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— Marine

University of Texas team takes control of a yacht by spoofing its GPS

By - August 11, 2013 6 Pictures
Civilization depends on the Global Positioning System for everything from precision armaments to finding the location of the nearest pizza shop. Indeed, access to GPS's strengths and capabilities has grown so fast that little concern about its weaknesses has penetrated the public consciousness. Fortunately, assistant professor Todd Humphreys' team at the University of Texas at Austin continues to arrange splashy demonstrations of GPS spoofing. His latest is to covertly alter the course of an oceangoing yacht. Read More
— Robotics

2013 International Aerial Robotics Competition tests student-built espionage robots

By - August 8, 2013 11 Pictures
For the past 23 years, the International Aerial Robotics Competition has challenged college teams with missions requiring complex autonomous robotic behaviors that are often beyond the capabilities of even the most sophisticated military robots. This year's competition, which was held in China and the United States over the past week, saw the team from Tsinghua University in Beijing successfully complete the current mission – an elaborate espionage operation known as Mission Six that was first proposed in 2010. Read More

Navigo digital compass gives directions with vibration

Having a GPS-enabled device with a built-in digital compass in your pocket is nothing special these days, but there's still room for improvement when it comes to the usability of these functions. The Navigo rises to this challenge by putting a digital compass on your wrist and giving it the ability to guide you using vibrations, as well as link wirelessly to mapping information on your smartphone. Read More

Paper map "zooms in" as you unfold it

One of the advantages of map apps over traditional paper maps is the fact that with an app, the user can zoom in on one area of a map – no having to spread a whole paper map out just to look at one part of the city. British product designer Anne Stauche decided to level the playing field a little, with her map2 zoomable paper map. Read More
— Automotive

Garmin's portable HUD throws smartphone app directions on the windshield

By - July 8, 2013 3 Pictures
While many high-end modern cars are now coming with a sophisticated Head-Up-Display (HUD) built in, owners of older (or cheaper) models are stuck with a dedicated navigation device or cradled smartphone blurting out directions and pointing the way. If you're feeling adventurous, you may be able to shoe-horn a retrofit kit into your old jalopy, or you could take the plunge and stump up for a new car, but navigation veteran Garmin has another option. Its new pocket-sized, portable HUD wirelessly connects to a smartphone running a navigation app, and throws directions and useful information onto the inside of the windshield. Read More
— Space

SpaceX Grasshopper tests sensor system, reaches record altitude of over 1,000 feet

By - July 8, 2013 1 Picture
Back in June, SpaceX's Grasshopper reusable VTOL rocket was flown to an altitude of 325 meters (1,066 feet) before landing on its original launch pad. The video of the flight (taken by a hexacopter drone hovering at 325 meters) has now been made available. The purpose of the flight was to test Grasshopper's full navigation sensor suite with the F9-R closed loop control flight algorithms to improve the precision of its landings. Grasshopper is designed to develop and test the technologies needed to return a reusable rocket from space missions. (There is no word on whether the cowboy mannequin was carried along by Grasshopper on this flight.) Read More
— Electronics

Internet-connected street sign literally Points you in the right direction

By - June 7, 2013 7 Pictures
In our increasingly connected world, isn't it about time the humble street sign received a high-tech upgrade? That's certainly the thinking behind Points, the newest project from Breakfast, a New York-based design group. Points is an internet-connected directional sign that pulls data from social media and spins its arms up to 360 degrees to aim in the direction of a location or event. Read More
— Outdoors

Suunto's second generation of Ambit GPS watches hit the training track

By - April 30, 2013 6 Pictures
Launched last year, the Suunto Ambit brought a new level of functionality to the GPS watch market. Not only could its GPS keep tabs on your speed, distance and vertical, but it allowed for full navigation functions, routing you in and out of the great outdoors. Suunto has now revealed the second generation of Ambit watches with something for both explorers and athletes. Read More
— Science

Laser system produces 3D images of objects up to one kilometer away

By - April 11, 2013 2 Pictures
Physicists at Scotland’s Heriot-Watt University have created a 3D imaging camera system capable of resolving depth on a millimeter scale at distances of up to one kilometer. Working much like a laser version of radar, the “Time-of-Flight” (ToF) measurement system “pings” a low-powered infrared laser beam off distant objects and records a pixel-by-pixel map using a detector that counts and positions individual photons as they arrive back at the source. Read More
— Mobile Technology

DARPA develops non-GPS navigation chip

By - April 11, 2013 1 Picture
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
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