3D Robotics $700 quadcopter draws interest at drone show

Kerry Davis , IDG News Service

3D Robotics gave a sneak preview of a comparatively cheap consumer drone at an unmanned aircraft convention in San Francisco this week.

3d robotics quadcopter

The company's new quadcopter, or four-rotor helicopter, can be controlled from a tablet running an Android flight system or other similar app. The as-yet-unnamed drone will cost about $700 and is aimed at an audience of hobbyists, even wedding photographers, who could attach a camera to the front and get sweeping shots from the sky.

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Astronaut controls robot on Earth from the ISS

Martyn Williams , IDG News Service Follow me on Google+

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service.
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An astronaut aboard the International Space Station used an extraterrestrial remote control system on Friday to maneuver a robot rover at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley.

In the test, Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano used the rover to deploy a simulated radio telescope antenna on the Ames Roverscape, a sandy and rocky simulation of the lunar landscape that’s about the size of a football field.

K10 rover (2)Martyn Williams
NASA’s K10 rover is seen during a test at the NASA Ames Roverscape.

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Incept yourself: Scientists implant fake memories in mice

Kevin Lee Contributor, TechHive

Kevin is a small-time tech hound, amateur photographer, and a general know-at-least-something of all things geeky hailing from New York.
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Susumu Tonegawa and his colleagues at the RIKEN-MIT Center for Neural Circuit Genetics have officially made Inception into a real thing—for mice, at least: The research team has successfully inserted scary, fabricated memories in lab mice to terrify them (of course).

This isn’t just a moment of science fiction becoming real: The researchers say this achievement will help them understand the cell behavior and electrochemical mechanics behind the formation of memories. At the same time, it could also lead to new ways of treating mental illnesses that are influenced by memory.

In their experiments, the scientists used lab-grown mice specially bred to have neurons that are activated with a flash of light. When flashed with light, these mice would produce a protein called channelrhodopsin-2, which would stimulate cell activity.

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Video game-themed maps will make you feel like you're living in an 8-bit world

Nick Mediati , TechHive Follow me on Google+

Nick is a freelance contributor and a former editor for TechHive and PCWorld. He likes puns and the color yellow.
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Back in 2012, as part of its annual cavalcade of April Fools' jokes, Google created a version of Google Maps that resembled an 8-bit video game. The 8-bit version of Google Maps is long gone, but you can still visit a blocky, retro-themed version of several major cities by visiting the aptly named 8-Bit Cities.

8-Bit Cities offers maps of 18 major cities from around the world, as reimagined in the style of a 1980s video game. With it, you can wander the virtual streets of cities like San Francisco, New York, Seattle, Amsterdam, Kyoto, and Singapore, to name a few.

An 8-bit rendition of the neighborhood around TechHive's offices.
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Solar storms can junk up our technology, new NASA satellite may help thwart them

Martyn Williams , IDG News Service Follow me on Google+

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service.
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NASA’s newest telescope is giving scientists their clearest pictures yet of the sun’s atmosphere, and in doing so could help mitigate the potentially devastating effects an extreme solar storm could have on our power and communications networks on Earth.

Launched a month ago, the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS, on Thursday sent some of its first images of the sun back to Earth. The pictures should help scientists form a better understanding of the sun’s weather, which is important because its influence on Earth goes well beyond providing sunlight and warmth.

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You can't waltz around Saturn, but this video will make you want to

Jacob Siegal Contributor, TechHive

Jacob Siegal spends a vast majority of his time surrounded with and invested in technology and media, so he decided he may as well start writing about it. You can find more of his writing at Game Rant and his topical tweets @JacobSiegal.


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You probably never knew that you needed a video collage made from more than 200,000 images of Saturn and its moons set to a waltz by a symphony orchestra, but Fabio di Donato might have just proven you wrong.

These images were all taken during NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, which has been photographing Saturn since 2004. This video was actually published shortly before the Cassini took a picture of Earth from Saturn’s orbit, subsequently causing many of us to question our place in the universe.

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Attention, klutzes: This self-balancing skateboard lets you pretend to be Tony Hawk

Elizabeth Fish Contributor, TechHive

Elizabeth Fish is a freelance writer who happens to run a hyperlocal news website in Lincoln, UK. She also covers all things geeky for TechHive.
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Don't worry about learning how to position yourself on a skateboard for tricks, or even saving up for a Segway: Just build yourself a board that will balance itself.

The self-balancing skateboard by John Dingley is a twin-wheel skateboard that works a bit like a Segway: It stabilizes itself by keeping the wheels under your center of balance at all times. The board uses a combination of pneumatic tires, a gyroscope, an Arduino board, and various accelerometer sensors to understand how to balance itself, and you steer using an in-hand controller.

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