Remote controlled cars make for some great small-scale demolition derbies, but unless there's a second person to play with, the game gets dull real fast. At this year's London Toy Fair, WowWee unveiled its Robotic Enhanced Vehicles (REV), robotic race cars that allow players to battle against one another or against an AI opponent. We recently charged up a pair, launched the control app, and let the mayhem begin.
NASA scientists have discovered that one of Saturn's moons, Enceladus, may have a global ocean locked deep beneath its icy surface. Based on years of analysis of images taken by the unmanned Cassini probe, measurements of the moon's rotation indicate a slight wobble that's similar in nature to that which occurs when trying to spin a raw egg.
Boeing has announced that the first satellite with all-electric propulsion is now fully operational. Launched last March, the ABS-3A 702SP (small platform) satellite was formally handed over to its owner, Bermuda-based telecommunications company ABS, on August 31. It will provide communications services to the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
Helicopters are versatile machines capable of all manner of maneuvers in the air, but when it comes to takeoffs and landings they are very fussy creatures, preferring flat, level pads, which are scarce in combat and rescue missions. DARPA recently demonstrated a new robotic landing gear system in an unmanned flight near Atlanta, Georgia, that's designed to overcome these limitations by enabling landings on broken or uneven terrain with a high degree of safety.
Jellyfish would probably rank just ahead of bonsai trees when it comes to calming things to have around the home. Unfortunately, tanks for keeping jellyfish in a home are a bit tricky. Belgium's Darwin Sect design house has made a foray onto the field with the Darwin Tank jellyfish aquarium – a high-tech habitat with a touch of old-world charm thrown in.
Last year, SpaceX unveiled its Crew Dragon, which is scheduled to begin ferrying astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2017. Now the company is giving the public a look at the interior. Sporting a minimalist design, it's intended to not only provide safety, but a considerable degree of comfort.
Aiming for a leg or shooting a weapon from a criminal's hands may be an option for cops in the movies, but real police officers are trained to shoot for the center of mass, not necessarily to kill, but to stop – although the end result can often be one and the same. "The Alternative" is designed to give officers a less lethal option in the form of a clip-on "air bag" for semiautomatic pistols that reduces the velocity of a standard round to make it less lethal.
Portable speakers are a great way to take the party anywhere, but many lack in the robustness department to the point where taking one to the beach is like using a Faberge egg as a rugby ball. To keep the tunes going even on a rainy day, JBL's Flip3 and Xtreme speakers not only boast exceptional sound quality, but are also so water resistant that you can rinse them off under the tap. We recently got hold of each of them and put them through the figurative wringer.
For the customer whose daily routine involves the threat of being shot at or bombed, but whose taste doesn't run to presidential limousines, the new Range Rover Sentinel might just fit the bill. Though other Range Rovers have been modified by third party firms, this is the first armored Land Rover to be fully engineered in-house by the company's Special Vehicle Operations division.