Hybrid and even all-electric sports cars have become the rage as of late, but how many of them can recharge their lithium-ion battery in as little time as a pit stop at the gas station? Meet Finland's electric RaceAbout, an all-electric sports car that has its sights set on the $10 million Progressive Automotive X-Prize, according to Inhabitat.
An unmanned aircraft with the appearance of a flying manta ray could herald the future of jetliners. NASA and Boeing's flying lab has wrapped up the first series of flight tests that should help pave the way for less noisy, more fuel-efficient airplanes that also emit less pollution.
The 500-pound X-48B aircraft celebrated its 80th and last flight of the project's first phase on March 19, 2010, or almost three years after its first flight on July 20, 2007.
Like many pieces of modern medical equipment, X-ray machines are as bulky and energy dependent as they are vital. Even "portable" X-ray machines remain too heavy to carry across rough terrain, and too energy hungry to run off batteries. That's why Radius Health's portable, low energy X-ray machine may revolutionize medicine in disaster zones, on the front lines, and at patients homes.
After years of patrolling New York City's water ways in antiquated, decades-old boats, the New York Fire and Police Departments are upgrading to some of the most technologically advanced vessels this side of an Aegis Cruiser. The modernized boats, a 45-footer for the cops and a 140-footer for the firemen, will give the departments greater range and speed, with the ability to deal with more dangerous situations.
The boron carbide that forms body armor plates and helps protect battle tanks has now become a part of T-shirt fabric. The reinforced nanocomposites could eventually lead to more flexible body armor or lightweight materials for cars and aircraft, according to Chemistry World.
Fleets of unmanned drones have become a common weapon in the U.S. military's arsenal, but clunky controls and interfaces that distract human operators can lead to costly mistakes and crashes. Such problems prompted a former U.S. Navy pilot to develop an iPhone app that allows any smartphone user to learn how to fly an unmanned aerial system in just three minutes.
A more powerful magnetic material may have emerged to topple previous record-holder iron cobalt, until now the most magnetic material on Earth. The new iron and nitrogen compound might also force physicists to revise their understanding of magnetism, according to the Minnesota Daily.
An aging transmission line built in 1948 is the only link between the U.S. power grid and the little city of Presidio in West Texas. So Presidio has invested in a single huge battery that can power the entire town and serve as emergency backup for the frequent outages caused by the line going down, NPR reports.
China is already the world's largest market for wind power, but it's not stopping with the onshore sites. A 102-megawatt wind farm is slated to hit full power this month in the Yangtze River delta near Shanghai, Technology Review reports. And that's just the beginning, as Chinese officials opened bids on creating three or four more offshore wind power projects that could generate 1,000 megawatts total.