Future hybrid cars won’t just have powerful batteries — they will be storing energy in their doors, hoods and roofs. Car parts could serve as capacitors, which would allow for smaller and more lightweight batteries, thus increasing a hybrid’s range.
Despite using advanced technology that lets planes practically fly themselves, airline pilots are still bogged down by a lingering 20th-century artifact: Paper. Now at least one commercial airline is adopting cockpit iPads, after the FAA approved their use earlier this year.
A test-tube circuit made of DNA-based logic gates can calculate the square root of numbers up to 15, using DNA replication and sequence binding to conduct computations. It’s excruciatingly slow — a calculation can take up to 10 hours — so organic laptops are not exactly in our near future. But the real breakthrough is in how this system can enable control of chemical systems.
Regular readers of this page are all pretty familiar with the latest generation of flying robots, from tennis-playing quadcopters to surveillance hummingbirds. But zebras, it’s fair to say, are not. So what happens when a drone buzzes a herd?
The German surveillance bot maker Microdrones took one of their md4-1000 quadcopters to the Masai Mara region of the Serengeti, and used it to capture video of all sorts of African wildlife. Here’s a preview of what their drone saw.
Back in World Wars I and II, warships were painted with odd, cubist-looking geometric designs intended to confuse attacking weapons systems. But other than looking cool, no one was sure if these zebra-esque paint jobs accomplished much. Now a new study says the designs can protect modern military craft even better than they did in the past.
Hey, reader, what are you wearing?
Did rumpled jeans fit your fancy this morning? Or perhaps a nice cotton-poly blend shirt with a paisley print? Here at PopSci, we prefer this spring's new line of nanostructured piezoelectric thermo-capable waterproof spider silk fireproof onesies, with added UV protection. Now that sounds like the uniform of the future.
Click here to check out our gallery of future textiles and fabrics.
Despite NASA’s attempts at anthropomorphism, the Mars rovers do not talk, so Spirit was unable to utter any last words. But we did get to share its final view. Behold, our departed rover’s last Martian vista, the Columbia Hills.