DARPA’s Transformer – sometimes referred to as the flying Humvee – seems to be moving right along, even if only on paper at this point. The DoD’s out-there tech incubator has awarded Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute $988,000 to develop an autonomous flight system for the vehicle, which would go a long way toward helping the proposed military vehicle get off the ground in both the literal and figurative senses.
Most of the robots currently serving in the U.S. military are simply mechanized extensions of soldiers; They can execute dangerous maneuvers and keep people from high-risk situations, but they're usually tethered to operators working remotely, and don't cut down on manpower so much as they take it out of harm's way.
But a machine named Octavia, which can respond to visual and verbal commands could pave the way for a fleet of self-sufficient bots that can be as receptive to a commander as a human soldier.
Peeing on your phone seems like an all-around pretty bad idea, but British researchers have managed to find an upside. They claim that by urinating on a computer chip and plugging it into a phone or computer, people will soon be able to easily self-diagnose sexually transmitted diseases.
Last night the normally hazy sunset off the southern California coast was interrupted by a missile streaking upward and across the sky, captured by a local CBS News affiliate's helicopter camera. But no one from the Navy to the Air Force to the brass at the Pentagon is saying definitively what the object was or where it came from, outside of the fact that it originated from somewhere at sea about 35 miles west of Los Angeles and north of Catalina Island.
A new fuel-free propulsion system for nanodevices works like a disappearing act, dissolving an object at one end and re-generating it at the other end.
The method requires an electrical current to work, so it’s not completely energy-free, but it could be an effective way to propel nanoscale materials inside nano- or micro-devices. It could even lead to disappearing magical motors that vanish once their task is complete.
In Afghanistan, perhaps more so than in a small Polish town, it's important to know exactly where you're going. So you can imagine the frustration felt by Polish troops serving in Afghanistan when faulty GPS equipment told them that they weren't in Afghanistan, but in one of several African nations or back home in the small town of Zielona Gora in Western Poland.
By Morgen PeckPosted 11.08.2010 at 12:21 pm 0 Comments
Toads. Clouds. Radon gas. Scientists have studied the movement of each of these in desperate attempts to improve earthquake detection methods by even just a few minutes. Now there’s a technology to test the radon theory for good and possibly give warning days before a quake.
As uranium in the earth decays, it emits radon gas, some of which collects in pockets underground. Some seismologists hypothesize that earth shifts imperceptibly in the days before a quake, causing fractures that puncture the pockets and release more radon. But it would take a lot of data to test the theory.
By Rose EvelethPosted 11.08.2010 at 10:20 am 2 Comments
Bomb squads have long used metal detectors, X-ray machines and dogs to uncover threats. Without them, authorities may not have intercepted some of the thirteen homemade explosives that froze Greece’s outgoing mail earlier this week. But soon they may find a new tool in their quest to find the bad guys and their bombs: microscopic worms.
Researchers in Germany have created bandages that turn purple at the first sign of infection.
A new wound dressing, developed at the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Modular Solid State Technologies EMFT in Munich, includes a special dye that reacts to different pH values.