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— Aircraft

HyperMach unveils SonicStar supersonic business jet concept

Anyone who has endured a long-haul flight will know that they’re not the most pleasant way to spend a day – and night. Like EADS with its ZEHST concept plane, UK-based aerospace company HyperMach is looking to ease the pain of long-distance air travel – at least for those that can afford it – with its SonicStar supersonic business jet concept that it unveiled at the Paris Air Show today. With its ability to cruise at Mach 3.5 at an altitude of 60,000 ft. (18.9 km), the SonicStar will be able to fly from New York to Paris in under two hours or from New York to Sydney in just five hours – a journey that currently takes over 20 hours on a commercial airliner. Read More
— Aircraft

EADS ZEHST concept plane: How does Tokyo to London in just over two hours sound?

EADS has used the opening day of the 2011 Paris Airshow to showcase an aircraft of the future concept which contemplates speeds beyond Mach 4, meaning it could make the run from Tokyo to London in under 2.5 hours. The ZEHST (Zero Emission Hypersonic Transport) study incorporates three different propulsion systems and could carry passengers to heights of 100,000 feet (32 km) while still meeting the projected European Commission targets for reduced noise, CO2 and NOX emissions by 2050. Blue sky indeed! Read More
— Urban Transport

TILTO is a home-built attempt at reinventing the Segway

Although it's not that uncommon to encounter people riding Segways, self-balancing vehicles haven't revolutionized urban transport as some expected. Created by Argentinean inventor Marcelo Fornaso, TILTO is a new incarnation of the idea behind the Segway. It replaces the stiff platform and wheels with tilting equivalents, while eliminating handlebars or a steering wheel. It is an electrically powered, single-person vehicle, with a maximum range of 15 km (9,32 miles) and top speed of 20 kph (12 mph). Read More
— Telecommunications

Improved tracking system being developed for firefighters

Even though firefighting is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, firefighters still communicate using analog radio signals, that can be blocked by concrete walls. This means that, upon venturing into a burning building, a firefighter might have no way of letting their commander know their present location – a situation that could prove deadly, if they ended up trapped or injured. In order to address the situation, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate has created a new three-part system that lets fire crews keep track of the location and well-being of every member of their team, all the time. Read More
— Electronics

New Boogie Board LCD eWriters announced

Improv Electronics has announced some new additions to its Boogie Board LCD writing tablet brand. The original digital contender to the note book is being joined by a new bigger-screen version, and one that includes a binder-friendly casing. There's also a new accessory for the original 8.5-inch device that can be attached to a fridge door, wall or almost any other flat surface to act as a slide-in home for a Boogie Board. Read More
— Robotics

Tiny $14 Kilobots work by swarming together

Autonomous robotic devices are certainly capable of some impressive feats, but as is the case with people, sometimes large groups can accomplish what an individual or a small group can’t. Research projects such as BAE Systems’ MAST program recognize this potential, and are investigating ways in which entire swarms of small robots could work together. The problem is, given how much time and money goes into the creation of a typical autonomous robot, it’s difficult to find a swarm of them to experiment upon – researchers often have to use computer simulations, or do their tests with a small group of robots, then scale up the results. That’s where Harvard University’s Kilobot project comes into play. It incorporates tiny swarming robots that take just five minutes to build, and that are worth about US$14 each. Read More
— Mobile Technology

Huawei 7-inch MediaPad first to run Android 3.2

Huawei today unveiled its 7-inch MediaPad, which the company says will be the first to use the previously unannounced Android 3.2 Honeycomb OS (specifically optimized for 7-inch tablets) and the first to use Qualcomm's 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor. All the specs look to be on the mark but no pricing was announced. The release date is slated for Q3, 2011, so that could be any time between the end of next week and September 31. Read More
— Science

Implant could wirelessly relay brain signals to paralyzed limbs

For a great number of people with paralyzed limbs, the reason that they can’t move the arm or leg in question is because the “move” command isn’t able to reach from their brain to the limb. This is often due to damage to the nervous system, or to the brain, although the limb itself is still perfectly functional ... so it could still move, if only there was a way of getting the signal to it. Well, one might be on its way. Scientists at the University of Michigan have developed an implant known as the BioBolt, that wirelessly transmits neural signals from the brain to a computer. In the future, that computer could hopefully then relay them onto a formerly-paralyzed limb. Read More
— Mobile Technology

Rotary Mechanical Smartphone combines vintage rotary dial and modern technology

Created by New Zealand-based designer Richard Clarkson, the Rotary Mechanical Smartphone is a one-of-a-kind device that has all the features of a regular smartphone, but it resembles a vintage rotary dial telephone. It represents an attempt at combining digital technologies and physical, mechanical systems, thus making cutting edge technology more tangible. The phone comes with two interchangeable brass dials (a rotary one and a numeric keypad), along with a copper body and a small LCD screen. Richard did not confine himself just to the concept, but actually built a prototype of his invention. Read More
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