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1
Jul

The Morning After: Weekend Edition


Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

Welcome to the weekend. The feds have made an arrest following the Fyre Festival debacle, and no, it’s not Ja Rule or any Instagram influencer. We’ll also dig into this week’s retro gaming news with a look at StarCraft Remastered and the SNES Classic Edition.

Who didn’t see this coming?Fyre Festival founder arrested, charged with wire fraud

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Remember Fyre Festival? The Instagram influencer-pushed, millennial-targeting Bahamas disaster from April? The FBI does, and now it has arrested the man behind it, Fyre Media founder Billy McFarland. He’s facing a charge of wire fraud for allegedly lying to potential investors about how much money the company was making and his financial resources.

Zerg rush in 4K‘StarCraft: Remastered’ arrives August 14th

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Blizzard has announced the release date and price ($15) for its upcoming StarCraft re-release. The remastered version will include the original game and its Brood War expansion, retouched with new graphics and audio (that can be toggled on/off at the press of a button) in Ultra HD, as well as a modernized multiplayer setup with matchmaking and leaderboards. Pre-orders are open now.

Newsflash: Nintendo likes making moneyThe SNES Classic is real and will launch September 29th

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In another bit of nostalgia-fueled gaming news, Nintendo announced that it would follow up last year’s NEC Classic Edition with this SNES version. The SNES Classic Edition will be another closed system, however for $80 you can expect controllers with longer cords this time. In the US, it will not only include hit games like Super Mario World, Super Mario Kart, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Donkey Kong Country, F-Zero, Super Metroid, Mega Man X and Yoshi’s Island, but also the never-released Star Fox 2 game. It’s mostly good news — unless you’re hoping for an N64 Classic.

Every day is the same dayBad Password: The hot new cyberattack that’s sweeping the nation

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It’s hard to tell which infection was worse: Tuesday’s cyberattack itself or the race to write and publish something (anything!) about it, framing it just like the last “massive” cyberattack explosion to hit the whole world. Outside of Ukraine, columnist Violet Blue notes that Petya/NotPetya’s next biggest hit was infosec Twitter. Take a look for some advice on how to interpret headlines during the (inevitable) next outbreak.

Its first iteration lasted from 1958 to 1973Revived National Space Council will guide Trump admin policy

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As President Trump said to Buzz Aldrin yesterday, “This is infinity here. It could be infinity. We don’t really know. But it could be. It has to be something — but it could be infinity, right? Okay.”

Just in time for the holiday weekend‘GTA Online’ update brings new multiplayer mode and patriotic swag

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Don’t get left off of the new Dewbauchee Vagner supercar.

But wait, there’s more…

  • Vivo beats Apple to an under-display fingerprint scanner
  • The rise of electric cars will kill the gas station
  • ‘Rocket League’ is the latest X Games eSport on ESPN
  • Amazon Echo Show review: Seeing is believing
  • ‘Silicon Valley’s’ ridiculous Not Hotdog app hits Android

The Morning After is a new daily newsletter from Engadget designed to help you fight off FOMO. Who knows what you’ll miss if you don’t subscribe.

1
Jul

Espin Sport Electric Bike Review


EsDear Espin: Sorry about crashing your very nice pedal-assist ebike, the new Espin Sport. But thanks for making a tough bike that was still rideable after the crash! More on all that later in our eSpin Sport ebike review.

Digital Trends has several daily bike commuters, and we see more and more people with electric bikes — the majority of them being “pedal-assist” types. That’s great news, and there’s good reason for it: Prices have come down, integration of the electrical components keeps improving, and once you get a taste of the hill-flattening potential of that electric motor, it’s hard to go back to huffing your way up yonder rise under pure pedal power.

So it is with the Espin Sport, ($1,888 MSRP but available for much less) a commuting tool sporting a 418 watt-hour battery wired up to a 350-watt in-hub electric motor in the back wheel. Espin sent us the Sport just in time for the Portland area to get walloped by consecutive snow and ice storms earlier this year, but at long last, nature relented and dialed up some warmer, drier weather to field test their machine. And test it we did.

The Espin Sport setup

The matte black Espin Sport we received (it also comes in white) features numerous commuter-friendly bits, including dual cable-actuated Tektron disc brakes, wide bars with ergo grips, a Suntour suspension fork, 8-speed Shimano Acera rear cassette (the crank sports a single main chainring), a large battery that cleanly integrates into the front downtube, phat beach-cruiser style tires, a very bright LED headlight mounted above the front wheel and a rear rack for loading up baggage.

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

The only thing lacking out of the box was a rear tail light, which I simply borrowed from my regular commuter bike — and fenders, which Espin said were an option. They promptly sent along a pair after we requested them because: Oregon.

As mentioned, the Espin Sport is a pedal-assist bike, meaning power only flows to the rear wheel while you are pedaling; there’s no throttle on the bars to operate it like an electric motorcycle. Pedal-assist ebikes are the most common type of electric bike on the market today.

The rear wheel’s electrical power is controlled by a small pod on the left handlebar, and includes 5 levels of power assist (six if you count “none”). A motion detector on the front chainring prods the motor into action after about two rotations of the crank, and the power is applied somewhat abruptly, especially if you’ve got it set at level 3 or above (5 being maximum power).

A good ebike’s advantage over an old-school pedal-only bicicletta is the ability to flatten hills, and the Espin shined in this most important metric.

But let’s be clear: The bike won’t buck you off or shoot out into traffic. Yet it can surprise you a bit at upper assistance levels while riding at very low speeds, especially when you’re just getting used to the bike. After a few miles of riding, it became second nature to expect the push from the rear tire and to set power levels as needed while riding.

We quickly learned to use the motor’s convenient thumb controller like a front derailleur shifter, keying both the motor and rear gears up and down as we navigated Portland’s bike-clogged streets. The 2 setting was ideal for powering away from a stop or operating at low speed, but once underway, we clicked through the clean-shifting rear gears while upping power output for brisk acceleration that left other riders eating our dust. In top gear (8th) and with assist at 5 (maximum), it was easy to power along at 25mph in perpetuity, flying by stopped car traffic and other cyclists on our 8-mile commute. The assist does sign off at 25mph or so however, and that was about the max we could muster on level ground. Trust us: On a bicycle, 25mph is a solid clip, especially on gravel-strewn bike lanes. In the rain. At night.

Seat time

Some immediate shortcomings of the bike include the seat, which Espin calls a “comfort saddle.” It was anything but, to gauge by our aching butts. Simple fix: we swapped out the stock saddle for a more familiar one from our regular ride, along with the pedals (we use toeclips), and were good to go.

A not-comfy seat isn’t really a big negative: The saddle may be a perfect fit for other riders, and anyone settling into a bicycle commuting routine should expect to customize their bike so it fits just right. That can mean a different seat, pedals, bars, grips, panniers, tires and so on. Bikes aren’t cars; even the best electric bikes require tweaking.

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Meanwhile, zooming up to intersections at speeds more common to cars highlighted an issue with the Espin: lackluster brakes. Despite cable-pulled discs on both wheels, initial performance was poor — so poor that we couldn’t lock the rear wheel, a glaring shortcoming for any disc brake setup.

As we continued to ride and use the binders, they began to bed in, and after a few days of riding, bite was much better and leaving skidmarks was no longer an issue. Still, we’ll call them average compared to the top-quality (and much more spendy) hydraulic discs on a Bosch-equipped Felt ebike. A longer period of riding would see continued performance improvement, one hopes, but Espin buyers should be aware of the break-in period. And again, they’re upgradeable through any competent bike shop.

Kicked by a curb

The eye-opening advantage of a good electric bike over a pedal-only bicicletta is its ability to flatten hills, and the Espin shined in this most important metric.

I never saw the curb, but did hit it at full speed. Bike, rider and cargo went spinning ass over teakettle in a crash quite worthy of the “yard sale” cliche.

Gearing down to climb the “optional really steep hill” on our homeward commute, the Espin fairly sprinted up the grade while we sat on the seat and grinned, pedaling with some decent resolve but not much else. The digital speedo on the LCD panel showing 17mph as we crested the top. As anyone who has ground out a steep hill in granny gear at walking speed can tell you, doing 17mph up a hill on a bike is a nearly superhuman feat; the Espin made it easy.

But one ride home would add a whole new dimension to our Espin Sport review.

Hustling home one night down a busy street at car-traffic speeds (25 or so), we adjusted course to connect with a commuter train. The intersection is usually clogged with pedestrians and vehicles, but since it was later in the evening, the area was clear. We headed straight for the gentle ramp up to the train platform. Bad idea.

Just in front of the ramp, a 6-inch concrete curb lay in wait, unpainted and blending perfectly with the concrete around it. Even with the retina-burning glare from the excellent headlight, we never saw the curb and hit it full on, never touching the brakes. Bike, rider, and cargo went spinning ass over teakettle.

Kind folks waiting for the train came rushing over to help, while a not-so-kind person pocketed a new iPhone that skittered across the platform. Yes, there are bad people in this world.

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

As we felt for broken bones and glasses and gathered our detritus, we grimaced at a mental picture of the Espin after that hammering. A young man approached with a long object in his hands — the bike’s battery — and helped get the bike off the train tracks where it had come to rest. We expected the worst: Taco’d rim? Bent front forks? Cracked frame? All of the above?

But a quick inspection only revealed some scrapes, and the battery clicked right back into the frame. A busted plastic mount for the LCD panel was the sole broken bit on the bike.

Wits returning (and ribs hurting), we powered up the bike, which responded immediately. We rode the final mile home without incident. That’s one tough bike.

(That stolen iPhone? With an assist from Find My iPhone and the Portland Police, it was back that night. Crime doesn’t pay, fool.)

Charge it

Juicing the large battery that slips into the Espin’s lower frame spar is simple enough. A small key unlocks the battery and the included A/C adapter plugs right into it. A green light means it’s charged.

The battery clicks back into the frame in a few seconds, no key needed. The A/C adapter is similar to modern laptop chargers, so it’s small enough to pop into a bag or pannier for the trip, allowing you to recharge the battery anywhere. Allow several hours to recharge the pack if it’s totally dead; a useable partial charge can be had over a lunch break.

Espin also included a fair amount of gear with the bike, including a Kryptonite U-lock/cable lock kit and a bike multi-tool. We only lacked for a pedal wrench and a few other common tools. And while the Espin includes a very bright headlight, there was no taillight in the box, which seems like an oversight.

Warranty

Espin pedal-assist eBikes come with a 12-month warranty for all components and a 3-year warranty for the frame.

Our Take

Espin integrates the electrical systems beautifully, and from a distance, it’s tough to tell this is even an ebike at all. There are no obvious motors and the battery fairly disappears into the fat lower frame. Plus there are no apps to connect with, no complicated setup, and no weirdness to deal with; integration, simplicity, and flexibility are the future of the genre, and Espin is ahead of the game in many regards. Add to that the toughness of the bike as tested and you’ve got a solid product, especially at the $1,500 price point. If the price tag smarts, Espin recently announced a financing program to get you riding.

Is there a better alternative?

Bosch has partnered with numerous bike makers to add their motor pod and battery system to bikes of every stripe, but that system is typically double or nearly triple in cost depending on the bike and isn’t nearly as well integrated as the eSpin setup. Indeed, many other bikes in this category costs several thousand dollars, such as the Specialized Turbo Vado, which goes for about $4,500.

We recommend the Strommer ST2 S for commuters, but its $10,000 price tag may make your hands sweatier than a downhill trailride. The $1,888 price tag of the Espin puts it in a category you might frankly be wary of, but don’t be. The integration, performance, toughness and price of the eSpin make it a solid value. You can spend a whole lot more, but why?

How long will it last?

Maintenance is key to making a bike last. The eSpin is a bicycle first, so expect to deal with drive train tuneups, brake pads and bearing play as the miles pile up — usual bike stuff. Some attention to the battery is also needed, but with proper care, the eSpin should give riders many years of faithful service. The biggest question mark is the battery’s life span: will eSpin be around in 5 or 10 years to sell you a replacement?

Should you buy it?

Yes. the Espin Sport is a great value and a solid performer. Want to get exercise and maybe shave a few (or many?) minutes off your commute? Hills got you scared? Espin’s Sport is a great choice for both long-time roadies and those looking to finally escape the costs and wasted time of sitting in automobile traffic.

1
Jul

OnePlus is once again misleading customers in India


A phone that went on sale three days ago cannot be the “highest-grossing phone ever.”

The OnePlus 5 went on sale in India and other global markets earlier this week, and the brand promptly announced two days after sales kicked off that the device was the highest-grossing phone on Amazon India during a launch week.

As a result, Amazon announced that it was extending its SBI cashback offer — which sees SBI credit and debit card holders receiving a ₹1,500 cashback on the phone — until July 2. OnePlus is now touting the extension of the cashback offer via a text message that’s going to everyone who registered an interest in its latest phone, which according to Amazon is over 1 million people. Conveniently, the company removed the “at launch” reference from the message, making it seem like the OnePlus 5 is the highest-grossing phone ever.

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The text in its entirety reads, “Thanks for making OnePlus 5 the highest-grossing phone ever! Avail Rs 1500 cashback on SBI cards till 2nd July. Shop now! https://oneplusstore.in/5.” If you’re looking to compare, here’s the tweet the company sent out a few days ago:

The #OnePlus5 is now the highest grossing phone in the launch week on @amazonIN! A huge thanks to our community who made this feat possible pic.twitter.com/IodKYsFBpy

— OnePlus India (@OnePlus_IN) June 29, 2017

OnePlus removed the Amazon India reference, as well as the bit about the phone being the highest-grossing during the first week of launch. This isn’t the first time the company misled customers — earlier this year, it rolled out a huge advertising campaign starring Amitabh Bachchan in which it said that the OnePlus 3T was the “highest-rated smartphone” in the country, pitting it against the S7 edge, Pixel, and the iPhone 7 Plus.

The ad was based on the Kaun Banega Crorepati format (India’s version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire), to which Sony owns the rights. Citing copyright infringement and “unfair competition,” Sony requested the Delhi High Court to get the ad off the air, and it succeeded:

We put the defendants on notice hoping that they will stop this brazen and illegal act. We were forced to go to court when we failed to get a response. What made the need for legal action even more necessary is that the defendants were actually glorifying the approach towards this type of advertising, even after receipt of the notice.

OnePlus scaled back on dubious marketing tactics in other regions over the course of the last year, but the same cannot be said of its Indian unit.

OnePlus 5

  • Complete OnePlus 5 review
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  • Camera comparison: OnePlus 5 vs. Galaxy S8
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1
Jul

Next-gen Nissan Leaf launches September 5; new photo teased


Nissan has been slowly teasing the next-generation Leaf EV, and will continue to do so over the course of the summer. We now know, though, when the teasing ends and the feature presentation begins, as the automaker announced on Twitter that the new Leaf premieres on Sept. 5.

The new Nissan LEAF
Premieres September 5, 2017#Nissan #LEAF pic.twitter.com/qswpPICGth

— Nissan (@NissanUSA) June 29, 2017

The tweet also features a new teaser image, this one of a Nissan badge on top what we presume to be the grille. It has a blue, textured pattern and what appears to be a chrome strip surrounding it. A previous teaser image from Nissan shows the new look of the headlights, while an interior shot shows off the car’s ProPilot Assist semi-autonomous driving system. Recent spy shots give us a preview of the new Leaf as a whole.

In addition to pursuing self-driving technology, Nissan is also advocating for it on behalf of the automotive community at large. The Japanese automaker said it hosted a forum in Washington, DC, earlier this month to give “lawmakers, regulators, and other US government officials a close and reassuring look at how Nissan is in the driver’s seat when it comes to automated drive technologies.”

Nissan believe autonomous technology plays a role in enhancing, rather than replacing, the driving experience. “Someday, when drivers want, the technology will be available to do the driving task for them,” said Andy Christensen, senior manager of Nissan’s Technical Center in Michigan. “But at Nissan, we see the driver remaining engaged and integral well into the future.”

Related Video:

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Source: Nissan

1
Jul

OnePlus 5’s jelly scrolling possibly caused by upside-down screen


Some OnePlus 5 owners have reported encountering a strange “jelly-like” scrolling effect over the past few days since the phone was released. According to their posts on Reddit and other social networks, the text and images on their screen expand and shrink as they swipe in the opposite direction. The issue became big enough for the phonemaker to make a formal statement, wherein it said that the “subtle visual effect” when scrolling is totally natural. In other words, you can’t expect a fix for it, since it’s technically not a defect. But why does the OnePlus 5 exhibit the behavior in the first place? We might not get an answer out of OnePlus, but based on XDA Developers’ investigation, it’s because the device’s screen was apparently mounted upside down.

Regulars on the OnePlus subreddit originally guessed that the device’s screen wasn’t quite mounted the usual way after being able to replicate the jelly effect on other phones when they’re flipped. Sure enough, XDA found proof in the phone’s kernel source code instructing the display controller to compensate by 180 degrees. Upon looking up teardowns of the OnePlus 5 and the older 3T, Reddit user Tasssadar found images proving that the 5’s display really is in an inverted position:

As 9to5Google said, the manufacturer might have decided on rotating the display, because it fits better that way on the new phone. The screen attachment module on the 3T has been taken up by the 5’s camera sensor, after all. We’ve reached out to OnePlus to confirm whether it rotated the phone’s display by 180 degrees on purpose. But its earlier statement clearly suggests that it’s not open to fixing the issue, or that it’s treating the effect as an issue at all. Here’s the statement in full:

“The OnePlus 5 uses the same level of high-quality components as all OnePlus devices, including the AMOLED display. We’ve received feedback from a small number of users saying that at times they notice a subtle visual effect when scrolling. This is natural and there’s no variance in screens between devices.”

If you notice the behavior on your phone — not all OnePlus 5 owners will — you’ll have to decide on your own whether it’s big enough of an inconvenience to get a refund or to swap it with another model.

Via: 9to5google

Source: XDA Developers

1
Jul

A few Google Home owners already have Bluetooth enabled


At Google I/O 2017 the company announced Bluetooth streaming will be available on Google Home, so that you can stream audio from any device, not just those running a compatible app. Over the last day or so, Android Police reports that some users have received a software update to version 90387 that added an option for “Paired Bluetooth devices” in settings. Using Home for Cast-enabled apps is great, but Bluetooth support will make things more universal. So far the update does not appear to be widely available, and Google has not officially announced it but if you have a Home at home, take a look at the settings and see if you’re among the early testers.

Source: Android Police, 9to5Google, r/GoogleHome

1
Jul

Fyre Festival founder arrested, charged with wire fraud


There has been one arrest following April’s disastrous Fyre Festival event, as the Southern District of New York US Attorney’s office announced the arrest of Fyre Media founder William McFarland. He’s charged with wire fraud for allegedly lying to investors about how much money the company was making from artist bookings. According to Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr., “McFarland truly put on a show, misrepresenting the financial status of his businesses in order to rake in lucrative investment deals.”

While social media influencers made a few bucks advertising the event to their followers, prosecutors allege McFarland’s lies were bigger, as he targeted at least two people seeking an investment of $1.2 million. To get it, he presented fake documents and told them Fyre Media earned millions of dollars in artist bookings between July 2016 and April 2017. The fact is that Fyre Media earned less than $60,000 from bookings during that period.

Developing…

Source: DOJ

1
Jul

Revived National Space Council will guide Trump admin policy


Today Donald Trump signed an executive order reviving the National Space Council, an organization that existed in two previous iterations, from 1958 – 1973, and more recently from 1989 to 1993. President Obama raised the idea of reviving the council during a speech in 2008, but did not do it. In this version, the council will be chaired by Vice President Mike Pence while other members include the secretaries of State, Defense, Commerce and Homeland Security. The list doesn’t stop there, but the council’s exact responsibilities aren’t quite clear. Its directive is to advise the president, plus coordinate and implement his space policy, however it “shall not interfere with the existing lines of authority in or responsibilities of any agencies.”

In response, acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot said “The establishment of the council is another demonstration of the Trump Administration’s deep interest in our work, and a testament to the importance of space exploration to our economy, our nation, and the planet as a whole.”

During an event to sign the order, astronaut Buzz Aldrin proclaimed “to infinity and beyond,” and President Trump responded “This is infinity here. It could be infinity. We don’t really know. But it could be. It has to be something — but it could be infinity, right? Okay.”

Acting NASA administrator Robert Lightfoot:

“I am pleased that President Trump has signed an executive order reestablishing the National Space Council. The council existed previously from 1989-1993, and a version of it also existed as the National Aeronautics and Space Council from 1958-1973. As such, the council has guided NASA from our earliest days and can help us achieve the many ambitious milestones we are striving for today.

“This high-level group advises the president and comprises the leaders of government agencies with a stake in space, including the NASA administrator, the Secretaries of State, Commerce, Defense, and others, and will be chaired by Vice President Mike Pence. It will help ensure that all aspects of the nation’s space power — national security, commerce, international relations, exploration, and science, are coordinated and aligned to best serve the American people. A Users’ Advisory Group also will be convened so that the interests of industries and other non-federal entities are represented.

“The establishment of the council is another demonstration of the Trump Administration’s deep interest in our work, and a testament to the importance of space exploration to our economy, our nation, and the planet as a whole.”

Source: White House Executive Order, White House Blog, NASA

1
Jul

New photos offer first glimpse of Microsoft’s canceled Surface Mini


Why it matters to you

These new photographs of the canceled Surface Mini give us a fascinating look at what could have been.

Since 2013, there have been persistent rumors that Microsoft had plans for a small form factor tablet dubbed the Surface Mini. In the end, the device was never released but images of a prototype have been posted to the web, giving us a pretty clear idea of how the company intended to expand the Surface line.

Several images of the Surface Mini were posted earlier on Friday on Windows Central. This iteration of the device was apparently intended to launch in 2014, alongside the Surface Pro 3, but it was canceled just weeks before it was set to be officially unveiled.

The Surface Mini is said to closely resemble a smaller version of the Surface Pro 3 in its portrait orientation. It is outfitted with many of the standard features of the Surface line, like a kickstand that folds flush against the body of the hardware, and support for the Surface Pen.

In fact, the Mini would have been much more reliant on the touch interface than its bigger siblings. The device would have relied solely on touch input, as Microsoft reportedly had no plans to offer a Type Cover accessory for users who would prefer a traditional keyboard.

The Mini also differs from other products in the Surface line in that its rear side and a portion of its bezel are covered in a felt-like material. This component of its design looks like a case, but it is actually a part of the tablet itself and cannot be removed.

The Surface Mini was set to use a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor with 1GB of RAM, an Adreno 330 GPU, and had access to 32GB of internal storage, with a MicroSD slot to provide extra capacity. Its 8-inch display would have had a 1,440 x 1,080 resolution.

While much of this information was already known, it is very interesting to get a look at a near-final version of the hardware. Given the success of the iPad Mini and the demand for devices that occupy the space between a smartphone and a conventional tablet, it will be interesting to see whether or not Microsoft takes another stab at the Surface Mini somewhere down the line.




1
Jul

Meet Salto, the most hyperactive one-legged jumping robot you’ll ever see


Why it matters to you

Salto will let roboticists study jumping locomotion and could one day participate in search and rescue missions, too.

If someone built a robot whose locomotion was modeled on that of a three-year-old kid hopped up on too much candy, it would probably act a whole lot like the University of California, Berkeley’s Salto robot.

Created by the university’s always-interesting Biomimetic Millisystems Lab, Salto (the name is short for “Saltatorial Locomotion on Terrain Obstacles”) exhibits some darn impressive leaping abilities, capable of putting lesser NBA ballplayers to shame. We’ve seen some impressive jumping robots before, but this is some next-level stuff!

“Salto is a new robot that we built to study jumping locomotion,” Dr. Duncan Haldane, a roboticist at the university, told Digital Trends. “Unlike previous robots that spend a long time winding up or just can’t jump very high, Salto can do very large jumps, one after another. Our latest improvement to Salto is a set of propellers that let Salto balance upright so it can jump around a room.”

Haldane said he was inspired to build the 98-gram Salto after paying a visit to the FEMA Urban Search and Rescue training site in nearby Menlo Park, California. “I wanted to build a small robot that could move very quickly through complex environments like collapsed buildings,” he continued. “The more general application is really high mobility for small robotic systems. With our new jumping strategy, you can take a robot that weighs less than a stick of butter and have it move around in human-scale environments.”

Biomimetic Millisystems Lab/UC Berkeley

The Salto robot is controlled via two small thrusters that thrust either in the same or different directions, depending on whether it wants to yaw or roll — referring to the axis around which it rotates. It stabilizes itself using a tail, which allows it to more easily control itself in three dimensions, and even in mid-air.

“We now have Salto jumping off of walls as a single maneuver and jumping on flat ground repeatedly,” Justin Yim, a fellow researcher on the project, told us. “I’m excited to work on improving Salto’s control to get it jumping repeatedly off of obstacles like walls and developing better landing control.”

A paper describing the work has been accepted for the 2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS).




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