Michigan researchers have built a prototype of a new auto motor that does away with pistons, crankshafts and valves, replacing the old internal combustion engine with a disc-shaped shock wave generator. It could slash the weight of hybrid cars and reduce auto emissions by 90 percent.
Nonlethal weapons could be used to disperse crowds, repel attackers or, as readers learn in "Shoot to Not Kill" (May 2003 issue), test the pain tolerance of journalists. Nonlethal weapons can be acoustic, chemical or electrical in nature, and range from the simple to the highly complex. Here are some selected technologies, at various stages of development, that the U.S. military has considered for its nonlethal arsenal: