Sublight Dynamics 6DOF Joystick

Sublight Dynamics has unveiled a prototype of a one-handed joystick with six degrees of freedom
Sublight Dynamics has unveiled a prototype of a one-handed joystick with six degrees of freedom
Sublight Dynamics

It almost goes without saying that flying aircraft or spacecraft is tricky – even in games. The third dimension really complicates things, and traditional controllers or joysticks can only really provide half the puzzle. Now, a small startup called Sublight Dynamics has unveiled a prototype for a one-handed joystick with six degrees of freedom.

Sublight Dynamics is currently funding the 6DOF joystick through Kickstarter, where it's already raised over US$17,000 of its $40,000 goal

Sublight Dynamics is currently funding the 6DOF joystick through Kickstarter, where it’s already raised over US$17,000 of its $40,000 goal
Sublight Dynamics

Rather than sitting on a flat surface, the 6DOF joystick is designed to clamp on the edge of a desk. There, a user can simply push or pull the handle in the desired direction – up, down, left, right, forward, backward, as well as tilting and turning it to make use of the rotation axes.

The joystick is kitted out with various force sensors that tell it which direction it’s being moved in. That design choice apparently makes input changes smoother and small adjustments easier. Plus that means there are no bearings or other parts that can wear out. It’s designed to be operated with one hand, whether you’re a lefty or righty thanks to a swappable palm rest.

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Drone Can Check for Crack in Structures

The hexacopter uses a pen in its pressure-sensing arm to write the Shenyang Institute of Automation's initials (SIA) on a glass wall
The hexacopter uses a pen in its pressure-sensing arm to write the Shenyang Institute of Automation’s initials (SIA) on a glass wall
Meng Xiangdong

Glass-clad skyscrapers need to be inspected on a regular basis, in order to ensure that the glass panes are securely attached and undamaged. Doing so might soon become much quicker and safer, with a little help from a special drone. read more

New Drone can Lift 440 Lbs.

In all, the Volodrone has a total payload capacity of 440 lb (200 kg)
In all, the Volodrone has a total payload capacity of 440 lb (200 kg)
Volocopter

Volocopter has spent years developing aircraft to hoist people up and over congested cities, and now it is leveraging its technology to do the same for heavy cargo. Announced today, the Volodrone is cut from the same cloth as the company’s electric passenger aircraft, but sports an attachment system underneath to carry heavy loads of all shapes and sizes. read more

Charge a Car in 10 Minutes?

Penn State's new fast-charging battery is designed to heat up 140° F (60° C) for just 10 minutes, and then be quickly cooled to ambient temperatures
Penn State’s new fast-charging battery is designed to heat up 140° F (60° C) for just 10 minutes, and then be quickly cooled to ambient temperatures
Chao-Yang Wang/Penn State

While Tesla’s latest superchargers can get its customers back on the road quicker than ever before, we’re still a ways off a world where recharging an electric vehicle is akin to a quick fuel stop. Exciting progress is being made, however, with the latest promising advance coming from chemical engineers at Penn State University, who have built a new battery they say can fully charge an electric car in just 10 minutes. read more

Corporate Jets Get Auto-Landing SYstem

The Vision G2 business jet can now land itself in an emergency
The Vision G2 business jet can now land itself in an emergency
Cirrus Aviation

An important step towards autonomous aviation was taken today, as Cirrus Aviation announced “Safe Return” functionality for its G2 Vision jet, which will find the nearest airstrip, alert authorities and land itself in an emergency.

The Vision is a small private jet capable of seating seven people, cruising at over 300 knots at 31,000 feet. Small, quick and user-friendly, it’s good for those that wish to fly themselves, as well as being flown. It’s been a successful product for Cirrus, but its new functionality could represent something bigger. CEO Zean Nielsen calls it “a product that we believe is going to change personal aviation forever.”

Safe Return Autonomous Autoland, developed in conjunction with Garmin, manifests as a button on the roof of the Vision jet that is accessible to passengers. If something happens to the pilot, a passenger can hit the button and request an autoland.

The one-touch Safe Return button is accessible to passengers

The one-touch Safe Return button is accessible to passengers
Cirrus Aviation

Anker 4K Projector with 3D Audio

The Anker Nebula Cosmos projector comes in two flavors: a 1080p model and a 4K UHD version
The Anker Nebula Cosmos projector comes in two flavors: a 1080p model and a 4K UHD version
Anker
Last year, Anker hit Kickstarter with a cylindrical 720p portable projector called the Capsule, and has now returned to the crowdfunding platform with a new Nebula projection system called the Cosmos. Well, actually there are two projectors being offered – a Full HD model with a pair of speakers and a 4K UHD unit packing four speakers for the promise of 3D audio.

The headline-grabber here is the Nebula Cosmos 4K Max TI DLP projector, which measures 13.8 x 9.8 x 3.9 in (35 x 25 x 10 cm) and tips the scales at 6.6 lb (3 kg). It puts out 1,500 ANSI lumens, can throw at up to 150 diagonal inches at 3,840 x 2,160p, rocks HDR10 for color vibrancy and boasts dynamic contrast of 100,000:1.

Anker is promising an immersive audio experience from the unit’s four 10-W speakers, with support for Dolby Digital Plus. Additionally, the system’s fans run at just 32 dB, meaning their sound won’t interfere with the movie-watching experience.

Various use cases for the Anker Nebula Cosmos projectors

Various use cases for the Anker Nebula Cosmos projectors
Anker
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Air Force Drone Killing Laser

The Raytheon HELWS uses a Multi-spectral Targeting System
The Raytheon HELWS uses a Multi-spectral Targeting System
Raytheon

The US Air Force has taken delivery of its first high-energy laser for shooting down Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). Built by Raytheon, it will be used in overseas deployments as part of a year-long experiment to test the laser weapon and to train operators in real-world scenarios. read more

Detect Airborne Chemicals in 10 Seconds

A Raman laser shines on a special chip, which traps gas molecules
A Raman laser shines on a special chip, which traps gas molecules
Nanyang Technological University

Ordinarily, if it’s suspected that toxic airborne chemicals may be present in a given area, the analysis process can take up to several days. Now, however, scientists have developed a device that they claim can analyze the air on-location – but from a safe distance – within 10 seconds. read more

Amazing Prosthetic Advances

Spinal cord injury patient Buz Chmielewsk with Johns Hopkins University researcher Matt Fifer
Spinal cord injury patient Buz Chmielewsk with Johns Hopkins University researcher Matt Fifer
Johns Hopkins APL

Brain-connected machines that capture and translate electrical signals are showing great promise across a number of areas, but one with massive potential is the world of prosthetics. Scientists exploring these possibilities at Johns Hopkins University are now reporting a big breakthrough, demonstrating a system that enables a quadriplegic to control two prosthetics arms at once using only his thoughts, and also feel a sense of touch coming back the other way. read more

Fix A Flat for Mountain Bikes!

The Dart tool can also be used on road and gravel bike tubeless tires
The Dart tool can also be used on road and gravel bike tubeless tires
Stan’s NoTubes

Almost all high-end mountain bikes now come with tubeless tires, which are capable of sealing small punctures if filled with a liquid sealant. The just-announced Dart tool, made by Stan’s NoTubes, is designed to better-fix the bigger holes. read more