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Safety

Robotics

New soft actuator endows robots with a bit of give and take

The first law of robotics, according to Isaac Asimov, states that a robot must not injure a human being, or through inaction, allow a human to come to harm. But until robots are smart enough to understand such a law, we have to rely on other techniques. With this in mind, a team of researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems has developed a new soft actuator that makes it safer for humans and robots to work alongside one another.Read More

3D Printing

Boeing proposes 3D printing "ice" for aircraft certification

In another potential aerospace application for 3D printing, Boeing has filed an application with the US Patent Office for a way to make artificial "ice." The company isn't planning on making novelty ice cubes for the first class passengers (yet), but has come up with a way of printing plastic and composite shapes that can be tacked onto the wings and other surfaces to simulate icing conditions. According to Boeing, this will help to streamline and reduce the cost of the aircraft certification process.Read More

Drones

When drones and pork collide

In a display of true awesomeness, researchers from the Drone Research Lab at Denmark's Aalborg University have built a catapult that fires hobby drones at a pork roast. This display of porcine projectile piercing is not only high on the list of conversation starters, it also has the serious goal of finding out more about the safety hazards posed by the tiny aircraft to people and property.Read More

Space

NASA to light fire on orbiting space craft

In what might sound like a rather frightening first, NASA plans to set fire in a spacecraft in orbit. Scheduled for May, the Spacecraft Fire Experiment-I (Saffire-I) will take place aboard an unmanned Cygnus cargo ship after it completes its resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS). The purpose of this controlled pyrotechnic experiment is a better understanding of large-scale fires in zero gravity and improving spacecraft design safety.Read More

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