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Repair

Space

DARPA's satellite repair robot makes house calls

There are over 400 geosynchronous satellites orbiting 22,000 mi (36,000 km) above the Earth. They are a vital part of global communications and represent billions of dollars in investments, but once they break down or run out of fuel, they're so much tin foil. DARPA has released a video outlining the agency's vision of a mobile robotic servicing system designed to rendezvous with and repair ailing telecommunications satellites.Read More

Drones

Researchers developing drones to autonomously repair the cities of the future

A lot of time and effort goes into keeping our cities in working order. Potholes need filling, power lines need maintaining and street light globes need replacing when blown. But a new initiative led by the University of Leeds could soon see these labor-intensive tasks taken care of by an army of drones that keep a watchful eye over our streets, tending to cracks in our urban environment the moment they begin to appear.Read More

Automotive

Mechanic Advisor's Connection Key tells you what’s wrong with your car, and who can fix it

Mechanic Advisors’ new product is designed to make the appearance of the dreaded check engine light that little bit less disheartening, by giving car owners a portal into the health of their vehicle. The device provides drivers with the same information available to their local auto repair shop, but what makes it truly unique is its ability to put them in touch with a suitable, trustworthy mechanic. Read More

Science

Regenerating plastic is better on the "hole"

Dropping your mobile phone can ruin your whole day as you look down at the spiderweb of cracks surrounding a small hole in the once-pristine plastic case. Now imagine watching as those cracks and that hole seal up by themselves, leaving behind a completely healed case. That may sound like science fiction, but it may not be for long with a team of researchers at the University of Illinois having developed a new system that doesn't just repair minor cracks in plastic, but regenerates to heal large holes.Read More

Science

Vascular self-healing system allows composite materials to repair multiple times

We've seen numerous examples of self-healing polymers that allow materials to repair themselves after being damaged. One of the more common approaches involves the use of embedded microcapsules that release a healing agent when damaged. Researchers have expanded on this idea to develop a new technique that brings self-healing capabilities to fiber-reinforced composite materials, like those used in airplanes and automobiles.Read More

NASA orders urgent spacewalks on the ISS

Christmas will be another work day for the crew of the International Space Station (ISS) this year. While many Earthlings are sitting down to turkey and plum pudding, NASA astronauts Rick Mastracchio and Mike Hopkins will be carrying out the third and final of three spacewalks announced by NASA managers on Tuesday.Read More

FiberFix aims to make duct tape look pathetic

People may make jokes about how duct tape can be used to fix just about anything, but a new product is claimed to be 100 times stronger than our matte-silver friend. It's called FiberFix, and it's a tape impregnated with a resin that reportedly "hardens like steel."Read More

Automotive

Audi A3 gets augmented reality owner's manual app

You're sitting at the side of the road on a blazing summer day watching your Audi's dashboard blink like a casino floor. The last thing you want to do is thumb frantically through the grease-covered manual in your glove compartment to try and figure out what's wrong. Instead, you could pull out your smartphone and use the new Audi eKurzinfo augmented reality app to get more information. Read More

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