Kingda Ka, the tallest roller coaster on Earth, drops its passengers a life-flashing 418 feet. Ferrari World's Formula Rossa, the fastest, literally takes riders' breath away at speeds of up to 150 mph. Though thrilling, these are phenomena of degree, not kind. BRC Imagination Arts, a Southern California design firm, has proposed something entirely new: a ride that creates the sensation of zero gravity for up to eight seconds at a time.
A legendary sports-car builder engineers a featherweight, ethanol-powered supercar on skis to lead an expedition across Antarctica
By Michael DumiakPosted 02.04.2009 at 9:05 am 12 Comments
When you're driving a 4.7-ton truck filled with scientific equipment across a crevasse-strewn Antarctic wasteland, choosing the right path is critical. Deep cracks in the ice, invisible from a distance, can swallow a truck whole. An Antarctic expedition needs an ultra-light scout vehicle to run ahead and find a safe route before the heavy machinery rolls through. That's exactly what the Concept Ice Vehicle (CIV) is built to do.
The B-2 stealth bomber, assisted by midair refuelings, can fly a 44-hour mission to the other side of the world, take out targets using laser-guided smart munitions, then sneak out of enemy territory undetected. Yet it runs on Intel 286 processors -- state of the art in 1982, but these days, not so much.
Imagine a car veering off a lonely mountain road and tumbling down the embankment. Minutes later, a sleek aircraft zooms in quietly at 230 miles an hour, tilts its wings and rotors up, hovers, and sets down just feet from the wreck. The pilot and a medic load the injured driver into the aircraft and zip back to a hospital at twice the speed of a conventional helicopter ambulance.
This autonomous firefighting 'bot gets its self-preservation instinct from its (very distant) insect cousins
By Michael DumiakPosted 03.31.2008 at 3:15 pm 6 Comments
Shifting through the mossy undergrowth of Germany's Black Forest, antennae raised and leg joints quietly clicking forward, OLE (pronounced "oh-luh") is a St. Bernard–size bug on the prowl. But this mechanized insect isn't a scavenger—it's a guardian.