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In Brief

While regulations governing drone flight in the U.S. have become messy, the FAA is plugging along as if it has full control over the rules. It announced today that it is considering a request from seven film studios that wish to be exempt from the ban on commercial drone use, stating there “could be tangible economic benefits.” The precision agriculture, power line and pipeline inspection, and oil and gas flare stack inspection industries have also approached the FAA about an exemption, a release said.

In Brief

Mice live roughly up to two years. Send them to the International Space Station for 6 months, and you can potentially tell the effects space has on a mammal over a quarter of its life; information that could inform future missions to Mars and other distant planets. NASA is currently working on housing for the “mousetronauts,” as Elon Musk likes to call them, and plans to send them to the ISS later this year on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

In Brief

When I tried the 3Doodler 3D printing pen last year, it was fun but seemed kind of useless. The video below, which was noted by 3Ders.org, might just change my mind. Aerial cinematographer and maker Matt Quest depicts how he used a 3DAirPen to build the body of a tiny drone that looks much like the DJI Phantom. He then attaches propellers and electronics and flies it off into the distance.

In Brief

An American prop maker’s efforts to make a prosthetic hand for a South African carpenter has since grown into the Robohand project, which 3D prints affordable robotic hands for those who can’t spend thousands on a more traditional prosthetic. Robohand announced today on its Facebook page that it is now branching into prosthetic legs. The current prototype combines 3D printed joints with metal rods, which are more suited to weight support.

Robohand prosthetic leg

In Brief

A new competition challenges entrants to race teeny-tiny rovers 29.5 feet across the moon’s surface in a “Lunar Iditarod.” The rovers will first compete on Earth, after which the best will be shipped to the moon sometime in late 2015 with a ticket bought by cloud computing company RevUp Render. The twist? All of the rovers will be doge themed (known as “DogeSleds”) and competitors must pay their entrance fee in Dogecoin. Woof.

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