Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) is a robotic mission to Mars launched by NASA on November 26, 2011, that will attempt to land a Mars rover called Curiosity on the surface of Mars. Today (August 6, 2012), it is scheduled to land in Gale Crater at about 05:31 UTC. Curiosity rover’s objectives include determining Mars’ habitability, studying its climate and geology, and collecting data for human missions. Curiosity is twice as long and five times as heavy as NASA’s previous rovers Spirit and Opportunity. The total cost of the MSL/curiosity project is about US$2.5 billion.
So if you would like to see how 2.5 billions touch down on Mars, watch this live video stream:
The ‘10 Dollar Robot‘ Design Challenge calls for programmable and cost effective robotic designs. The goal of these designs is to learn how to program robots or to simply do physical computing with an affordable set of hardware parts, that can move and sense theyr environment. The outcome of this challenge is especially targeted for use in African countries and other emerging economies (but the competition is open to anyone worldwide). You can win Raspberry Pi boards and a little bit of additional money to buy hardware 🙂
In the spirit of friendly competition, RadioShack challenged two DIY enthusiast groups known as hackerspaces—one on each coast—to build something cool out of everyday stuff. The rules were simple: use parts from RadioShack, including an Arduino (an inexpensive programmable device that can be used for all sorts of interesting interactive projects).
Our two teams come from the Ace Monster Toys hackerspace in Oakland, California, and Artisan’s Asylum in Somerville, Massachusetts (just outside Boston). Each team was given a $250 RadioShack gift card and one month to dream up, design and build their project. They both did an amazing job and used parts they found at RadioShack in unique and creative ways…. The winning team will receive $1000 and one lucky voter will receive a $1000 RadioShack Gift Card!
Refer to this amazing prototype for the Red Bull creation contest, in which these guys from Hack-a-day built a Red Bull can launching mortar system. It looks really impressing but without the parachute it would be a dangerous device! So dont try it at home kids.
At Google’s IO 2012 conference some new information about the further timeplan for the development and release of Android have been presented. The next release will be Android 4.1, called Jelly Bean, as an updated version of the actual 4.0 ( Ice Cream Sandwich) that is already installed on all high end Android hardware devices. Some features Google announced with the release of Android 4.1 are:
Project Butter – A deep driving effort to improve performance and response time, by introducing 60fps framerate, which means in detail a slight improvement of responsiveness and reaction times of some milliseconds.
Home Screen – the home screen now supports the dynamic resizing of widgets and it allows furthermore to flick widgets off the screen to remove them.
Offline Voice Input – Its now possible to voice type your speech without having a solid network connection, for example if you are in flight mode, as the interpreter moved on to the phone. They support English and are going to support 18 language more in the future.
Camera App and Gallery Improvements – Speeds up photo preview in camera mode.
Improved Notification System with immediate preview
Google Now and improved search and synth voice response – “gets to the right information at the right time… automatically” by analyzing your “search history, calendar, and past activities in order to find out what you might want.
As last year, Red Bull is again booting their creation and hacking contest, where Red Bull invites creators, inventors and makers to create the future. All participants are confronted with a topic and then they have 72 hours time to create a functional prototype. The creation contest takes place from 19 to 22 July 2012.
Maker Shed setup under way at Maker Faire Kansas City
Want to get your hands on a MakerBot Replicator but don’t want to wait the (as of this writing) 30 day leadtime? If you’re near Kansas City, you’re in luck. If you’re already planning to go to Maker Faire: Kansas City, you’re in even more luck!
The Maker Shed will be located right in front of Festival Plaza, and in addition to the MakerBots, they’ll have a bunch more for sale:
Hosting a mini has been an amazing way for local maker groups to converge and cross-pollinate ideas. In our inaugural year, we had around 80 makers, and close to 3,000 attendees. This year we have over 100 makers, and a much larger venue to accommodate more attendees throughout the weekend. There will be bands, a young makers section, an eco village, and more. If you’re around, come check it out! [via Make]