Today on Engineering Newswire, brought to you by Interpower, the premier supplier of power system components for worldwide markets, we’re testing experimental grasshopper rockets, making smooth jazz on the seaboard, and making the Sphero do everything. This episode features:

  • Duke University is developing a new system, InSight, which will allow users to spot their friends in a crowd based purely on what they're wearing.
  • Sphero is an Orbotix Smart Robot that is a reinvention of the two-wheeled gyroscopic toy. It has batteries, wheels to drive the ball, an arm to keep the wheels on the ground, but also, an army of chips, sensors, and a complicated PCB all crammed inside a baseball-sized enclosure.
  • Music technology innovators gathered at the 2013 SXSW Music Accelerator in Austin, Texas to unveil their most ambitious new products. Among them was tech startup, ROLI, which took first place for its Seaboard GRAND. Hopefully, you’re a fan of smooth jazz.
  • The Cappa generator takes hydroelectric power to a smaller scale. It’s a personal turbine that can come in handy if you live near a lake or stream with running water.
  • In his keynote speech at SXSW 2013 in Austin, Texas, SpaceX founder Elon Musk explained how recycling rockets could result in 100-fold reduction in the cost of spaceflight, expounding on why his company has opted to pursue developing reusable rockets for its commercial space flight program.

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