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David Szondy

Space

Ordnance Survey creates map for Martian ramblers

When the first astronauts set foot on Mars, they'll need to be able to find their way around without the aid of GPS. To this end, Britain's Ordnance Survey (OS) has released its first map of another planet. Created in the distinct OS style, the one-off chart's purpose is to examine the potential of the agency's advanced cartographic methods in creating detailed, easy to understand maps for planning future missions to the Red Planet.Read More

Electronics

Growing nanowire lasers directly on silicon promises to simplify photonic chip design

For over half a century, Moore's Law, which predicts that processor performance would double roughly every 18 months, has held true. But as electronics grow smaller and smaller, fundamental physical barriers loom ahead. To help stave off that day, a team of physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) is working on nanowire lasers that are a thousand times thinner than a human hair and may one day lead to economical, high-performance photonic circuits.Read More

Science

Lensless imaging achieved using "optical brush"

In the quest for imaging systems that are very small and flexible, yet don't require elaborate protective cases, a team of researchers at MIT Media Lab have scaled things down with a lensless imaging device called a "optical brush." The device uses a loose bundle of optical fibers to produce images that could lead to more compact and robust ways to study oil fields and build smaller endoscopes.Read More

Drones

DARPA's fully-loaded quadcopter autonomously navigates an indoor maze at 45 mph

A fully-laden quadcopter recently flew through an indoor obstacle course at 45 mph (72 km/h) as part of DARPA's Fast Lightweight Autonomy (FLA) program. The test flight was conducted entirely under autonomous control with the goal of developing small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) with the ability to navigate through tight spaces without the need for outside control or GPS.
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Drones

Which came first, the drone or the PowerEgg?

Conventional drones are often billed as portable, though they're also often a collection of rods, rotors, and other bits and pieces that are perfect for catching on things and getting tangled. To make taking drones into the backcountry a bit less onerous, Beijing-based Powervision Robot has taken the gubbins of a quadcopter and built them into a giant PowerEgg that folds up into one smooth package shaped like a cackleberry for transport.Read More

Computers Review

Review: iClever IC-BK03 keyboard unfolds for touch typing

Ever been stuck in a doctor's waiting room longer than expected with a report to finish and the only option is to try to bang out a draught on your phone? One alternative to typing with your thumbs is to pack along a folding Bluetooth keyboard. The question is, which one? We recently got hold of an iClever IC-BK03 Trifold Bluetooth keyboard, went for a flu jab, and tried it out.Read More

Energy

Reversible fuel cell goes both ways for the US Navy

Boeing has delivered a new type of fuel cell to the US Navy for testing that can both store energy and generate electricity. Called a "reversible solid oxide fuel cell," it's designed to absorb energy from renewable sources, such as wind and solar, then release it as required to provide commercial and military users with a cleaner, more sustainable source of power.Read More

Aircraft

Boeing brings electronic log book on line

The paperless office may not have arrived, but it looks like the paperless cockpit is well on its way. Boeing has announced that Air New Zealand is abandoning old-fashioned hard copy technical logs on its fleet of six 787 Dreamliners in favor of Boeing's Electronic Log Book (ELB). According to the aircraft manufacturer, Air New Zealand is one of the first airlines to gain operational approval for the app, which is designed to improve the speed, accuracy, and efficiency of aircraft maintenance operations.Read More

Electronics

"Unhackable" RFID chip to keep your credit cards safe

Radio frequency identification (RFID) chips have made cashless payments commonplace and opened the way to automatic inventory control. However, they've also made it possible for credit card details and other private information to be stolen wirelessly. To make things a bit more secure, MIT and Texas Instruments are developing an "unhackable" RFID chip that's designed to fend off information-stealing attacks.Read More

Medical

X-rays and nanoparticles combine to kill cancer deep in the body

Cancer may be terrifying, but cancerous cells aren't actually that difficult to kill. The tricky bit is doing so without killing the host or making them dreadfully ill in the process. The key is treatments that only target the cancer cells while leaving the surrounding healthy tissue alone. By combining X-rays with nanoparticles, a team of researchers from the Centre for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP) in Australia has found a way of combating cancer deep inside the body in this way using a simple chemical.Read More

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