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All posts by Kristian Markus

Kristian Markus
Kristian strives for clear and effective communication that enlightens and entertains readers. In addition to his teaching and freelance writing responsibilities, he is working on a science-fiction novel and fulfilling his role as Editor-in-chief of Techgenmag.
  • China’s building the world’s largest radio telescope that will search for alien life

    While space enthusiasts revel over the discovery of Kepler-452b (the most Earth-like planet ever discovered) and feast on the visual glory that is Pluto and its many moons, China is quietly constructing the world’s largest radio telescope. The origins of the Universe and the hunt for alien life is on Once China’s half-kilometer-wide radio telescope is complete, it will fulfill the dual purpose of exploring the origins of our Universe and searching for signs of alien life. "A radio telescope is like a sensitive ear, listening to tell meaningful radio messages from white noise in the universe. It is like identifying the sound of...

  • Real-life giant robots hope to meet in Pacific Rim-like arena battle next year

    Last Tuesday, a team of American engineers representing Boston-based MegaBots challenged Japan’s Suidobashi Heavy Industries to a real life battle of giant robots. Although a specific time and place has yet to be established, the Pacific Rim-style mechanical contenders are already showing off their mods and wares in anticipation of this epic clash in arena combat. Two nations, two giant robots America’s Megabot Mark 2 giant robot: In this corner, weighing in at a modest 6 tons, with guns capable of firing three-pound paint cannonballs over 160 km/h, is the Megabot Mark 2, “America’s first, fully functional piloted” giant robot. The Mark 2 requires two pilots and stands roughly five...

  • Researchers invent interactive 3D holograms you can touch

    Using a system of lasers, mirrors and cameras, researchers at the Digital Nature Group (DNG) have invented a way to project three-dimensional holograms made up of tiny points of light called voxels that respond to human touch. Creating these special types of interactive holograms involves the use of lasers that transmit bursts of energy that last from 30 to 270 femtoseconds. According to principal investigator Yoichi Ochiai, touching the hologram feels like sandpaper (or for some like static electricity) that, due to the shortness of the laser bursts, are safe to touch. Dancing holograms and the sense of touch The three-dimensional images...

  • MIT builds ‘first ever’ cheetah-like running, jumping four-legged robot

    This week MIT researchers released a video featuring the first ever four-legged robot that can identify and jump over obstacles while running. Thanks to a new three-part algorithm, MIT’s cheetah robot can size up the height and distance of an approaching obstacle and estimate the best placement of its feet right before jumping. The robot is also able to assess how much force it has to exert to clear the obstacle and land safely. "A running jump is a truly dynamic behavior. You have to manage balance and energy, and be able to handle impact after landing. Our robot is specifically...

  • Solar-powered Ecocapsules let you live off-the-grid anywhere in the world

    Those days of situating a mobile home or trailer along the coast as the sole alternative to semi off-the-grid living are over. Thanks to an eco-conscious group of green-living pioneers called Nice Architects, a new self-sustaining pod called the Ecocapsule promises a radical rethinking of traditional home design. Based and developed in Bratislava, Slovakia, the Ecoscapsule measures just 14.6-feet long by 7.4-feet wide by 8.4-feet tall. Although the Ecocaspule certainly deserves to be called a “micro home”, its developers insist the egg-shaped structure is big enough for two. And as with most environmentally-friendly homes built on a smaller scale, the interior...

  • Injured turtle saved, given new jaw thanks to 3D printing technology

    In Turkey, a sea turtle struck by tragedy when a boat propeller hacked off a part of its jaw has a new claim to life thanks to a 3D printed beak courtesy of technology firm BTech Innovation and the veterinarians responsible for completing the procedure. With significant damage to its lower and upper jaws, a Turkish animal rescue team found the sea turtle floating in the ocean and nearly dead. The rescuers rushed the turtle to Dalyan Iztuzu Pamukkale University’s Sea Turtle Research, Rescue and Rehabilitation Center. There, the turtle was nursed back to health and its wounds healed. Given the extent of...

  • Toast marshmallows to death metal with these pyro-crafted speakers

    Danish designers Markus Buch, Matt Ward and Christian Fisker recently announced a new Kickstarter campaign for their portable, Bluetooth-enabled portable speakers that spew and sputter flames to the beat of music. Last year, these pyromaniac Dutch designers and engineers became famous when videos of their Pyro Board music visualizer went viral on the web. Consisting of 2,500 Bunsen burners that emit flames when synchronized to the sound of music, the Pyro Board dazzled viewers for its intricate fire dancing patterns. According to its creators, the Pyro Board can “turn your music into a moving fire pattern” depending on the type and speed of the selected music. Smaller, fire...

  • Bipedal robot ATRIAS takes its first outdoor stroll

    Developed by engineers at Oregon State University (OSU), ATRIAS is a bipedal robot that recently took its first ever outdoor stroll, marking a significant milestone in its quest to become the first robot to emulate the true nature of human locomotion. Although there are plenty of exciting bipedal robots currently in development, only ATRIAS mimics “the elastic, energy retention” characteristics of human legs. Why develop bipedal robots that walk like humans? To scare children and expedite the obsolescence of human beings, obviously. I kid. In truth, emulating human walking in robotics serves the purpose of saving energy. Already, ATRIAS expends significantly less energy when walking as compared to other...

  • DIY ‘Iron Man’ glove boils oranges using lasers, won’t defeat Ultron

    What do you get when you combine a Marvel fanatic with an inventor who has his own YouTube channel with thousands of subscribers? Ladies and gentlemen, nerds and geeks, we present to you the indomitably brilliant Patrick Priebe. Priebe, the same guy who made the James Bond laser watch that can blast through plastic, is the founder of Laser Works, a website dedicated to nothing more than pure DIYer awesomeness that features a variety of Priebe’s laser and missile firing inventions. His latest gadget is a real-life Iron Man (you know, one of The Avengers) glove that fires lasers and aluminum slugs. And while these lasers...

  • Fujitsu explores the possibility of liquid-cooled smartphones

    We’ve all experienced heat emanating from our cellphones when held against our ears too long and that warm, tingling sensation from laptops when resting against our laps, or as Homer Simpson would say, “mmm… erotic radiation.” While liquid-cooled PCs have been around, the smaller size of smartphones, laptops and tablets require more traditional methods of cooling, relying mostly on sheets of metal or other materials that conduct heat away from key components and chips to prevent damage. In fact, finding newer ways to cool these smaller devices is key if we are to see continued innovation in the portable device market....