths, all to the music of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.
It happened back in November (although we’re just getting a press notice now) in Linz, Austria, where Intel teamed up with Austria’s Ars Electronica Futurelab for the occasion.
The LED-equipped quadcopters, weighing just 1.5 pounds each, were manufactured by the German company Ascending Technologies, which Intel just acquired on January 4, 2016.
Ascending Technologies made headlines on DNEWS this past December when they showed off precision software that gave drones the capability of painting holiday-based “light images” in the sky.
In this latest show, dubbed Drone 100, the swarm of drones climbed to an altitude of about 328 feet and then danced a choreographed routine that ended in a large Intel logo painted in the night sky.
You can watch the video below.
“Drone 100 was a crazy idea that came out of a hallway conversation inside Intel, and now it has become a reality,” said Intel's Anil Nanduri, GM of New Markets, Perceptual Computing.
Although precision drone swarms perform beautiful displays, they actually have a practical purpose. The software the coordinates their movements is used to program drones to inspect bridges and tunnels, to potential build structures, and to also carry out military operations.