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AeroVironment's Raven UAS: new Digital Data Link

AeroVironment, Inc. will produce 50 new Raven RQ-11B unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) equipped with enhanced communications following the announcement of a USD$16.8 Million order from the U.S. Army on January 22. The company's new Digital Data Link (DDL) replaces the original four-channel analog set-up, increasing communication channels by a factor of four and allowing more of the unmanned craft to be flown in one area simultaneously.  Read More

Firefox 3

There's three common complaints about netbooks. Small (and quirky) keyboard layouts, not enough horsepower, of course, the screen resolution - or lack thereof. We can't do much about your keyboard, but here's five ways to free up many of the wasted pixels of a stock Firefox 3 installation and browse the web painlessly on a small screen - plus a couple of bonus tips on how to make the most out of your low-powered CPU.  Read More

SEAT solar sunroof

SEAT, the Spanish arm of the Volkswagen Group, will launch its new Exeo upper medium sector saloon in April, along with some interesting technologies designed to keep it cool in the Spanish sun. The optional solar sunroof uses mini solar panels embedded in the glass to generate electricity which powers the car’s ventilation system, even when the ignition is off, drawing in cooler ambient air and significantly reducing the automotive ‘greenhouse’ effect on a hot day.  Read More

The GeoBulb LED light bulb

Not so long ago choosing a light bulb wasn’t too difficult. Just grab one with the desired wattage in either pearl or clear with the correct fitting for your socket. The need for energy efficient lighting means that it's no longer that simple, and given the amount of ongoing research in the area, the range of light bulb options on the supermarket shelves is set to explode. Technologies competing to replace conventional incandescent bulbs include OLED, Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulbs, and of course LED bulbs. LED bulbs offer improved energy efficiency, produce brilliant light and offer long life and this new LED bulb offering, called the GeoBulb II, puts out more light than a standard 60-watt bulb and uses just 7.5 watts.  Read More

The Brain-Computer Interface allows control a robotic arm

Researchers at the University of South Florida have designed a system that uses an Electroencephalograph (EEG) to read the brain waves of wheelchair-bound people and allows them to control a robotic arm with their thoughts. The Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) captures P300 brain wave responses, the consistently detectable brain waves associated with decision making, and transmits instructions to the robo-arm “without the user moving a muscle.”  Read More

The MAINGEAR Remix Creative Workstation PC.

Although Apple Macs are the most commonly used computers for creative professionals, there are still many IT departments which insist on a PC. Aimed specifically at this market that spend their days doing graphic design, video production or pro audio is MAINGEAR’s Remix Creative Workstation PC. The system features NVIDIA Quadro CX graphics card, which NVIDIA specifically designed and optimized to significantly enhance the performance of Adobe Creative Suite 4.  Read More

Foiljet MR1 Concept

The Foiljet MR1 is a new personal watercraft concept that takes the best features of a motocross bike and jetski, throws in two hydrofoils plus a silent, energy efficient electric motor to create what would have to be a surefire recipe for outrageous fun. The design looks something like a motocross bike, but instead of wheels there are beams with small hydrofoil wings mounted at the ends that can be raised or lowered. The concept would use a 15 kW (20 hp) electric motor housed at the end of the rear beam with its instant electric torque lifting the craft out of the water to become "foil borne".  Read More

S. Bell: the process of rebuilding a damaged face using engineering-assisted surgery

Mass-production technology has revolutionized so much of modern life that we take it for granted - but early iterations of all technologies were hand-built, relying on the skills and intuition of master craftsmen for the effectiveness of each end product. It might surprise you to learn that in the field of facial reconstructive surgery, the vast majority of work is still being done in a pre-industrial revolution fashion - and results for patients who present with horribly disfiguring facial tumors or bone injuries are as varied and inconsistent as the human hands that do the work. Dr. Ninian Peckitt, originally from the UK, has pioneered a truly revolutionary "Engineering Assisted Surgery" approach that uses advanced CT-to-CAD modeling, rapid stereolithographic prototyping, pinpoint CAD design, electron beam melting (EBM) mass-production and error-eliminating surgical procedures. The results are absolutely stunning. Patients that would normally require traumatic 20-hour operations involving complicated, imprecise and ugly bone grafts are being fitted with incredibly precise, long-lasting titanium facial inserts so effective that once surgical scars fade you'd never know they had a facial injury. Surgery is simple and can often be completed in an hour or two using techniques that eliminate human errors - and the entire procedure comes in at a fraction of the price. Peckitt's work is amazing - but if powerful lobbies in the medical fraternity have their way, it may cost him his career.  Read More

The Precise Path RG3

No-one likes mowing the lawn. It’s a boring, repetitive, time-consuming job. Now imagine if you had 18 lawns, all requiring immaculate care on a very regular basis. Even less fun, right? That’s the prospect those responsible for keeping golf greens in pristine condition face and, since repetitive jobs are perfect for robots, Indianapolis-based Precise Path Robotics has created the RG3 robotic greens mower - the first fully automated robotic golf course conditioning and maintenance mower.  Read More

Green Ocean Energy's Wave Treader

Bringing together the benefits of two eco-friendly forms of power generation, Scottish company Green Ocean Energy has developed a wave power machine that attaches to an offshore wind turbine. The system, known as the Wave Treader, comprises two 20 m (66ft) long floats molded from GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic) at ocean level attached to a wind turbine tower by 50 m (165 ft) long pivoting beams. As the floats move up and down in response to constant wave action, the arms move hydraulic cylinders attached to the beams by levers, which in turn spins a hydraulic motor connected directly to an electric generator.  Read More

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