In the West during the summer, wildfires are a part of life; ignited by lightning or accident, flames will rampage through lodgepole forest and across dry mountainsides, filling the air with a dirty orange haze and residents’ hearts with trepidation. But the hot shots will be there, digging trenches by hand, and the Black Hawks and infrared satellites will watch from above, combining a century of ground strategy with modern technology to battle even the most uncooperative fires.
Hostage situations are often described like explosive devices, as ticking time bombs waiting to go off. And just as bomb disposal units have robots to help with their job, now police negotiators have a bot of their own for defusing a different kind of explosive situation.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.