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October 2021 News Wire

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World’s most powerful tidal turbine, the O2, starts exporting clean power

The 74 meter (242 foot) long turbine, called the O2, floats in the Fall of Warness off Scotland and generates power from strong tides. A cable connects the O2 to land where the 2 megawatts of power it generates can power about 2000 homes for a year. The power also is used in an experiment to generate hydrogen without the use of fossil fuels.

Baboons wearing Fitbits Reveal Community Secrets

While humans wear Fitbit devices on their wrists to track their steps over time, scientists got the idea to use Fitbit-like accelerometers with GPS location tracking to discover how groups travel together. The results? When traveling in groups, baboons slow down to keep their group of up to 150 animals together. While the older faster baboons slow down, it’s the young baboons that work harder to keep up with their group. And while baboons defer to more powerful members in their group when confronted one on one, when they travel as a group everyone works to keep a comfortable pace regardless of status or age.

High School Girls Invent a Tent to Help Homeless People

As part of their Invent Girls STEM program, the DIY Girls group helped a team of girls at San Fernando High School develop a tent shelter for people who were homeless and living on the streets in Los Angeles. Their tent is a portable shelter prototype that collapses into a backpack, uses renewable solar energy to power basic electrical devices, uses UVC LEDs to sanitize the interior, and protects against Los Angeles’ desert climate with insulating materials. They created their invention as a part of the Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam challenge program. While this happened in 2016, it’s a great example of what students can achieve and groups like MIT and DIY Girls can introduce STEAM to students.

Build an AI Smart Nose

Build a 3D artificial nose, connect it to a gas analyzer on a Wio board, use machine learning artificial intelligence, and your smart nose can smell the difference between coffee and tea. The project takes a couple hours and costs around $100. Unfortunately, the nose is too big to wear. But this project provides an opportunity for fun while learning about how real noses and machine learning work.

Can You Teach Your Dog to Talk?

FluentPet is a set of large buttons with words on them which can be used to teach any dog to use words to express their thoughts and feelings. A dog named Bunny, for example, apparently is able to describe its dreams using FluentPet. And there is some science behind the idea.

Explore Classic Video Game Worlds

Video games have one obvious flaw: you can explore them apart from racing through a game or sitting on the sidelines after a crash. These backgrounds can be as interesting as the games that run through them. The Noclip.website includes many video game backgrounds that can be explored with keyboard arrow keys or the W A S D keys. Click the Shift key to speed up or the / key to slow down. Click the red folder icon at the top left to select a game and platform. Games for Wii, Nintendo, Playstation, Xbox, and PC platforms are included.

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