The Week’s Awesome Stories From Around the Web (Through July 29)

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AUGMENTED REALITY

$99 Headset Could Be Augmented Reality’s First True Chance at a Mass Market
Rachel Metz | MIT Technology Review
“The headset, made by Mira, is like an AR version of Samsung’s Gear VR, which gives users a virtual-reality experience when they insert one of a few Samsung smartphones. With Mira’s Prism headset, though, the phone is positioned away from your face, and images shown on its display—one for each eye, as with stereoscopic 3-D for virtual reality—reflect off a clear lens and into your eyes so you perceive virtual objects at depth in front of you.”

SPACE

Success! Engine for NASA’s Space Launch System Megarocket Aces 3rd Test
Tariq Malik | Space.com
“’SLS [Space Launch System] will be powered at launch by four RS-25 engines, firing simultaneously to provide 2 million pounds [900,000 kilograms] of thrust and working in conjunction with a pair of solid rocket boosters to produce up to 8 million [3.6 million kg] pounds of thrust’…NASA is targeting a 2019 launch for EM-1. The mission will use an SLS rocket to launch an uncrewed Orion space capsule on a three-week trip around the moon.”

ROBOTICS SOFTWARE

Robots Learn to Speak Body Language
Alyssa Pagano | IEEE SPECTRUM
“One notable feature of the OpenPose system is that it can track not only a person’s head, torso, and limbs but also individual fingers. To do that, the researchers used CMU’s Panoptic Studio, a dome lined with 500 cameras, where they captured body poses at a variety of angles and then used those images to build a data set.”

TRANSPORTATION

Elon Musk Shares Footage of the Boring Company’s First Working Car Elevator
Jon Russell | TechCrunch
“The basic idea is that underground tunnels can transport vehicles from A to B more quickly and efficiently than roads, with no time wasted sitting in traffic. A car drives into a collection point located on the surface, after which it is taken underground via an elevator and moved to its desired destination using a sled on wheels that traverses a network of underground tunnels. Essentially, it’s an underground railway system for vehicles, and potentially more.”

ROBOTICS

Grasping Robots Compete to Rule Amazon’s Warehouses
Tom Simonite | WIRED
“Robots able to help with so-called picking tasks would boost Amazon’s efficiency—and make it much less reliant on human workers. It’s why the company has invited a motley crew of mechanical arms, grippers, suction cups—and their human handlers—to Nagoya, Japan, this week to show off their manipulation skills.”

Image Credit: NASA

Alison tells the stories of purpose-driven leaders and is fascinated by various intersections of technology and society. When not keeping a finger on the pulse of all things Singularity University, you'll likely find Alison in the woods sipping coffee and reading philosophy (new book recommendations are welcome).

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