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David Szondy

David Szondy

David Szondy is a freelance writer based in Monroe, Washington. An award-winning playwright, he has contributed to Charged and iQ magazine and is the author of the website Tales of Future Past.

— Robotics

Robots square off at the 2015 DRC Finals

By - June 7, 2015 30 Pictures

A sporting event where a contestant opens a door, promptly falls on their face, and then stands up again sounds like less than riveting, but on Friday some 10,000 people at the Fairplex in Pomona, California, cheered and screamed encouragement as exactly that happened. Of course, the fact that the contender was a robot called Tartan Rescue and the competition was the first day of the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) Final 2015 had something to do with it. Aimed at creating robots that may one day help responders during major disasters, the two-day Challenge is host to 23 international teams competing for US$3.5 million in prizes.

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— Health and Wellbeing

Antibiotic-free method to protect animals from common infections

By - June 4, 2015 1 Picture

A herd of cattle or a flock of chickens may appear very bucolic, but they're actually ground zero for an ongoing arms race between scientists and disease-causing bacteria. Antibiotics have been a major weapon in the fight against animal infection, but they've also sparked evolutionary forces that create drug-resistant bacteria that render those very antibiotics ineffective, posing a major risk to animals and humans alike. Now a University of Wisconsin-Madison team is developing a method of fighting a major group of animal infections without antibiotics. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing Review

Review: Alcomate Revo brings pro-level alcohol screening to consumers

By - June 4, 2015 10 Pictures

Drunk driving is a serious problem and – despite being conscientious – at a certain point in the evening, trusting one's own judgement means trusting someone who isn't sober enough to make the call. While inexpensive breathalyzers costing less than US$30 are available, they're not the most reliable, while the more professional models need to be sent back to the factory on a regular basis for recalibration. Recently, we got hold of an AlcoMate Revo by AK GlobalTech. The device is aimed at the consumer market, and uses a replaceable sensor module that eliminates the need for recalibration. We put it through its paces.

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— Wearable Electronics

Fraunhofer tech to allow less conspicuous smartglasses

By - June 2, 2015 1 Picture

Smartglasses, or augmented reality glasses, may have found niches in military and industrial circles, but haven't really caught on with consumers for a number of reasons – a major one being that they're extremely conspicuous. To help rectify this, the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering (IOF) in Jena, Germany, has developed technology that allows for a more unobtrusive design, while also providing improved functionality.

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— Robotics

Highlights from the ICRA 2015 robotics conference in Seattle

By - May 30, 2015 61 Pictures

The city of Seattle saw a robotic population explosion this week as the 2015 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) descended on the Washington State Convention Center. The IEEE Robotics and Automation Society’s flagship conference ran the gamut of all things robotic, from showcases of new technology to forums on government policies as they relate to robotics. Here's our look at the highlights.

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— Aircraft

Solar Impulse takes off on longest leg of round-the-world flight

By - May 30, 2015 6 Pictures

With Swiss pilot André Borschberg at the controls, the solar-powered, single-pilot Solar Impulse 2 airplane took off from Nanjing Lukou Airport in China today bound for Hawaii on the longest leg of its round-the-world flight. But this isn't just a major leg of the Solar Impulse 2 solar-powered circumnavigation, it is also an attempt at the longest duration flight ever by a solo pilot in any type of aircraft.

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— Military

Lightweight High-Energy Liquid Laser (HELLADS) prepared for live fire tests

By - May 30, 2015 3 Pictures

A high-power laser weapon light enough to be carried by tactical aircraft has moved out of the laboratory and onto the testing ground. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems' High-Energy Liquid Laser Defense System (HELLADS) has finished its US Government Acceptance Test Procedure and is on its way to the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico for live-fire tests.

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