Light Start – Home-made Switch, big Blue rocket, an auto-dozer, and JCVJ

Can’t find a Switch in stores? Might as well make your own

So you’re keen on the Nintendo Switch but less impressed with the console’s range of titles. You could always take a page out of YouTube user Tim Lindquist’s book and make your own version of the console. You can see most of the project, greatly speeded up, at the video above. Perhaps the most impressive thing about it is that it was made completely from scratch. The downside? It can’t actually play Switch games but it does support a whole lot of others, via emulation software. It’s basically just a little Switch-shaped PC — one that costs more to make than actually buying a Switch — but it’s an impressive home build nonetheless. And if you’d like to give it a go yourself, you can see more details of the NinTimdo-RP build here.

Source: TimEE (YouTube)

Blue Origin test-fires a new kind of rocket for the first time

Look, we’re going to space. One way or another, someone is getting humanity off this mudball and onto another planet. Blue Origin, the other private space company, has taken us another step or two forward by firing its new BE-4 rocket design for the first time. The new rocket is reusable, obviously, but it also uses (liquid) natural gas as a fuel source — that’s something fairly new and apparently makes the rocket engines easier to reuse. The BE-4 engine was only burned for 3 seconds at 50% power but the fact that it didn’t blow up is a good sign, putting this rocket on track to be one of the biggest ever created in the States. Now we just need to strap something to it and send it to space. Once testing is finished, of course.

Source: Ars Technica

Watch Built Robotics’ Autonomous Track Loader do all the work all by itself

Automation is coming to a lot of industries but construction is one of those that might be seeing this innovation sooner rather than later. At least that’s the case if Built Robotics have their say. In the video above you can see one of their Autonomous Track Loader (ATL) vehicles, which is basically an automated mini-bulldozer, scoop out a hole in a site to spec, working through the day all on its own. And then, it’s implied, working through the night without supervision — something that would be a boon for the construction industry. Imagine how much faster projects could be completed. Built Robotics’ machines use similar tech to those found in autonomous cars, though the sensors in use are being toughened for use on construction machinery and work sites. Want one working for you? There’s going to be a bit of a wait. The company’s products are still in development and these rigs aren’t available commercially. Yet

Source: Built Robotics (YouTube)

Perhaps Jean-Claude Van Johnson will convince you to get that Amazon Prime Video subscription

South African males of a certain age will remember Jean-Claude Van Damme well. His (cheesy) action films were a rite of passage for a big section of the population back when he was “super-famous” (his words, not ours) and his new series, Jean-Claude Van Johnson, is going to be sending that up. Playing himself, as an actor and apparently as a retired (but not for long) spy, this new Amazon Prime series looks just the right kind of bonkers. Expect a whole lot of self-parody so if you’re well-versed in Van Damme’s films, this one is for you. This might just tempt us to get that Prime subscription in a way that Clarkson never could. Just… see for yourself. The series kicks off on 15 December.

Source: Amazon (YouTube)


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