Fridaygram: Street View in the sky, robot carp, restored shuttlecraft

JUN 28, 2013
Author Photo
By +Scott Knaster, Google Developers Blog Editor

This week we launched Street View images showing what it’s like inside (and outside) the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. We love taking Street View places it’s never been, and now we’ve added two firsts: the first collection in the Arab World, and the first one to feature a skyscraper.

As if it’s not enough to visit the 163rd floor of the world’s tallest building, or ride an elevator traveling at 22 mph, we thought it would be fun to send our Street View camera outside the 73rd floor in a maintenance unit for a breathtaking view of the surrounding cityscape. So don’t miss that view, as long as you’re OK with heights.

We go from high above the Earth to under the sea for news of the world’s first robot carp. A team of scientists in Singapore studied these freshwater fish and designed an autonomous underwater exploration vehicle. They plan to use this robofish to study tight spaces in underwater places, such as pipelines or the lost city of Atlantis. The researchers used cameras to record carp doing their thing, then created a mathematical model of carp movements to trigger actuators in their robot.

Finally, let’s journey beyond even the Burj Khalifa, out into (pretend) space, where the Galileo Shuttlecraft served Captain Kirk and the crew of the U. S. S. Enterprise in the original Star Trek universe. This prop was originally considered too expensive for the production company to build, so Federation personnel had to make their way to and from planets by transporter instead. But the craft was eventually built and appeared midway through the first season, in 1967 (or stardate 2821.5, if you prefer). In the years since then, the ship has deteriorated. But now Star Trek fans and a shipwright are restoring the Galileo to its original glory, to be enjoyed by fans everywhere. Magnifico!

Whether on the surface of the Earth, way down below the ocean, or in space, Fridaygram is always your ticket to fun nerdy stuff. Speaking of space (and Star Trek), it looks like Voyager 1 has still not left the solar system, although it has entered a previously unknown area, far out there. This weekend, go and explore something new on your own!