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Lazer Stunt Chasers are remote-control cars that chase a user-aimed spot of laser light ac...

If you have both a laser pointer and either a cat or a dog in your home, you probably know how much fun it can be to watch your critter chasing after the laser light point on the floor. If you don’t have any pets, however, now there’s something else that will chase a laser for you – a toy car. Thinkway Toys’ Lazer Stunt Chaser is a remote-control vehicle that goes wherever its user shines its laser light controller. Oh yeah, and its wheels light up, too.  Read More

A CV90 Swedish infantry fighting vehicle fitted with the ADAPTIV panels (Image: BAE System...

Infrared imaging is used for a range of military applications - such as target acquisition, night vision, homing and tracking - which means that any vehicle with some kind of infrared “invisibility cloak” would hold significant advantages on the battlefield. BAE Systems has tested just such a technology that not only allows vehicles to blend into their surroundings, but can also let it mimic other vehicles or natural objects.  Read More

Apache Attack helicopters reduce vulnerability with new Ground Fire Acquisition System

Firing a rifle at a Longbow Apache Attack helicopter in the hope of claiming a US$8 million scalp with a 50 cent bullet might not be a very good idea for too much longer - unless you like keeping company with a Hellfire missile. The U.S. Army’s Longbow Apache Attack helicopters are about to gain a networked Ground Fire Acquisition System (GFAS) which uses infrared cameras to detect muzzle flashes from ground fire, and displays the location and distance of the shooters as an icon on the pilot’s display screen. Not only does this enable the immediate acquisition and prosecution of targets, it also offers the same information to ground forces via the net-centric battlefield information system, giving everyone in the fight vastly improved situational awareness.  Read More

To the bottom right of the pedal are two IR emitters and one receiver, which calculate the...

On more than one occasion I have been faced with a floor full of daisy-chained analog effects pedals and, to amusement of onlookers, have had to perform intricate tap dancing moves to switch features on and off. Now two German musicians have added another dimension to effects unit control that may well save me some leg work - infrared expression and function control. All of the functions available on the KOMA Elektronik BD101 analog delay and gate can be controlled by control voltage (CV) via patched infrared sensors next to the true bypass footswitch.  Read More

The evoMouse turns a flat surface into a virtual trackpad

With the plethora of mouse alternatives available or in development you'd be forgiven for thinking the humble computer mouse was some kind of torturous device inflicted upon computer users. But despite challengers such as the trackball, the WOW-PEN Joy, the ErgoSlider Plus, the Orbita Mouse and the AirMouse – just to name a few – the mouse has maintained its dominance while remaining largely unchanged since its unveiling in 1968. Now there's another alternative cursor relocation device set to hit the market called the evoMouse that turns just about any flat surface into a virtual trackpad with your finger as the pointer.  Read More

Scientists have created a new type of fiber optic cable with a zinc selenide core, that is...

Fiber optic cables can transmit over a terabyte of information per second – but that doesn’t mean there still isn’t room for improvement. One of those improvements, which was officially announced today, involves replacing the silica glass core of fiber optic strands with semiconductive zinc selenide. This new class of fiber optics, invented and created at Penn State University, is said to “allow for a more effective and liberal manipulation of light.” The technology could have applications in the fields of medicine, defense, and environmental monitoring.  Read More

The enzyme that allows fireflies to glow could be used to monitor the effectiveness of an ...

Millions of people around the world are medicated with heparin, a blood thinner used for the treatment and prevention of blood clots. One of the ways in which doctors monitor the effectiveness of heparin is to look for a blood protein known as factor Xa in a patient’s bloodstream – the less factor Xa activity that is occurring, the better. Now, thanks to an enzyme obtained from fireflies, that protein may be easier than ever to detect.  Read More

Zaca Fire, near Santa Barbara, California, in 2007. Credit: U.S. Forest Service by John Ne...

In the last decade the number and intensity of forest fires seems to have been on the increase around the globe, with massive and devastating wildfires in California, Greece, Russia and Australia. The best tool for fighting these intense wildfires is accurate and timely information. Traditional airborne infrared cameras have long been a vital device for mapping fire intensity though their limited ability to find the heart of a fire through thick smoke poses a major drawback. A new radiometric sensor that works in the microwave range can now pinpoint the heart of the wildfire, even when visibility is poor.  Read More

The Canon XA10 - canon's smallest ever pro-level camcorder

Canon has announced its smallest-ever professional grade handicam. The XA10 weighs a paltry 820g (1.8lbs) fully loaded, and shoots 1080p HD video in H.264 and the more edit-friendly AVCHD format. Canon is pitching it somewhere between the prosumer market and as a ultra-portable rig for outdoor, action sports, live news and tight-spot shooting at the pro level. But at an estimated retail of US$1999, it's well within reach of the hobbyist that just wants to shoot high-quality home movies.  Read More

CQD graduate student Paritosh Manurkar taken with the world's first LWIR FPA based on Type...

Researchers at Northwestern University have developed a new infrared imaging system that delivers a 16-fold increase in resolution over long wavelength infrared radiation (LWIR) cameras currently used in industrial, security and nighttime surveillance applications. Based on a type of semiconductor called a Type-II InAs/GaSb superlattice, the IR camera is mercury-free, more robust, cheaper to produce and can collect 78 percent of the light showing temperature differences as small as 0.02° C.  Read More

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