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Tasty Tech Eye Candy of the Week (Apr 3)
By Tracy Staedter,
Discovery News, 3 April 2016.

Sleep with the sharks, interact with a kinetic ceiling and drive an electric car that has 215 miles of range - all that and more in this week's Tasty Tech Eye Candy.

1. Autonomous Anti-Submarine Vessel


This week, DARPA released video of its ACTUV, an autonomous anti-submarine vessel. It speeds along at 27 knots, or about 31 mph, scanning the depths for enemy subs. You can see the video here.

2. Gremlin Drone


In other DARPA news, this week the agency awarded contracts to four firms to develop their reusable unmanned vehicles called Gremlins. The drones are meant to be deployed on missions from bigger aircraft, such and bombers or cargo planes that are also able to collect the drones mid-air after their mission is completed.

3. Cyborg Beetle


This remote-controlled beetle could work better as a tiny drone than a mechanical one. So say a team of researchers from Nanyang Technological University and the University of California Berkeley, who are the first ever to control a beetle's walking gait, length and speed.

4. Kinetic Ceiling


Most ceilings are pretty flat and boring. But this one from architect and designer Behnaz Farahi responds to people walking beneath it. Installed at the University of Southern California, this 15' x 15' ceiling art called Aurora has five floating motion disks covered in felt. An Xbox Kinect motion-capture camera senses movement and a program causes the discs as well as special lighting to respond. You can see a video here.

5. Water Pavilion


The Water Pavilion, designed by Daniel Valle Architecture for a shoreline in South Korea, brings attention to changing sea levels. With the use of hydraulics, the pavilion embraces fluidity and can be raised or lowered to flood or expose different parts of the surface.

6. Airbnb's Shark Room


Airbnb and the Aquarium de Paris have partnered to give you a chance to sleep with the sharks. It's part of a promotion and all you have to do is visit the website and enter your name and details about why you'd love to sleep underwater. Winners will spend the night in a special glass room on a round bed and be treated to a gourmet meal.

7. Fukushima Ice Wall


The damaged nuclear reactors at the Fukushima plant are leaking radioactive water. The Japanese are ramping up their efforts to stop the leaks using a wall of ice to encase the facility. The engineering feat is widely used on a smaller scale for tunnel boring or mining projects. It involves chilling brine to -30 degrees Celsius (-22 degrees F) and pumping it through pipes drilled into the soil almost 100 feet below the surface. The cold water in the pipes will freeze surrounding soil and water and seal the reactors inside an icy barrier.

8. Largest Solar Array in Caribbean


The largest solar array in the Caribbean went online this week. The Monte Plata facility in the Dominican Republic switched on 132,000 solar panels, which are capable of generating 33.4 MW of electricity. They represent only half of the plant's capacity, as more panels will come online during the second phase, bringing the total to 270,000 units - and a capacity of 67 MW.

9. Tesla Model 3


This week, Elon Musk unveiled Tesla's new Model 3, which will have a base price of US$35,000 and a range of 215 miles.

10. Ioniq Electric Car


At the New York Auto Show, Hyundai showed off its 2017 Ioniq line, which includes a hybrid, electric, and plug-in hybrid hatchback. The electric motor is rated at 45 kw (60 hp) and the 8.9-kwh battery gives the all-electric vehicle a range of 25 miles plus.

Top image: Aurora interactive kinetic ceiling. Credit: Behnaz Farahi.

[Source: Discovery News. Edited. Top image and some links added.]