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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
MIT researchers are developing extra robot limbs that can help out humans where an extra h...

Featured in comic books since 1963, Dr. Octopus, or "Doc Ock" is an enemy of Spiderman with four extra robotic arms attached to his back that assist him in his nefarious plans. That vision of humans with extra limbs – minus the supervillain part – is taking shape at MIT with researchers adding "supernumerary robotic arms" to assist with tasks that ordinary two-armed humans would find difficult.  Read More

A group from California is designing a new super utility vehicle – a jet-powered flying ca...

Greg Brown and Dave Fawcett are working on an design that they hope will yield something we've spent decades waiting for – a flying jet-propelled car. A sleek cross between a business jet with a luxury automobile, the GF7 drives on electric motors while on the ground, then can extend wings and use a 3,500-lb thrust jet engine to fly to 38,000 ft (12,000 m) and speeds of 550 mph (885 km/h). The (obvious) catch: if this ambitious project does get of the ground, it won't come cheap.  Read More

The new SL 400 makes a bold statement in styling as well as being quicker and more fuel ef...

A new "entry" version of the Mercedes Benz SL two-seat roadster that will go on sale in Europe in July will feature a twin turbocharged V6 engine that puts out 333 hp and propels the car from 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in 5.2 seconds, on the way to a top speed of 155 mph (249 km/h). Called the SL 400 Sport, its new power plant meets tighter emissions standards than the previous 3.5-liter V6 in the discontinued SL350.  Read More

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

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