The Obama administration may have axed NASA's ambitious manned moon exploration plans for even an even more ambitious deep space exploration agenda, but for those developing the technologies that will one day take us to deep space the moon is just too ripe a testing ground to ignore. Lockheed Martin is pitching NASA what's being called an L2-Farside Mission that would launch a manned Orion spacecraft into a stationary halo orbit on the other side of the moon.
Germany’s Festo is no stranger to robots that mimic animal biology, but its new elephant trunk-inspired robot arm is more concerned with the fragility of human physiology than the strength of the elephant. The arm – known as the Bionic Handling Assistant – is certainly strong and flexible like the appendage it’s modeled after, but it’s also safe for humans to work with, employing a battery of resistance sensors that make human-machine interaction less of a safety hazard.
Critics of the selection that's often involved in assisted reproductive technology – picking a 5’10”, blond-haired, Ivy League grad egg donor, for example – say it turns conceiving a baby into a shopping exercise. It’s probably safe to venture, however, that none of the critics envisioned a day when we’d be bar-coding embryos.
Anything is possible with determination and a little help from modern technology. That's the message of Haidar Taleb's inspirational 200-mile journey across the desert of the UAE in a solar-powered wheelchair of his own design. Completion of the voyage on December 2 will break the world record for distance traveled in a solar-powered wheelchair – a record he already holds for a 14-hour, 80-mile trip from Abu Dhabi to Sharjah. That trip was taken mere weeks ago, yet Taleb is already setting off again, in honor of the UAE National Day.
911 has been very slow to respond to improvements in technology, sometimes to the detriment of its service. Smartphones, carried everywhere by millions of Americans, have sophisticated tracking, communication, and multimedia capabilities which lie largely untapped by 911. Today, the FCC announced plans to update 911 to allow for texting, as well as other tools like streaming video and MMS.
From ancient dragon mythology to the lesser offerings from Samuel L. Jackson’s body of work, mankind has long shown an apprehension toward – one might even say a phobia of – airborne snakes. Perhaps it’s the ability of these flying reptiles to strike fear into even the steeliest of human hearts that has the Pentagon interested in just exactly how these snakes perform their aerial acrobatics.
The problem with most e-paper, as we've come to know it, is that it's not actually anything like paper. Most e-readers like the Amazon Kindle use a glass substrate embedded with complex circuitry to achieve the visual appearance of paper rather than the glow of a computer screen. But a new kind of e-paper under development at the University of Cincinnati could change all that by putting e-ink where it belongs: on e-paper that's actually made out of paper.
A government scientist who helped develop the controversial new naked-body airport scanners says the images could easily be distorted into “grotesque” shapes, much like you would see in a funhouse mirror, to preserve passengers’ privacy.