Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Racing drones and robotic ping pong trainers

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August 4

Sonny — portable bidet

Somebody recently called this thing “the iPod of bidets” and honestly I don’t know what else I could possibly say about it. That says practically everything you need to know. I’m not even going to try to explain more than that.

Noir — security cam hidden in a charger

We’re at a weird point in human history right now. Somehow, “nanny cams” hidden in teddy bears are so common that, if you suspect you’re being watched, the nearest stuffed bear is the most logical place to check for a hidden camera. I’d argue that this is common knowledge at this point. So if you want to spy on someone without them knowing (though you probably shouldn’t, you goddamn creep), you’ll need something a bit more discreet — something like this HD security camera that’s cleverly tucked inside a standard-looking USB wall charger. I bet most people could look straight into the lens of this sucker without even realizing it.

Flit-16 — folding electric bicycle

Folding bikes just keep getting better and better, and at this point I’m not sure how it’s even possible. This latest entry into the category is called Flit-16, and in addition to the fact that it packs down smaller than any folding bike I’ve ever seen, it’s also fully electric. If you live in a place where suitable bike parking is scarce, or you’re simply worried about thieves, something like this would be ideal. Instead of locking it up, you can just collapse the frame, pick up the whole bike, and carry it to the safety of your office or apartment. Pretty neat, right?

Alulu — receipt paper instant camera

Instant cameras are all the rage right now. Maybe it’s nostalgia for the Polaroid days of yore, maybe it’s a manifestation of our subconscious lust for tangibility in a world where everything is digital. Who knows. But regardless of the reasoning behind it, one thing is certain: instant print paper is expensive. Oftentimes you’re forced to buy a specific brand or style that’s compatible with your particular camera and have no choice but to pay whatever the price is. Alulu is an attempt to fix that problem. Instead of printing on proprietary photo paper, it’s designed to print photos on receipt paper. This way, it doesn’t use any ink, and is also extremely cheap. The only downside, of course, is that it’s only capable of printing in black and white. Still — what a great idea!

Huskylens — computer vision camera module

This one blows my mind. It’s essentially an A.I.-powered camera module that makes computer vision cheap and accessible to the DIY electronics community. Plug this sucker into your favorite single-board computer (it’s compatible with Raspberry Pi, Arduino, LattePanda, and a host of others), and you’re off to the races. Thanks to its onboard computer vision software, it’s capable of recognizing (and tracking) faces, objects, lines, colors, and tags. You can also apparently teach it new things just by clicking on them. All that, and this thing only costs 40-50 bucks. It’s insane how cheap and accessible advanced A.I. has become in the past few years.

Emerging Tech

The best deepfakes on the web: Baby Elon, Ryan Reynolds Wonka, and beyond

Deepfakes, the A.I.-aided face-swapping technology that threatens the future of truth as we know it, are everywhere. Here are some of the scariest, funniest, and most convincing we've seen.
Emerging Tech

Astro the dog-inspired quadruped robot can sit, lie down, and… learn?

Move over Spot! Researchers from Florida Atlantic University have built a new dog robot called Astro. Thanks to deep learning technology, it promises to be able to learn just like a real dog.
Smart Home

New Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo models vacuum and mop with multi-floor mapping

Ecovacs Robotics launched two new robotic home floor care models. The Deebot Ozmo 920 and Deebot Ozmo 950 add new laser-based navigation and multi-floor mapping capabilities combine robotic vacuuming and mopping for total floor cleaning.
Emerging Tech

NASA wants your help developing autonomous robots to explore other worlds

NASA is asking for the public's help to create the robots which could one day explore the moon, Mars, and beyond. It has launched the second phase of its Space Robotics Challenge to develop autonomous functionalities of the robots.
Emerging Tech

The U.S. Army is developing A.I. missiles that can choose their own targets

The U.S. military wants to equip itself with a new type of artificial intelligence-guided missile, which will use A.I. smarts to pursue its targets. Prototypes will be shown off in 2021.

UPS partners with TuSimple to test self-driving semi-trucks

UPS has been carrying truckloads of goods in self-driving semi-trucks since May. The vehicles are being tested in Arizona routes between Phoenix and Tucson for better service and efficiency for UPS delivery.
Emerging Tech

Eric Geusz: Apple engineer by day, spaceship designer by night

An Apple software engineer by day, artist Eric Geusz spends his nights drawing everyday household objects as amazing, science fiction-style spaceships. Check out the impressive results.
Health & Fitness

We spit in a ton of test tubes to find the best and most unique DNA tests

DNA tests aren’t just limited to ancestry. You can test for your risks for certain diseases, the best workouts and diets for your health and fitness, and more.
Emerging Tech

Artificial tree promises to suck up as much air pollution as a small forest

Startup Biomitech has developed an artificial tree that it claims is capable of sucking up as much air pollution as 368 real trees. It could be a game-changer for cities with limited free space.
Emerging Tech

Mars 2020 rover now has a rotating array of drill bits for sampling Martian rock

Most the key components in the Mars 2020 rover are installed and ready to go. The next phase of construction was to install the bit carousel, an important mechanism for the gathering and sorting of samples from the Martian surface.
Emerging Tech

NASA selects landing site candidates for OSIRIS-Rex to sample asteroid Bennu

Last year, the OSIRIS-REx craft arrived at asteroid Bennu, from which it will collect a sample from the asteroid to be brought back to Earth. Now, the NASA team has selected four potential sites to choose from for the sampling mission.
Emerging Tech

NASA wants to send two more missions to Mars to collect rock samples

With its Mars 2020 mission, NASA hopes to collect samples from the surface of the planet. The challenge is how to get those samples back to Earth. Now, NASA has revealed its plans for two followup missions to Mars.
Emerging Tech

The black hole at the center of our galaxy is flaring and no one knows why

At the heart of our galaxy lies a supermassive black hole, Sagittarius A*. Normally this giant monster is relatively docile, but recently it's been a hotbed of unexpected activity, rapidly glowing 75 times brighter than normal.
Emerging Tech

SpaceIL’s crashed lander may have sent thousands of tardigrades to the moon

When the SpaceIL craft Beresheet crashed into the moon earlier this year, it left more than just an impact mark. Thousands of micro-animals called tardigrades were along for the ride and may have survived the crash.
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