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DARPA's “timing & inertial measurement unit” (TIMU) is a chip-based self-sufficient naviga...

The Global Positioning System (GPS) has proved a boon for those with a bad sense of direction, but the satellite-based system isn’t without its shortcomings. Something as simple as going indoors or entering a tunnel can render the system useless. That might be inconvenient for civilians, but it's potentially disastrous for military users for whom the system was originally built. DARPA is addressing such concerns with the development of a self-sufficient navigation system that can aid navigation when GPS is temporarily unavailable.  Read More

Picasso’s top speed is 175 km/h (109 mph) or 209 km/h (130 mph), dependent on the engine o...

Presented as an amalgamation of the mini-van, station wagon and hatchback, Citroen's new C4 Picasso is 308 lb (140 kg) lighter than its predecessor, thanks to a variety of tricks like an aluminum hood, composite tailgate and other lightweight materials.  Read More

Rapyuta: The RoboEarth Cloud Engine allows robots to perform complex data processing in th...

For the past few years, a consortium of six European research institutes has been collaborating on a project known as RoboEarth. Essentially a “worldwide web for robots,” the idea is that it will allow robots to access a shared online database of each others’ software, thus allowing them to learn how to perform new tasks from one another. The first phase of the project, Rapyuta: The RoboEarth Cloud Engine, is now up and running.  Read More

Tallinn University's Prof. Maarja Kruusmaa inspects one of the FILOSE robotic fish

We’ve already seen several underwater robots that mimic the swimming abilities of fish. The European FILOSE research project, however, is also interested in copying another feature of our finned friends – their lateral line. The result could be swimming robots that use differences in water pressure to navigate and save energy.  Read More

A rendering of a future version of the crash-proof AirBurr, navigating a disaster site

If you’ve ever watched a fly trying to find its way around a house, you might have noticed that it didn’t take a particularly graceful approach – it probably bounced off a lot of windows and walls, until by process of elimination, it found a route that was clear. Well, researchers at Switzerland’s EPFL Laboratory of Intelligent Systems are taking that same approach with the latest version of their autonomous AirBurr UAV – it’s built to run into things, in order to map and navigate its environment.  Read More

North Paw Directional Anklet Kit vibrates to provide a constant reference to magnetic nort...

If your hobbies include using a soldering iron and spending time exploring the great outdoors, then the North Paw Directional Anklet Kit from ThinkGeek may be of interest. It's a self-build vibrating compass which straps to the ankle, allowing the user to always tell which direction magnetic north lies.  Read More

UC3M's combined GPS unit and inertial measurement unit

Many of us use our vehicle navigation systems on a daily basis, and as self-driving cars come into common use – assuming they do – such systems will become even more important. Unfortunately, however, the GPS technology that’s integral to vehicle navigation can be thwarted by obstacles such as tall buildings. A team of researchers at Spain’s Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) are attempting to address that problem, with a system that is said to drastically boost GPS accuracy in city driving.  Read More

The Adept Lynx autonomous indoor vehicle is able to self-navigate through dynamic environm...

If you’re in charge of a parts warehouse, a distribution center, or some other big building full of things that need to be moved around, the Adept Lynx might be just what you need. Made by California-based Adept Technology, the autonomous indoor vehicle (AIV) is able to find its own way as it carries cargo from point to point, within “challenging environments.”  Read More

The Locata system installed at the White Sands Missile range

As anyone who's tried to use GPS indoors can tell you, global positioning systems have their limitations. For them to work properly, you have to be outdoors and you need a clear view of the sky. If you’re in the military, you also have to be sure that the enemy isn't jamming the satellite signal. For this reason, the US Air Force has awarded Canberra-based firm Locata a “sole source” contract to install a ground-based version of GPS over 2,500 square miles (6,475 sq/km) of the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico as part of a program to develop a practical supplement to GPS.  Read More

KAIST researchers have developed an indoor positioning system based on 'Wi-Fi fingerprints...

Researchers at the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have developed a new indoor positioning system that makes it possible to build a Wi-Fi radio map that does not require GPS signals. It's claimed to be an improvement on Wi-Fi Positioning Systems, that rely on both GPS and Wi-Fi signals.  Read More

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