Space skills, car spills

NASA astronauts go on a picnic – err, practice using lunar gear near Flagstaff, Arizona, to sharpen their moonwalking skills for Artemis III. via NASA/Josh Valcarcel

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Electrostatic clutch advances brain-guided muscle stimulation

Body/Mind augmentation can make a great thing even better, where “thing” = “human body”. That’s the general premise for exosuits, which we’ve seen in sci-fi for decades. (Robert A. Heinlein’s Starship Troopers made the concept really popular, though it dates back to at least 1937.) Personally, I’m still waiting for one but the Synapsuit team is making progress with an anti-muscle fatigue technique known as functional electrical stimulation. Ever try to paint a ceiling, Michelangelo style? Ever play a violin or perform as a life model? All that muscle pain you feel is what the Synapsuit suit could mitigate.

Note: If exosuits get you excited, stay tuned for an upcoming behind-the-door video I am working on about a special company that got its start focused on wearable machines and is now making actuators for heavy industry.

via Keith Hamshere/Sygma/Getty Images

Selling affordable, technologically-advanced automobiles dogs the famed Fisker, again.

Having your work (or yourself) star in a James Bond film is a bucket list item most of us will have to leave unchecked. Car designer Henrik Fisker, who envisioned the BMW Z8 featured in The World Is Not Enough, is feeling the sting from having his second namesake car company run the gauntlet of consumer whims. Meanwhile, Tesla continues to push the boundaries of what a modern automotive company should do and make (think: the 48v architecture within the Cybertruck and how the humanoid Optimus could lift a piano). Fisker Inc. got run into a ditch (🚩WSJ).

What do you think: Should great design sometimes ride in the backseat?

via AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, Air Force/James West, and AP Video/Eugene Garcia and Mike Pesoli

In the fighter pilot’s cockpit, if it’s GPS-denied, lets hope it’s also AI-enabled

Two transformative concepts – Global Positioning Systems and Artificial Intelligences – are foundational technological families coming together within the world’s most advanced aircraft systems: fighter jets. U.S. teams have recently demonstrated how to have an F-16 jet fly with AI ‘on’, including navigating in dangerous situations when GPS is ‘off’. As with all learning systems (human or non-human), training and reinforcement is a challenge, and the Air Force acknowledges there’s much more work to be done. But yeah, AI-powered jets conducting dog fights are becoming a thing. If you’re not into flying objects, their terrestrial equivalent is also getting an AI-boost (📺).


Can Axiom Space and others make good on their bets to replace the International Space Station with private structures? Naval Postgraduate School Acquisition Research Symposium explores new frontiers for defense innovation. The U.S. government’s librarians, the National Archives of Records and Administration, gives the feds instructions on records classification for unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAP). While I’m on the topic, some lawmakers are pressuring the federal government to “Give us the information. Let us decide” about UAP/UFOs. Similar to the ‘Schumer Amendment’ (scroll down to Division G in this document) struck down a few months ago, the proposed plan is to declassify documents starting this year so elected officials can see to where millions of dollars of unaccounted funding are being siphoned.


Hot off our desktop: a video showcasing the first Tough Tech On Tap!

P.S. September 17 in Boston – that’s the date and place to pencil in for our next social gathering for the tough tech community! If you’re interested in keeping in the loop on this, put your name on my list.

No One Builds Alone. /N1BA

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