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14 Apr

3D Printed Shelby Cobra Is A Stunner

Imagine a world where you could order every detail you ever wanted from a car online and have it 3D printed to your specifications. Or, where once very rare cars are replicated via 3D printing for a new generation.

The 3D printed car is here. The first model, the Strati was a little rough around the edges, but it didn’t take long for the developers to raise the bar and re-create a 1965 Shelby Cobra 427 in honor of its 50th anniversary this January. The printed Cobra was definitely finished to be a stunner.

The car is a collaboration of many companies. The 3D chassis and electric motor came courtesy of the US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). They used their Big Area Additive Manufacturing printer, which can print single pieces in sizes greater than one cubic meter – and in this case they used a composite that included 20 percent carbon fiber.

The 3D-Printed Cobra took just six weeks to complete, though the printing itself only took about 24 hours. The signature Cobra sleek blue and white finish was the work of Knoxville, Tennessee-based company Tru-Design that specializes in carbon fiber and fiberglass.

 

With such a gorgeous and speedy end result it’s easy to see what ORNL is trying to innovate. The idea is that with 3D printing the manufacturing process can be done on a large and rapid scale. The 3D-Cobra is proof that something as large as a car, needing both style and durability can be created with 3D printers and may one day change the automotive industry and perhaps have an impact on the environment.

The team that worked on the car has dubbed it a “laboratory on wheels.”

As the ORNL team works to take the process of 3D printed cars to the next level, the shift could change many things – concept cars could more easily come to fruition. Rare models could be replicated. Even better, your daily ride could be customized to you. It’s an interesting future to contemplate.

If you live or are visiting in the Washington DC area now, you can see the 3D Shelby in the lobby of the Department of Energy. You can follow its progress on Twitter via #3DPrintedCar.

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Sources:

Department of Energy

Gizmag

CNET

 

22 Sep

You Have to See This Single-Wheeled Electric Motorcycle in Action

It may look more like a unicycle than a traditional motorcycle but the single-wheeled, self-balancing RYNO could be the coolest way to run your errands; at the very least, it's an efficient way to drive around a crowded city without worrying about finding a parking space.

How does it work?

"Lean forward, and the bike will accelerate forward. Lean back, and the bike follows suit, standing up taller and slowing down," RYNO proclaims.

Want one? The electric motorcycle starts at $5,295.00 for a late 2014 delivery.

Take a look at the RYNO in action:

How It's Made: Motorcycle Engines

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17 Sep

This Is What A Plane Carrying 195,000 New iPhones Looks Like

As the first reviews roll in on the new iPhone 6, the smartphone has already smashed Apple's record for preorders, with more than 4 million iPhone 6 devices ordered in the first 24 hours.

How do all of these iPhones get to U.S. consumers? On planes!

One reader of MacRumors shared photos showing 195,000 iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus devices he just flew to the U.S. from China: " Yep, that's what I do. I fly stuff. Privileged to be a small part of the team. Just landed a 747 in Anchorage," he wrote.

HuffPost Tech reports he wrote in a later post that "the shipment [weighed] a combined 256,000 pounds, and the plane landed at 'a little under max landing weight at 643,000 lbs.'"

Of course, 195,000 iPhones is just a drop in the bucket with millions of preorders. Apple has already warned customers that "demand had outstripped supply" for the new iPhones and that some customers will have to wait until next month for their order to be fulfilled.

iGenius: How Steve Jobs Changed the World

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12 Sep

Carnegie Mellon 'Smart Headlights' May Make Nighttime Driving Safer

Innovative new headlights technology from Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute could make nighttime and inclement weather driving safer.

The 'smart headlights' allow drivers to use high beams "without fear of blinding oncoming drivers or suffering from the glare that can occur when driving in snow or rain at night," a CMU press release said.

Here's how it works: The programmable headlights track oncoming vehicles and dim "only the small parts of the headlight beam that would otherwise shine into their eyes."

"During snow or rain showers, the headlight improves driver vision by tracking individual flakes and drops in the immediate vicinity of the car and blocking the narrow slivers of headlight beam that would otherwise illuminate the precipitation and reflect back into the driver's eyes."

An early version of the technology was demonstrated in this 2012 video:

Don't look for this cutting-edge technology on showroom floors just yet; Dr. Srinivasa Narasimhan told The Huffington Post that it would be three to five years before smart headlights show up on new cars.

Smart headlights aren't the only cool car technology to come along lately. In the Netherlands, this car hack is absolutely outrageous and ridiculously out-of-control:

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9 Sep

This Is Your Brain On Social Media

STOP: Before you Tweet or Facebook this blog post, stop and watch AsapSCIENCE's latest video, which breaks down what social media is doing to your brain.

The YouTube channel explores five ways the Internet is actually changing your brain structure; for instance, according to AsapSCIENCE, "five to 10 percent of Internet users are unable to control how much time they spend online... brain scans of these people actually show a similar impairment of regions that those with drug dependence have."

Shocked? Surprised? Hit play:

How does brain chemistry work

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29 Aug

Happy Friday! Here's A Robot Riding A Hoverbike

It's the Friday before a three-day weekend. In that spirit, we present a robot riding a hoverbike for your viewing pleasure:

(You can learn more about the hoverbike here.)

Want more hovercraft amazingness? Check this out:

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8 Jul

Your Car Could Soon Run on Green Fuel -- Literally

As gas prices rise, your thoughts may begin to turn to alternate fuel sources that are less costly to both your wallet and the environment.

Introducing, algae fuel.

Tonight on World's Strangest, take a closer look at this green energy source that could change the way we get around.

Algae "could potentially produce up to 60 times more oil per acre than land-based plants," according to the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, meaning we'd get a lot more bang for our buck (i.e., get more oil from a smaller space).

Here's how it works:

World's Strangest airs TONIGHT at 8/7c on Science Channel

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11 Jun

Could Cyberterrorism Collapse a Superpower?

Here's a question: "What's the bigger threat: squirrels or cyberterrorism?"

This Vox headline may be tongue-in-cheek -- it refers to the number of power outages in the United States caused by squirrels -- but from stories about the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) using Oculus Rift to wage cyberwar to claims China committed cyber crime against the U.S., cyberterrorism is one of the most important issues facing America today.

Tonight's episode of Through the Wormhole (10/9c on Science Channel) takes an in-depth look at technology and how it could be used for nefarious means.

For instance, what if implantable medical devices could be hacked and used for evil?

Or, could time be turned against us?

Does technology make us more or less safe? Let us know what you think.

Through the Wormhole airs at 10/9c on Science Channel. See the full schedule here.

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10 Jun

We May Be Closer Than Ever to Teleportation and a Quantum Internet

We don't have a Star Trek transporter just yet but a recent New York Times headline -- "Scientists Report Finding Reliable Way to Teleport Data" -- indicates that we could be heading that way in the future.

While teleportation on TV transports atoms from one place to another, scientists at the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience Delft in the Netherlands were able to "transfer information about the state of an atom or particle from one place to another without that information moving in between," the Times explains.

[Read the full paper in the journal Science here.]

"What we are teleporting is the state of a particle," Professor Ronald Hanson, who led the research, said. "If you believe we are nothing more than a collection of atoms strung together in a particular way, then in principle it should be possible to teleport ourselves from one place to another." 

Could this scientific breakthrough lead to the development of a quantum internet?

Well, yes, says a press release about the research: "This development is an important step towards a quantum network for communication between future ultra-fast quantum computers -– a quantum internet."

Get ready for super-fast internet... and who knows, maybe human teleportation one day too.

On tonight's Alien Encounters at 10/9c, Brids (human children with alien DNA) connected to a powerful quantum supercomputer that is becoming self-aware. Will it be used for good -- or evil?

If you're not watching Alien Encounters, which combines dramatized action with real-life science, here's what you've been missing:

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15 May

You Could Be Driving/Flying An Aero-X Hoverbike By 2017

Product_topStart saving your pennies and invest in a solid helmet: the Aero-X hoverbike is slated to hit the market by 2017.

The $85,000 bike-meets-hovercraft flies up to 10 feet off the ground and reaches speeds up to 45 miles per hour. According to maker Aerofex, "It’s a hovercraft that rides like a motorcycle - an off road vehicle that gets you off the ground."

Running on the same gasoline that fuels your car, the Aero-X can carry two riders with a combined weight of 310 pounds, according to its website. Whole vehicle airbags, it should be noted, are optional, though an FAQ claims the craft "is safe for its intended purposes."

Earlier this month, we told you about a new flying car, the TF-X, which claims to be "statistically safer than driving a modern automobile."

Tonight on How It's Made at 9/8c, you can learn how household objects much more common than hovercrafts and flying cars are made. Wondering how dream cars are made? Check it out:

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Image: Aerofex

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