Zwift is a turbo trainer game that enables you to link you turbo trainer up your computer, your iPad and iPhone, letting you ride with other cyclists in a virtual environment, therefore helping to alleviate some of the boredom associated with indoor riding. Zwift also says that the game can be better than outdoor riding, where “weather, traffic, time constraints and distance from other cyclists can take the fun out of it.”
There are two different courses on Zwift: Watopia and Richmond. While the Richmond course is a copy of the course from the 2016 Road World Championships, Watopia is a made up course which has been plonked down somewhere in the Solomon Islands according the Strava. Although there are numerous user-generated Strava segments, each course contains three different official segments, each shown by an arch over the course. The orange arch measures your overall lap time, the green arch measures your time over a short sprint, and the polka dot arch measures your time up a hill on each course.
Source (Cycling Today, “Everything you need to know about Zwift indoor cycling”)
Video description: A solitary dish washing robot living out his life in the back room of a restaurant is enlightened to the world that exists beyond his four walls, with the help of a small friend he breaks free of confinement to pursue his dream of exploration.
Scientists at MIT studied beavers to create a new rubbery material that could be used to make lighter and warmer wetsuits.
Beavers stay warm and dry underwater because their dense layers of fur trap pockets of warm air. Inspired by these creatures, the scientists experimented with different hair densities until they figured out the optimal space between hairs to create fur-like pelts.
Source (Siyi Chen, “MIT scientists are creating a lighter, warmer wetsuit inspired by beavers”, Quartz, 10.10.2016)
Toyota Motor Corp unveiled a doe-eyed palm-sized robot, dubbed Kirobo Mini, designed as a synthetic baby companion in Japan, where plummeting birth rates have left many women childless. “He wobbles a bit, and this is meant to emulate a seated baby, which hasn’t fully developed the skills to balance itself,” said Fuminori Kataoka, Kirobo Mini’s chief design engineer. “This vulnerability is meant to invoke an emotional connection.”
Toyota plans to sell Kirobo Mini, which blinks its eyes and speaks with a baby-like high-pitched voice, for 39,800 yen ($392) in Japan next year. It also comes with a “cradle” that doubles as its baby seat designed to fit in car cup holders.
The Toyota baby automaton joins a growing list of companion robots, such as the upcoming Jibo, designed by robotics experts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that resembles a swiveling lamp, and Paro, a robot baby seal marketed by Japanese company Intelligent System Co Ltd as a therapeutic machine to soothe elderly dementia sufferers.
Source (Naomi Tajitsu, “Toyota unveils robot baby to tug at maternal instinct in aging Japan”, Reuters, 03.10.2016)