There was a time when shipping containers were just used for cargo, but these days, they're used for everything from housing to restaurants and urban farms. While these steel boxes have proven to be extremely versatile, they're also very expensive to move and require some heavy lifting. Excalibur Shelters is making this a bit cheaper and simpler with SL-Tainer, a self-lifting container that does away with the need for a crane to get it on and off the back of a truck.
The age of steam is over – at least, as far as US aircraft carriers are concerned. At Newport News, Virginia, theUSS Gerald R Ford (CVN 78) successfully test fired a revolutionary Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS), which replaces the steam catapults that have been standard carrier equipment since the 1950s. The test made a literal splash because it involved an unmanned dead-weight sled rather than an aircraft, which landed about a hundred yards off the bow of the still under construction vessel.
Jaguar has taken the wraps off the 2016 version of its XJ flagship
luxury saloon. With an expanded model variant range with two new top-end
models, the XJR-Sport and XJ Autobiography, there aren't too many
surprises, but there is a greater emphasis on driver assist functions
and infotainment systems.
The development of powered exoskeletons has so far been largely restricted to the laboratory, the military, and areas such as rehabilitation therapy. This kind of technology also has obvious potential in industry, where constant heavy lifting is still very much a part of many working lives. Recently in Stuttgart, the Robo-Mate project unveiled an exoskeleton designed specifically for industrial use that can make 10 kilos feel like 1.
Earlier this month, SpaceX carried out a successful test of the Crew Dragon's Launch Abort System (LAS), which would carry the capsule to safety in the event of an emergency. This is no doubt a great comfort to future space travelers, but what about the ground crew or if the astronauts aren't inside the capsule when an emergency occurs? To help protect them and speed them away from danger, NASA is testing a 45,000-pound MRAP armored vehicle as an evacuation carrier for upcoming manned missions.
For those of us of a certain age, the old VW camper van introduced in the 1950s held the promise of a compact, affordable home away from home – or just home. Never mind that it had an engine like something off a sewing machine, steered like a bucket, and negotiated hills on a 50-50 basis – it represented the freedom of the road. Volkswagen is continuing this tradition with a new California variant of its recently released Transporter T6.
If you're one of those people who just can't find the time to fit everything you want to do into a day, then mark June 30 on your calendar. On that Tuesday you'll have a little extra time on your hands because, at precisely 23:59:59 GMT, the world's clocks will add a second to the day, making it 24 hours and one second long.
Returning spacecraft hit the atmosphere at over five times the speed of sound, generating a sheath of superheated ionized plasma that blocks radio communications during the critical minutes of reentry. It's a problem that's vexed space agencies for decades, but researchers at China's Harbin Institute of Technology are developing a new method of piercing the plasma and maintaining communications.
Robots are increasingly becoming part of our everyday lives and many roboticists believe that we are on the verge of a robot revolution that will do for goods and services what the Internet did for information. If so, then a lot of the credit goes to a 50 year old box on wheels called Shakey: the "world's first electronic person."
We've looked closely at the on track action at the recent 2015 DARPA Robotics Challenge, but there's a lot more to the story. Gizmag went behind the scenes to explore the "garage" where the teams tended their sophisticated charges in order to learn more about what makes the world's most advanced robots tick.