The technology and speed allow for near vertical climbs and drops, gravity-defying stunts and record-breaking roller coaster designs. Six Flags Discovery Kingdom ride supervisor Charles Laureano says the electromagnetic technology, which was first installed on coasters in 1996, has improve dramatically. "It's a … Read more
If the apparel oft proclaims the man, as Polonius said in "Hamlet," then the camo suit proclaims the robot.
Boston Dynamics is showing off new duds for its Petman humanoid robot platform, and it looks rather badass.
Peman is a walking, squatting, flexing hazmat suit testing machine. It's designed to stand up to chemical warfare agents.
With nothing on, it looks like The Terminator. But when it's wearing this camouflage chemical suit and gas mask, you could mistake it for a real soldier. … Read more
You gotta hand it to the marketers who come up with robot acronyms. Can it get any better than Extreme Access System for Entry (EASE)?
Sounds innocuous enough, right? Until this little critter tries to float into your room to spy on you. It's one of two bots unveiled by CyPhy Works, headed by iRobot co-founder Helen Greiner.
EASE and PARC (that's Persistent Aerial Reconnaissance & Communication), a communications relay, are compact flying machines that can fly between 3 feet and 1,000 feet while remaining tethered to their human controllers via microfilaments. … Read more
We've seen how flying quadrotors can form spectacular displays in the sky, but what if they could roll along the ground too?
Engineers at the Illinois Institute of Technology's Robotics Lab have been developing a power-efficient machine that can move on land and air. It also happens to be extremely Crave-worthy. … Read more
You've double-parked your car to pick something up when a robot rolls up and threatens to give you a ticket. You might laugh, but the thing's talking with a human voice.
Researchers at Florida International University's Discovery Lab are working with a member of the U.S. Navy Reserves to build telepresence robots that could patrol while being controlled by disabled police officers and military vets. In a sense, they would be hybrid man-machine cops, like RoboCop. … Read more
You'd think a ship designed after a baseball bat would go over like a foul ball when it comes to seaworthiness, but research ship FLIP has been a hit since its launch 50 years ago.
The bizarre research vessel can go from a horizontal to vertical position while staying afloat and stable in heavy seas, even in 80-foot waves. That allows it to perform oceanographic research measurements with great accuracy.
"A ship rolls with storm waves, but FLIP is so stable it is almost immobile," Scripps Institute of Oceanography engineer Eric Slater has said in recalling FLIP riding out a hurricane. "Waves hit it like a brick wall. We were literally thrown out of our chairs inside FLIP when the big waves hit."
Operated by Scripps and owned by the U.S. Navy, the 355-foot FLIP was designed by Phillip Rudnick, Fred H. Fisher, and Fred N. Spiess, and first tested in July 1962 as part of an anti-submarine rocket program. It was recently shown off in the Pacific for its birthday. … Read more
Queue up The Village People doing "In the Navy." Then follow it up with "Mr. Roboto" by Styx. Next, throw in Hendrix doing "Fire." Put it all together, and you'll have the perfect soundtrack for the Navy's new humanoid firefighting robot, named Saffir.
Saffir stands for "shipboard autonomous firefighting robot." I could just stop here and let that description be enough awesomeness for one day, but there's more.
This humanoid robot comes from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. It is designed to fit through the cramped passageways of Navy ships, interact with the sailors onboard, and fight fires with cool features like the ability to throw PEAT grenades. No, not that kind of peat. We're talking "propelled extinguishing agent technology."… Read more
Researchers at the University of Michigan say they have developed a simple litmus-like test for nerve gas that could clue military personnel into when they might actually need to use those heavy masks and protective gear. (Nerve gases, the most toxic of chemical warfare agents, and are colorless, odorless, and tasteless.)
"To detect these agents now, we rely on huge, expensive machines that are hard to carry and hard to operate," Jinsang Kim, an associate professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Michigan, said in a statement. "We wanted to develop an equipment-free, motion-free, … Read more
It was supposed to be a weapon of the future. Now the Airborne Laser is communing with the ghosts of aircraft past.
Earlier this month, the Airborne Laser, a seriously tricked-out Boeing 747-400 Freighter, arrived at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona, where it has been consigned to a sprawling and dusty final resting place known as the "Boneyard" (the Air Force's Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group, under its formal name).
Officially on the books as the YAL-1A Airborne Laser Test Bed, the big aircraft with the bulbous nose was designed to shoot down ballistic missiles. The … Read more
A new design for a self-guiding bullet could allow sharpshooters to accurately fire at targets a full mile away.
The bullet, which is still in a prototype phase, is the brainchild of Sandia National Laboratories researchers Red Jones and Brian Kast. It is designed with built-in actuators and tiny fins that should allow it to rapidly adjust its path in flight.
Designed with the military, law enforcement, and recreational shooters as potential customers, the bullet is four inches long and has an optical sensor embedded in its nose for the detection of a laser on its target, Sandia said in … Read more