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David Szondy

David Szondy

David Szondy is a freelance writer based in Monroe, Washington. An award-winning playwright, he has contributed to Charged and iQ magazine and is the author of the website Tales of Future Past.

— Good Thinking

SL-Tainer shipping container gets off the ground without a crane

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.

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— Aircraft

First installed electromagnetic aircraft launch system demonstrated

The age of steam is over – at least, as far as US aircraft carriers are concerned. At Newport News, Virginia, the USS 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.

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— Automotive

Jaguar unveils 2016 XJ

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.

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— Robotics

Robo-Mate exoskeleton aims to lighten the load for industry

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.

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— Space

NASA testing MRAP armored vehicles for launch pad evacuations

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. Read More
— Automotive

VW unveils new California camper van

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.

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— Space

Scientists look at communicating with hypersonic vehicles using plasma resonance

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.

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