The Robot Launch global startup competition is over for 2017. We've seen startups from all over the world and all sorts of application areas – and we'd like to congratulate the overall winner Semio, and runners up Apellix and Mothership Aeronautics. All three startups met the judges criteria; to be an early stage platform technology in robotics or AI with great impact, large market potential and near term customer pipeline.
The space agency will try once again in December to launch the world's smallest rocket capable of placing a satellite in orbit after the initial attempt failed in January. The rocket, measuring 10 meters long and 50 cm in diameter, will carry a "micro-mini" satellite weighing about 3 kg developed by the University of Tokyo to collect imagery of the Earth's surface. The launch scheduled for Dec. 25 will feature the fifth rocket in the SS-520 series. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is hoping small rockets made with commercially available components at low cost will help fuel the growing global demand for micro-mini satellites. JAXA used components found in home electronics and smartphones for the rocket, which is about the size of a utility pole.
Nintendo brought Mario Kart racing to the physical world with the launch of its Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit pack last year. But despite the software being free to download, Home Circuit packs cost $100 each. Now Amazon has the Luigi pack for $10 off, bringing it down to just under $90. While that's admittedly a small discount, it's the best price we've seen on a Home Circuit pack and a decent discount for a Nintendo Switch accessory. Buy Mario Kart: Home Circuit Luigi pack at Amazon - $89.28 Similarly to the Ring Fit Adventure, Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit builds upon the tech in your Nintendo Switch and lets you build your own track and use physical cars to race.