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Artist's concept of the Ground Systems FANG vehicle

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced on Monday the winner of the first challenges in its competition to design the Fast Adaptable Next-Generation Ground Vehicle (FANG). The US$1 million prize went to “Ground Systems” – a three-person group with members in Ohio, Texas and California. The first of three challenges, the purpose of the competition is to bring crowdsourcing to the problem of creating armored vehicles, with the hope of reducing the design costs by a factor of five.  Read More

The multi-rotor car can fly above traffic

Hyundai has been running the IDEA festival, an internal contest to challenge designers and engineers to come up with futuristic transportation solutions, for three years. In preparing for IDEA 2013, Hyundai provides a look at some of the best concepts conceived during IDEA 2012 – everything from flying cars, to egg-shaped transporters, to spare tires that transform into bikes.  Read More

The SkySweeper robot that inches along a cable using a motorized pivoting 'elbow'

If you look up at a power line in a few years and see something skittering along the wires, it (hopefully) won't be a mutant crab monster, but a powerline inspection robot costing less than US$1,000. A prototype of such a robot, called SkySweeper, was presented this month at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) Jacobs School of Engineering's Research Expo. The robot was built with off-the-shelf electronics and plastic parts printed on an inexpensive 3D printer.  Read More

The five-micron LWIR camera being developed by DARPA to provide individual soldiers with t...

With their ability to pick out humans by their heat signatures, long-wave infrared (LWIR) thermal imaging cameras are a valuable asset for soldiers – and alien predators. Unfortunately, non-alien built ones are expensive and so large that they need to be mounted on vehicles. In an effort to make a LWIR camera cheap and small enough for an individual soldier to carry, DARPA is working on a five-micron camera that offers a reduced size without sacrificing performance.  Read More

Artist's concept of a fusion-drive ship

Traveling through deep space is a hazardous undertaking and choosing the right engine can mean the difference between a fast, successful mission and a slow one with mounting dangers of radiation sickness, equipment failures and personal conflicts. A team of researchers from the University of Washington (UW) and Redmond, Washington-based MSNW are aiming to expand the options by developing a new fusion drive rocket engine that promises to make possible a manned spacecraft that could reach Mars and return to Earth in months rather than years.  Read More

This prototype implant can detect up to five proteins and organic acids at once (Photo: EP...

Blood tests usually involve drawing some blood out of the body. Now scientists from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) have developed an implant that allows blood to be analyzed from within the body, with results then transmitted wirelessly to a computer. While still at the experimental stage, the device could make it easier for health care providers to monitor the chronically ill and provide more personalized treatment to cancer patients.  Read More

The designers of the BAT levitating wireless mouse say that it's been developed to help pr...

A Czech design studio is readying a levitating computer mouse for release that's been created to help prevent Carpal tunnel syndrome, a painful condition that can strike musicians, assembly-line workers, typists and computer users (to name a few).  Read More

The Slot Sofa converts from two-seater to three-seater with coffee table and dual foot res...

Multi-purpose furniture is a great way to keep clutter to a minimum in cramped confines. A new couch concept from designer Matthew Pauk called the Slot Sofa is designed to maximize available space with a hideaway dual ottoman and coffee table.  Read More

Cardborigami 2.0 weighs 10.5 pounds, and is finished with fire-retardant and water-resista...

Sadly, widespread homelessness isn’t going away any time soon, and until society works out a larger solution, ideas are needed to improve the living conditions of people without a home right now. One such idea put forward is a cardboard-constructed pop-up shelter dubbed “Cardborigami,” which is designed to serve as a transitional shelter until a permanent home is found.  Read More

The Skyflash one-man, jet-propelled wing undergoes testing

While most of us sit around grumbling and demanding to know, “where’s my jetpack?", German Fritz Unger and a group of friends have decided to do something about it. On a shoestring budget they are building their own one-man, jet-propelled wing. Dubbed “Skyflash,” it’s meant to not only emulate the jet wing made famous by Jetman Yves Rossy, but to go one better by taking off from the ground instead of having to be dropped from an aircraft.  Read More

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