The Paris Motor Show has brought about many surprises from its attending manufacturers. Lamborghini
have all unveiled concepts that may or may not make it to production. Honda, on the other hand, has unveiled not one, but three new prototype vehicles that are set to hit European showroom floors from 2015.
Sikorsky's record-breaking X2 Demonstrator
helicopter may be a museum piece these days, but the technology that went into it is still alive and kicking as the United Technologies subsidiary takes the wraps off the first of its two S-97 Raider helicopter prototypes. According to Sikorsky, this event marks the beginning of the armed reconnaissance ‘copter’s flight tests aimed at providing the US Army with its next generation of combat rotorcraft.
At Ford’s Innovation for Millions day, we had a rare opportunity to take a look into a few areas of Ford’s design center that are normally off limits, including the Ford Immersive Vehicle Environment. This virtual reality prototyping lab lets Ford designers walk around, sit in and interact with 3D models of their vehicles before a physical prototype has ever been made.
Oculus has provided details on the latest version of its Rift virtual reality headset
. The new product features built-in 3D audio support alongside improved ergonomics. Unveiled at the Oculus Connect conference, the company also took the opportunity to detail its enhanced relationship with Unity.
A few days after Peugeot weighed in with its latest eco-friendly hybrid concept, French countrymate Renault followed suit. Its all-new EOLAB Concept slashes fuel consumption in half when compared to the already efficient Peugeot 208 Hybrid 2L
, requiring just 1 liter for 100 km of driving (235 mpg) while puffing out just 22 g/km of CO2 (NEDC cycle).
Today, when we think of the dangers of the battlefield, we think of wounds caused by bullets, bombs, and other weapons. But as late as the Spanish American war of 1898, the number of soldiers who died from infectious diseases as opposed to directly from combat injuries was seven to one. Thanks to the discovery of penicillin and other antibiotics, that ratio has swung dramatically the other way, but it’s still a major problem, not only for military personnel, but civilians too. DARPA is developing an artificial spleen
, or "biospleen," as a way to help fight deadly infections without antibiotics.
Researchers working at the University of Missouri (MU) claim to have produced a prototype of a nuclear-powered, water-based battery that is said to be both longer lasting and more efficient than current battery technologies and may eventually be used as a dependable power supply in vehicles, spacecraft, and other applications where longevity, reliability, and efficiency are paramount.
From the ubiquitous soft top to multi-panel glass retractables
, car convertibles have always been a staple of our coverage. Lately, boat convertibles have picked up steam, in the form of vessels like the Revolver 44GT
and 88 Florida
. As accustomed to the wide range of convertibles
as we've become, nothing quite prepared us for the convertible motorhome, a concept that appeared at the recent Düsseldorf Caravan Salon. The one-of-a-kind, "penthouse-on-wheels" lets wind flow through the driver's hair with the retraction of its sliding roof.
Solar panels need regular cleaning to ensure they are working at their optimum efficiency, and spraying them with the hose from the ground or relying on a heavy downpour won't necessarily get the job done. Like the windows on your house, they need to be scrubbed and polished for maximum effect. Enter Scrobby, a solar-powered, autonomous robot prototype designed to keep domestic solar panels clean and clear.
A team of researchers from Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley, has created prototype radio-on-a-chip communications devices that are powered by ambient radio waves. Comprising receiving and transmitting antennas and a central processor, the completely self-contained ant-sized devices are very cheap to manufacture, don't require batteries to run and could give the "Internet of Things" (IoT) a serious kick start.