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Combining augmented reality, 3D printing and a robotic arm to prototype in real time

Robotic Modeling Assistant (RoMA) is a joint project out of MIT and Cornell that brings together a variety of different emerging technologies in an attempt to build a better prototyping machine.

Using an augmented reality headset and two controllers, the designer builds a 3D model using a CAD (computer-aided design) program. A robotic arm then goes to work constructing a skeletal model using a simple plastic depositing 3D printer mounted on its hand.


Orbi Outdoor Satellite adds Wi-Fi coverage to your back yard

I’m a big fan of the Netgear Orbi line of mesh access points and now there’s more to love. Netgear is now shipping the RBS50Y, a new satellite that is weatherproof and allows you to add coverage to your back yard or garage without worrying that your access point will short out in the rain.

The new device requires an Orbi Router — the RBR50, RBR40, RBR20 or SRR60, specifically — and connects to your home network via an easy-to-use app. The outdoor router adds up to 2,500 square feet of extra coverage and it increased my Wi-Fi coverage in the back of my house from about -80 dBm to -51 dBm, a marked improvement. This means we have better access to the Sonos indoors as well as to the camera in the back yard.

Overall the Orbi is an excellent hardware solution for whole-home Wi-Fi, and I’m pleased to note that the app has been improved since my first foray into the product. Now the app supports granular device control — you can kick folks off the network — and it now supports Disney’s Circle for parental controls. This lets you filter the internet automatically and even pause the internet to keep the kids from browsing for a few hours.

The outdoor satellite costs $329, while a router and two satellites costs $291. This is a bit pricey for a home router setup, but it did improve my Wi-Fi speed considerably throughout my old brick Brooklyn home and it now lets me switch songs and keep an eye on things from the back yard. It’s a small price to pay for complete and total wireless domination of your domain.

Computers, Technology,

Toshiba is preparing in the Philippines for mass production of HDD with helium

As previously reported, Toshiba in the second quarter of this year will begin mass production of 14-terabyte hard drives with a helium environment. Thus, closer to the end of the year in the market will be a significant percentage of HDD with helium, which also in bulk (and not the first year) produced by Western Digital Corp and Seagate. More precisely, the percentage of 12-terabytes and 14-terabytes of drives will sharply increase. This, incidentally, confirms the Japanese company Nidec, which produces engines for the rotation of the spindles of hard drives.

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AMD this year will add support for PlayReady 3.0 in GPU Polaris and Vega

The new AMD Ryzen 5 2400G and Ryzen 3 2200G processors demonstrate excellent integrated graphics capabilities. In fact, these chips make meaningless video cards worth up to $ 100. But in addition to games, the task of integrated graphics is to reproduce streaming video materials, usually associated with the use of APUs in HTPC. In recent days, one of the biggest problems is not only hardware encoding / decoding, but also support for DRM technologies like HDCP 2.2 or Microsoft PlayReady 3.0, which is required for streaming Netflix 4K and HDR on a PC.

Smart home automation app on mobile with home interior in background. Internet of things concept at home. Smart technology 4.0
Internet, Technology,

Google to acquire Xively IoT platform from LogMeIn for $50M


Google announced today that it intends to buy Xively from LogMeIn for $50 million, giving Google Cloud an established IoT platform to add to their product portfolio.

In a blog post announcing the acquisition, Google indicated it wants to use this purchase as a springboard into the growing IoT market, which it believes will reach 20 billion connected things by 2020. With Xively they are getting a tool that enables device designers to build connectivity directly into the design process while providing a cloud-mobile connection between the end user app and the connected thing, whatever that happens to be.


This autonomous 3D scanner figures out where it needs to look

If you need to make a 3D model of an object, there are plenty of ways to do so, but most of them are only automated to the extent that they know how to spin in circles around that object and put together a mesh. This new system from Fraunhofer does it more intelligently, getting a basic idea of the object to be scanned and planning out what motions will let it do so efficiently and comprehensively.


FCC approved the first remote wireless charging

Modern wireless charging is definitely more simple than connecting to a wire, but still requires physical contact of the device with the station. It seems that this may soon change: the other day the Federal Communications Commission has certified the first wireless charger capable of replenishing the battery capacity up to 3 feet.

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Intel Coffee Lake is coming – AMD is losing ground again

It seems that Intel desktop chips are again becoming more popular than conventional AMD processors. This is evidenced by the latest statistical information on the sales of desktop processors from the largest German online store These data show that Intel processors have again begun to crowd AMD Ryzen, which have mostly dominated Germany in the retail market since their release last year.