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Prototype

— Aircraft

Piaggio Aerospace announces first flight and sales of P.1HH HammerHead UAS

By - February 26, 2015 5 Pictures
There's little doubt that drones will play an increasingly prevalent role in our skies in the future, so any aircraft manufacturer that wants to stay ahead of the curve is either already building them, has some in the pipeline, or is madly trying to get them up and flying. Piaggio Aerospace is not a newcomer to the game of flight by any stretch of the imagination, being one of the oldest airplane manufacturers in the world. It is, however, perceived as more of a civilian and business aircraft manufacturer. But it is determined to make its mark in the lucrative defense and security sector and the successful maiden test flight of its Prototype 001 P.1HH HammerHead UAS is an important step down that path. Read More
— Robotics

Grasp telepresence robot puts a remote teacher on your shoulder

By - February 24, 2015 6 Pictures
The familiar cartoon meme where an angel sits on someone’s shoulder and a devil on another, both giving advice in the person’s ear is one we all know. But what if you were able to have a real adviser sitting on your shoulder while learning a new task that not only offered advice but oversaw and guided your actions as well? The Grasp telespresence robot is designed to do just that. Read More
— Architecture

3D-printed bricks can cool a room with water

By - February 18, 2015 5 Pictures
Neat design can sometimes address complex issues such as passively cooling homes in eco-friendly ways. We've seen designers use the presence of swimming pools or take advantage of prevailing winds to help passively cool homes. But what if every brick used to build a house could cool it down? Design studio Emerging Objects has come out with 3D-printed porous bricks called Cool Bricks that can be filled with water to bring down temperatures. Read More
— Medical

Telescopic contact lenses zoom in and out with the wink of an eye

By - February 16, 2015 4 Pictures
Researchers from the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland have developed contact lenses that have tiny telescopic lenses built in to boost vision. Controlled by smart glasses that react in response to the winking of an eye, the device allows the wearer to zoom in on objects by providing magnification up to 2.8 times that of unaided human eyesight. Read More
— Electronics

Uberblox: The Lego of the 3D printer age?

By - February 15, 2015 3 Pictures
As cool and wonderful as Lego is, those plastic bricks can be tricky to handle if you want to step up from mere constructive play into serious custom-built prototyping. UberBlox hopes to fill that gap. It's a metal construction set and prototyping system with a single-connector locking mechanism and a variety of control boxes for accommodating whatever computer connection or automation needs a project might have. Read More
— Military

Canada's next-generation military smart gun unveiled

By - February 15, 2015 1 Picture
Looking every bit like a weapon from a science fiction movie, the latest integrated assault rifle prototype being developed for the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) is packed with some very smart weapons technology. Along with the ability to fire new lightweight telescoped ammunition, and a secondary effects module that adds either a three-round 40 mm grenade launcher or a 12-gauge shotgun, there is also a NATO-standard power and data bus to allow the attachment of smart accessories, such as electro-optical sights and position sensors that connect to command and control networks. Read More
— Space

NASA tests TGALS glider-based satellite launch system

By - February 14, 2015 8 Pictures
Recently, DARPA unveiled its ALASA system for launching satellites from fighter planes. Now NASA is upping the ante with its Towed Glider Air-Launch System (TGALS), which is designed to launch satellites from a twin-fuselage towed glider. Under development by NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, California, it's designed as an economical method for putting spacecraft into low-Earth orbit with the first test flight of a scale prototype having already been conducted. Read More
— Mobile Technology

Tactonics wants to put feeling into text messages

By - February 10, 2015 1 Picture
Hoping to bring back a bit of the personal touch to today's cold, impersonal digital communications, New Jersey-based startup Tactonics thinks the world might just get hooked on Tact messaging. With about the same effort it takes to send an emotionless, poorly spelled text message, you could send your loved ones a more heartfelt, meaningful "sensory message" that is intended to let them get in touch with your feelings. Read More
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