How the Mineral team created a mini-plant buggy while sheltering-in-place

Agriculture is predictably unpredictable. Seeds will germinate and crops will emerge at certain temperatures, but nature is inherently uncertain, and outlier events like flood or drought will inevitably wreak havoc. It’s a tension that Elliott Grant has to navigate as Project Lead of Mineral, X’s moonshot in “computational agriculture”. For the last few years, Mineral has been developing tools like their plant buggy to help farmers, breeders, agronomists, and scientists understand the complexity of the plant world.

As Elliott put it: “Mother Nature waits for no one.” The emergence of…


Captain of Moonshots Astro Teller shares what X has learned from a decade of innovation about unleashing radical creativity

“Hi Gideon, welcome to X, it’s your first day.”

From the moment new Xers step inside the Factory, they’re asked to behave in hard, counter-intuitive ways — to embrace uncertainty, surf chaos, and resist the gravitational pull of the ordinary. …


An interview with Xer Phil Watson about navigating an uncertain future

Baseball legend Yogi Berra once quipped, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” By definition, the future is unknowable until it happens, and by then it’s usually too late to do anything about it. But, as Xer Phil Watson says: “you can look for levers to torque the future in a particular direction.”

That’s what we do at X: create moonshots that take the long view. Our projects — in areas like sustainable agriculture, ocean health, and robotics — might take a decade or more before they’re…


Editor’s note: This blog was originally published on the Makani team blog by Dr. Fort Felker on February 18th, 2020. In 2020, Makani’s 13-year journey came to an end. You can explore Makani’s 13 years of technical development and insights in The Energy Kite Collection. Thank you to everyone who supported the Makani team on their journey.

Makani was founded in 2006 by a group of kitesurfers who were curious about the potential for kites to unlock wind energy in more places around the globe. We started by asking questions: could we make wind energy cheaper and more accessible? Could…


Makani CEO Fort Felker makes a call for collaboration across the wind industry to promote emerging technologies. Working together will expand access to stranded wind resources sooner, and will amplify the impact of offshore wind on mitigating the effects of climate change.

Editor’s note: This blog was originally published on the Makani team blog by Dr. Fort Felker on December 11, 2019. In 2020 Makani’s 13-year journey came to an end. You can explore Makani’s 13 years of technical development and insights in The Energy Kite Collection. Thank you to everyone who supported the Makani team on their journey.

The following appeared as an abridged version of the “Energy Talk” by Dr. Fort Felker, presented at the WindEurope Offshore Conference in Copenhagen, November 28, 2019.

Good Morning! Thank you for joining me first thing in the morning to explore how new technology


Editor’s note: This blog was originally published on the Makani team blog by the Makani team on September 20, 2019. In 2020 Makani’s 13-year journey came to an end. You can explore Makani’s 13 years of technical development and insights in The Energy Kite Collection. Thank you to everyone who supported the Makani team on their journey.

This week, people around the globe are supporting youth as they call for increased action to combat climate change. For many of us on the Makani team, developing a new technology that works to advance global adoption of renewable energy is an objective…


The first flights of Makani’s energy kite from a floating platform are a big step towards increased access to energy resources that are currently stranded above waters too deep for fixed wind turbines.

Editor’s note: This blog was originally published on the Makani team blog by Dr. Fort Felker on August 15, 2019. In 2020 Makani’s 13-year journey came to an end. You can explore Makani’s 13 years of technical development and insights in The Energy Kite Collection. Thank you to everyone who supported the Makani team on their journey.

Last week, Makani’s energy kite flew over the North Sea. With demand for renewable energy on the rise, Makani’s first offshore flights could signify a breakthrough for floating offshore wind. …


Makani has been successfully flying our M600 energy kite in Hawai’i since 2018

Editor’s note: This blog was originally published on the Makani team blog by the Makani team on August 13, 2019. In 2020 Makani’s 13-year journey came to an end. You can explore Makani’s 13 years of technical development and insights in The Energy Kite Collection. Thank you to everyone who supported the Makani team on their journey.

Since our first flights at our Hawai’i Island site in 2018, we’ve been steadily testing our energy kite in the island’s strong winds. …


Makani is now an independent company and is partnering with Shell to bring energy kites to offshore environments

Editor’s note: This blog was originally published on the Makani team blog by Dr. Fort Felker on February 12, 2018. Makani is no longer a company. You can explore Makani’s 13 years of technical development and insights in The Energy Kite Collection. Thank you to everyone who supported the Makani team on their journey.

Hundreds of millions of people live within 25 miles of a coastline where winds are strong and steady, but two-thirds of coastal waters globally are too deep for today’s wind technology to economically access these resources. This is where we think Makani can help.

We’re working…


Editor’s note: Today, the Google AI Blog featured a detailed look at a collaboration between Google, X, and the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics to release a new open source library to improve the efficiency of tensor calculations. We’re reposting it here to share some insight into what the team have been working on.

Many of the world’s toughest scientific challenges, like developing high-temperature superconductors and understanding the true nature of space and time, involve dealing with the complexity of quantum systems. What makes these challenges difficult is that the number of quantum states in these systems is exponentially large…

The Team at X

X is a moonshot factory. Our mission is to invent and launch breakthrough technologies that we hope could someday make the world a radically better place.

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