Photokina 2014 highlights

Prototype

Eolewater's WMS1000 wind-driven water-harvesting system uses on-board cooling units to chi...

We've all seen ice cold glasses and bottles dripping with condensation after cooling water vapor in the air, and though grabbing water out of thin air is not new, it took French inventor and Eolewater founder Marc Parent's umpteenth emptying of his air conditioner's condensate to envision harvesting atmospheric moisture on a commercial scale using wind turbines. After years of designs and prototypes, his proof-of-concept device, essentially a wind-powered refrigeration/condensation/filtration unit, was put in operation in the dry desert air of Abu Dhabi last October where it's been reliably extracting 130-200 gal (approx. 500-800L) of clean, fresh water a day ever since.  Read More

The Macintosh 128K prototype that is up for sale on eBay

If you're an avid Apple fan with a bankroll akin to that of the late Steve Jobs, we've found an item on eBay that you might want to add to your watch list. A merchant in British Columbia is selling what they claim to be a rare prototype of the original Macintosh 128k computer based around a proprietary floppy disk drive Apple developed but later scrapped. The opening bid on the system, which comes with the original keyboard, mouse and cords but doesn't boot, is $99,995.00.  Read More

After years in development, Sway Motorsports has unveiled a prototype of its tilting three...

After years in development, Sway Motorsports has unveiled a prototype of its tilting three-wheel electric scooter, one with a rather sportier bent than the tilting electric three-wheelers we've seen before, such as Sidam's Xnovo. And though this is a relatively low-powered machine, judging from the videos this thing isn't without agility and zip. Clearly the Sway is pitched squarely at the leisure market.  Read More

The ionic motor developed at EPFL is designed to extend the capabilities of the new genera...

Researchers at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) have created a prototype mini motor designed to extend the capabilities of the new breed of small satellite. The motor weighs roughly 200 grams (7 oz) – including the fuel and control electronics - and could be used to change the orbit of small satellites, or even propel them to more far flung destinations that would usually require larger, more expensive spacecraft.  Read More

The Hermes spacecraft would carry paying passengers into space

We’ve covered numerous projects seeking funding through Kickstarter but none as ambitious as the project from Phoenix, Arizona-based STAR (Space Transport and Recovery) Systems. Rather than looking to get yet another iPhone case off the ground, the STAR team is seeking funds to aid in development of its Hermes spacecraft that would compete against the likes of Virgin Galactic and Space Adventures in carrying private passengers and payloads into space.  Read More

Altaeros Energies have created a floating wind turbine that produces low cost, renewable e...

Altaeros Energies has announced the first testing of its Airborne Wind Turbine (AWT) prototype that resembles a sort of blimp windmill. The test took place at the Loring Commerce Center in Limestone, Maine, USA where the AWT floated 350 feet (107 meters) into the sky and successfully produced power, before coming back to earth in a controlled landing. The turbine was deployed into the air from a towable docking trailer, while demonstrating that it can produce over twice the power at high altitudes than generated at conventional tower height  Read More

The first full-energy shots from the electromagnetic railgun prototype launcher captured f...

The electromagnetic (EM) railgun prototype launcher that was recently installed at the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) in Dahlgren, Virginia, has commenced firing, kicking off a two-month-long series of full-energy tests. Predictably, the first full energy shots make for some pretty impressive video.  Read More

The AW609 tiltrotor aircraft from AgustaWestland combines the benefits of a helicopter wit...

We’ve been following the development of Eurocopter’s X3 demonstrator with interest in recent years, but it’s far from the only aircraft that aims to combine the vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) capabilities of a helicopter with the speed, range and altitude capabilities of a fixed wing aircraft. Tiltrotor aircraft that feature powered rotors mounted on rotating shafts or nacelles at the end of a fixed wing have been around for half a century, the most famous probably being the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey. While the V-22 is a military aircraft, AgustaWestland is developing its AW609 as a multi-role aircraft aimed at private, commercial, and government markets.  Read More

A 32-MJ version of the Office of Naval Research-funded Electromagnetic Railgun (EMRG) prot...

Two years after BAE Systems was awarded a US$21 million contract from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) to develop an advanced Electromagnetic (EM) Railgun for the U.S. Navy, the company has delivered the first industry-built prototype demonstrator to the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Dahlgren. The prototype launcher is now being prepared for testing which is scheduled to take place in the coming weeks.  Read More

The TEEWAVE AR.1 Electric sports car

One of the highlights of the Tokyo Motor Show last month was the world debut of the TEEWAVE AR.1 Electric sports car. Commissioned by advanced materials manufacturer Toray and designed and built by Gordon Murray Design, my original story last October covered the design and Murray’s revolutionary iStream® manufacturing system, but at the Tokyo Motor Show I was able to see the AR.1 in fine detail (see in-depth (see extensive image library)). Yesterday Murray and Toray announced a technological partnership in the use of carbon fibre and other advanced materials in volume production, the development of structural thermoplastics and advanced crash structures. The two believe that in working together, they can deliver significant benefits in the areas of light-weighting, efficiency, cost, safety and sustainability.  Read More

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