A couple of weeks back we first heard about Octavia, the Naval Research Lab’s (NRL) and Office of Naval Research’s (ONR) new firefighting robot designed to perform “shoulder-to-shoulder” firefighting operations with humans aboard Navy vessels. Today we get to see Octavia in action, fighting a simulated fire in a demonstration video that is somewhat less-than-confidence-inspiring.
A new robotic jellyfish is powered by hydrogen, and could theoretically never run out of energy as it pulses through the sea. It’s designed to work as a search and rescue or surveillance ‘bot for the U.S. Navy.
A new prototype of the Navy's weapon of the future just completed its first test, blasting a chunk of metal through the air at speeds up to 5,600 MPH. Watch below as the Navy's electromagnetic railgun spews a formidable jet of orange flame.
The tools for safely disposing of explosive threats like improvised explosive devices (IEDs) have come a long way over the last decade, but one rule of explosives ordnance disposal (EOD) holds fast regardless of how much technology you throw at it: you can’t terminate a threat if you don’t know where it is.
Next-generation Mars rovers might not need solar panels or plutonium packs for juice — they’ll bring microbes with them to use in fuel cells. The Naval Research Laboratory is working on potential fuel cell designs that will provide lasting power via the reproductive cycle of bacteria astronauts.
A new, compact gasification contraption can dramatically compress the things our armed forces leave behind, turning trash into ash. Marines at Camp Smith, Hawaii, are testing the new unit to verify whether it could be used at forward operating bases to cut down on landfill. The Micro Auto Gasification System, or MAGS, can bake 100 pounds of garbage and compress it into 5 pounds of ash, while creating more energy than it consumes.
The Office of Naval Research is seeking fresh tactics for fighting the problem of Somali piracy, and it is turning to the defense community via an increasingly common tool for crowd sourcing tactical advice: a video game.
It’s unclear which is the bigger news coming out of the Office of Naval Research; the fact that the Navy’s Free Electron Laser (FEL) program has demonstrated an injector capable of producing the necessary electrons to fuel a megawatt-class laser beam, or the fact that a next-generation future weapon under development by the military is months ahead of schedule. Both are good news for the Navy, which might begin lasing threats out of the sky sooner than it anticipated.
The Navy just broke its own record for an awesomely powerful railgun, which can hurl a projectile hundreds of miles at superfast speeds without using explosives.
Today's 33-megajoule shot — powerful enough to launch 33 Smart cars at 100 mph — means the Navy can fire projectiles at least 125 miles, keeping military personnel at a safe distance from their targets, according to the Office of Naval Research.
Military simulators that resemble video games have obvious training benefits for warfighters, but U.S. Navy scientists also say that video games can boost brainpower and produce cognitive improvements that last up to two and a half years.
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.