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While there's a great deal of excitement surrounding the concept of autonomous delivery drones, the aircraft would likely all utilize GPS to navigate – and GPS satellites aren't always available. That's why Prof. Martinez Carranza has developed a new drone navigation system, that's based purely on visual observations.

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We've already seen experimental "white canes" that allow blind users to get a sense of their surroundings via ultrasound and lasers. Birmingham City University's XploR mobility cane, however, uses its onboard electronics towards another end – to help users locate people that they know.

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If you thought the Apple watch was something to write home about, take a look at NASA's Deep Space Atomic Clock (DSAC). This miniaturized, ultra-precise mercury-ion atomic clock is described by the space agency as "orders of magnitude more stable than today's best navigational clocks," and is smaller and more accurate than any that's been previously sent into space. In 2016, it will fly on a test mission to demonstrate a technology that NASA sees as key to a number of high-priority Earth-orbit and deep space missions. Read More
Researchers at the University of Tokyo have successfully used geomagnetic compasses to help blind rats navigate with a similar level of success to their fully-sighted counterparts. The team believes that the technology may be useful in helping blind people move around more freely. Read More
Two new Galileo satellites have been successfully placed in orbit, joining the existing six probes in the constellation that aim to provide a European alternative to GPS and Glonass networks. The operation went off without a hitch – something that can't be said for the troubled assent of the fifth and sixth Galileo satellites. Read More
In anticipation of more ambitious planetary missions, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, in collaboration with Masten Space Systems in Mojave, California, has recently been testing new landing technologies using an Autonomous Descent and Ascent Powered-flight Testbed (ADAPT). Aimed at developing new systems for landing on Mars and other planets with much greater precision, a new imaging landing system and algorithm were tested using the demonstration vehicle on two successful flights. Read More
Most modern aircraft, cruise missiles, spacecraft – in fact, almost all flying vehicles – use an accelerometer for flight stabilization. Living creatures that fly, on the other hand, rely on their own innate sense of balance determined by environmental observation and inbuilt organ-based systems. Now French researchers have designed a bio-inspired, sight-based system that could be used in conjunction with accelerometers to vastly increase the autonomous capabilities of drones by endowing them with more natural flying abilities. Read More
As cars become more sophisticated, drivers have been able to say farewell to many of the challenges that driving used to hold – from power steering to sat-nav, cars are making it easier than ever to get from A to B. Porsche has decided that owners of its classic cars deserve some of this high-tech help, and has designed a sat-nav system to fit into the dash of cars dating back to the 1960's. Read More
Though it was surrounded by an absolute ocean of cool technology at the greater Consumer Electronics Show, French electronics manufacturer Parrot managed to stand out with the diversity and breadth of its booth. It showcased the latest drones, aftermarket vehicle infotainment systems, wireless sport-tracking headphones, and even a smart flower pot. Step through the door and experience Parrot's latest, most innovative products for yourself. Read More
We've already seen both complete bicycles and aftermarket handlebars that provide cyclists with navigational cues. Now, Boréal Bikes is reducing things further still, with a set of handlebar grips that serve the same purpose. The company's smrtGRiPS can be added to an existing flat handlebar, from which point they will proceed to tell the cyclist where to go. Read More
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