“When the world uncovers some dark disguise, embrace the darkness with averted eyes.”
– Thomas Ligotti
1. Neura's Cognitive Robots
Neura Robotics, a German startup that builds cognitive robots, has raised $55 million in funding. The cobots possess memory and can operate in complex and changing situations, collaboratively working with people. Neura plans to use the funding to conduct more R&D, expand its business in Asia and the US, and increase manufacturing with an order book of $450 million over the next five years. The funding deal represents a shift for the company, which recently bought out its previous backer to clear the way for financial investors.
2. Clean Energy or Hot Air?
The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced a $32 million investment to reinforce the U.S.'s critical minerals supply chain, part of President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda. EV’s will continue to tear up the earth for battery materials, which are running out faster than oil, but “I’ll be darned if we give the Middle East any more money for their sweet, sweet dino juice!” A true clean energy future is nuclear, but I won’t hold my breath.
3. Doing the Worm in Space
Tokyo-based start-up Gitai is developing robotic technology to make space travel safer and more affordable. The firm is building a small, worm-like robot capable of performing repairs in space, thereby reducing the need for risky spacewalks, as well as a robot capable of undertaking tasks on the Moon's surface. Founded by Sho Nakanose, Gitai has raised over $47 million from venture capital firms to develop robots for a variety of space missions.
4. Good Clean Energy
The Solar Car Challenge, a cross-country race driving solar cars designed and built by high school students, was held in Texas. The event aims to inspire students to explore sustainable energy and become renewable energy innovators. It involved 15 teams, including Sami Medudula's Prosper Engineering Team, in a planned 1,400-mile journey from Texas to California. Although the race was cut short due to a Covid-19 incident, participants expressed enthusiasm for the experience and plan to continue developing their solar car projects.
5. The Machinists of Oppenheimer
The link below is to a Reddit thread, so click at your own risk. Any information in the thread should be considered hearsay, but nonetheless, it’s fascinating! I’d have looked for uranium in the machinists handbook, but I’ve misplaced it, so please reach out if you find it there. I did find this, though! Alright, I’m going to stop before the fed puts me on a list (if I’m not on one already).
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