Researchers map a building in 3D using WiFi-enabled drones

Turns out WiFi is good for more than just sharing cat GIFs with your friends. Researchers at the Mostofi Lab at UC Santa Barbara have created a system that "sees" inside buildings using two drones and WiFi.

To pull this off, the drones are each equipped with WiFi transceivers and fly in tandem outside the target building. One of the UAVs then transmits a WiFi signal while the second one reads the corresponding received power. Throw in a bunch of advanced math and the data is translated into a 3D image of the internals of the building with some impressive results.

The Mostofi Lab is no stranger to using radio waves to penetrate walls. In 2010 it published its first demonstration of imaging using WiFi. "However, enabling 3D through-wall imaging of real areas is considerably more challenging due to the considerable increase in the number of unknowns," professor Yasamin Mostofi told UCSB’s The Current.

This research could help emergency response teams do sweeps of buildings without putting first responders in unnecessary danger. The lab also noted it could be used for archaeological and structural monitoring.

Via: The Current

Source: Mostofi Lab

via Engadget http://engt.co/2sK32hJ

Paralyzed Dad Uses Robotic Suit to Walk His Daughter down the Aisle

"Lying in a hospital bed having found out he was paralyzed Chris Palmer thought about how he never would be able to walk his daughter down the aisle on her wedding day. But on Saturday (21/5), almost four years later, Mr Palmer has done just that. With the help of a £90,000 robotic device, the 55-year-old father walked down the aisle, alongside his daughter Heather handing her over to her fiancé Christopher Halls. "It’s wonderful I can do this – it’s fulfilling something that dads do," said Mr Palmer, who was told he would never be able to walk again in June 2012 after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer.
"When I lay in hospital after the operation, one of the first things I thought about was my daughter’s wedding and how I wasn’t going to be able to walk her down the aisle." But then about a year ago, Heather, spotted an article about a company called Rex Bionics which gave her hope. The company has invented an exo-skeletal suit called Rex which enables paralyzed people to walk and stand without assistance. Heather got in touch with Rex Bionics and Chris was given an opportunity to try out the equipment."

Submitted by:
(via SWNS TV)

via FAIL Blog http://bit.ly/1TMvo3K

8 Red, White and Blue Dishes to Whip Up for Memorial Day

Berry TrifleMemorial Day, the year’s first formal celebration of summer, is the perfect opportunity to make seasonal dishes in a patriotic palette. Kick off grilling season with the American spirit in mind when you try these sweet and savory recipes.

Patriotic Berry Trifle (above)

Sunny Anderson’s towering pile of cake, whipped cream and berries is a showstopping dessert that’s a little more rustic than the traditional flag cake.

Berry Fruit CupsRed, White and Blue Fruit Cups

Sometimes the sweetest desserts are the simplest. Rachael Ray’s super-quick recipe lets tart berries shine underneath a small pillow of whipped cream.

Potato SaladRed, White and Blue Potato Salad

Savory ingredients in blue hues are a little hard to come by, which is why you should pounce on those deep-purple potatoes when you spot them at the grocery store.

Cheesecake BarsCrispy-Treat Cheesecake Bars

This playful dessert has a nostalgic crust that will instantly transport all your party guests back to their childhood.

SmoothieRed, White and Blue Smoothie

Embrace the extra time you’ll have during the long weekend by blending up a smile-inducing tricolored smoothie for breakfast.

Red, White and Blueberry Coleslaw

Tart blueberries pair surprisingly well with savory ingredients (such as bacon and onion) in this side dish.

Buffalo Puppies              

Impress guests with your dedication to the patriotic theme by busting out crumbled blue potato chips (genius!) on mini hot dogs.

Red, White and Blue Cherry Pies

Sandra Lee’s personal-sized pies steal their secret ingredient from autumn: pumpkin pie spice! Sandra says the mix (which includes many classic pie spices) helps you avoid buying a ton of different spices that you might otherwise never use up.

via Food Network Blog http://bit.ly/1TMvfgz

Hoverboards are coming back

Swagway, one of the most recognizable names in the combustible hoverboard market, is back.

The company told Mashable that its new rolling balance board, the SWAGTRON (they use all-caps for the trademark, but we’ll lowercase from here on out) is coming to America.

Getting these devices back on the market in the U.S. would be quite a feat. They were deemed unsafe by U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in February and then pulled from the market by virtually every retailer (tourist traps in lower Manhattan excepted).

At the time, the CPSC said “self-balancing scooters that do not meet the safety standards referenced above to be defective, and that they may present a substantial product hazard.”

One of the chief concerns was that the batteries and chargers did not meet Underwriter Laboratory standards. In fact, there didn’t seem to be any standards for these boards that exploded onto the market in late 2015.

Swagway always contended that its boards met all the guidelines, such as they were. The company did appear to have UL certification for its chargers, but the new regulations required similar certification for the hoverboards themselves.

When I met with Swaway’s elusive CEO Johnny Zhu in January, he showed me the new Swagtron, which had a host of new features designed to improve safety. 

Now that product is coming to market in two models: the $399 T1 and the $499 T3. Both have, according to Swagway, UL2272 certification. Mashable has contacted the UL for confirmation. 

We do know that the UL has certified at least one hoverboard. On May 10 it gave a UL2272 certification to Segway’s Ninebot. The Xiaomi subsidiary showed off its own self-balancing robot at CES 2016. To make things a little more confusing, the original Segway (a company launched by inventor Dean Kamen more than a dozen years ago) sued a bunch of hoverboard manufacturers (including Ninebot) over patent infringement. Swagway was not named in the suit.

Whats new

If the new Swagtron does have UL certification, then it should be cleared to ship into the U.S. If and when that happens, we’ll see a redesigned and somewhat different self-balancing scooter.

Swagway switched out the motors and gear stabilization system, which they claim gives it better downhill traction and overall speed control. 

The Swagtron will also have new battery indicator lights, and, according to Swagway, an “incombustible shell” and two different ride modes: Learning and Standard.

The biggest change, though, will be the claimed “battery shield,” an air-tight aluminum chamber for the battery. When Zhu described the chamber to me in January, he said, “Lithium-ion battery is considered a dangerous product. It holds a lot of air. The aluminum chamber can contain any issue,”

That will be paired with a new Smart Battery Management System to protect against over-charging and short circuits.

The new T3 will be more of a pro-model, allowing the rider to turn off the Swagtron’s built in speed restrictions.

Whatever model you buy, you’ll want to wear a helmet.

Swagway plans to start selling the Swagtron on its website on May 31 and promises it will eventually come to Modell’s Sporting Goods and other retailers.

All this depends on whether or not Swagway has satisfied the CPSC’s demands. We probably won’t know that until the first units ship from China and if they actually make it from the piers into American consumers’ homes.

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

via Mashable http://on.mash.to/1TKU09U

A Striking View






May 28, 2016


A Striking View



Photograph by Christoph Schaarschmidt, National Geographic Your Shot




Streaking from a sky as red as the earth, lightning strikes the famous dome-shaped, sandstone monolith Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia. “I had heard a lot about how beautiful Uluru should look when it rains,” writes Christoph Schaarschmidt, who captured this image. “But I never believed that I would see it with my own eyes because the Red Centre of Australia is a very arid area.”


This photograph was submitted to the 2016 Travel Photographer of the Year contest.

Browse galleries of editors’ favorites >>








via National Geographic http://on.natgeo.com/1TObNOB

Ancient floppy disks are still used in U.S. nuclear computer system

Many government agencies, U.S. and international alike, have a reputation for sometimes using tools that are horribly out of date. 

But according to a report from a congressional watchdog agency, a particularly vital arm of the U.S. government may be using the oldest tech you could possibly imagine.

According to a new report from the Governmental Accountability Office (GAO), at least one part of the U.S. Defense Department (DoD) still uses floppy disks in one of its systems.

the DoD uses 8-inch floppy disks in a legacy system that coordinates … the nation’s nuclear forces

What’s a floppy disk you ask? Well, decades ago, instead of using USB sticks, data was transported between computer systems using a thin square plastic case that contained a magnetic disk (which is where the data was stored).

But most systems today wouldn’t be able to accept a floppy disk even if the user wanted to, so the presence of such an outdated piece of technology is pretty surprising, particularly within the halls of such a historically technically advanced part of the government.

The revelation, surfaced on Wednesday in a report from CNBC, is included in a GAO research document titled “Federal Agencies Need to Address Aging Legacy Systems.”

In it, the document states:

Federal legacy IT investments are becoming increasingly obsolete: many use outdated software languages and hardware parts that are unsupported. Agencies reported using several systems that have components that are, in some cases, at least 50 years old. For example, the Department of Defense uses 8-inch floppy disks in a legacy system…

More troubling is the fact that the old school floppy disks are used as a storage solution for the DoD’s Strategic Automated Command and Control System, which “coordinates the operational functions of the United States’ nuclear forces,” including intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear bombers. The floppy disks are used as a part of the section’s IBM Series/1 computer (a system from the ’70s). 

The good news? The agency plans to update the ancient system in 2017, according to the GAO report. 

In the meantime, let’s hope the fate of peace on Earth doesn’t come down to an 8-inch floppy disk that not even the smallest, poorest business office would ever think of using. 

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

via Mashable http://on.mash.to/1OYOzoJ