Robots Pretending to Be Humans Lived in These Houses for Six Years

The inhabitants of three houses on a street in Knoxville, Tennessee, would have seemed perfectly average from the outside. Every morning, the showers came on. Every night, the lights and the TV. But there were never any humans living here—only robots pretending to act them. » 11/19/14 3:53pm 11/19/14 3:53pm

I Flew Like a Bird Using Oculus Rift

It should be a truth universally acknowledged that any man or woman using Oculus Rift will look like a dumbass. As awesome as it is to experience Oculus Rift, to everyone else, you are a crazy person with a black box strapped onto your face groping at thin air. And then I, of course, had to strap myself to some… » 8/28/14 2:12pm 8/28/14 2:12pm

This Truck Shakes the Ground So Hard It Can Simulate Earthquakes

The shaking of minor earthquakes can feel like a garbage truck driving by. T-Rex is no plain old garbage truck though. The 64,000-pound "mobile hydraulic shaker" is designed specifically to make the ground rattle and jolt—all so scientists can study how the ground reacts to earthquakes. » 8/28/14 1:42pm 8/28/14 1:42pm

Watch a 70-Foot Concrete Bridge Survive a Simulated 6.9 Earthquake

In a warehouse in Reno, scientists are putting the biggest seismic facility in the country through its paces. The newly-expanded lab earthquake lab uses three 50-ton shake tables to simulate earthquakes—including the infamous 6.9 earthquake in Kobe, Japan. » 7/16/14 5:45pm 7/16/14 5:45pm

The World's Most Terrifying Pool Can Simulate Any Wave

Definitely not coming to water park near you is a FloWave, a state-of-the-art wave pool that whips water around, simulating waves as tall as 90-feet and currents at 20 feet per second. FloWave is a real ocean simulator, you see, and its job is to prepare our infrastructure for the violent battering of the seas. » 7/15/14 7:02pm 7/15/14 7:02pm

Soar Like a Bird With the Oculus Rift…And This Crazy Flapping Machine

Oculus Rift can transport you to another reality and make your feel odd new sensations, but nothing we've seen quite tops this bizarre Oculus-enhanced machine that's supposed to make you feel like you're flying in the sky. » 5/07/14 4:40pm 5/07/14 4:40pm

This 3D Motion Simulator Is Powered By People

Haptic Turk is a prototype game that uses your friends as virtual robots to do immersive motion simulation at home. The research project from the Hasso Plattner Institute in Germany demoed a flight simulator variant at CHI2014 last week: the player wears 3D goggles and lies in two slings held by four friends—the… » 5/05/14 12:30pm 5/05/14 12:30pm

The Army Built a Fake City in Virginia to Train Its Troops

A shiny new city recently opened in northern Virginia's Caroline County. It has a school, a church, a mosque, a subway station, and even an embassy that, at five stories, may be the county's tallest building. But nobody lives there. » 2/11/14 4:00pm 2/11/14 4:00pm

How to Survive an Uninterrupted 72-Hour-Long Flight Simulation

Methods for staying awake during a long haul get pretty tired. Seriously, you can only slap yourself in the face so many times. So when Bertrand Piccard needed to figure out how to stay alert during a 72-hour-long test in a flight simulator this week, he got creative. » 12/20/13 4:00pm 12/20/13 4:00pm

Archaeologist Uses 2,000-Year-Old Sky to Study Roman Ruins

If archaeology was once about digging through dirt, it is increasingly—like almost every other profession—about programming computers. Bernie Frischer, an Indiana University "archaeo-informaticist," has came up with a new theory about two Roman monuments. His finding are based on 3D reconstructions of the monuments… » 12/19/13 6:20pm 12/19/13 6:20pm

This awesome simulated snow is indistinguishable from real snow

You need to see how incredibly awesome Disney's new animated snow technology is. They created it for Frozen—their new (non-Pixar) 3D animation feature. This video presented at the latest Siggraph shows how it works: » 11/23/13 5:08pm 11/23/13 5:08pm

NYC's Simulated Toxic Gas Attack Begins Today

This morning, the NYPD flooded the New York subway system with an odorless, invisible gas. The simulated terror attack is part of a three-day test that will generate a map of how air flows through the subways, helping emergency responders if a real airborne toxic event ever occurs. » 7/09/13 11:57am 7/09/13 11:57am

NASA Makes the Most Realistic Simulation of All Moon Phases Through an…

Using new terrain maps obtained by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, the Scientific Visualization Studio at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. has created the most realistic simulation of all the moon phases through an entire year—2013. It's mesmerizing. » 11/20/12 5:03pm 11/20/12 5:03pm

How to Tell if the Universe Is a Computer Simulation

It's a famous question among academic philosophers and drunken college students alike: how can we be sure we're not living in a gigantic computer simulation? Fortunately, researchers from the University of Bonn in Germany think they've cracked it. » 10/11/12 5:55am 10/11/12 5:55am

Watch This Gorgeous and Terrifying Simulation of Hurricane Katrina as…

This dramatic visualization of hurricane Katrina masterfully captures the monster storm for a period of 1.5 days as it gathers strength over warm ocean waters. » 1/04/12 8:40pm 1/04/12 8:40pm

Six Tools to Simulate a 2011-2012 NBA Season of Your Own

So today represented a pretty important typically uneventful and depressing day for the ongoing NBA labor negotiations. Commissioner Stern and the players' union are going to meet again at noon tomorrow, but talks haven't been very productive, and I need some goddamn NBA basketball. Here are some proactive ways you… » 11/10/11 5:40pm 11/10/11 5:40pm

First Quantum Computer Simulator Operates at the Speed of Light

Celebrated physicist Richard Feynman first proposed it in 1982, and now it exists: the first universal, digital quantum simulator. » 9/01/11 5:02pm 9/01/11 5:02pm

Video of the World's First Realistic Simulation of the Creation of Our…

Astrophysicists from the University of Zurich working with UCSC's astronomers have created the world's first realistic simulation of the formation of the Milky Way. It's amazing that all this clockwork perfection came out of such a galactic Charlie Foxtrot. » 8/31/11 11:05am 8/31/11 11:05am

Pogo Jumping Robot Could Rule Low Gravity Worlds

Japan, no stranger to work that involves delivering robotics to every facet of human society, thinks it may have figured out the best way for bipedal robots to move on low gravity worlds like the Moon. Enter the pogo stick: » 12/19/10 10:00am 12/19/10 10:00am

I Want These Guys to Take Us to Mars

Romain Charles, Sukhrob Kamolov, Yue Wang, Diego Urbina, Alexandr Smoleevskiy, and Alexey Sitev. Remember these names, because nobody is going to do it when other people go to Mars instead of them. Still, they are crucial to humanity's next odyssey. » 8/19/10 1:00pm 8/19/10 1:00pm