Nearly every engineer loves Dilbert. Now Scott Adams, the creator of our favorite nerd, has created a new site called the "Lazy Entrepreneur", which promises, "all talk and no funding." The site encourages fans (and In-Duh-Viduals who can find the site) an opportunity to share their good ideas for a new invention.
Even though the site launched a few months ago, there are already tons of ideas, including some from Mr. Adams himself. How about a find-your-car-device—a string of lights placed on your antenna with a remote control on your keychain? Or a suspended track chair for those worthy few who have a large workspace? (Wouldn't this be even better with a small electric motor, too?) How about electronic wallpaper regulated by a low-voltage current running through a chemical mesh glued to the wall of your house? (No more washing walls either, just key in a darker color!) There's even a suggestion for an empty parking space detector with a zoomable map showing empty spots plus an indicator of parking meter status. (Some visitors have already mentioned that this exists in Europe!)
Artificially created metamaterials are already appearing in niche applications like electronics, communications, and defense, says a new report from Lux Research. How quickly they become mainstream depends on cost-effective manufacturing methods, which will include additive manufacturing.
Sharon Glotzer and David Pine are hoping to create the first liquid hard drive with liquid nanoparticles that can store 1TB per teaspoon. They aren't the first to find potential data stores, as Harvard researchers have stored 700 TB inside a gram of DNA.
If you see a hitchhiker along the road in Canada this summer, it may not be human. That’s because a robot is thumbing its way across our neighbor to the north as part of a collaborative research project by several Canadian universities.
SpaceX has 3D printed and successfully hot-fired a SuperDraco engine chamber made of Inconel, a high-performance superalloy, using direct metal laser sintering (DMLS). The company's first 3D-printed rocket engine part, a main oxidizer valve body for the Falcon 9 rocket, launched in January and is now qualified on all Falcon 9 flights.
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