Evolution never stops — the timeline for evolution is usually measured in hundreds of thousands or even millions of years. But in just over a century, the height of the average American male has increased three inches and there have been adaptations to disease in the span of decades. Some of the most radical evolutionary shifts may come from our own doing, as gene editing technologies like CRISPR allow for extreme fine-tuning of the human genome, and the growing potential for interfacing our biological selves with computers. And in 1,000 years, we might not be living on Earth at all.
The most elegant solution is often the simplest. Making robots walk requires lots of hardware — in the form of motors, servos, gyroscopes, and the structure of the robot itself — and software to process those data points and translate them into movement. The Planar Elliptical Runner is a prototype bipedal robot that uses mechanical design to ditch much of the hardware and all of the software required to make it move, using only a motor and remote control.
Professional drivers — people that drive the UPS trucks, big rigs, courier services and many others — are one of the biggest employee groups in the US. With the self-driving car revolution already under way, they stand to be hit hardest in the first salvo of automation. WIRED looks at the current state of the technology, how it will affect drivers and whether autonomous vehicles are really ready for the road.
Everything must die. Death isn't limited to just the living things here on Earth — it will come to the stars and even the universe itself. White dwarfs are star corpses, what remains of a star's core after it sheds its outer layers. Far in the future, finding a suitable white dwarf to inhabit will be necessary for life as we know it.
Elon Musk hates Los Angeles' infamously terrible traffic as much as anyone. While you might think his electric car company Tesla and his dream of fully autonomous cars might solve that problem, there isn't much that satisfies a supervillain. Now he wants to disrupt the construction industry with The Boring Company and build tunnels underneath cities to transport cars on electric sleds at speeds of up to 124 MPH. This demonstration video shows Elon's idea to relieve congestion in cities once and for all.
This short film contains graphic images. Facebook, dating sites, forums — moderators are keeping watch over all of it. With an estimated 150,000 people employed in scrubbing offensive content from the web's social media and other sites, more people work in this area of the tech sector than any other. Field of Vision follows a group of new recruits at a firm in India that scrolls through 2,000 pictures per employee per hour, weeding out what doesn't meet the guidelines — and alerting authorities when the images depict illegal acts.
Sometimes it's the cut of a jacket that makes it stand out. Other times, it's the color. With the Taylor Stitch Hawkins Jacket, it's the fabric. Made from Polartec Neoshell, it keeps you dry while still allowing for the release of heat and vapor, regulating your body temperature in any climate. The Neoshell is sandwiched between two layers of synthetic knit for added durability, and the YKK waterproof zippers and taped seams ensure all that high-tech fabric doesn't go to waste. Its classic 60/40 silhouette makes it adaptable to both casual and more formal affairs, and the brimmed hood protects your noggin when it's coming down.
Presented by Taylor Stitch.
The 1960's was a revolutionary time for diving, with significant improvements to underwater diving apparatus and underwater timing instruments. Leading the charge was Oris, and now they've reached back into their archives for the Oris Divers Sixty-Five Watch. The follow-up to the critically acclaimed blue-dialed version, the green Oris arrives with an updated look of the original while retaining retro details like the slim case line, thin bezel, and trapezoid date window. It's also taken advantage of 21st-century watchmaking techniques with Swiss Made automatic movement, bubble-curved glass made of scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, and anti-reflective coating on the inside to reduce glare and increase legibility while underwater. This direct descendant of one of Oris's first diver's comes with a choice of three straps and a metal bracelet, and successfully melds the groundbreaking features of the original with modern enhancements for a diver that's in a class by itself.
20 years ago, the Cassini spacecraft left Earth on a journey to Saturn. The probe has explored Saturn's icy moons, sending back evidence of the building blocks for life and diving between the planet and its famous rings. But now, Cassini's mission is almost over. It's running out of fuel, and to protect the purity of Saturn's moons, Cassini will plunge into Saturn's atmosphere and burn itself up in a spectacular end to a successful mission.
In China, there are entire markets devoted to cell phone parts — not surprising when nearly every component is manufactured and assembled there. Formerly a programmer from Silicon Valley, Scotty of Strangeparts wondered if he could build an iPhone 6S from parts found at the market. It took a while to finish, but finish he did — with a working iPhone made from about $300 in second-hand and refurbished components.
Daniel de Bruin has taken rides to the next level. With a biometric sensor implanted in his forearm, Daniel's own body controls the motion of this 2-foot tall tower, designed and built by Daniel himself. As the motion of the ride produces changes in the rider's biometric data, the biometric data changes the motion of the ride.
Slave over the griddle no more. The Flippy Kitchen Robot can handle the cooking, leaving you free to dream up new dishes. Using a robotic arm, cameras, and artificial intelligence, this mechanical assistant cooks perfect burgers and chicken breasts, toasts buns, fries, and even builds sandwiches, all on its own. It installs in minutes, is controlled via a simple touchscreen interface, and can even move out of your way when needed, making it an ideal addition to many a professional kitchen, or the private kitchens of the very, very lazy.
It's more a proof-of-concept than an actual home, at least by Western standards. But Apis Cor's innovative solution to on-sight 3D building printing shows how construction might take place in the future. In 24 hours, this 400 square-foot mini-house was built for about $10,000 — around 70% less than the average cost of about $1,000 per square foot in the United States. In addition to reduced costs, 3D printing allows for much more creative architecture, making the ubiquitous square house a thing of the past.
Boston Dynamics has taken the wraps off its latest autonomous robot. Called Handle, it looks like it was inspired by a horse walking on its back legs — making it slightly more creepy than the company's previous designs. Despite the strange looks, Handle can definitely perform — tackling uneven terrain, steps, 100-pound loads, and even jumping over concrete barriers with impressive ease.
Made from adamantium, Wolverine's claws are nearly indestructible. They've taken down Lady Deathstrike, Silver Samurai, and an alternate version of himself. But they may be about to meet their ultimate foe: the hydraulic press.
Repairing any modern device looks impossible. Thousands of tiny components, all soldered onto multiple boards tightly layered on top of another — it's something only a robot could do. But Jessa Jones wants you to know that it isn't impossible — and to teach you how to do it. Jessa's background is in molecular genetics, and she used that to found the Practical Board Repair School, where she teaches the art of replacing microscopic parts.
LA-based Binishells is reinventing the construction business. The balloon-shaped structures are formed using low air pressure to create reinforced concrete shells. Using less labor and materials, the company can cut costs in half and build three times faster than traditional methods, while using less waste. They currently offer six systems that can be utilized for anything from homes and resorts to schools and public housing.
Jetpacks: They aren't just for secret agents and movies anymore. JetPack Aviation has brought fiction to reality with their self-contained personal flight systems. Devin Supertramp went to California to capture this epic demonstration of JetPacks' amazing technology.
With artificial intelligence getting more and more advanced, determining between humans and our robot friends could soon become difficult. So at what point do robots deserve fundamental rights? The answer revolves around consciousness. Until we begin programming them to experience pain and suffering, there's no need for rights. So let's just keep robots the empty, emotionless beings that they are.
Just 40 light-years away, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has just discovered seven rocky Earth-like planets orbiting the star TRAPPIST-1. Of the seven, at least three appear to be in the habitable zone — meaning liquid water could be found on the surface. If any of these planets also carry oxygen and methane in their atmospheres, the presence of life is highly likely, making your alien dreams closer to a reality. In 2018, NASA plans on launching the James Webb Space Telescope to futher measure the chemical fingerprints of these exoplanets.
Chinese company Ehang is bringing the first unmanned aerial taxi to Dubai this year. The massive drones can carry 100 kgs and have a compartment for a small suitcase. Navigation is provided by a passenger-controlled tablet, for selecting your destination. While pricing isn't yet available, you can expect it to be a little more expensive than a cab ride across town.
123456. Qwerty. Password. These are just a few of the easiest to remember passwords, and hackers love them. Technology has made juggling the massive amount of logins required to function in our modern world much easier with password managers. Vox has some helpful tips to keep your information as safe as possible — at least from people looking to criminally profit. We have enough things to remember in the course of a day, so take passwords off that list.
Amazon Dash Buttons have been making our lives easier by restocking our paper towels and laundry detergent at a moments notice. Now, those handy buttons can do more than just order your pantry essentials. Using the company's customizable IoT Button, programmer Nathan Pryor linked one up to directly donate money to the American Civil Liberties Union. Stick it on your desk or laptop, and every time you see our current president's latest terrible tweet, you can ease your tension by pressing the button and sending five dollars to support the ACLU.
Nearly 7,000 feet beneath the surface of Ontario, Canada, a laboratory is searching for the glue that holds our universe together. SNOLAB uses the earth to shield its instruments from radiation in the search for neutrinos, a particle created in the nuclear reactions of the sun. VICE goes inside the lab and talks to the scientists that work there and their search for the beginnings of the universe.
Once you're on Earth, you're never supposed to leave. We owe an ancient debt to the universe, a debt more than four billion years in the making. In order to get off the planet, that debt must be repaid. And once we're off, staying in space requires even more energy. Kurzgesagt explains why leaving Earth is like leaving prison — and just a difficult to do.
Boston Dynamics' walking and balancing robots have often been described as nightmare-inducing, but never has the company referred to their own creations as such — until now. In this leaked footage from their latest conference, they announced their newest robot Handle, a wheeled design that has the ability to lift heavy loads, jump, and cause nightmares. Meet your demise at the 3:45 mark.
Star Wars walkers, RoboTech, Metal Gear, MechWarrior — giant combat robots have been the stuff of film and video game dreams for decades. Now MegaBots is turning that dream into reality. Tested visits the MegaBots headquarters to see how the latest version of their giant fighting robot is coming along, and how the team plans to provide the platform for an entire league of combat robots.
It turns out, virtual reality isn't as new as we thought. The earliest example of the technology dates back to 1480 with Michelangelo's painting of the Sistine Chapel. Although it's not exactly the headsets and alternate worlds we know today, the viewers get immersed in the painting and transported into a virtual reality. From there, VR can be found throughout history in theater, simulators, and, of course, headsets.
Graphene is thought to be the strongest material known — in its two-dimensional form. Replicating that 2D strength in three dimensions has been problematic for scientists for decades. But researchers at MIT think they've found a solution. This new 3D-printed material has just 5% of the density of steel with over 10 times the strength, opening doors for applications from airplanes to filtration systems.
If the future is full of electric cars, drones, tablets, and smartphones, we're going to need a lot of batteries. The best, most economical battery technology we have currently is lithium-ion. All that lithium has to come from somewhere. Bloomberg's Ashlee Vance finds a source in Chile's Atacama Desert, one of the harshest climes on the globe.