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David Szondy

Goodyear's new airship will enter service this northern summer

The Goodyear blimp may have been flying around for almost 90 years, but it still manages to turn heads. On Friday, there was another reason to look beyond nostalgia for the days of the great airships of old as Goodyear unveiled its new state-of-the-art blimp to the media, Goodyear associates and dealers at its Wingfoot Lake hangar in Suffield, Ohio. Built in partnership with the Zeppelin company, the new craft that replaces the 45-year old GZ-20 blimp fleet is not only larger and faster, it isn’t even a blimp, but a semi-rigid airship.  Read More

DARPA is working on revolutionizing rotorcraft technology

Helicopters and other rotorcraft are impressive bits of technology, but the only place where they match the performance of fixed-wing aircraft is in bad 1980s television. That may soon change with DARPA announcing the selection of four companies to compete in the next phase of its Vertical Take Off and Landing Experimental Plane (VTOL X-Plane) program. The four companies are tasked with developing unmanned demonstrator aircraft designed to increase the performance of VTOL rotor aircraft while reducing their complexity.  Read More

The gel-tags use nanotechnology to show when a product has gone off

We're all familiar with the sell-by dates stamped on groceries. They're supposed to protect us, but in practice, they can be a bit of a coin toss. Now a research team led by Chao Zhang of Peking University in Beijing, China has come up with a color-coded smart tag that uses nanotechnology to tell when the food or drugs in a package are in danger of spoiling.  Read More

Volvo Driver State Estimation uses a dash-mounted infrared sensor

Back in the days of black-and-white newsreels, an inventor came up with a bell on a collar that rang whenever a motorist wearing it nodded off. Since this is the 21st century, Volvo is developing a high-tech version of this gadget. It uses face recognition technology to let a car know when the driver is tired or inattentive, so appropriate action can be taken.  Read More

The bridge of 2025 will use a computerized workstation

Horatio Hornblower meets Jean-Luc Picard on the ship’s bridge of 2025 as Finnish applied research organization VTT and Rolls-Royce present their vision of seafaring ten years from now. Presented in 3D animation videos that projects current technology to the near future, the study shows a world where ship captains call on heads-up displays and high-tech workstations turn the bridge into an augmented reality command and control system.  Read More

Ferrari Land is expected to open in 2016 inside the PortAventura theme park located outsid...

Car brand marketing usually means slapping a badge on a tote bag and asking a thousand dollars for it, but Ferrari has gone one better by applying its badge to not one, but two theme parks. Ferrari and PortAventura Entertainment S.A.U have signed an agreement to build a second Ferrari-themed park, Ferrari Land, as part of the PortAventura resort and theme park outside Barcelona, Spain. Expected to open in 2016, the 7.5 ha (18.5 acre) site is billed as “an opportunity for the whole family to experience and discover the world of Ferrari.”  Read More

'This technology enables people to 'see' radiation,' says Zhong He, professor of nuclear e...

Turn on any old science fiction film and odds are that you'll see someone listening to the ominous chirping of a Geiger counter. It's very dramatic, but not very precise and, unfortunately, nuclear scientists and engineers of today are stuck with the same problem. Now, researchers at the University of Michigan have developed a faster, cheaper way for nuclear power plants to detect and map dangerous hot spots and leaky fuel rods using a camera that maps radiation in real time.  Read More

Dragon is rotated to be mated to Falcon 9

SpaceX has delayed the scheduled launch of the third commercial flight of its unmanned Dragon cargo ship to the International Space Station (ISS). The launch, which was originally scheduled for Sunday, March 16 at 4:41 AM EDT from Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, would have been the first mission of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle with its landing legs.  Read More

The Audi traffic light system uses icon prompts

One of life's small but satisfying pleasures is hitting the sweet spot while driving across town and catching all the green lights. At the moment, having that happen is a matter of luck, but Audi is developing a system that will make never getting caught by a red light an everyday thing as a way of speeding up traffic while improving fuel efficiency and cutting emissions.  Read More

The SPHERES robots were put through a simulated follow-the-leader exercise (Image: NASA)

Controlling a robot in space from the ground can be a bit like hitting a moving target. There’s a one to three second delay as data passes back and forth between the robot and ground control, which means that operators have to anticipate how the robots will move during these delays. This week, the Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center (ATC) announced the first-ever demonstration of collaborative tele-operations that involved control of robots on the International Space Station (ISS) by astronauts on the ISS and operators on the ground.  Read More

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