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Rivian is the Tesla of Trucks

The company is making high performance electric trucks that are really easy on the eyes. Also, researchers shoot electricity up their noses and create a bionic wrist.

Researchers Shoot Electricity Into Their Noses

Researchers at the Imagineering Institute in Malaysia are working on technology that would enable people to text scents.

The researchers recently tested the "electric smell" which conveys odor by stimulating the subject's olfactory receptors.

The work is part of an effort to create more realistic virtual reality. For example, instead of chatting or texting with a friend, you could enjoy a dinner in VR and not only share the sights, but the smells as well.

In the experiments, the researchers shot electrical currents above and behind the nostrils to evoke 10 virtual odors, including fruity, woody and minty.

The researchers can't yet control the odor that people experience — and they admit that no matter what the subjects are able to experience, people might be apprehensive to shove wires up their noses.

The work is preliminary, but could lead to advancements that restore the sense of smell for people who have lost it due to medical complications as well as future devices that deliver the capability ... without going up your nose

Artificial Joint Creates Bionic Wrist

A team of researchers from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden have created an artificial joint that could restore wrist action for below elbow amputees. The joint is connected to a pair of implants that are directly connected to the remaining bones in forearm - the radius and ulna. The joint then connects to a prosthetic hand to restore wrist-like movement for the patient.

The work stands to improve the quality of life of amputees. Just think of every door handle that can now be turned and screwdrivers that can be used without the patient having to torque their body..

The wrist-like artificial joint acts as an interface between the two implants and the prosthetic hand. Together, this allows for more natural movements as well as sensory feedback.

According to the researchers, depending on the level of amputation, patients may still have most of the biological actuators and sensors required for wrist rotation.

The artificial joint would connect to the receptors and could allow the patient to feel, for example, when he/she is turning a key to start a car.

In tests, the artificial joint has proven to dramatically improve patients’ range of motion.

Rivian is the Tesla of Trucks

Many have called automotive startup Rivian the Tesla of trucks because the company is developing high performance electric trucks and SUVs that are really easy on the eyes.

This week, at the LA Auto Show, the company unveiled two new all-electric vehicles: the R1T electric pickup truck and the all-electric R1S SUV. Both are targeted to enter production at the company's facility in Normal, Illinois in 2020.

The initial vehicles will have a 180 kilowatt-hour battery pack with a range of 410 miles. A smaller 135 kilowatt-hour battery pack will also be available out of the gate and a 105 kilowatt-hour option with a range of 250 miles will be available a year later.

According to the company, the truck will have enough power to climb 45-degree slopes and tow more than 11,000 pounds.

The SUV, which can seat seven, will start at $72,500 while the pickup, which can seat five, will be slightly cheaper at $69,000.

The vehicles have two body-mounted motors per axle that precisely control each wheel. The body mounted motors also mean that it has no engine, so where the engine once was is now a storage compartment or front trunk. The truck also has a cool storage cubby that runs the width of the truck and is located between the seats and the bed.

The truck will go from 0-60 in 2.8 seconds, 0-100 in less than seven seconds, and top out at 125 mph.

Now, what remains to be seen is whether or not Rivian will be more like Tesla, and we'll actually see the cars on the road, or Faraday, which is having a rougher go of it. Hopefully the team can pull it off without having to put in 80-100-hour workweeks

This is Engineering By Design. 

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