Google to Beam Internet from Balloons Visitors stand next to a high altitude Wi-Fi Internet hub, a Google Project Loon balloon, on display at the Airforce Museum in Christchurch, New Zealand. Google announced it has plans to send balloons to the edge of space with the lofty aim of bringing Internet to the two-thirds of the global population currently without Web access.
Lifelike Android Demoed at Futuristic Conference An extremely human-like robot made a public appearance at the Global Futures 2045 International Congress, a futuristic conference focused on the technological singularity. The "Geminoid," android (left) resembles its maker, Japanese roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro (right) and was controlled remotely by a colleague offstage.
Peering Inside a Housefly Researchers at the University of Granada produced high-resolution images of the inside of a domestic fly. They used a common imaging instrument called a microtomograph, which employs X-ray technology to obtain photographs. To create this image, the specimen was placed on a rotating platform and imaged every .1 degree. Several thousands of images were taken and then digitally processed to create the final version.
3-D Printed Fashion In what was billed (no pun intended) as Asia's first 3-D-printed fashion show, designer Melinda Looi showed off five bird-inspired pieces that were created using 3-D printing technology. The feathered headgear shown here is titled "Face It." Other wearables included a necklace, a skirt, a cape and a winged backpack.
Interactive Map Shows Which Devices Dominate Data gathered from about three billion geo-tagged tweets show the use of iPhones, Android devices, BlackBerry devices, and others. In this image, Boston, Mass., shows heavy use of iPhones. Interestingly enough, iPhones (red) seems more popular in cities, whereas Android devices (green) seem more popular in rural areas.
Robo-Kitty Has Speed and Agility Scientists from Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, in Switzerland, unveiled their “cheetah cub robot,” which moves at five feet per a second, about the speed of an ordinary cat. They were inspired to built such a robot because felines have great balance and agility, a trait that could give a robot excellent skills covering unfamiliar terrain.
Cyborg Dragonfly Takes Off A dragonfly wears a backpack that weighs about as much as a couple grains of salt, around 40 milligrams, and compromises just 10 percent of the dragonfly’s body weight. Electrodes inserted into the dragonfly’s brain and body capture neurological activity, which is then sent to a small computer chip that amplifies the signals and wirelessly transmits them to a nearby computer.
The Brain: Now in Ultra High-Res 3D Researchers presented the most detailed 3-D image of the human brain ever taken. The image reveals structures as tiny as 20 microns, 50 times smaller than those created using the best MRI technology. Creating a three-dimensional image is important to the study of the brain because the function of brain cells can depend on where they are in relation to each other. Two-dimensional images do not show that spatial relationship.
Genetically Modified Silkworms Spin Fluorescent Thread Scientists in Japan have genetically engineered silkworms to create red, green or orange silks that glow under fluorescent lights. A research team led by Tetsuya Iizuka and Toshiki Tamura of the National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences in Ibaraki, Japan, transplanted genes from organisms that produce fluorescent proteins into the silkworm genome. When the worms spun their cocoons, they created fluorescent silk that was spun into thread and used to create glow-in-the-dark fabric.