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David Szondy

Aircraft

Experimental hypersonic craft hits Mach 7.5

The Australian Department of Defence has announced the successful launch of a hypersonic aircraft called Hypersonic International Flight Research Experimentation (HIFiRE) 5B at the Woomera Test range. According to a statement, the craft reached a velocity of Mach 7.5 (5,710 mph, 9,188 km/h) and an altitude of 278 km (173 mi) as part of an Australian-United States program to study fundamental technologies needed to travel over five times the speed of sound.Read More

Robotics

Saab's underwater robot tackles terrorist bombs

Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) aren't just a threat on land, they're also a major problem underwater as well. To help track down and neutralize these devices, Saab has developed its Sea Wasp Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), which was unveiled at the US Navy League's Sea-Air-Space Exposition in National Harbor, Maryland.Read More

Urban Transport

Hyperloop One shows off magnetic drive in dramatic demonstration

At a secluded test site in the Nevada desert about 10 miles north of Las Vegas, Hyperloop One today made its first public demonstration of a key component of its new transportation system that promises near supersonic speeds at ground level. The Propulsion Open Air Test (POAT) took place under sunny skies and saw electromagnets propel a sled at 115 mph (185 km/h) along a specially-built test track measuring 1,500-ft (457-m) long.Read More

Urban Transport

Hyperloop Technologies (now Hyperloop One) on runup to test

In the runup to an open-air display of a key aspect of its Hyperloop technology, Hyperloop Technologies has announced a rebranding. Before an invited audience of guests and media in Las Vegas, the transportation startup declared that it will now be known as Hyperloop One. In addition, the company announced that it has secured US$80 million in Series B financing as well as partnerships with a number of technology and infrastructure companies.Read More

Computers Feature

Game changers: Do clever machines add up to AI?​

In March, a computer achieved what many thought impossible when it won a best of five series against world-class go champion Lee Sedol. The victory by the DeepMind computer was the most significant milestone in artificial intelligence since Deep Blue beat chess Grandmaster Garry Kasparov in 1997, and once again sparked many predictable headlines about humans being knocked off our IQ perch. The question is, what do such human versus computer matches tell us about AI? Is it the harbinger of a machine-led future or are computers just very good at playing board games? To see how this might play out, we first need to look to the past.
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Robotics

Bipedal robot conquers uneven ground

Getting a robot to walk is one thing, getting it to walk without tripping on the first obstacle it encounters is quite another. Engineers at the University of Michigan are developing a set of algorithms that allow an unsupported bipedal robot named MARLO to negotiate steep slopes, thin layers of snow, and uneven, unstable ground without toppling over. Designed as a general purpose robotic system, the algorithms may also have applications in advanced prosthetics.Read More

Space

Luxembourg joins asteroid mining space race

With a population of under 600,000, it's not surprising Luxembourg isn't currently on the list of spacefaring nations. But that hasn't stopped its government, along with the Luxembourg Société Nationale de Crédit et d'Investissement (SNCI), entering into a partnership with the US asteroid mining company Deep Space Industries (DSI) as part of the country's spaceresources.lu initiative to develop new commercial space technologies with an emphasis on asteroid mining.Read More

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