Moths have a bad rep. They chew holes in winter garments or leave brown staining behind. They can be annoying when fluttering around your home at night, attracted to every lightbulb that’s burning. In the Dakota fields in the U.S., they can be so numerous at night that you think you’re driving in a summer snowstorm (I experienced this while driving cross-country – believe me, I’ve never needed my car washed so badly!)
There’s some new tech that is hoping to give moths a “new mission” in life. Research is ongoing at North Carolina State University to create drones – not mechanical, but living. Dr. Alper Bozkurt is an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the university and developed the technique with Dr. Amit Lal from Cornell University. It involves attaching electrodes to a moth while it’s changing from a caterpillar, a methodology named Early Metamorphosis Insertion Technology (EMIT).
The goal: remotely-controlled moths, or “biobots,” for use in emergency response, such as search and rescue operations.
Read an op-ed piece by Diane Shipley featured on the shinyshiny site that speaks up for the ‘rights of the moths’: Might bionic moths be the future of disaster relief?
And another article on the Kurzweil site with some keen observations by readers giving their thoughts on the tech: Remote-controlled cyborg moth ‘biobots’ to monitor emergency-response operations
This art project, which will ‘vanish’ at the end of October 2014, was created using eco-friendly materials and GPS technology in a fascinating way. The National Mall in Washington, DC is the site of the commissioned artwork, created by artist Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada. The giant portrait is visible from the ground, from atop the Washington Monument, and from outer space!
A little explanation by the artist… “I use vector files, which are images based on points that have algorithms to keep the curves in position. Then we use high-accuracy GPS technology to place stakes in the ground, and string to delineate the curves. The etching design also makes it work — the farther away you are, the more it comes together as shadowing. So when we get the final images from the satellite from space, it will actually look photographic.“
Read more about his vision & the work itself in these two articles:
Check out this amazing structure assembled in public view, on the grounds of the London Building Centre, in England-
Challenges remain on the structural integrity in the face of weather issues – strong winds… lashing rains… violent, ‘no fun’ kinds of storms. Maybe there’s an opportunity for you to bring your mind to the puzzle and create a more sustainable model? Great opportunity to put your “inner architect”, as well as your techie self, into a potentially great future!
3D Printing is going off-roading – or, more accurately, off-Earth-ing! Thanks to some really intense work done by Made In Space for NASA, the
While there are many unique challenges inherent in this endeavor, the aim is to provide a means for parts replication, food production, and other ‘manufactured’ items on-site in space to lessen the weight of the provisions which astronauts have been carrying from necessity in previous space missions.
Here are some other articles from various sources about the topic:
Can you offer your skills to address some of the hurdles that must be overcome to make this a viable reality for space travel? And maybe take a trip among the stars yourself??