After threatening to lock US astronauts out of the International Space Station, all Russia needed was a solid rocket launch to declare itself the current cowboys of space. Unfortunately, that's exactly what didn't happen, with an attempt to put Russia's most technologically-advanced satellite into orbit last night ending in disaster as the $206m Express-AM4P burned up over China after a fault with the Proton rocket.
Power Japan Plus has unveiled its new battery dubbed the Ryden Dual-Carbon, which boasts being both more durable and safer than currently used lithium-ion cells. Among the new battery's various features, it is nearly completely recyclable.
We all have the occasional oopsie, but rarely does that result in an unexpected creation. IBM's Almaden Research Center in San Jose hit a pocket of luck, however, accidentally creating the first recyclable durable thermoset plastic in a moment of absent-mindedness. The discovery could result in improved plastics in automobiles and more.
Octopus arms are laced with a special chemical that stops their hundreds of suckers sticking to themselves, researchers have found, allowing their flexible limbs to act semi-autonomously in ways that could have implications for tomorrow's robotics. The average octopus has nearly 2,000 suckers across its eight arms, but despite the potential for tying itself up in sticky knots, it never actually does. Now, we know why that's the case.
It's the sort of fish that HR Giger might have had in his aquarium, a mysterious catfish with more teeth than you'd expect, that has left scientists scratching their heads and comparing it to Alien Xenomorphs. At only a few inches long it shouldn't cause as many nightmares as the monster that stalked Ellen Ripley, but the odd skeleton of Kryptoglanis shajii is nonetheless causing sleepless nights among researchers at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.
Google isn't the only company talking up its autonomous car tech this week, with BMW presenting its own self-driving enhancements that it says will help navigate urban sprawl while still leaving you in charge of "the ultimate driving machine." The car firm has been showing off its UR:BAN research - the acronym only makes sense in German, but roughly translates to "Urban Space: User-oriented assistance systems and network management" - which could help avoid running over pedestrians, and drive more efficiently by predicting how stop lights will change.
Tesla's Elon Musk has pledged his further support to the Tesla Museum Project, telling The Oatmeal's Matthew Inman "I would be happy to help" when the cartoonist ended his illustrated review of the Model S with a cheeky request for $8m. Inman, who owns a Model S and describes it as his "magical space car", declared the EV to be the future of transportation, but also took the opportunity to namecheck his pet project to build a museum dedicated to the works of Nikola Tesla, after whom Musk's car company was named.
Smart driving assistant Automatic has hooked up with Jawbone, mashing car-use and health data to give drivers insights into how their habits behind the wheel vary according to their overall lifestyle. The partnership pulls information from the Automatic dongle - which plugs into the car dashboard, and shares details on things like speed, travel time, and fuel consumption - into the Jawbone UP app.
Electronic implants could be used in a variety of ways in the future, most notably being within the field of medicine, where they could provide novel ways to address difficult problems. A consistent problem with the use of electronic implants has been their unforgiving solid nature, something addressed by a team of researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas and the University of Tokyo.