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Review: LaserCube, the world’s smallest – and first – battery-powered RGB laser projector

Wicked Lasers’ latest gadget is one of the most mesmerizing and compelling toys we’ve played with in a long, long time. It’s also extremely dangerous, powerful enough to pop balloons, etch patterns on wood, and surely fry the odd retina if used incorrectly.

The LaserCube starts at US$499, and is essentially a highly portable, battery-powered RGB laser projector. Weighing 3 lb (1.4 kg) and measuring about 4 in (10 cm) per side, it sits happily on top of a tripod head, and uses high-speed mirrors to blast laser beams about the place in 33,000 colors.

Direct those laser beams into a single point at full power, and you’ve got an 800- or 1,000-mW beam (depending on which version you’ve got) capable of burning through wood. Or, you can use it to project stunning, hypnotic full-color patterns and animations onto walls, buildings, screens or any other surface.

The LaserCube’s companion software LaserOS (for Mac, PC and Android at this stage) comes pre-loaded with literally hundreds of animations, images and sonic visualizers that can paint the world with go-go-dancers, endless looping tunnels, or brilliant laser artwork in an array of styles that seem to go on forever. Point it at the side of a building from a decent distance, and your working area can be enormous – the beams are so powerful that they operate at impressive distances.

What’s more, many of the preset animations (and effects you can apply to those animations) are designed to work in time with music, and music is pretty much mandatory when it comes to enjoying the LaserCube’s extraordinary displays. The animated dancers find the beat and move to it, the sonic visualizers scan the frequency and amplitude of what’s playing and create motion artwork from it all. Honestly, one of the hardest things about writing this review is that every time I turn the thing on, I get utterly mesmerized and forget what I was doing.

Effectively, it’s a nightclub-grade laser in a box that’s small enough to carry about, with a battery that lasts three hours and that you can run off your phone. You can even play games on the damn thing. They’re crappy games, with terrible controls, but they’re on the side of a freakin’ building. And everyone I’ve switched it on for has fallen in love immediately. It’s absolute magic, there is no comparison between the way this thing makes light dance and a regular 1080p projector. None. Add smoke so you can see the beams darting around, and it’s even wilder.

It’s also – and I find it hard to get over this – super dangerous, despite the fact that multiple layers of safety gear are provided. To get the LaserCube going, you need to attach a special safety dongle, turn it on, then turn a separate safety key, then unscrew the shield from the front and let it drop out of the way, then hook it up to a laptop or a phone and turn it on.

But as soon as you’ve done that, you’ve got a 1,000-mW laser at your command. To put that in perspective, if a hand-held laser pointer makes 1 mW in many jurisdictions, it’s illegal, because people have used them to blind airplane pilots and cause all sorts of chaos. The LaserCube is a Class 4 laser – the highest the safety classes go – meaning it can instantly burn skin and eyeballs, among other things. The Nominal Ocular Hazard Distance – the distance from which a 1,000-mW laser can damage your eye in less than a quarter of a second – is 733 ft (224 m) away. You can even hurt yourself looking at the point where the laser hits the wood as you’re etching it, it’s so bright.

Having said that, after a fair degree of online searching, I can’t say for sure whether it’s illegal to own and use a LaserCube in my jurisdiction. I can definitively say it’s a felony to let a corner of the “screen” drift off a building into the sky, and may the good lord help you if you accidentally light up a plane and get caught. Essentially, do your own research when it comes to your own home state, be super careful with this thing, and make sure either that everyone in the vicinity knows the deal before you turn it on, or that you mount it in such a way that it can’t fry any retinas – like 10 ft off the ground and angled upward.

If you want to take these things in a pro direction, you can hook multiple LaserCubes up to a single control computer if you like. You can create your own animations with software like MaxWell Synth, Modulaser or LaserShowXpress – it’s compatible with all of these – or even try uploading images and converting them to laser art … which has frankly sucked every time we’ve tried it, for whatever reason. You can grab a smoke machine and be a smartass by making laser harp strings float in the air, which you can use as a MIDI controller to make music.

Or, if you’re like us, you can simply put on some sweet electronic music and scroll through the preset animations, gawking like drooling chimps marveling at a fire dancer. It hits us on a level I’d describe as primal.

The LaserCube costs US$499 for the 800-mW version and $599 for the 1,000-mW version. Honestly I have no idea which one we’ve been testing, it’s not written anywhere on the device. You can pay extra for a carry case, a small ball-headed tripod, a gamepad (don’t bother!) and a few other trinkets.

This thing is an absolutely legendary toy to bring out at a party or any other time people are around. If you can stomach the risks, grab one – we’re absolutely hooked on it, as you can see from the video below.

Source: Wicked Lasers

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Science & Technology

Japan has developed an inflatable scooter that weighs practically nothing

The University of Tokyo engineers have developed the Poimo inflatable electric scooter, which is created individually for each owner. It is enough to send your photo to the manufacturers – and a personal optimized model will be assembled for you.

The scooter is designed with a special program for the body size of a particular user and his specific fit. Moreover, each owner is free to make any changes to this model. If he makes any changes to the drawing, the program will automatically redesign the electric bike to maintain its strength, stability and controllability. When the model is finished and approved, it is handed over to the manufacturer.

Scooter Poimo

The scooter consists of seven separate inflatable sections that are constructed from durable fabric and sewn with straight stitch. It remains to add electronic components – in particular, a brushless motor and a lithium-ion battery. 

The finished electric scooter weighs about 9 kg and can travel at speeds up to 6 km / h (that is, slightly faster than a pedestrian). It can work for an hour on one charge.

This is how the current version of Poimo looks like in action:

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Excerpts from Elon Musk’s speech at the Martian Society convention

Elon Musk’s comments with questions relayed from the Mars Society Membership by Dr. Robert Zubrin, James L. Burk, and Carie Fay. Following Elon’s 30 min time, Dr. Zubrin took additional questions. This special event was part of the 2020 Mars Society Virtual Convention from October 14-18, 2020.

About Starship Test Schedule:

– entering orbit – with a probability of 80% -90% will take place in 2021

– the probability of the return of the ship and the 1st stage in this flight is 50%

– test of refueling in orbit – 2022

– Starship lunar version – 2022 or 2023

– Starship flight to Mars – around 2024

The goal of the Starship is to build a self-sufficient settlement on Mars as quickly as possible. Musk does not rule out the possibility that this will not be achieved during his lifetime. According to his rough estimates, to create a self-sufficient city, it will be necessary to deliver 1 million tons of cargo, which corresponds to 4-5 million tons in a low Earth orbit. Modern single-use launch vehicles are capable of removing less than 1% of this value.

“Disposable launch vehicles are completely stupid. They are a waste of time. I think people need to stop wasting time on this. If you try to sell a disposable plane, you will be thrown out of the office. If you try to sell a disposable car, you will also be thrown out of the office. “

A series of questions and answers followed:

What is the best landing site on Mars?

– I’m not sure about that. But I can name the criteria. The first of these is latitude: most likely it will be in the northern hemisphere, far enough to the north to have water ice, but to still have enough sunlight.It also needs to be low to get the most benefit from atmospheric braking.

How do you prioritize mission priorities: research, infrastructure construction, and science?

– The first will be the construction of a fuel plant.

A question from a teenager who wants to become an engineer and robot maker with a dream to work at SpaceX: what is the most important education in order to become an engineer?

– There are many varieties of this profession: you can be an aerospace engineer, in the field of electronics, software, or a chemical engineer involved in creating safe production of fuels. I think physics is a good foundation for critical thinking.

Boring Company was originally conceived as a tunnel manufacturing firm on Mars?

– No. It was originally something of a joke. I thought tunnels were a good solution to reduce the traffic problem in cities and improve the quality of life by turning parking lots into green parks. To do this, you need to go to 3d [get away from the “flat” infrastructure – approx. per.]. I think tunnels are good for Mars too. But there you need a lot lighter equipment: you don’t care about mass on Earth, but you will have to take care of it a lot when going to Mars.

At Boring Company, have you learned a lot of technology that might come in handy on Mars?

– I think, yes.

Do you have any tips for young people who love Mars but don’t know how to participate in its settlement?

– I think any strong advocate of the need to conquer Mars matters. People often don’t even think about it. I often talk to people who don’t even know about it. Therefore, I consider it important for humanity and consciousness in general to bring a discussion about this to society. Talking about it with friends and acquaintances – I think this is what we should do. In my estimate, we will spend less than 1% of our efforts on Mars exploration, exactly less than healthcare, perhaps even less than cosmetics – this will be enough to make life multi-planetary. But this requires people to start talking about it 100 times more often. I think this is what really matters. [the entire cosmonautics of the world is $ 424 billion a year, while cosmetics is $ 532 billion, and tobacco production is $ 849 billion – approx. per.]

What’s the coolest part about Starship development?

– I think the coolest detail is the ability to work with a great group of engineers and come up with interesting solutions. I think the best thing is the opportunity to work with smart and creative people who come up with solutions that were not available before. This is a great reward.

What do you focus on when hiring, especially with regard to engineers?

“We’re looking for signs of exceptional ability. Or at the very least, striving to do exceptional things at SpaceX.

Are you planning to make a Mars-Earth communication system like Starlink?

– Yes, I think we will use a laser, probably launched into orbit, to avoid atmospheric diffraction. Thus, it will be a laser beam going from the orbit of the Earth to the orbit of Mars. And also relay satellites in solar orbit, since the laser beam cannot be sent through the Sun [when it is between Mars and Earth – approx. per.].

Can Starship be used for other destinations like Venus and other planets?

– Starship will be able to travel to any target in the solar system that has a solid surface when fuel depots appear. It is not the kind of transport that will take us to other stars, but when we become a multi-planetary species, we will create a demand for innovation in space travel that will ultimately lead us to interstellar travel.

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Cern Scientists Plan an Impressive Experiment – They Will Come Into A Parallel Universe

Cern scientists are once again preparing to impress the entire planet and become the focus of discussions with the new experiment they are planning.

An experiment that, if it brings the fascinating result that scientists have in mind,  will change the way we think about the world , will take place in the next few days at the Large Hadron Collider, the European nuclear center, Geneva CERN Research.

The astonishingly LHC complex, the largest, most energetic elemental accelerator in the world,  will be “fired” for the first time to its highest energy levels, in an effort to detect – or even create – tiny black holes. 

If it succeeds, then, a completely new universe will be revealed – rewriting not only the books of physics, but also the books of philosophy! 

It is possible, however,  that gravity from our universe will “leak” into this parallel universe, as LHC scientists say. 

From the Higgs boson to dark matter and the parallel universe

According to the British Express, the experiment is sure to “trigger” the critics, who are worried about the LHC, many of whom warn that the elementary particle accelerator will mark the end of our universe, creating a of the black hole.

Nevertheless,  Geneva has remained … intact since 2008, when the LHC began its spectacular “work”.

The first scientists at the Large Hadron Collider proved the existence of the Higgs boson – a key building block of the universe – and the LHC appears to be on track to locate “dark matter” – a previously undetectable force now considered that it constitutes the majority of matter in the universe, being, in fact, the reason why the latter is constantly expanding and moving away. 

So next week’s experiment is considered to change the game. 

The truth is out there

Mir Faizal, one of three heads of the three natural groups behind the experiment, said: 

“Like many parallel sheets, which are two-dimensional objects (width and length) can exist in a third dimension (height) , so parallel universes can also exist in higher dimensions. We anticipate that gravity can leak into extra dimensions, and if that happens, then tiny black holes can be produced in the LHC. 

Normally, when people think of the multiverse, they think of the interpretation of quantum mechanics by many worlds, where every possibility is realized. This cannot be tested and so it is a philosophy and not a science. We do not mean this with parallel universes. What we mean is real universes, in extra dimensions. The truth is out there.”

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