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— Military

DARPA puts out call for super-agile UAVs

By - December 23, 2014 1 Picture
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) are the eyes in the skies for soldiers and disaster relief crews, but despite over a century of aviation progress, they still leave a lot to be desired and close quarters are very difficult for them to navigate on their own. To make UAVs more practical in debris-strewn areas, DARPA's Fast Lightweight Autonomy (FLA) program aims to develop algorithms that will allow autonomous fliers to negotiate obstacles as easily as a bird of prey. Read More
— Military

US Navy introducing system to help commanders plot the best course

By - December 21, 2014 1 Picture
One thing that is guaranteed to put a naval ship commander in front of a court martial is running aground. Unfortunately, despite all the advances in satellite technology and other aids, navigation is still as much an art as a science – and a very time-consuming one at that, with it taking days and sometimes weeks to chart out a mission. To free up captains and reduce their chances of having to answer awkward questions, the US Navy is introducing a new automated navigation planning system into its surface fleet that speeds up course planning and reduces the chance of human error. Read More
— Marine

Rolls-Royce sets sail for robotic shipping with virtual bridge concept

By - December 13, 2014 57 Pictures
Rolls-Royce, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, and Aalto University are expanding on their ideas for a virtual bridge that could soon lead to a future where the line between manned and robotic ships becomes completely blurred. Combining automated ship systems and constant high-data level communications, it's part of what Rolls-Royce see as the "next major transition for the shipping industry." Read More
— Space

ESA ATV tests new docking technology

By - December 11, 2014 3 Pictures
The European Space Agency's (ESA) Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) Georges Lemaitre captured the International Space Station (ISS) in a new light in August, as it fired up a set of experimental sensors that may form the basis of the next generation of automated docking systems. Such tech will be vital for the increasingly-ambitious missions planned by NASA and its partners to explore the Red Planet and beyond. Read More
— Bicycles

COBI is designed to make any bike "smart"

By - December 8, 2014 3 Pictures
There are already non-electric bicycles and motor-assisted e-bikes, although lately we've also been seeing the emergence of a third category – "smart bikes." These are (usually) human-powered bikes with built-in electronic systems that perform functions such as navigation, theft deterrence and directional lighting. While there are purpose-built models such as the Valour and Rogue C6, German start-up iCradle is taking another approach. Its COBI system is designed to convert a traditional bike into a smart bike. Read More
— Science

Empa invents chemical computer faster than a satnav

By - October 28, 2014 2 Pictures
If you’re going out for pizza in Budapest, which would you choose to get you there; a smartphone with GPS or a drop of gel on a little maze? A team of scientists from Switzerland, Hungary, Japan and Scotland under the leadership of Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, thinks that the gel might be your better bet because that little bit of plastic and goo is a chemical computer capable of navigating a maze faster than a satnav. Read More
— Electronics

Yubi Navi helps you feel your way around

By - October 16, 2014 4 Pictures
Anyone who’s walked down the street using their smartphone for navigation will know that it’s not an ideal solution. While the service itself is invaluable, the need to constantly keep glancing down at the display to check you’re heading in the correct direction can be more than a little tedious. NTT Domoco’s Yubi Navi is a prototype device that looks to simplify on-foot navigation, replacing visual, on-screen prompts with subtle, tactile cues. Read More
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