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— Automotive

Is it a Jeep? Is it a speedboat? No, it's WaterCar's Panther amphibious vehicle

Recreational amphibious vehicles are nothing new, but most are one-offs, and most tend to be boats that can creep on land, or cars that slosh slowly through water. There are exceptions, notably entries from Gibbs, but arguably, amphibious vehicles have not made the grade as true all-round vehicles that can be driven to work during the week, and on the lake on weekends. WaterCar's new Panther straddles the divide. Read More
— Military

DARPA announces winner in FANG challenge

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced on Monday the winner of the first challenges in its competition to design the Fast Adaptable Next-Generation Ground Vehicle (FANG). The US$1 million prize went to “Ground Systems” – a three-person group with members in Ohio, Texas and California. The first of three challenges, the purpose of the competition is to bring crowdsourcing to the problem of creating armored vehicles, with the hope of reducing the design costs by a factor of five. Read More
— Robotics

Salamandra robotica II moves swiftly on both land and water

Scientists have often taken inspiration from the animal world in robotic designs, with bots modeled after fish, sandfish lizards, and even sea turtles. Such biomimicry makes sense – if you want a robot to move a certain way, why not look to creatures that already can? With the Salamandra robotica II, researchers have tried to replicate the movement of a salamander in designing a robot that can walk or crawl on land as easily as it swims in the water. Read More
— Military

DARPA opens registrations for for first FANG challenge

Earlier this year, DARPA revealed it was embracing the crowdsourcing model to develop a new amphibious infantry vehicle known as the FANG (Fast, Adaptable, Next-Generation Ground Vehicle). Now designers and engineers with expertise in drivetrain and mobility systems who wouldn’t mind an extra US$1 million lining their pockets can express their interest with DARPA now opening registrations for the first of three planned challenges that will kick off in January 2013. Read More
— Military

DARPA releases video of floating tank-like CAAT vehicle

So the year is 2015, and you're in a serious disaster – one that requires the immediate provision of food, water, medical care, and shelter for a hundred thousand people. In other words, not something that a few airlifts will handle. If there is navigable water anywhere nearby, you could be saved by a future version of one of DARPA's new toys: the Captive Air Amphibious Transporter (CAAT). Read More
— Marine

Sports car-inspired design aims to bring hovercraft into the 21st century

Frustrated with what they see as stagnation in the evolution of hovercraft design over recent decades, cousins Michael Mercier and Chris Jones have teamed up in an effort to bring the personal hovercraft into the 21st century. As well as a futuristic, streamlined look inspired by high-end sports cars, the Mercier-Jones concept also purports to be quieter, easier to maneuver, and more environmentally friendly than existing craft. Read More
— Automotive Feature

Cholmondeley Pageant of Power in pictures

The Cholmondeley Pageant of Power (CPoP) turned on its annual kaleidoscope of horsepower, adrenalin and engineering intrigue this week. The four wheel lap record was shattered by a Caterham, the BAC Mono was the fastest road car, while the cars running against the clock included an Ariel Atom 500 V8, Radical SR3 SL, Aston Martin One-77 and Noble M600. There was a Volkswagen "Schwimmwagen" amphibian, an Edison-Puton Monowheel, and a curious BMW built during WWI using a 45.8-liter V12 BMW aircraft engine. The gallery is a wonderful pictorial celebration of CPoP. Read More

FlyNano achieves first test flight

Last April, we told you about the FlyNano – a single-occupant petrol/electric microlight amphibious aircraft being developed by a Finnish aeronautical firm of the same name. At the time, some readers expressed skepticism, rightly pointing out that there was no video of the plane actually flying. That changed this week, however, as the company posted a video of one of the prototype’s first test flights. Read More