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Weapon Wednesday – Navy Rail Gun

The US Navy is testing an electromagnetic gun that can fire projectiles at six times the speed of sound.

Described as ‘Star Wars technology’ by researchers, these powerful missiles don’t rely on chemical propellants and are fuelled by electricity alone.

Strong magnetic fields are created by electricity on the ship and a ‘pulse power system’ to sent propellants flying at 4,500mph.

The technology has previously been shown to penetrate concrete at 100 miles away.

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The US Navy is testing an electromagnetic gun that can fire projectiles at six times the speed of sound 
The US Navy are testing an electromagnetic gun that can fire ammo at 4,500 mph

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Magnets can Spot Cancer

Tiny magnetic beads coated in sugar could help doctors to check if a cancer has spread. Once injected into the patient, the beads can be detected using a handheld magnetic wand — similar to a metal detector — and are used to identify the lymph nodes nearest to the cancer.

The lymph nodes form part of the lymphatic system, which drains fluid from tissues all over the body back into the bloodstream. If cancerous cells get into this system, the disease can then spread to other parts of the body.

The key to determining if cancer has spread is identifying the sentinel node — the lymph node that is nearest the tumour.

Tiny magnetic beads coated in sugar could help doctors to check if a cancer has spread
Tiny magnetic beads coated in sugar could help doctors to check if a cancer has spread

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Electric Skateboard – Motors in the Wheels

Each JayKay e-truck wheel has its own motor, the batteries are integrated into the axle and...
Each JayKay e-truck wheel has its own motor, the batteries are integrated into the axle and the electronics enclosed within the housing(Credit: JayKay)

Adding electric motion to your board can result in some under-deck chunkiness or somewhat bulky trucks spoiling the aesthetic. Germany’s JayKay says it’s managed to cram all of the electronics, electric motors and even the battery into a longboard truck that looks pretty much the same size as a non-electric flavor.

Currently at the working prototype stage, Daniel Jäger, Benedict Kuhlmann and Isabell Armbruster are aiming to take their electric longboard trucks, or e-trucks for short, to Kickstarter in May to help fund production. The e-trucks will come in synchronized pairs and have been designed to be mounted to most off-the-shelf longboard decks, and are reported good for boards with or without cut-outs. The JayKay team plans to make ready to ride and install yourself kit options available.

Either way, JayKay says that riders can expect to zoom along at up to 30 km/h (18.6 mph) for a range of 12 km (7.5 mi). If the integrated four cells per axle batteries do run out of juice, riders can freewheel their way home, stick it on quick charge for an hour, or battery-save charge for 3 hours, and then jump on and zip off again. Regen braking could also help eke out a few more miles of motor-driven board action before needing to recharge via USB-C, though there’s also an induction coil in the baseplate for Qi wireless charging.

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Foldable Kayak

The HYPAR has a look that's all its own
The HYPAR has a look that’s all its own(Credit: HYPAR)

If an upcoming Indiegogo campaign goes as planned, there will soon be yet another folding boat on the market. Already we’ve got the Oru folding kayak, along with the Onak and MyCanoe folding canoes. The makers of the HYPAR kayak are hoping for similar success, with a boat that sports a unique design. read more

Weapon Wednesday – Mortar Tech

We need ammo!!

Comin’ right up!

 U.S. Army National Guard photo by Spc. Avery Cunningham

The U.S. Army is researching a new way to resupply troops: by bombing them with mortars. The service was recently granted a patent for a method that uses hollow artillery shells, GPS, and parasails to deliver goods to soldiers pinned down on the battlefield.

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A Look at Hyperloop

The full-scale test track in the Nevada desert
The full-scale test track in the Nevada desert

With a few different players now in the game, the race is on to win over governments and get the once seemingly far-fetched Hyperloop up and running. For LA-based startup Hyperloop One, that means rolling into Dubai with photos of its full-scale test track and a few renderings of what the first Middle Eastern Hyperloop terminals might look like. read more

Portable Hotel Suite

While the idea of camping may appeal to some, the reality of pitching a tent, cooking over a tiny stove and having no washing facilities can make it less attractive.

A Spanish design company has come up with an innovative solution for people who enjoy being a part of nature while staying in total comfort.

Drop box is a portable hotel suite that can be installed in natural locations offering a cosy, micro bolthole away from the elements wherever you pitch up.

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60 MPH Electric Bike

Odyssey Trikes have updated their Mark 5 Super so that it now achieves a claimed 300...Odyssey Trikes have updated their Mark 5 Super so that it now achieves a claimed 300 miles (480 km) on a single charge while also boasting a top speed of 60 mph (96 km/h)(Credit: Odyssey Trikes)

They may look ungainly, but the aerodynamic advantages of recumbent bikes and trikes give them an edge – especially if you throw a 4 kW wheel hub motor into the mix.

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Weapon Wednesday – First New Grenade in Forty Years

The ET-MP is the first lethal hand grenade developed for the US Army in 40 years
The ET-MP is the first lethal hand grenade developed for the US Army in 40 years(Credit:US Army)

The US military is getting its first new hand grenade in 40 years as engineers at the US Army Armament Research, Development, and Engineering Center (ARDEC) at Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey, work on a safer multi-purpose design. Called the Enhanced Tactical Multi-Purpose (ET-MP) hand grenade, it will allow soldiers to choose between concussive or fragmentation blasts with the flip of a lever. read more