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David Szondy

Space

Virgin Galactic unveils new SpaceShipTwo, VSS Unity

Over a year after a fatal test flight accident, Virgin Galactic is back as CEO Sir Richard Branson today unveiled the new spacecraft that will replace the ill-fated SpaceShipTwo, Virgin Spaceship (VSS) Enterprise. Sporting a new silver and white livery and pulled by a Land Rover Autobiography, the new vehicle was wheeled out before an invited audience and named VSS Unity by Professor Stephen Hawking via a recorded message.Read More

Cygnus spacecraft takes out the trash

The Orbital Sciences/ATK Cygnus CRS-4 mission came to an end today as NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Tim Kopra used one of the International Space Station's (ISS) robotic arms to release the spacecraft from its docking port. Filled with rubbish, the unmanned cargo ship left the station at 7:26 am EST. After a controlled re-entry maneuver monitored by mission control in Houston, it is scheduled to burn up over the Pacific Ocean on Saturday morning.Read More

Automotive

Jaguar gives the lowdown on the F-Type SVR

In January, Jaguar took the lid off its F-type SVR – the latest of the F-Type variants. Billed as the fastest series production vehicle produced by Jaguar Cars, the all-weather supercar is the first Jaguar to wear the SVR badge and is designed to be as usable on the morning commute as on the track. Now, the company has rolled out more details about it in anticipation of its public début at the Geneva Motor Show on March 1.Read More

Robotics

Will humanoid robots build tomorrow's aircraft?

Robots may build cars by the millions, but they still don't have much to do with assembling airliners – a task where human workers are still essential. To give the organics a helping manipulator, the Joint Robotics Laboratory (JRL) and Airbus Group have embarked on a four-year joint research project to develop humanoid robots that can work on aircraft assembly lines and free workers from tedious and hazardous jobs.Read More

Military

Milrem combat robot brings modular versatility to the battlefield

The modern battlefield requires soldiers who are able to adapt quickly to any mission and as robots join them, they'll have to do the same. At the Singapore Airshow 2016 this week, Estonian defense company Milrem took the wraps off its robotic Tracked Hybrid Modular Infantry System (THeMIS) – a compact battlewagon billed as the "first-of-its-kind modular hybrid Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV)" that acts as a multi-mission vehicle platform to assist or replace soldiers on the battlefield.Read More

Military

DARPA readies unmanned ACTUV sub hunter for sea trials

The day of the robot warship may be a lot closer than many people think with DARPA announcing that it will christen its Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) on April 9 at the Swan Island shipyard in Portland, Oregon. Also known as the Seahunter, the 139 ft (42 m) long vessel is designed to track potentially hostile submarines for months at a time without a crew.Read More

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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