Here come the Bitcoin bros, partying hard and snarfing some marijuana cigarettes, or whatever 20-year-old millionaires do. Except, this isn’t the 80s and we can’t prove there’s any cocaine. A recent yacht party saw 600 enthusiasts travel to exotic Thailand in a swank affair complete with cryptocurrency-themed music and plenty of booze. While the party-goers’ vessel steamed across the ocean, Bitcoin was making waves of its own. The popular cryptocurrency’s value plummeted thousands of dollars in mere hours, which certainly shifted many of the passengers’ fortunes by millions. But the party never stops when, if you’re optimistic, you know that’s just…
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I guess while we’re on the topic of weird game premises, we might as well talk about Silly Sailing, the new upcoming game from Devm Games of Extreme Forklifting fame. It’s a top-down sailing game that has you harnessing the power of wind gusts to pilot a variety of, well, silly sailboats around different watery courses as quickly as possible. Interestingly, this is an asynchronous game so you’ll be battling against the ghost runs from players around the world all vying for the best time on each course. Check out the trailer for Silly Sailing.
Yes, any game that allows you to pilot a giant hot dog, a big shoe, or a couple of hastily lashed together giant bananas gets an automatic thumbs up in my book. Unlocking increasingly bazaar boats is a big appeal of Silly Sailing, but it also looks to have some pretty solid mechanics as not only are you trying to utilize the wind direction as best as possible but there’s also whirlpools that you’ll want to gently graze in order to fling your craft forward without accidentally getting sucked in. It looks super cool, so keep an eye out for Silly Sailing when it launches on January 18th and in the meantime head to the forum thread for some discussion.
Amazon’s engineers are cooking up some wild ideas on how to integrate drones into major cities. In the latest patent filing, the e-commerce giant shows how special facilities connected to trains, boats, and vans could be used as storage space and repair stations for drones. The drones would be moved to areas of anticipated demand and fly out from the mobile hub. See Also: Drones might inspect your house when making deliveries “The intermodal vehicles may be coupled to locomotives, container ships, road tractors or other vehicles, and equipped with systems for loading one or more items…Read More
Driverless boats could become a reality after Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (SLEP), a partnership of universities, businesses and public sector organisations in the Solent area of the UK’s south coast invested £1.5 million in designing and delivering a dedicated autonomous systems testing service.
Defense technology provider BAE Systems has been awarded a grant of £457,000 by SLEP as part of the overall investment.
BAE Systems will work with autonomous vehicle specialist ASV Global; unmanned flight research company Blue Bear Systems Research; navigation and communication systems integration provider Marine Electronic Systems; software company SeeByte; and the University of Southampton to provide the service’s infrastructure, with other organizations set to join later this year.
The new service is scheduled to be ready for use later in 2017, and customers should be able to conduct trials and test systems such as unmanned boats, air vehicles and autonomous sensors.
The trials will be based around Portsmouth, Southampton and the South East of Isle of Wight. It will use a maritime communications network and a mobile command and control centre, featuring the same technology that BAE Systems provides to UK Royal Navy platforms.
A vital technology
BAE Systems’ combat systems head of technology Frank Cotton said that autonomous and unmanned systems are thought of as vital technology for the future, but said there was a great deal of work that needed to be done to unlock its true potential, and understand how they can be integrated into wider systems.
“A wide range of organisations from the defence and commercial sectors, along with academia, have ambitions for this technology and this unique service will allow them to find valuable ways to use it whilst furthering its development,” he said.
The testing service will go live later this year in a “controlled, but realistic” maritime environment.
While the underlying technology for autonomous systems may be the same in these trials, it will require an attention-to-detail and technical expertise to build specific use cases; a driverless boat will have very different requirements to an unmanned aircraft, for example.
This is not the first time BAE Systems has worked on autonomous vehicle research. Back in 2016, the company and test service partners worked together on autonomous maritime capabilities in the Royal Navy’s ‘Unmanned Warrior’ exercise – a large scale demonstration of maritime robotic systems.
In October last year, MIT, AMS Institute, Delft University of Technology and Wageningen University, joined forces on the development of a fleet of autonomous boats – named “Roboats” – that will operate in Amsterdam’s canal system.
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