A new BMW prototype is looking to split the difference between speed and range in electric scooters. BMW’s C Evolution, which the company recently presented as a “near-production prototype” in London, is a stylish but pretty ordinary-looking scooter that charges through sockets or a dedicated station.
Its three-hour charge time gives users up to 100 kilometers (62 miles) of range, BMW says, and it can reach speeds of 120 kilometers per hour (75 miles per hour).
“BMW has read the signs of the times and is expanding its business activities to include the facet of urban mobility. Electromobility has a key role to play in this new segment.”
If you’ve ever had to slam on the brakes to prevent an accident, you know that the time it takes to get your foot to that pedal can seem like an eternity. Now, German researchers aim to cut that reaction time by getting drivers’ brain waves to help stop the car. Their findings appear in the Journal of Neural Engineering.
When you’re behind the wheel, or doing anything physical, your brain knows what it wants you to do before your body swings into action. Most times, this minor delay between thinking and doing is no big deal. But when you’re moving at 60 miles an hour and the car in front of you stops short, every fraction of a second counts.
Researchers recorded how quickly volunteers reacted when the lead vehicle in a driving simulator suddenly hit the brakes. Sensors monitored the subjects’ brain activity. Turns out drivers knew they needed to slow down more than a tenth of a second before they tap the brakes.
That might not seem like much, but if cars could read minds, they could stop 12 feet sooner at highway speeds. Which could mean the difference between a scare and a smash.
I love this piece from Scientific American, written in the format of a teaching lesson, instructing you how to perform a science experiment: How Fast Can You React?
Think fast! Have you ever noticed that when someone unexpectedly tosses a softball at you, you need a little time before you can move to catch it (or duck)? That’s because when your eyes see an incoming signal such as a softball, your brain needs to first process what’s happening—and thenyou can take action. In this activity, you can measure just how long it takes for you to react, and compare reaction times with your friends and family.
Materials · Ruler (inches or metric) · Paper · Pencil · Chart (below)
I even watched the CNN footage of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee last Sunday, despite all the rain and bad weather. To keep learning about the Jubilee, I found Time Magazine’s special coverage of the event, with more than 25 articles.
Liquid Metal Battery Corporation, an MIT spin out that’s developing new technologies for electricity storage, has raised $15 million in funding from Khosla Ventures, Total and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. The technology behind the company was developed by Dr. Donald Sadoway (his famous TED Talk), a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who was recently named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World.
“Large-scale electricity storage will be a critical part of reinventing the global electric grid infrastructure, and LMBC has developed the most innovative chemically-based solution that we’ve seen,” said Andrew Chung of Khosla Ventures.
Bill believes that creating large-scale batteries to store energy is a critical problem to solve if solar and wind energy are to become mainstream. In this video, Bill and MIT Professor Donald Sadoway discuss the importance of new battery storage technology and Sadoway’s focus on the development of a “liquid metal” battery.
To get more technical, the liquid in the all-liquid battery is molten salt and liquid metal, which:
“…avoids cycle-to-cycle capacity fade because the liquid electrodes are reconstituted with each charge – similar systems have operated in a lab environment for more than 17 months with daily cycling and no reduction in performance. The molten salt electrolyte combines high conductivity with abuse tolerance at low cost. Self-segregation due to three immiscible liquid phases of different densities (e.g. oil and water separation) allows for robust operation and ease of manufacture. Together, these attributes will enable the liquid metal battery to exceed 70% round-trip AC efficiency for over a decade without degradation.”
Cliplet – a type of image that sits between a still image and video. It allows you to capture a moment-in-time instead of an instant.
Microsoft Research is showing a new project called “Cliplets” that lets users turn video clips into something closer to a moving still image by effectively freezing a portion of the frame and leaving another portion of the video to run as is.
There is a storm sweeping down the coast of California. Here in Southern California the rain is pouring down. Yesterday it hit San Francisco with some lightning…
They say that lightning never strikes twice, but this amazing photo proves otherwise.
An incredible eight bolts struck the Bay Bridge in San Francisco last night which was captured in this incredible shot by photographer Phil McGrew, who took the photo through the rain-soaked window of his apartment.
“You can count the strikes, the Bay Bridge has four distinct towers and you can see the lightning hitting each tower.”