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The North Face
The North Face

The North Face's New Geodesic Dome Tent Will Protect You in 60 mph Wind

The North Face
The North Face

You can find camping tents designed for easy set-up, large crowds, and sustainability, but when it comes to strength, there’s only so much abuse a foldable structure can take. Now, The North Face is pushing the limits of tent durability with a reimagined design. According to inhabitat, the Geodome 4 relies on its distinctive geodesic shape to survive wind gusts approaching hurricane strength.

Instead of the classic arching tent structure, the Geodome balloons outward like a globe. It owes its unique design to the five main poles and one equator pole that hold it in place. Packed up, the gear weighs just over 24 pounds, making it a practical option for car campers and four-season adventurers. When it’s erected, campers have floor space measuring roughly 7 feet by 7.5 feet, enough to sleep four people, and 6 feet and 9 inches of space from ground to ceiling if they want to stand. Hooks attached to the top create a system for gear storage.

While it works in mild conditions, the tent should really appeal to campers who like to trek through harsher weather. Geodesic domes are formed from interlocking triangles. A triangle’s fixed angles make it one of the strongest shapes in engineering, and when used in domes, triangles lend this strength to the overall structure. In the case of the tent, this means that the dome will maintain its form in winds reaching speeds of 60 mph. Meanwhile, the double-layered, water-resistant exterior keeps campers dry as they wait out the storm.

The Geodome 4 is set to sell for $1635 when it goes on sale in Japan this March. In the meantime, outdoorsy types in the U.S. will just have to wait until the innovative product expands to international markets.

[h/t inhabitat]

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Emojipedia
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Design
These Are the 157 New Emojis Coming to Your Phone
Emojipedia
Emojipedia

If words alone aren’t enough to express yourself while texting, there are now new emojis at your disposable. As Slate reports, the roster of flags, smiley faces, and random sports equipment just grew by 157 pictographs. After receiving the stamp of approval from the Unicode consortium, these emojis will soon be making an appearance on your keyboard.

The release of the redhead emoji has been long-anticipated, but this newest batch includes curly hairstyles as well for the many people without straight locks. Texters also now have the choice of gray hair or no hair at all when designing their emoji avatars.

Other human-related additions include superhero and super villain emojis in various skin tones and hairdos. There are 10 new animal emojis, including a badger, a peacock, a lobster, and a kangaroo, as well as six new food emojis, like a cupcake, a mango, and a lettuce leaf.

People who prefer classic smiley-face emojis will be happy to see the six new options in that category: cold face, hot face, partying face, pleading face, woozy face, and smiling face with four hearts. Along with these come plenty of new entries, like the dismembered leg, petri dish, abacus, safety pin, and lacrosse stick.

After announcing the initial designs on February 7, the emoji-standardizing team at Unicode will vote on the final versions in June before they’re made available to phone companies.

[h/t Slate]

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Jonathan How, MIT
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technology
New MIT Technology to Help Drones Dodge Obstacles May Make Deliveries Easier
Jonathan How, MIT
Jonathan How, MIT

New technology developed by MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) may help drones dodge collisions as they fly, making things like drone pizza delivery a whole lot more plausible on a large scale.

Whether you’re a human or a drone, moving through a city always involves a certain amount of uncertainty. Will that light turn green as you approach? Will a pedestrian bump into you? Will a pigeon fly in your face? Will there be a sudden road closure for a parade, or a newly installed crane at a construction site? And if there’s one thing that machines tend to be bad at, it’s dealing with uncertainty. For a fast-flying drone, navigating with a static map just won’t cut it in the real world.

So CSAIL researchers created NanoMap, a new system that can model uncertainty, taking into account that, as a drone flies, the conditions around it might change. The technology helps the drone plan for the fact that it probably doesn’t know precisely where it is in relation to everything else in the world. It spends less time calculating the perfect route around an obstacle, relying instead on a more general idea of where things are and how to avoid them, allowing it to process and avoid potential collisions more quickly.

It features depth sensors that constantly measure the distance between the drone and the objects around it, creating a kind of image for the machine of where it has been and where it is going. “It’s kind of like saving all of the images you’ve seen of the world as a big tape in your head,” MIT researcher Pete Florence explains in a press release. “For the drone to plan motions, it essentially goes back into time to think individually of all the different places that it was in.”

In testing, the NanoMap system allowed small drones to fly through forests and warehouses at 20 miles per hour while avoiding potential collisions with trees and other obstacles.

The project was funded in part by the Department of Defense’s DARPA, so it could be used as part of military missions, but it would also be helpful for any kind of drone-based delivery—whether it’s ferrying relief supplies to combat zones or your latest Amazon Prime package.

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