Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

David Szondy

A concept rendering of the robotic ship of the future (Image: Rolls Royce)

Earlier this year Rolls Royce outlined a future where giant robot cargo vessels ply the world's sea lanes without a human crew on board. That scenario is now coming closer to reality as the EU project MUNIN looks into the feasibility of robotic freighters and the hurdles they must overcome.  Read More

CRS-4 lifting off (Image: NASA Television)

SpaceX has launched its fourth commercial mission to the International Space Station (ISS). The CRS-4 Dragon spacecraft lifted off atop a Falcon 9 booster early Sunday morning from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida at 1:52 am EDT. On board is about 5,000 lb (2,268 kg) of cargo, including the first zero gravity 3D printer and a crew of "mousetronauts."  Read More

The MIT Biosuit uses counter pressure instead of an inflated suit

Our stereotype of a spacesuit involves an astronaut clad in a bulky white outfit like some outer space Michelin Man wearing a rucksack – and about as graceful. But if an MIT team has any say, the spacesuit of the future will be a snug, form-fitting outfit that’s not only lighter and more flexible but also easier to get on, automatically tightening up to a proper fit at the touch of a button.  Read More

The prototype biospleen and components (Image: DARPA)

Today, when we think of the dangers of the battlefield, we think of wounds caused by bullets, bombs, and other weapons. But as late as the Spanish American war of 1898, the number of soldiers who died from infectious diseases as opposed to directly from combat injuries was seven to one. Thanks to the discovery of penicillin and other antibiotics, that ratio has swung dramatically the other way, but it’s still a major problem, not only for military personnel, but civilians too. DARPA is developing an artificial spleen, or "biospleen," as a way to help fight deadly infections without antibiotics.  Read More

The PowerShot G7 X at Photokina (Image: Paul Ridden/Gizmag)

Taking high-quality images with a pocket camera has always been a challenge, but technology is catching up. The case in point are the three newly revealed models in Canon’s PowerShot line, headlined by the 20.2-megapixel PowerShot G7 X.  Read More

The new Kindle Voyage takes over as Amazon's premium eReader

Amazon has expanded its Kindle eReader range by unveiling its 7th generation Kindle. Supplanting the second-gen Paperwhite as Amazon's premium eReader, the Kindle Voyage is billed as the company’s most advanced eReader yet, coming in lighter and thinner than any previous model and sporting a more advanced display and user interface.  Read More

NASA has announced that Boeing and SpaceX would provide manned spacecraft to service the I...

The dawn of manned commercial spaceflight received a major boost as NASA announced in a news conference today that Boeing and SpaceX have been chosen to ferry US astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). The US$6.8 billion contract was divided between the two companies to cover the cost of certification of the Boeing CST-100 and the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft, one demonstration mission for each, plus six commercial missions to the station.  Read More

A US$2,9 million contract will allow the Wyss institute to continue development of a soft ...

DARPA has awarded a first-phase US$2.9 million follow-on contract to the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University as part of its Warrior Web program to create a soft exoskeleton. The Wyss Institute is studying the biometrics of walking as part of an effort to develop a soft fabric exoskeleton called the Soft Exosuit that uses robotics and biomimetics to augment the wearer’s musculoskeletal system as a way to reduce fatigue and injuries in soldiers and the disabled.  Read More

Sir Ken Adam, designer of the 'Q Branch' DB5, and the scale replica (Image: Aston Martin) A one-third scale gold-plated replica of James Bond’s iconic Aston Martin DB5 complete with "Q Branch" gadgets is being auctioned off by Christie’s auction house. The auction, which marks the 50th anniversary of the première of Goldfinger, is being staged to raise money for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC).  Read More

The Urwerk EMC uses mechanical and electronic systems to regulate its accuracy

Last year, Swiss watchmaker Urwerk announced that it was working on a wristwatch containing the world's first mechanical movement with an electronic monitoring system. The fruits of its of labor are now on display in the Urwerk Electro Mechanical Control (EMC) watch, which uses advanced electronics to monitor the precision movement’s performance within 10 microseconds.  Read More

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