Furniture built from rainforest hardwoods like teak or mahogany has become a mark of environmental insensitivity. But if lumber companies harvested the perfectly preserved trees left under water by dam construction, they could increase the supply of such woods without endangering tropical habitats. So says Gary Ackles, president of Aquatic Cellulose of Vernon, B.C., who has developed a mechanized “aquatic lumberjack” to recover these valuable commodities far more quickly and safely than human divers could. Aquatic Cellulose is harvesting 1,800 square kilometers of trees from a Brazilian reservoir.
The system consists of a robotic arm controlled from the deck of a barge; the operator maneuvers the arm underwater with guidance from digitally enhanced video and real-time acoustical imaging. The robot arm can cut through a 1-meter diameter tree in 15 seconds and haul logs to the surface from up to 35 meters under.
The 50-year-old problem that eludes theoretical computer science
A solution to P vs NP could unlock countless computational problems—or keep them forever out of reach.
The moon didn’t die as early as we thought
Samples from China’s lunar lander could change everything we know about the moon’s volcanic record.
Forget dating apps: Here’s how the net’s newest matchmakers help you find love
Fed up with apps, people looking for romance are finding inspiration on Twitter, TikTok—and even email newsletters.
Inside the machine that saved Moore’s Law
The Dutch firm ASML spent $9 billion and 17 years developing a way to keep making denser computer chips.
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