Saturday, September 8, 2012

A Digital City for Robots

A $1 billion science project to create a modern metropolis is underway in New Mexico. The city will feature replicas of both old and new structures and will have all urban amenities and facilities such as schools, parks and transportation facilities. Instead of people, it will be occupied by robots. It is scheduled to open in 2015.

The uninhabited city will serve as a laboratory for universities, companies and government agencies to test emerging technologies, such as alternative energy generation, intelligent traffic systems, wireless communications and smart power grids.”

Reference: Rowland, Katherine, Introducing the world’s first city for robots

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

The City as a Living Network

Frog’s creative director talks about his views on the future of cities in this video. According to him, a city will see a convergence of materials, software and infrastructure, in a vast living network. The relationship between digital and physical worlds will need to be sublime, and the digital world will amplify the voice of people.

Reference: The Future of Cities, Frog
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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Creative Use of Liquid Crystal Film

What role would Liquid Crystal Film play in arts and design applications?  Here is an illustration where the rate at which the film changes from opaque to transparent is interactively controlled via proximity sensors and custom electronics.

"The project was funded by Arts Victoria with support from iGlass, State Automation, and Nanotechnology Victoria."

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A Daylight Window of the Future

The control of daylight for energy efficiency, lighting as well as interior comfort is an important area of research.  Here is a world of possibilities according to Phillips.

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The Future of Glass and Digital Connectivity

What does the future of glass and digital connectivity look like? Here is a brief glimpse into the future by Corning.

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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Alien Landscape on Earth

Where were the films such as Star Trek, Star Wars, and The Voyage Home filmed?   

Vasquez Rocks County Park located just North of Santa Clarita in California provides the breathtaking landscapes for these films. The park has also been used for Hollywood comedy films such as the Flintstones, Little Miss Sunshine and the Blazing saddles.

Named after an outlaw called Tiburcio Vasquez, who took refuge at this location in the 1870s, Vasquez Rocks resulted from ancient geological activity associated with the San Andreas Fault.

Watch a video: "Sunrise over Vasquez Rocks Natural Area"

Reference: Vasquez Rocks County Park
For images of Vasquez Park: Kay’s Photoblog

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The Space Lab

Spacelab is developed on a modular basis and can be varied to meet specific mission requirements. Its four principal components are the pressurized module, which contains a laboratory with a shirt-sleeve working environment; one or more open pallets that expose materials and equipment to space; a tunnel to gain access to the module; and an instrument pointing subsystem. Spacelab is not deployed free of the orbiter.

The space station is a working laboratory orbiting 240 miles above the Earth and is home to an international crew. The station has more than 15,000 cubic feet of habitable volume, which includes more room than a conventional three-bedroom house. The station provides a laboratory complex where gravity, a fundamental force on Earth, is virtually eliminated for extended periods. The ability to control the variable of gravity in experiments creates unimaginable research possibilities.

The station is vital to human exploration. It is where we are learning how to combat the physiological effects of being in space for long periods. The space station is our test bed for technologies and our decision-making processes when things go as planned and when they don't. It is important to learn and test these things 240 miles up rather than encountering them 240,000 miles away while on the way to Mars or beyond.

A Live view of earth from the Space Station.

Photo credit and reference: NASA
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