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Fire

— Outdoors

Ethanol-based Fire Dragon biofuel starts fires in dire conditions

By - February 19, 2015 3 Pictures
Even if you've never been in a situation rougher and more life-threatening than a KOA campground, there's something comforting about knowing that you're prepared to start a fire in the wettest, nastiest conditions that Earth can hurl at you. Perhaps that's why we're always fascinated with versatile, new fire-starting materials, especially when they have awesome names. Fire Dragon from BCB International is a new, ultra-versatile, purportedly eco-friendly way of getting a roaring blaze sparked or meal cooked. Read More
— Military

SAFFiR, the US Navy’s prototype firefighting robot gets baptism of fire

By - February 4, 2015 2 Pictures
If there's one job that a person would probably prefer to lose to a robot, it would be fighting fires aboard ships. To help make such a vision a reality, the US Navy and the Office of Naval Research (ONR) released details of demonstration exercises conducted by their Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot (SAFFiR) aboard the fire training ship USS Shadwell last November. Read More
— Science

Kevlar-reinforced lithium-ion batteries shouldn't catch fire

By - January 28, 2015 2 Pictures
While lithium-ion batteries may outperform their older, lower-tech counterparts, they do have one drawback – occasionally, they catch fire. This can happen when fern-like metal structures known as dendrites form between the battery's two electrodes, causing a short circuit. Now, however, researchers at the University of Michigan have used Kevlar nanofibers to create a barrier between the electrodes, which is impervious to those nasty dendrites. Read More
— Good Thinking

Fire Blanket uses spaceship tech to protect forest-firefighters

By - October 27, 2014 1 Picture
Last June, a wildfire near Yarnell, Arizona overtook and killed 19 firefighters – even though they had set up fireproof shelters. This inspired Phoenix-based SunSeeker Enterprises to develop a shelter that's better able to withstand the high heat of forest fires. Utilizing a material licensed from NASA to protect the Space Shuttle on re-entry, the Fire Blanket is the result. Read More
— Electronics

"Smart" lithium-ion battery would warn users if it is going to ignite

By - October 14, 2014 2 Pictures
There have been numerous cases of lithium-ion batteries catching fire in everything from mobile phones and laptops to cars and airplanes. While the odds of this occurring are low, the fact that hundreds of millions of lithium-ion batteries are produced and sold every year means the risk is still very real. Researchers at Stanford University have now developed a "smart" lithium-ion battery that would provide users with a warning if it is overheating and likely to burst into flames. Read More
— Electronics

Pelty Bluetooth speaker powered by ... fire

By - June 30, 2014 5 Pictures
Chatting happily over a sumptuous dinner on the balcony, you bask in the warm summer breeze that blows gently past, sipping your wine and enjoying the company of a few special friends. The day is nearing dusk, so you reach over to light a candle and, as you do, soft music magically wafts from the candle holder, adding to the elegant mood. Your friends are impressed, and the evening is a hit. But where did that music come from? It came from Pelty, a Bluetooth-enabled, candle-powered speaker with an inbuilt thermoelectric converter that lets you play music streamed from your phone without the need for batteries or cables. Read More
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