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— Telecommunications

Facebook takes aim at expanding internet access using laser-equipped drones

By - July 30, 2015 3 Pictures

In its quest to connect all corners of the globe – and get even more people signing onto the social networking juggernaut – Facebook has completed the first full-scale model of its internet-broadcasting drone. Dubbed Aquila, the solar-powered aircraft is made to fly for months at a time and has a wingspan equal to that of a Boeing 737, yet weighs less than a car.

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— Medical

Non-invasive spinal cord stimulation gets paralyzed legs moving voluntarily again

By - July 30, 2015 1 Picture

Five men with complete motor paralysis have regained the ability to move their legs voluntarily and produce step-like movements after being treated with a non-invasive form of spinal cord stimulation. The new treatment builds on prior work to generate voluntary movements in paralyzed people through electrical stimulation – in particular, two studies (one completed in 2011, the other in 2014) that involved surgically implanting an electrode array on the spinal cord. This time, however, the researchers found success without performing any invasive surgery.

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— Aircraft Review

Review: A critical look at DJI's Phantom 3 Professional

By - July 30, 2015 25 Pictures

China’s DJI made a gutsy move with the release of the Phantom 3. The Phantom 2 Vision+ was still clearly the best all-in-one prosumer camera drone on the market, so the Phantom 3 could easily have been an incremental upgrade. Instead, it's a total overhaul, and an amazing piece of aerial camera gear that equals gear that costs twice as much (like DJI's own Inspire One) in many areas. But is it perfect? No - and not by a long way. There's some pretty clear areas for improvement, even if the Phantom 3 Professional is still miles ahead of the competition.

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— Space

New map reveals a third of the stars in the Milky Way have dramatically changed orbit

By - July 30, 2015 1 Picture

It's easy to think of stars as being fixed in place, because that's how we see them in the sky. But like Earth and the other planets, they have orbits. And it turns out those orbits can change dramatically. In creating a new map of the Milky Way as part of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), scientists recently discovered that around 30 percent of the stars in our galaxy have done exactly that – they've moved into a totally new orbit.

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Covair swaps watch faces and straps in no time

For those that like to mix and match their jewelry to match their outfits, Covair is looking to make what it calls classic timepieces with interchangeable components. This means you can swap the face or strap out for another whenever and wherever style dictates or the mood strikes you.

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Lockheed tests Orion fairing design changes

Lockheed Martin announced that it's completed tests of design changes for NASA's Orion spacecraft’s fairing separation system. Based on information from Orion's unmanned maiden flight on December 5 last year, the alterations are meant to improve performance while reducing weight.

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— Science

Slaughterhouse waste could be made into yarn

By - July 30, 2015 2 Pictures

Ever since the late 19th century, people have experimented with making textiles from natural-source-based gelatine, as a cheaper and less allergenic alternative to wool. Although the emergence of synthetic fibers largely put an end to that, a new technique may yet allow gel-based yarn to see the spotlight. The fiber is said to have an insulation quality similar to that of Merino wool, and the collagen used to produce it can be obtained from waste at animal-processing facilities.

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— Aircraft

Study successfully uses drones to transport blood samples

By - July 30, 2015 2 Pictures

We’ve already heard about drones being used to deliver pharmaceuticals to patients in remote locations, but scientists from Johns Hopkins University and Uganda’s Makerere University are now looking at the other end of the picture – using them to deliver remotely-located patients’ blood samples to labs in larger centers. According to a proof-of-concept study conducted by the researchers, the little unmanned aircraft should be able to do the job just fine.

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