One of the more unpleasant aspects of army life has always been guard duty. It's also very labor intensive. In the US Army, it takes four to six soldiers standing for up to 12 hours to man a single perimeter weapons system. To free up personnel for more important duties, the Army is testing the Tower Hawk System, which uses tower-mounted, remote-controlled weapons for base perimeter security.
Remote controlled cars make for some great small-scale demolition derbies, but unless there's a second person to play with, the game gets dull real fast. At this year's London Toy Fair, WowWee unveiled its Robotic Enhanced Vehicles (REV), robotic race cars that allow players to battle against one another or against an AI opponent. We recently charged up a pair, launched the control app, and let the mayhem begin.
ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen has successfully driven and manipulated an Earth-based rover whilst orbiting at a height of 400 km (249 miles) aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The control system used a sophisticated form of force-feedback that allowed Mogensen to determine when the rover's robotic arm met resistance. The technology has the potential to be used in a number of roles both in space and back on Earth, possibly taking human workers out of harms way.
Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens doesn't hit cinemas
until December, but already the rolling, bleeping BB-8 droid that
features in it has proved a hit with audiences. Now you can buy your
very own working version of the robot, thanks to a replica toy produced
Though there are all manner of cool ways to fire the shutter of your camera with triggers like the Triggertrap and ioShutter, fashion shoots are traditionally still done with the old-fashioned finger and button combo. Not so at a recent shoot for an Australian retailer, in which 42 customized cameras were automatically triggered by frequencies in a live musical performance. Is it time to fire the photographer and hire a drummer?
Parrot is already known for its drones that fly through the air and roll/jump along the ground,
but until now the French company hasn't had much to do with the water.
That'll change next month, however, when Parrot releases its Minidrone
High end cars are creeping towards full autonomy, unlocking new abilities every generation that allow them to drive themselves under certain conditions. Now, using the sensors and hardware that let the car park itself, Jaguar Land Rover has demonstrated a very nifty remote control app that lets you get out of your car, stand beside it and drive it using your smartphone. It's an incredibly handy way to get this huge thing in and out of tight parking spots, or negotiate particularly rough terrain while keeping an eye on what's happening. You can literally be your own spotter.
While there are plenty of aerial drones that show us our surroundings
from up in the air, there are far fewer remote-control devices that let
us see what's lurking beneath the surface of the water. Although the Aquabotix Hydroview
is one, at around US$3,000 it certainly isn't cheap. While still not
inexpensive, the newest version of the TTRobotix Seawolf is considerably
less pricey – partly because it incorporates the user's existing GoPro