World’s Tallest Building Burj Khalifa Gets Shut Down

from Gizmodo Australia by Adam Frucci

Is the new world’s tallest building going through some issues? While so far only the observation deck is open, it’s been temporarily shut down due to “unexpected high traffic” and “electrical problems”. Ruh roh! (more…)


from InfraNet Lab by Neeraj Bhatia

[Robonaut2 – or R2 for short – is the next generation dexterous robot, developed through a Space Act Agreement by NASA and General Motors. It is faster, more dexterous and more technologically advanced than its predecessors and able to use its hands to do work beyond the scope of previously introduced humanoid robots. Image via NASA]

Just eight months after filing for bankruptcy, General Motors has announced that it will be teaming up withNASA to develop new robots. The opportunistic joint venture is part of the Space Act Agreement, and aims to build a safe ‘humanoid’ robot that is able to work alongside humans. The development of the R2 robonaut – or what is being claimed as the most dexterous robot – is a result of several new technologies including leading edge control and sensor/ vision systems. To achieve near human dexterity in an envelope of comparable size and shape to human hands and fingers, engineers looked to biomimicry to create tendon-like operators. The R2 was built to replicate the human form from waist up and take over difficult, dangerous or repetitive tasks while increasing safety.

[ NASA and General Motors have come together to develop the next generation dexterous humanoid robot. The robots – called Robonaut2 – were designed to use the same tools as humans, which allows them to work safely side-by-side humans on Earth and in space. Image via NASA]

[ Robonaut2 surpasses previous dexterous humanoid robots in strength, yet it is safe enough to work side-by-side with humans. It is able to lift, not just hold, this 20-pound weight (about four times heavier than what other dexterous robots can handle) both near and away from its body. Image via NASA]

The massive expense of such a development encouraged partnership between what are now two government owned agencies. While it is still to be decided if the robots will be remotely operated by human control devices or will have autonomously scripted actions, the aim for future robonauts is to be able to work free of human involvement. The ramifications of such a development are endless – from changing production processes, to soldier robots, future robonauts could even be the first citizens of new planets that plant the first terraforming or geoengineering seeds. Key to the future development and success of robonauts is how we can effectively reduce the gap between mechanical engineering and biology, or create a systemic symbiosis between the sciences.

yamasaki architects: qatar convention center

from Designboom – Weblog

the qatar national convention centre by japanese yamasaki architects

the qatar national convention centre by japanese yamasaki architects

opening in 2011 is the qatar national convention centre by japanese yamasaki architects.
boasting an iconic design and cutting edge facilities, QNCC is the first of its kind being
built to the gold certification of U.S. green building council’s leadership in energy
and environment design (LEED). the center spans an area of 177,000 sq meters
and consists of a specially designed roof containing 3,600 sqm of solar panels which
will supply about 12.5% of the project total energy needs.

on completion, the QNCC will provide a venue of choice for regional and national
conventions, exhibitions, gala events, concerts, weddings and banquets.

QNCC’s spans over three levels consisting of:
– 40, 000 m2 of exhibition space
– conference hall for 4,000 delegates
– 2,300-seat lyric style theatre
– three additional tiered auditoriums
– theatre-style seating, banquet space for up to 10,000 in exhibition halls
– total of 57 meeting rooms
– spacious pre-function, exhibition foyers
– luxurious lounges, hospitality suites
– dedicated registration desks, business centre, media rooms

QNCC is located alongside elite universities, research and technology institutions in
education city, a new global hub of ideas and innovation, 20 minutes away from
the central business district.

How Nerdy Is Your City, In Dollars?

from Gizmodo Australia by John Herrman

How much do single mothers in Akron spend on electronics? What about married Chicagoans, without kids, on their phone service? Bachelors, on cable, in New York? If only there was an interactive web app to tell you this stuff! (more…)

MAD architects: phoenix island

from Designboom – Weblog

phoenix island by MAD architects is located in the center of sanya city, hainan province,
china. it is a man-made island surrounded by the sea. the dimension of phoenix island
is about 1250-meters long and 350-meter wide, connected by a bridge of 395-meter with
the main island of sanya.

the site area is about 365,000 sqm and will represent the future of sanya as the international
touring and resorts city. the island itself is a vacation land consisting a 7-star hotel, 5 boutique
apartments, yacht clubhouse, shopping streets and a habour for internaitonal passenger liners.
the total building area of the phoenix island is about 500,000 sqm. construction work is due
to finish in 2014.

project info:
year: 2008
location: sanya, china
typology: urban planning, architecture, design
site area: 365,013 sqm
building area: 392,825 sqm
status: under-construction

Zaha Hadid�s Petroleum Research Center (Ironically) Aims For LEED Platinum

from Feed

It may seem ironic, but even petroleum research centers can be LEED certified if they meet the critieria. Case in point:�the King Abudullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC for short), designed by Zaha Hadid, is aiming for LEED Platinum. Set to be built in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the state of the art campus will house research and development facilities on energy and environmental exploration and analysis. KAPSARC�s main building is a crystalline structure composed of modular six-sided cells with many connections between them, as well as a series of shaded outdoor spaces, gardens, and underground tunnels. Inhabitat.

LAVA: Tower Skin for Sydney Skycraper

from CTBUH Global News

Feb 9, Sydney

International architectural firm LAVA has developed a simple, cost effective, easily constructed skin that promises to transforms aged 1960’s buildings, into sustainable, iconic buildings. A speculative project, ‘Tower Skin’ for the University of Technology (UTS) Broadway Tower in Sydney offers a unique opportunity to transform the once state of the art building…more

Professor builds case for Barbie as architect

from Feed

Over the years, Barbie has been an astronaut, a nurse, the president of the United States and a police officer, among more than 120 careers. But she�s never been an architect, and a University at Buffalo architecture professor wants to change that.Buffalo News

The Gyre: A Floating Upside Down Eco Skyscraper

from CTBUH Global News

Feb 8

Can you imagine living in a high-rise apartment building where the 360 degree views are of fishes and saltwater? Although just a concept, this upside-down, underwater eco-skyscraper could be the future of building, especially if sea levels rise as predicted and we end up living in a water world…more