Feeds

Bionic Brit Babbage Bear boards brilliant balloon, bests ballsy Baumgartner

Plucky Raspberry Pi mascot 'Ted Bull' skydives from 39,000m

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Vid and pics We're delighted to report that Raspberry Pi mascot Babbage Bear wrested the world skydiving record crown from Felix Baumgartner on Monday - by leaping into the void from a breathtaking 39,000m.

Stepping from his foam launch platform, Babbage took the plunge into the history books, pipping the Austrian's 38,969m jump, as this video shows:

So it's hats off to Raspberry Pi wrangler supreme and Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team member Dave Akerman for showing that when it comes to high-altitude tomfoolery, we Brits still have the Right Stuff.

As we explained last Friday, Babbage was packing a Pi board and camera surgically implanted into his right eye socket...

Babbage and the Raspberry Pi rig before insertion into Babbage. Pic: Dave Akerman


Bionic Babbage dangling and ready for action. Pic: Dave Akerman

...which delivered some cracking live bear's-eye views via Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV) as he soared westwards from the launch point in Brightwalton, Berkshire:

A view from Babbage's eye-mounted Picam


A view from Babbage's eye-mounted Picam


A view from Babbage's eye-mounted Picam

Babbage poses for the webcam after his record-breaking jumpThe plucky bear finally parachuted to land in a field* just south of Shaftesbury, Dorset, before posing (right) for the audience who'd been following the action live at batc.tv.

In fact, yesterday's triumph followed a highly entertaining first attempt on Saturday, which ended in a complete stratodangle as Babbage failed to detach from his launch platform and came down still attached to his release cord.

The reason, Dave explained, was that the MOSFET-driven resistor intended to cut through the nylon cord simply didn't have enough welly for the job. He told us on Saturday night: "I'll use a lower resistance resistor, swap the weedy AAAs for some AAs**, and run it for 10 seconds instead of five."

We advised: "Just crank it up to 11."

Last night, Dave was able to report with a smile: "11 worked well."

It certainly did. Bears Beers all round, we reckon. ®

Bootnotes

* Or quite possibly up a tree, since Dave was seen on the live webcam feed sneaking off with a telescopic pole. Anyone who's ever launched a stratomission - or indeed a humble RC aircraft - knows they are magnetically drawn to trees, as was our own Paper Aircraft Release into Space (PARIS) Vulture 2, and our Covert High Altitude Vehicle (CHAV).

** Energizer Ultimate Lithium batteries - the power cell of choice for High Altitude Ballooning (HAB) missions, due to their resistance to low temperatures.

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
NASA rover Curiosity drills HOLE in MARS 'GOLF COURSE'
Joins 'traffic light' and perfect stony sphere on the Red Planet
Mine Bitcoins with PENCIL and PAPER
Forget Sudoku, crunch SHA-256 algos
'This BITE MARK is a SMOKING GUN': Boffins probe ancient assault
Tooth embedded in thigh bone may tell who pulled the trigger
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
Canberra drone team dances a samba in Outback Challenge
CSIRO's 'missing bushwalker' found and watered
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.