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South Africa

Environment

Connected Conservation: Using drones, sensors and Wi-Fi to stop poachers

By their very nature, wildlife reserves are generally located in remote areas beyond the reach of typical communications technologies. This is good news if you're a poacher trying to infiltrate area, and bad news for patrol teams working to keep them out. But a new initiative is looking to tip things in the good guys' favor by fitting out an African nature reserve with high-tech gear, such as seismic sensors and infrared drones, all of which is networked to keep tabs on who exactly is going in and out of the park.Read More

3D Printing

3D-printed mower keeps lawn in trim

It might not offer the same durability as your trusty ol' Husqvarna, but a 3D-printed lawnmower has shown it is up to the task of keeping your lawn in shape. South Africa's Hans Fouche designed and produced his new machine with a custom-made 3D printer dubbed Cheetah, which he has hopes of eventually bringing to market.Read More

Automotive

Bloodhound Supersonic Car group tests hybrid rocket engine

Britain's Bloodhound team has taken a slow-but-steady approach toward its goal of breaking the world land speed record, but it appears to be paying off. Bloodhound, along with its partner, the Norwegian/Finnish aerospace and defense group, Nammo, have successfully tested a large hybrid solid/liquid rocket engine at Nammo's test facility in Norway. Described as the "latest in the evolution of hybrid rocket motor technology," it's one of three power plants that will be used by the Bloodhound Supersonic Car when it makes its record attempt in 2016.Read More

Tiny Houses

POD-Indawo: Small living South African style

A team of designers and architects based in South Africa has produced this charming prefabricated tiny home designed especially for the climate and conditions of their country. The versatile POD-Indawo can operate on or off-grid, and sports a decent-sized porch and an upstairs sleeping area.Read More

Space

Scientists plan on turning the Moon into a giant particle detector

What is the Moon good for? Aside from inspiring poets, helping you see at night, and giving Neil Armstrong some place for a stroll, what can you do with it? If you ask scientists at the University of Southampton, they’ll tell you that it makes a cracking particle detector. With the help of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope, the team hopes to use the mass of the satellite to detect the most energetic particles known; Ultra-High-Energy (UHE) cosmic rays.Read More

Coke machines to serve as Wi-Fi hotspots in South Africa

In this day and age, if a community is to prosper, it certainly helps if its residents have internet access. With that in mind, Coca-Cola South Africa has partnered with bottler Coca-Cola Fortune and communications company BT Global Services to provide underserved South African communities with free Wi-Fi ... which will be built into Coke vending machines. Read More

Aircraft

AHRLAC: The first multi-platform military aircraft designed and built in Africa

Claimed to be Africa’s first home-grown military aircraft, the Advanced High-Performance Reconnaissance Light Aircraft (AHRLAC), is designed to integrate a range of military and civilian support technologies in one multi-role package. Aimed at performing duties similar to both attack helicopters and reconnaissance planes, the AHRLAC is designed to carry surveillance equipment, weapons, radar and electronic warfare systems.Read More

Automotive

Bloodhound supersonic car goes old school with Rolex analog instruments

Digital electronic displays are a tremendous asset until they give out, then you end up staring at a blank screen having no idea what’s going on. That’s bad enough sitting at a desk, but in a supersonic car blasting across the South African desert, it’s brown trousers time. To avoid this, watch manufacturer Rolex has developed a pair of bespoke analog instruments as backups for the Bloodhound SSC, the jet-powered car being built for an attempt to set a new world land speed record of 1,000 mph (1,609 km/h).Read More

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