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Tasty Tech Eye Candy Of The Week (May 17)
By Tracy Staedter,
Discovery News, 17 May 2015.

Robotic space eels, jet-powered go-karts, three-eyed crows and a phone that unlocks when you look at it. These and other amazing technologies are coming at you in our weekly roundup.

1. X-Ray Art


A new Kickstarter wants to create art from your medical x-ray images. The X-Ray Art project wants to turn that bad memory of breaking your leg or getting your braces into a beautiful wall hanging.

2. First Iris Scanner on Smartphone


Japanese actor, Shinichi Tsutsumi tests a new smartphone from NTT DOCOMO that has iris recognition technology. It's the first smartphone of its kind to use the unique patterns of a person's iris as a biometric authentication.

3. Flying Camera


The Lily Camera follows you everywhere and records videos of your adventures. Just strap the GPS tracker/control panel to your wrist and toss Lily into the air. It immediately senses that it's airborne and activates its rotors. From the sky, the flying camera captures 12 megapixel pictures and 1080p video. Lily is waterproof and has a battery that last 20 minutes. Watch a video here.

4. Jet-Powered Go-Kart


Colin Furze is a self-proclaimed garage inventor and filmmaker from Stamford, Lincolnshire, England, who has built such crazy gadgets as gas-heated slippers and a karaoke shower. His latest invention is a jet-powered go-kart that goes upwards of 60 miles per hour, complete with fiery tail. Like most of the videos he posts online, this one is sure to go viral.

5. Light-Painted Cranes


A light show paints the cranes of Uljanik shipyard in Pula, Croatia, during the Visualia Festival. The festival features light exhibitions, 3-D video mapping on historic buildings and light installations such as this one by Skira.

6. Game of Thrones's Three-Eyed Crows


This week, one of Ireland's latest tourism campaigns gets inspiration from the Game of Thrones television series. Here, animatronic, three-eyed ravens flock to Belfast City Hall and welcome visitors.

7. Garden Bridge


A pedestrian bridge is being planned for London to span the River Thames and connect cultural areas on the North and South Banks. This week, plans for the so-called Garden Bridge - conceived back in 1998 by British actor Joanna Lumley - were released. The bridge will draw from London's unique horticultural history and feature 270 trees, 2,000 shrubs, hedging plants and climbers, over 22,000 perennials, ferns and grasses and 64,000 bulbs. Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2016 with the bridge opening to the public in 2018.

8. Mini 3D-Printed Jet Engine


This week, engineers at GE showed off a miniature jet engine. Small enough to fit into a backpack, this engine was designed not for its small stature, but to test whether 3-D printing technology was practical for such an endeavour. Using 3-D printing means less material waste and more precisely machined parts. In a lab test, the engineers fired up the engine and got it spinning up to 33,000 rotations per minute. See the video here.

9. Robot Rodeo


This week in New Mexico, bomb-diffusing robots from around the country showed up to show off their skills at the Western National Robot Rodeo and Capability Exercise at Sandia National Laboratories. The five-day event challenged bomb squad bots to perform a variety of tasks in competitions such as managing suicide bombers, operating in smoke-filled buildings, responding to roadside bombs and rescuing first responders and removing bombs from inside an aircraft. Giddyup!

10. Robotic Space Eel


Scientists at Cornell University recently won funding from NASA that could eventually bring us space eels. That's right, a soft robotic eel made of stretchable, electroluminescent skin is being designed to explore the seas of Europa, a large moon orbiting Jupiter. The robot will have tentacle-like structures to sense the environment and will power itself by harvesting energy from the magnetic fields created by planet. Don't you just love the future?

Top image: The Garden Bridge, London. Credit: Garden Bridge.

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