Winged drone nails first autonomous landing on a moving vehicle

What goes up must come down, but how it comes down can have a big impact on where and how it used. A case in point is an unmanned, electric-powered, autonomous aircraft that researchers in Germany have gently landed on top of a car traveling at 75 km/h (47 mph). According to the team, this is the first time this has been done and it demonstrates a technique that could lead to lighter, longer flying UAVs.Read More


Time running out for Philae

Time is running out for ESA's Philae comet lander. According to the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the unmanned spacecraft last heard from on July 9, 2015 will face a "lander hostile" situation by the end of January as Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko moves farther away from the Sun. Despite this, mission control is making a last-ditch effort to revive the lander.Read More


Laser-based turbulence detector could mean safer flights

For most air travelers, turbulence provides nothing more serious than the odd moment of extreme panic, but it costs airlines hundreds of millions of dollars each year in injury compensation and aircraft damage. There are various different types of turbulence, but the most dangerous, because it is invisible and extremely difficult to detect, is clear-air turbulence (CAT). A new CAT detection technology that could help pilots choose a smoother route is now being tested as part of a European joint project called DELICAT (Demonstration of LIDAR based CAT detection).Read More


Introducing TORO, Germany's new humanoid robot

Engineers at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) have proven once again that they know how to make a snazzy looking robot. Quietly announced to little fanfare, DLR's Robotics and Mechatronics Center recently put the finishing touches on its DLR-Biped, a pair of shiny blue legs that first stepped onto the scene in 2009. Those legs have now been upgraded to the status of a full-fledged humanoid robot, sporting an all-new upper body and a new name: the Torque Controlled Humanoid Robot, or TORO for short.Read More


DLR’s free-piston linear generator redesigns the range extender

Technically, the combustion engine in any hybrid vehicle is a range extender, but the term commonly refers to gasoline-fueled generators that are used to charge an electric vehicle’s battery pack but aren’t used to directly power the wheels. This is the set up used in “series” or “inline’ hybrids like the Chevy Volt, which differs from parallel hybrids like the Toyota Prius, where the wheels can be driven by the electric motor or the internal combustion engine (ICE). Researchers at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) have developed a new type of range extender that can be powered by a range of different fuels.Read More


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