Elon Musk’s ‘Master Plan’ for Tesla: Solar power, fully autonomous car-sharing and heavy vehicles

Tesla chief executive lays out plan for combination of Tesla and SolarCity

MarketWatch‘s Jeremy Owens reports Tesla Motors Inc. Chief Executive Elon Musk doesn’t want to stop with electric cars: “He sees a future with heavy electric trucks and buses, as well as autonomous electric car-sharing networks, all powered by solar energy.”

That is the vision Musk laid out, part of a push by the car maker’s leader for the acquisition of SolarCity, a residential solar-power company in which Musk is heavily invested. In a recent blog post, which Musk had been teasing for more than a week on Twitter, he said that solar-power generation captured by Tesla’s Powerwall batteries is key to his vision for the future of Tesla.

Musk summed up his original “Master Plan” listed below  verbatim:

• Build sports car.
• Use that money to build an affordable car.
• Use that money to build an even more affordable car.
• While doing above, also provide zero emission electric power generation options.

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Source: MarketWatch.com
Photo: Tesla Motors

 

Did a Robot Break Rubik’s Cube-Solving Record

NPR reports two guys in Kansas City, Mo., have built a robot that can solve the cube in an amazing 1.2 seconds.

Don’t Blink: Robot Solves Rubik’s Cube In Just Over 1 Second

by Bill Chappell | NPR

WASHINGTON—In a blazing display of physical efficiency and analytical speed that’s likely to infuriate anyone who’s ever struggled to solve a Rubik’s Cube puzzle, two guys in Kansas City, Mo., have built a robot that can solve the cube in an amazing 1.2 seconds.

Actually, some of the robot’s times are under 1.2 seconds. A video on YouTube posted by software engineer Jay Flatland shows the robot — a collection of motors, webcams and 3D-printed parts — whizzing to a solution in 1.196 seconds.

One time recorded in the video was even quicker: 1.04 seconds. That came after Flatland covered the robot’s cameras with a piece of paper and scrambled the cube by hand before replacing it in the frame.

rubiks-cube-coDesignThe robot uses a specially prepared cube with small holes drilled into each side, allowing it to grip the cube securely. Describing the robot in the video, Flatland says information from four USB webcams is fed into a computer that uses a cube-solving algorithm called Kociemba, which then “determines a set of moves to solve the cube very rapidly.”

Photo: Co.Design

The robot’s time is several seconds faster than the fastest human time of 4.904 seconds, which was set in November by 14-year-old Lucas Etter of Lexington, Ky. It’s also two seconds quicker than the time of 3.253 seconds that has been the robot record for solving a Rubik’s Cube since March of 2014.

The Kansas City team of Flatland and fellow engineer Paul Rose hopes to have the record certified by the folks at Guinness World Records next week, Flatland tells NPR editor Avie Schneider.

The robot’s times are impressive, but it has a ways to go if it wants to match the reaction to Etter’s feat—watch this…

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