AI services startup Hypergiant brings on Bill Nye as an advisor

Hypergiant, a startup launched last year to address the execution gap in bringing applied AI and machine learning technologies to bear for large companies, has signed on a high-profile new advisor to help out with the new ‘Galactic Systems’ division of its services lineup. Hypergiant founder CEO Ben Lamm also serves as an Advisory Council […]

This robot crawls along wind turbine blades looking for invisible flaws

Wind turbines are a great source of clean power, but their apparent simplicity — just a big thing that spins — belie complex systems that wear down like any other, and can fail with disastrous consequences. Sandia National Labs researchers have created a robot that can inspect the enormous blades of turbines autonomously, helping keep […]

Scientists discover a new way to provide plants the nutrients they need to thrive

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have discovered a new method for delivering key nutrients to plant roots – without having to ensure they’re present in the soil where the plants are growing. The landmark study greatly increases the efficiency of surface delivery of nutrients and pesticides to plants. Currently, when crops are sprayed with stuff […]

Crowdfunded spacecraft LightSail 2 prepares to go sailing on sunlight

Among the many spacecraft and satellites ascending to space on Monday’s Falcon Heavy launch, the Planetary Society’s LightSail 2 may be the most interesting. If all goes well, a week from launch it will be moving through space — slowly, but surely — on nothing more than the force exerted on it by sunlight. LightSail […]

Space startup Wyvern wants to make data about Earth’s health much more accessible

The private space industry is seeing a revolution driven by cube satellites, which are affordable, lightweight satellites that are much easier than traditional satellites to design, build and launch. It’s paving the way for new businesses like Wyvern, an Alberta-based startup that provides a very specific service that wouldn’t even have been possible to offer […]

Tripping grad students over and over for science (and better prosthetic limbs)

Prosthetic limbs are getting better, but not as quickly as you’d think. They’re not as smart as our real limbs, which (directed by the brain) do things like automatically stretch out to catch ourselves when we fall. This particular “stumble reflex” was the subject of an interesting study at Vanderbilt that required its subjects to […]

NASA’s X-59 supersonic jet will have a 4K TV instead of a forward window

NASA’s X-59 QueSST experimental quiet supersonic aircraft will have a cockpit like no other — featuring a big 4K screen where you’d normally have a front window. Why? Because this is one weird-looking plane. The X-59, which is being developed by Lockheed Martin on a $247 million budget, is meant to go significantly faster than […]

Facebook is creating photorealistic homes for AIs to work and learn in

If AI-powered robots are ever going to help us out around the house, they’re going to need a lot of experience navigating human environments. Simulators, virtual worlds that look and behave just like real life, are the best place for them to learn, and Facebook has created one of the most advanced such systems yet. […]

Pioneering private space explorer Anousheh Ansari welcomes ISS commercialization

Xprize CEO and Prodea founder Anousheh Ansari dreamed of being an astronaut as a child growing up in Iran, but, understandably, most people around her were skeptical about her ambitions. Yet in 2006, she made that dream come true when she became the first woman to visit the International Space Station as a privately funded […]

Neurobehavioral health company BlackThorn pulls in $76 million from GV to treat mental disorders

There are numerous challenges to finding effective treatments for mental disorders. However, BlackThorn Therapeutics, a neurobehavioral health company using machine learning to create personalized medicine for mental health, is betting its technological approach to finding drugs that work will put it ahead of the competition. Lucky for them, GV and other biotech investors have shown […]