Advertisement

David Szondy

Space

Hubble investigates dark spot on Neptune

If Neptune seems a bit blemished of late, it's because NASA has confirmed that a dark spot has shown up in its bluish atmosphere. Observations by the Hubble Space Telescope taken in May show that a dark vortex has appeared in the southern hemisphere. This high-pressure system is accompanied by brighter "companion clouds" and is the first such dark spot to be seen this century.Read More

Space Feature

Surprise package: Juno nears rendezvous with Jupiter

On July 4, Americans usually celebrate Independence Day with parades, fireworks and picnics, but this year NASA is adding its own contribution to festivities as the Juno deep space probe becomes just the second spacecraft in history to orbit Jupiter. After a five-year journey, the solar-powered unmanned explorer will autonomously fire its main engine for 35 minutes as it starts a 20-month mission to study the gas giant. What will be found remains to be seen, but if history is any indicator, it's likely to be very unexpected.Read More

Robotics

Boston Dynamics' SpotMini robot helps out around the house

Boston Dynamics has gone from the battlefield to the home with a smaller, quieter quadruped robot that can navigate around the house and even fetch you a drink – if you can get it to let go of the can. The focus of a new video released today, the SpotMini is a more compact and streamlined version of the Spot robot unveiled in 2015 and boasts an articulated arm with a manipulator that looks like a cross between a sheep's head and an oven mitt.Read More

Aircraft

Solar Impulse 2 completes first solar transatlantic flight

Solar Impulse 2 has flown into the history books again as it completed the first solar-powered flight across the Atlantic. With Bertrand Piccard at the controls, the single-seater aircraft touched down in Seville, Spain, at 7:38 am local time – over 71 hours after it left JFK airport in New York. Covering a distance of 6,765 km (4,203 mi), this completes the 15th leg of the experimental aircraft's bid to be the first solar-powered aircraft to circumnavigate the world.Read More

Marine

Rolls-Royce predicts robotic ships will be on the water by 2020

In 2014, Rolls-Royce unveiled its vision of the robotic cargo ship of the future that it believes will become a reality by 2020. This week at the Autonomous Ship Technology Symposium 2016 in Amsterdam, the Rolls-Royce-led Advanced Autonomous Waterborne Applications initiative (AAWA) presented a white paper outlining what such autonomous vessels might be like and what hurdles stand between them and the open sea.Read More

Space

Does Pluto have an ocean hiding beneath its surface?

If there's one place in our solar system you would expect to be as frozen solid as a box of forgotten ice lollies, it would be Pluto. However, PhD student Noah Hammond at Brown University says that data returned in 2015 by NASA's unmanned New Horizons deep-space probe indicates that the dwarf planet may have a subsurface ocean similar to those suspected to exist on some moons of Jupiter and may be responsible for the unusual surface features.Read More

Biology

Polarized lasers zap dyed DNA into super resolution

DNA may be one of the most basic molecules of life, but it's not easy to study. Despite being a very long molecule, it's only about 2.2 nanometers wide, so it's hard to see. Attaching fluorescent dyes to it can help, but until now, knowing how those dye molecules were behaving wasn't possible. A team of scientists at Stanford University has built on a technique called "single-molecule microscopy" to see just how DNA-bound dye molecules orient themselves, flop around and glow in the presence of polarized laser light.Read More

Robotics

Bespoke processor gives robot movement a speed boost

In structured environments, such as on manufacturing lines, robots are able to carry out pre-planned movements much faster than humans, but in unfamiliar environments it takes a lot of time for robots to plan movements that humans make almost without thinking. To give robots a speed boost, engineers at Duke University have developed a new processor that enables robots to perform motion planning 10,000 times faster than conventional methods.Read More

Military

Tank crews get 360-degree X-ray vision

Battle tanks are about the least invisible thing ever invented, but Elbit Systems has come up with a way to make them as see through as glass – at least from the inside. The company's new IronVision Helmet-Mounted System (HMS) doesn't use magic to achieve this. Instead, it employs sensor and display technology originally developed for fighter and helicopter pilots to provide a virtual 360ΒΊ panoramic view of the battlefield to tank commanders and crews.Read More

    Advertisement
    Advertisement
    Advertisement

    See the stories that matter in your inbox every morning