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Francis X Govers III

Francis X Govers III
Francis Govers is the designer of over 20 land, sea, air and space vehicles and teaches robotics and the design of self-driving cars. He spent 10 years at NASA, helped design the International Space Station, participated in the DARPA Grand Challenge, and managed the only Zeppelin operating in the US. As a commercial pilot, writer, artist, musician, engineer, race car nut and designer, Francis has a serious addiction to building things that frequently gets him into trouble.
Top Articles by Francis X Govers III
This near-infrared photo shows the invisible IR LED's on the Leddar in action

Leddar, short for LED Detection and Ranging, is a new type of detection and ranging sensor that uses LEDs to detect objects and determine their distance. While the Leddar is low resolution, it is also low cost, and it may find new applications in vehicles, traffic management, robotics and safety. Read on for our hands-on review.  Read More

The FLIR ONE is a slide-on attachment that gives iPhones thermal imaging capabilities

FLIR Systems, Inc. announced two new products at CES designed to put thermal imaging into the hands of consumers. The first is a new, consumer-level infrared thermal camera sensor, while the second is a slide-on attachment for Apple iPhone 5 or 5s smartphones that makes use of said sensor. Both could be used to locate lost pets in the dark, look for energy leaking from your house, or to watch for wildlife.  Read More

The Revolution JD is a humanoid robot with two-fingered grippers

Ez-Robot, a small company based in Calgary, Canada, is aiming to start a new "revolution" in robotics. The company's new Revolution line is a series of small, hobby-sized robots with modular parts, easy-to-use features, and snap-together mechanics. The line consists of three new robot kits: a humanoid two legged walker, a rover with tracks, and a hexapod, or six-legged spider-bot.  Read More

WRX in its native environment, sliding around a corner on a dirt road

The Subaru WRX has always been a touchstone for rally car performance in a street legal car with its fast handling, turbocharged acceleration and hefty hood scoops. Subaru's long-awaited refresh adds a six speed manual or automatic gearbox, new styling, and bids farewell to the five door hatchback version.  Read More

Biocrude produced using the new process

Engineers at the US Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have created a continuous process that produces useful crude oil minutes after harvested algae is introduced. This new process does not require drying out the algae, which grows in water, saving time and energy that would be otherwise wasted. The final product can be refined into aviation fuel, diesel, or gasoline.  Read More

A Sense and Avoid (SAA) system that allows UAVs to operate safely around other aircraft in...

Palmdale, CA. General Atomics Aeronautical System, Inc. (GA-ASI), the maker of the Predator and Reaper Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) successfully completed the first of several flight tests of a prototype Sense and Avoid (SAA) system, that allows a UAV to see and avoid other aircraft in flight.  Read More

Artist's depiction of the Sunjammer spacecraft leaving Earth orbit The team of NASA, L’Guarde, and Space Services Inc. are preparing for the Sunjammer space mission that in 2015 will see the first deep space deployment of a solar sail. On September 30, the Sunjammer team completed a milestone when they successfully deployed a quarter panel of the spacecraft’s solar sail.  Read More

Artists drawing of the Zee.Aero concept for a vertical take-off-and-landing (VTOL) flying ...

Zee.Aero, a small company located near the GooglePlex, home to Google, is working on a flying car concept that can take off and land vertically using a plethora of small electric motors turning four-bladed propellers. According to illustrations included with the patent filings, one version of the vehicle is narrow enough to fit into a standard shopping center parking space.  Read More

Artist's concept of the HammerHead UAV on a mission (Photo: Piaggio)

There was an unusual shape in the skies over Italy last week as the Piaggio Aero Company and Selex ES successfully completed the first flight of the aptly-named Hammerhead UAV on Thursday, November 14, near the Trapini Air Force Base. The aircraft was remotely controlled from the ground, with no crew on board, while two chase planes kept the UAV in sight during the flight.  Read More

This person uses a fingernail-shaped chip to transfer data between a tablet and a smartpho...

How many mobile electronic devices to you have now? A smartphone, a laptop, a tablet, digital camera, maybe even a smart watch? And how often is it necessary to transfer pictures, documents or videos, between your devices? The inTouch technology developed by researchers from the VTT Research Center of Finland lets a ring, bracelet, or even a smart fingernail act as a conduit to transfer information between devices simply and securely – even when the devices are owned by different people.  Read More

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