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New Sight Has Fire Control

The ELCAN is designed to reduce the weight of a soldier's kit while improving their aim
The ELCAN is designed to  reduce the weight of a soldier’s kit while improving their aim(Credit: Raytheon)

 

Firearms have come a long way from the days of the musket and flintlock, but they’re also much more complicated and involve trade offs. In preparing for missions, soldiers are often forced to choose between a close quarter or a magnified sight for their assault rifles as there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. read more

Origami Bullet-Proof Shield

Fully deployed, the shield can protect two to three individuals
Fully deployed, the shield can protect two to three individuals (Credit: BYU Photo)

The ancient art of origami has been inspiring engineers and designers for decades. The principles behind this Japanese folding technique have been appropriated by everyone from solar array designers for implementation in space to medical engineers creating ingestible robotics. Now a team at Brigham Young University (BYU) has created a lightweight bulletproof shield inspired by a Yoshimura origami crease pattern. read more

May be Able to Levitate Anything

Researchers at the University of Chicago have demonstrated a levitation technique that can move macroscopic objects,...Researchers at the University of Chicago have demonstrated a levitation technique that can move macroscopic objects, using heat flow(Credit: Jean Lachat)

Levitation may look like magic, but there are a number of scientific tricks behind it. Magnetic systems are usually behind gimmicky consumer products like floating lightbulbs and speakers, optical levitation turns up in more academic pursuits like quantum computing, and acoustics could help suspend tiny particles to make better drugs. These techniques only work with certain objects, but researchers at the University of Chicago have developed a method to levitate basically anything, using differences in temperature.

“Magnetic levitation only works on magnetic particles, and optical levitation only works on objects that can be polarized by light, but with our first-of-its-kind method, we demonstrate a method to levitate generic objects,” says Cheng Chin, one of the researchers on the team.

Balls of ceramic, plastic and glass, ice particles, seeds and pieces of lint have been used to demonstrate the technique, and the team found that the levitated particles could be held aloft for over an hour rather than a matter of minutes, and wouldn’t wobble around sideways.

The researchers achieved this versatile levitation through the process of thermophoresis, which manipulates particles by placing them between sources of different temperatures. In this case, the objects were placed in a vacuum between two plates – the bottom one, made of copper, was left at room temperature, while the top plate contained liquid nitrogen, cooling a stainless steel container to -300º F (-184º C). The relative heat would flow from the bottom plate toward the top one, lifting the particles along with it.

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My Weekly WND Exclusive – Impose Income Tax — on Robots?

Back in 2015, the Fiscal Times wrote an article describing a fear Bill Gates had. “He may be one of the world’s pivotal computing pioneers, mentioned in the same exuberantly geeky breath as Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, and Tim Berners-Lee. His technological exploits may have earned him over $80 billion, making him the world’s richest man. Yet even Bill Gates is somewhat concerned about the potentially destructive power of technology.”

Point of order. Some claim Gates is no longer the richest. That moniker goes to a Spaniard Amancio Ortega, the owner of the Zara retail chain.

In the article, Gates describes his fear, like Elon Musk, of what they are calling superintelligences – “computers with cognitive and computational abilities that far surpass those of humanity.” read more

Smartphones Could Learn From The Old Nokia

We think today's smartphone manufacturers could take a cue from phones like the Nokia 3310 shown...
We think today’s smartphone manufacturers could take a cue from phones like the Nokia 3310 shown here

The Nokia 3310 – one of the most popular cell phones in the world just after the turn of the millennium (along with its variations) – is having a surprising resurgence in popularity, amidst reliable rumors that Nokia will re-introduce a modernized version of the phone at the Mobile World Congress later this month. read more

3D Map Transformed

After 64 turns of the hand crank, the topographical map is complete
After 64 turns of the hand crank, the topographical map is complete(Credit: Barilo/Samalonis)

Philadelphia University freshmen Charles Barilo, Peter Holderith and Zachary Samalonis were recently tasked with choosing a painting from those on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and creating a visual showpiece machine based on that painting which incorporated da Vincian thought processes. After a month of tinkering, they presented a cranked machine where sections of a topographical map are slowly raised when the handle is turned. read more

A Peanut to Help You Sleep

Forget sleeping pills. The latest insomnia cure comes in the form of a robot who you can curl up with to help you sleep through the night.

Dubbed Somnox, the peanut-shaped pillow measures your rate of breathing and then creates its own steady breathing rhythm in response.

Your body automatically picks up this breathing rhythm, helping you relax and drift off into a peaceful night’s sleep.

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The Handmade Bugatti Factory

This is the ultimate ‘Through the Key Hole’ photoshoot for petrol heads.

Hypercar maker Bugatti has delivered an exclusive behind the scenes tour of it’s ultra-advanced car plant – and the facility is so clean you could eat your dinner off the floor.

Located in Molsheim, near Strasbourg, in the north east of France, this is the locked-down location where 70 Chiron hypercars are being hand-crafted a year, each one worth over £2million.

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Caltech’s Robo-Bat

Researchers at Caltech and UIUC have developed the Bat Bot, a robot that mimics the complex...
Researchers at Caltech and UIUC have developed the Bat Bot, a robot that mimics the complex wing structure of a bat(Credit: Caltech)

The animal kingdom is full of inspiration for robotics – just ask the creators of SALTO, Robirds, MuddyBot, WildCat, Octobot, or EPFL’s robo-croc. Now, engineers at Caltech and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) have developed the Bat Bot, a robotic bat with soft, flappable wings that could not only make for a safer alternative to keeping drones aloft with spinning blades, but also teach scientists more about the mechanics at work in natural bat flight. read more

Use Google Photos

How to use Google Photos for iOS to conquer your iPhone's photo storage issues
How to use Google Photos for iOS to conquer your iPhone’s photo storage issues

Many iPhone users have wrestled with storage limits, especially when it comes to managing the device’s camera roll. Apart from deleting old pics and purchasing a paid iCloud subscription, there’s another option for alleviating storage woes: using Google Photos for iOS. read more