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Stretchable Hologram

For Star Wars fans, Princess Leia’s holographic message to Obi-Wan Kenobi asking for help is a pivotal moment in the 1977 Star Wars film Episode IV: A New Hope.

But it is only now that the technology enabling her desperate plea stands a chance of becoming a reality.

Engineers have created stretchable holograms that can change from one image to another, offering the tantalizing possibility that holographic videos may one day be possible.

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Scientists have created holograms that can change from one image to another as the materials used to generate them are stretched (pictured) which could lend themselves to animation 
Scientists have created holograms that can change from one image to another as the materials used to generate them are stretched (pictured) which could lend themselves to animation

CHANGING IMAGES 

The researchers calculated how much a holographic image expands as the material generating it stretches, and how far the image plane moves away from its original position.

Based on these findings, the team created multi-layered holograms made up of two or three different images.

This means that as the surface stretches, one image appears in the place of another.

Using this method, they created a hologram that showed a pentagon in its relaxed state, which transformed into a square, and then a triangle when pulled.

Scientists from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (SEAS) at the University of Pennsylvania used metasurfaces – flat, ultra-thin surfaces – to make their holograms.

They built on their previous work in creating 3D and multi-color holograms by embedding tiny gold rods in a stretchable film.

This helped them understand how holographic images change with stretching and to see if they could use this information to create a hologram that can switch between images.

Mars Mini-City on Horizon

The UAE turned the heads of space exploration fans everywhere earlier this year when it announced its plans to build a mini-city on Mars in the next century.

Officials have since released few details on the project, which is part of its 100-year national programme to better understand the red planet.

But yesterday a key figurehead of the ambitious plans said that the UAE is prepared to join the ‘new space race’ and that young Arab people will lead the mission.

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In February the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced its plans to set up Mars' first mini city by 2117. This computer generated concept image shows released by the Dubai Media Office shows what the colony could look like
In February the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced its plans to set up Mars’ first mini city by 2117. This computer generated concept image shows released by the Dubai Media Office shows what the colony could look like.

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Weapon Wednesday – New Nano-Drone

Fight time is around 15 minutes, with a top speed of 22 mph and a range ...
Fight time is around 15 minutes, with a top speed of 22 mph and a range of 1 kilometer (Credit: AeroVironment)  

AeroVironment’s new Snipe Nano Quadrotor is a man-packable drone with the potential to be carried by every foot soldier, vastly increasing situational awareness and individual capability. The Snipe will also be available commercially later this year for police, first responders and all those who need to be able to see what’s happening in places they cannot safely go.

Announced at AUVSI in Dallas today, the Snipe Nano Quad UAS weighs just 140 grams (5 oz) and fits into a small hard case light enough to be carried – though AeroVironment has not yet disclosed the weight of the entire UAS including the ruggedized touch screen controller. read more

Joke of the Day

He was a widower and she a widow. They had known each other for a number of years, having been high school classmates and having attended class reunions in the past without fail.

This 60th anniversary of their class, the widower and the widow made a foursome with two other singles. They had a wonderful evening, their spirits high, with the widower throwing admiring glances across the table and the widow smiling coyly back at him.

Finally, during one dance, he picked up courage to ask her, “Will you marry me?”

After about six seconds of careful consideration, she answered, “Yes, yes I will!” read more

New Roof-Top Tent

We had a total of eight roof-top tents split between the trucks, SUVs and trailers
We had a total of eight roof-top tents split between the trucks, SUVs and trailers

Long popular in other countries, roof-top tents (RTTs) are having their moment in the US. The Santa Cruz-based innovators at Tepui are doing their best to turn that moment into a movement. The company is heavily invested in expanding the RTT market out from hardcore overlanders to the masses of general outdoor lovers and festival campers. read more