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PROJECTIONS, Episode 34: Doom VFR + Doom 3 BFG VR

We review Bethesda's Doom VFR, a version of the most recent Doom game built from the ground up with virtual reality controls in mind. From the locomotion mechanics to the combat pace to weapon feel, we discuss what presence brings to Doom, and the state of VR action shooters. Plus, we examine another interpretation of the classic action game in VR, the Doom 3 BFG VR mod.

Making a Body Form for the Star Wars Battlefront 2 Messenger Droid Cosplay

For our Star Wars Battlefront II Setinel cosplay, we had to make the cloak and gloves perfectly fit our performer. Frank and his team used their new CNC to make a body form that could be used for fitting the costume, and we discuss how materials are tested and chosen for the best visual effect. (This video was sponsored by Electronic Arts. Star Wars Battlefront II is out now.)

Testing: Kyosho Ultima RB6.6 RC Off-Road Racer

Not long ago, I reviewed Kyosho's re-release of the Optima 4-wheel-drive off-road RC racer. I was pretty excited to do that review because I had always pined for an Optima as a kid. This time around, I'll be looking at another off-roader from Kyosho: the 2-wheel-drive Ultima RB6.6. I'm feeling a little nostalgic here as well because an Ultima was the car that I did get as a kid.

The RB6.6 is not a re-release of the vintage Ultima. Rather, this is the latest iteration in a long line of variants dating back to 1987. The design has evolved to stay competitive while keeping pace with ever-changing technology and racing trends. A cursory glance reveals that this car shares only its name with my former Ultima.

About the Ultima RB6.6

Kyosho offers the latest Ultima in two forms. The kit version ($400) is intended for hard-core racers, while the Readyset ($250) is better-suited for beginning racers and backyard bashers. This review covers the Readyset variant.

The core design of both cars is the same. The kit version includes higher-end racing hardware such as aluminum-bodied shocks, a ball differential, and even several different transmission configurations. You must assemble the kit (not a bad thing) and provide all of the electronics. One advantage of the Readyset option is that it includes a 2.4GHz radio system and the onboard electronics. The only things you have to add are a battery, charger, and four AA cells for the transmitter.

The Readyset arrives factory-assembled. You could literally open the box and be driving the Ultima a few minutes later. A positive aspect of this situation is that rookie RC mechanics need not worry about knowing the correct way to install a given component--it's already done. The flip side is that they will eventually need these skills. Maintenance and repair is an important aspect of owning an RC car. Thankfully, the hefty manual dedicates many pages to proper maintenance steps.

Bits to Atoms: Mechanical Pong Machine!

Jeremy and Sean pay tribute to the venerable stepper motor in this project for the Tested live show! Their idea: building a mechanical version of Pong that can be played by a large audience. And the twist: the game is controlled by crowd noise.

Awesome Jobs: Meet Julie Huber, Deep Sea Microbiologist

There's life in the deepest part of the ocean. And some of that life is microscopic. It's not easy to find the world's tiniest organisms on land and it's even harder when they live in one of the most out of reach places on Earth. Julie Huber, a marine microbiologist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, specializes in finding these itty bitty lifeforms. She talked to us about operating underwater ROVs, doing research off the side of a ship, how understanding the weirdest forms of life on Earth teaches us new lessons about our planet, and what it's like to battle seasickness when your career requires you to spend your life among the waves.

Photo credit: Thom Hoffman

What is the focus of your work?

The big picture is that I'm an oceanographer and I study microbial life in the deep ocean. When I say deep, I mean really deep. I'm mostly interested in places where no sunlight penetrates. I'm especially interested in life living beneath the seafloor within the rocks and fluids that are moving through the crust. The oceans cover 70% of the planet's surface. Oceanic crust is formed by the process of plate tectonics. We constantly have new crust being generated and recycled. Within oceanic crust, seawater is moving through it. It's like a jar of marbles. It's porous, water moves through it. Because there is space and water, there is life.The estimates are that 2% of the global volume of the ocean is in the crust at any single point in time.

The water in the ocean is always moving. New ocean water sinks in the North Atlantic and moves through the conveyor belt, and at some point, it was also move through the crust as it makes its way around the planet's oceans.

Plate tectonics make Earth a really unique place. In our solar system other planets don't have plate tectonics. Ever since I started in this field I've been thinking about life beyond our planet. That is something that I didn't appreciate. You have this fundamental process that keeps exposing fresh rock. Water reacts with it and you get this amazing chemistry that allows life to exist.

There are certainly not plate tectonics going on on Mars right now.

Adam Savage's King Arthur Armor Build: Epilogue

Adam puts on the full King Arthur armor and visits a local tavern in this short film directed by Terry English! Adam's dream is realized! Thanks so much for following along this build with us. If you want to see more build series like this, let us know in the comments!