GPS devices are great, but sometimes I want to throw mine out the window. There’s something so obnoxious about the Garmin voice, especially when you disregard its navigation choice and it tells you it’s “reCALCulating” in that disapproving tone. A new haptic steering wheel concept would be so much friendlier! Instead of smarmy commentary, the wheel simply vibrates to tell you which way to turn.
The European Space Agency announced plans today to launch a privately built snub-nosed space bullet, which sort of resembles a wingless, truncated space shuttle, within the next two years. Thales Alenia Space, builder of several International Space Station components and many European satellites, is manufacturing the spacecraft.
The days of rummaging for your cellphone may be over. Bluetooth-enabled timepieces now pull all your phone alerts right to your wrist. Eventually, these watches will communicate directly with the Web and serve as mobile hotspots on their own.
By Joshua Saul
Posted 05.20.2011 at 11:03 am 7 Comments
In 2006, Darpa, the Department of Defense’s R&D arm, commissioned AeroVironment, a company specializing in remote aircraft, to create an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) small enough to fly through an open window. AeroVironment had already built the 4.5-foot-wingspan Raven, which first saw combat over Afghanistan in 2003, but making a UAV so much smaller took five years and 300 different wing designs.
Imagine bringing down World of Warcraft enemies with merely an icy stare. A new laptop prototype, developed jointly by Lenovo and eye-tracking specialist Tobii, is the first notebook you can control with your eyes. The 15-inch computer can run gaze-based apps that automatically close when you look away and reopen when you look back, or games that let you aim weapons with your eyes.
Lenovo and Swedish eye-control company Tobii have teamed up for a laptop prototype that uses eye-tracking tech to trigger certain actions on the computer. We've seen this idea before with smartphones, but the laptop's bigger size and increased power makes it much more suitable--even useful, if Engadget's hands-on is any indication.
They're not making any more real estate; not until we colonize other planets at least. Laying out our dead horizontally, and leaving them in peace forever, is becoming an expensive proposition. That's why inventor Donald Scruggs has come up with the screw-in coffin.
Holding a body vertically, it is screwed down into the ground securely, to optimize graveyards' use of space.
In an unprecedented lapse for one of the world's most secretive companies, Apple has lost control of what appears to be a late-stage prototype of the next version of the iPhone. And unluckily for them, the lost bird found its way into Gizmodo's hands. They've splayed it open for all to see, similar to how Steve Jobs is now hoping to splay open whomever lost his top-secret phone.
Get ready for a firefighting vehicle that might have arrived from your old Saturday morning GI Joe cartoons. Yanko has showcased an ATV design by Liam Ferguson that can carry remotely-operated water cannons and a two-person crew into the heart of a raging blaze, and emerge unscathed.
Microsoft will debut a new keyboard prototype in October that adds a new layer of functionality: pressure sensitivity. By including sensors underneath the entire keyboard, each key is capable of detecting pressure, which it captures at 8-bit resolution. By striking a key with varying degrees of force, you can carry out higher-level actions like deleting entire words instead of letters, or having a video game character run and jump at different speeds and heights.
This shiny little black car is the first real Chevy Volt—the first of many hand-built but bona-fide production-intent prototypes that will roll out of GM’s pre-production workshop in the coming weeks. This car is the next big step in the production process after the testing of the Volt “mules”—test cars with a Chevy Cruze body and a Volt powertrain. (We drove one of the mules last month; see our full review here.)
27 hydraulic cylinders bring the mechs to life, its movements matching those of the person inside it
By Charles Crain
Posted 06.08.2009 at 10:37 am 69 Comments
Carlos Owens had handled all kinds of machines as an army mechanic, but he always dreamed of using those skills for one project: his own "mecha,” a giant metal robot that could mirror the movements of its human pilot.
Today Mitsubishi unveiled the production version of the iMiEV, the company’s pure-electric car, and announced that it will come to market pretty much right away—next month, in Japan. (No North American launch date has been announced.) Mitsubishi is calling the four-seat minicar the “ultimate eco-car,” the first step toward making EVs 20 percent of its business by 2020.
The foot-controlled "Luke" prosthetic arm may not win any lightsaber fights, but it could soon lend a helping hand to wounded warriors returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. A three-year study by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is slated to provide engineering feedback before widespread distribution to veterans, according to an announcement last week.
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.