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LOHAN chap hooks up with busty stratominx in cosmic pleasure cruise

NSFW vid The Register's Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team has expressed its shock and dismay that member Dave Akerman has chosen to play away from home with a lads' mag busty stratominx. Dave's a veteran of countless balloon launches, and is regularly approached by people in bars asking to be "taken to heaven and back". …
Lester Haines, 7 Mar 2014

Bloke rattles tin for giant 3D two-headed beast

We suspect that the Kickstarter-funded 3D printer bubble is fast approaching burst point, as hopefuls queue up to rattle their tins and get their necks in the DIY-extruded trough. It's a tough market. California outfit TJIKO Labs recently failed to raise the $35k it needed to get a snap-together printer into production, so it'll …
Lester Haines, 6 Mar 2014

Reg reader rattles tin for GoPro camera 'Stubilizer'

Update Those among you who feel their lives lack stability are directed to Reg reader Stuart Smith's "Stubilizer" - a range of stabilising platforms for GoPro cameras which has just launched on Kickstarter. Stuart Smith models a 2-axis, helmet-mounted Stubilizer Stuart Smith sports a Stubilizer Back in January, we chewed the fat …
Lester Haines, 3 Mar 2014

LOHAN chap brews up 18% ABV 'V2' rocket fuel

It hasn't escaped some readers' attention that our Vulture 2 spaceplane's moniker might handily be abbreviated to "V2", which got Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team member Paul "Lord Shax" Shackleton thinking about rocket fuel, and indeed fuel for the human elements of our audacious ballocket mission. Hitler's …
Lester Haines, 26 Feb 2014

Final LOHAN test flights codenamed 'Punch' and 'Judy'

The grand finale of the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) saga is approaching, and is now so tantalisingly close you could almost reach out and stick a match to it. It's been a long, winding road, to be sure, but we still have a few things to wrap before we can finally see what happens when you stick a rocket motor in …
Lester Haines, 25 Feb 2014

Enterprising French chap cranks up €100k 'flying car'

A French entrepreneur is hoping that by 2015, those with €100,000 in spare change will slip the surly bonds of earth aboard his Vaylon Pégase (Pegasus) flying car. Artists impression of Pegasus in flight. Pic: Vaylon La voiture volante. Pic: Vaylon Jérôme Dauffy's vehicle is actually a powered paraglider concept, with the …
Lester Haines, 24 Feb 2014

French youth faces court for illegal drone flight

A French youth who used a drone to capture impressive aerial footage of the city of Nancy is facing an appearance before the beak on a charge of "endangering the lives of others". Nans Thomas, 18, strapped a GoPro camera to an unspecified vehicle* he bought on the internet to produce a noteworthy video, which quickly became a …
Lester Haines, 21 Feb 2014

LOHAN gets intimate with 50,000 hot-blooded pilots

It's all go on the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) avionics front, what with handsome young autopilots springing into life and Raspberry picams snapping fetching spaceplane selfies, so this seems like a good moment to point those in search of the more esoteric aspects of the mission in the direction of our DIY Drones …
Lester Haines, 19 Feb 2014

Reg readers fret over misty-eyed LOHAN

Our heads-up last week on the Vulture 2 spaceplane's miniature Raspberry Pi camera (Picam), prompted some readers to express concerns that we were heading for trouble in the imaging department. Here's the camera in question... A close-up of the Picam ...and here it is glued into the underside of the aircraft's nose: The …
Lester Haines, 17 Feb 2014

LOHAN cops a faceful of Raspberry Pi

The Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team is methodically working its way through the installation of the Vulture 2 spaceplane's electronic systems, and having got the Pixhawk autopilot up and running, we were able to turn our attention this week to the onboard Raspberry Pi. LOHAN regulars will know that we use a …
Lester Haines, 14 Feb 2014
Plan 9 is... weird, and has almost no applications - but it shows a future direction for Unix-like OSes

Plan 9 moves out from Lucent licence space

Plan 9, a successor to Unix developed during the 1980s by Bell Labs, is now available under the GNU Public Licence. The operating system was never particularly popular or prevalent, but did generate enough of a following to spark a successor of its own known as Inferno. We also wrote it up last year, saying that “Compared to …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Feb 2014

Investors throw cash at affordable 3D scanner

Proof that the 3D bandwagon continues to gain pace comes with the news that Fuel 3D Technologies has secured a suitcase full of private investor cash to further fund "the world's first 3D scanner to combine pre-calibrated stereo cameras with photometric imaging". Rendering of the Fuel3D The Fuel3D: Coming soon to a hand near …
Lester Haines, 13 Feb 2014

El Reg talks beer and binaries with a boffin named Boffin

Interview We at El Reg like a good boffin, so we're delighted to bring fellow boffophiles a quick interview with Henri Boffin, who's staff astronomer at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) facility in Paranal, Chile. Henri Boffin at his desk in Paranal A boffin named Boffin: Henri at work in Paranal We're obliged to Henri for …
Lester Haines, 10 Feb 2014

LOHAN's handsome young autopilot springs into life

It's been a couple of weeks since the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team took delivery of a brand-spanking new 3D Robotics Pixhawk autopilot for the Vulture 2 spaceplane, and we've now whipped out our original ArduPilot Mega (APM) 2.6 and hooked up the new kit for a quick test. Here's the Pixhawk up and running …
Lester Haines, 6 Feb 2014

Reg reader crafts 3-axis GoPro 'Stubilizer' for skull-mounted cameras

Interview As our title suggests, we at the Special Projects Bureau like a nice project, so we're pleased to share with you today reader Stuart Smith's ambitious 3-axis stabiliser for the GoPro HERO3 - dubiously dubbed the "Stubilizer". A 3D rendering of the Stubilizer The Stubilizer in 3D rendered glory Stuart's an IT consultant …
Lester Haines, 29 Jan 2014

Behold the world's first full-colour 3D printer

Those of you frustrated by the monochrome, single material output of 3D printers, and who happen to have very deep pockets, are directed to the Stratasys Objet500 Connex3, hailed as the world's first full-colour machine. The Stratasys Objet500 Connex3. Pic: Stratasys Full colour at a price: The Stratasys Objet500 Connex3 …
Lester Haines, 28 Jan 2014

Handsome young autopilot reports for spaceplane duty

The Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team this morning welcomed aboard a handsome young autopilot for our Vulture 2 spaceplane - the hot-off-the-press 3D Robotics Pixhawk. 3DR kindly offered to donate a couple of Pixhawks to the cause, after ArduPilot fixed-wing lead developer Andrew Tridgell suggested we'd benefit …
Lester Haines, 23 Jan 2014

Pregnant? Celebrate your proudest moment ... by 3D-printing a copy of the foetus

Proud parents-to-be with a few bucks to spare might want to consider splashing out on a "3D Baby" - an "adorable baby figurine" of their pre-natal sprog squirted into shape by a 3D printer. A 3D baby in its presentation box. Pic: 3D Babies According to California-based 3D Babies, these foetal representations are created using …
Lester Haines, 21 Jan 2014

LOHAN develops amazing mind-reading powers

There's been a lull in the flighting on the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) front over Xmas and New Year, but the team has emerged from the festivities revitalised and ready for action. In December, we announced that 3D Robotics had kindly agreed to supply the mission with an all-new Pixhawk autopilot, to replace the …
Lester Haines, 17 Jan 2014

Bloke hews plywood Raspberry Pi tablet

It's a tip of the hat today to Michael Castor, who caught our eye with his attractive fusion of plywood, carbon fibre and Raspberry Pi, dubbed the "PiPad". Top view of the PiPad Michael's plan was to build an "all-in-one system that was usable, portable, and Linux-based", but which also "had to look good". Furthermore, it …
Lester Haines, 14 Jan 2014

Hopefuls rattle tin for customisable snap together 3D printer

DIY 3D printing is very much flavour of the month, and whether it's the third industrial revolution or a load of old cobblers remains to be seen, but there's a veritable extrusion of makers vying to get their print nozzles in the trough. Kickstarter is the street corner of choice for these pioneers to rattle their tins, and …
Lester Haines, 13 Jan 2014

Cheeky LOHAN chaps in gutsy snatch at El Reg's paper spaceplane crown

In an audacious and extremely cheeky high altitude operation over the weekend, Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team members Dave Akerman and Anthony Stirk had a pop at our Guinness World Record for the highest-altitude paper plane launch. The SNOW aircraft The underside of the SNOW aircraft The pair's SNOW …
Lester Haines, 31 Dec 2013

Hypnotic wind map captures Earth's heavenly currents

Those readers slumped behind their desks in the traditional pre-Xmas torpor and who are looking for an alternative to watching the clock hands crawling towards Yule liberation are directed towards "earth" - magnificent animated views of the world's wind currents. Global wind currents shown on earth Using data from the …
Lester Haines, 19 Dec 2013

Fair winds and following servers: The art of flight prediction

Back in September, the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team sent a mighty orb aloft on a test flight of our magnificent Vulture 2 spaceplane's rocket motor igniter. The mission was a textbook operation, with the the payload eventually returning to terra firma within a few hundred metres of the awaiting team, at a …
Lester Haines, 18 Dec 2013

Brilliant Brit bloke builds breakfast-belching BACON DRONE

In what is described as "a breakthrough moment for humanity", a British bloke has constructed a tricopter designed to remotely deliver a full English breakfast of bacon, egg, sausage, mushroom and tomato ketchup. Joel Veitch's Bacon Drone Joel Veitch's cutting-edge design of "sticks and tape and coat hangars" is controlled by …
Lester Haines, 16 Dec 2013

Teary-eyed snappers recall the golden age of film

Interview For those readers with a tendency to get teary-eyed over the golden age of film, and the days before digital swept physical photographic media into the cutting room bin of history, we're delighted to take a trip down memory lane today with professional photographer Phil Houghton. Portrait of Phil Houghton holding mighty Nikon …
Lester Haines, 10 Dec 2013

LOHAN embraces handsome young autopilot

We invite fans of our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) project to raise a glass or two today to UAV specialist 3D Robotics, which has very kindly agreed to offer our Vulture 2 spaceplane a brain transplant in the form of the mighty Pixhawk autopilot. Two views of the 3D robotics Pixhawk As LOHAN regulars know, our …
Lester Haines, 4 Dec 2013

Sick to death of Xmas? Try these explosive gift ideas

Yule picture special It's that time of year again when whining children and relentless TV advertising attempt to persuade honest, hard-working folk to empty their wallets, hammer their credits cards and reduce themselves to penury in a glorious Yule orgy of unfettered capitalism. Ah, Christmas - a pagan festival hijacked by bible-bashers and now …
Lester Haines, 2 Dec 2013

LOHAN buffs body for sizzling vinyl wrap

Our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) mission continues to attract enthusiastic and expert support from around the world, and following the welcome news last week that we're getting a bit of help with the Vulture 2 spaceplane's autopilot, we're delighted to announce that said rocket ship is poised to get the sizzling …
Lester Haines, 25 Nov 2013

3D printing: 'Third industrial revolution' or a load of old cobblers?

Feature Readers of The Register with their fingers on the throbbing technopulse of innovation will have noticed that - if the hype is anything to go by - 3D printing is about to redefine paradigms, rewrite/defenestrate/burn textbooks and give the unwashed masses the power to print iPhone covers at will, thereby shaking the whole notion …
Lester Haines, 20 Nov 2013
The APM mounted in the Vulture 2

Autopilot guides Texan plane home from a dizzying 30,000m

In some highly encouraging news for The Reg's Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team, a Texan high-flyer recently used the ArduPilot Mega (APM) 2.6 to guide a glider back to base from a heady 30,780m (101,000ft). A still from the onboard camera during the flight of NTNS 4 Larry Grater's North Texas Near Space 4 ( …
Lester Haines, 19 Nov 2013
A group shot of the tasting team

The ULTIMATE cuppa showdown: And the winner is...

Cue the traditional fanfare of trumpets and thunderous drumroll as we reveal today the winner of our ultimate cuppa showdown. Mug with our Vulture logo This cha-tastic adventure – the aim of which was "not to examine the hundreds of possible tea type/brewing permutations, but rather establish a set of basic rules which can …
Lester Haines, 18 Nov 2013
The Panono team snapped from an airborne Panono

Flying 360° panoramic camera poised for lift-off

Three Berlin-based inventors are rattling the tin to raise funds for their Panono camera – a throwable photoglobe delivering "incredible full-spherical images". The Panono The 300g Panono packs 36 cameras, capable of delivering a 360°x360° 72 megapixel panorama. When launched heavenwards, an onboard accelerometer detects …
Lester Haines, 15 Nov 2013
The painted nose of the Vulture 2, with its yellow upper and led underside

El avión Buitre 2 rinde homenaje a nuestros amigos españoles

Hoy queremos rendir homenaje a los miembros españoles del equipo de la misión Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) - un avión de alta tecnología que pretendemos lanzar a la estratosfera con un motor de cohete. Sumario grafico de la mision LOHAN Hace tres años, con el apoyo de estas personas desinteresadas, lanzamos el …
Lester Haines, 14 Nov 2013

Huge Antarctic iceberg: 1 Singapore? 8 Manhattans? This is CHAOS

The Register's standards soviet is today calling for an international symposium of iceberg experts and builders with really, really long tape measures to settle once and for all just how to quantify titanic Titanic-busting ice mountains. In a report this week on a massive lump which has detached itself from Antarctica's Pine …
Lester Haines, 14 Nov 2013
The painted nose of the Vulture 2, with its yellow upper and led underside

LOHAN sees bright red over Vulture 2 paintjob

It's been a week of tin-rattling and seeing red here at the Special Project Bureau's mountaintop headquarters as we finally knuckled down to slapping some paint on our Vulture 2. We threw the matter of our magnificant spaceplane's livery over to you, our beloved Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) fans, and you responded …
Lester Haines, 13 Nov 2013

Mixed bag of motors lifts India's budget Mars shot

India's budget* Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) last week thundered heavenwards from Sriharikota spaceport atop a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), en route to a rendezvous with the Red Planet in September 2014. PSLV-C25 blasts off. Pic: ISRO PSLV-C25 blasts off. Pic: ISRO Weighing in at 500kg, plus 850kg of fuel, the MOM …
Lester Haines, 12 Nov 2013
The RoboRoach with its backpack. Pic: Backyard Brains

Right royal rumpus over remote-control 'RoboRoach'

The makers of a cockroach electronic "backpack" which allows humans to control the movements of the insect via a mobile phone have unsurprisingly come under fire for what some see as a pseudoscientific way to mistreat animals. Backyard Brains' "RoboRoach" is a $99.99 Kickstarter-funded project, described as "an innovative …
Lester Haines, 11 Nov 2013

Boffins build R2-WEE-2: The urine-powered robot with a human-like heart

Scientists have taken one step closer to creating a truly autonomous waste-driven robot by building an artificial heart capable of pumping urine into the machine's bacterially-driven "engine room". The "EcoBot" is powered by "electricity-generating microbial fuel cells that employ live microorganisms to digest waste organic …
Lester Haines, 8 Nov 2013
A detail of the Vulture 2's nose structure

Vulture 2 spaceplane STRIPPED to the bone

The Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team is preparing the Vulture 2 aircraft for its eye-catching paintjob, and while we rattle tins of primer and fiddle with wet-and-dry, we thought you might enjoy some intimate bare-bones views of our magnificent spaceplane. Here's the beast in its naked form (more photos here …
Lester Haines, 6 Nov 2013
Clint O'Connor's pinhole camera. Pic: Clint O'Connor

Inventor whips lenscap off 3D-printed pinhole camera

The photography aficionados among you who still recall with teary-eyed nostalgia the days before digital domination might appreciate an agreeable return to the old school, albeit with a hi-tech twist: a 3D-printed pinhole camera... Clint O'Connor's pinhole camera. Pic: Clint O'Connor Inventor Clint O'Connor promises "magical …
Lester Haines, 5 Nov 2013

LOHAN's mighty thruster poised for hot coupling

As the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team preps our Vulture 2 spaceplane for a quick paintjob, we're still mulling just how best to connect the aircraft's rocket motor heater to its external battery supply. To rewind for those of you who may have inexplicably missed the LOHAN hot coupling excitement, we've got a …
Lester Haines, 4 Nov 2013