SEM Dual-Drive Moto Bike

Italian company SEM is looking for ways to bring its 4-kW, dual-drive Moto Bike to the United States
Italian company SEM is looking for ways to bring its 4-kW, dual-drive Moto Bike to the United States
SEM Mechanical Prototypes

This mud-flinging off-road monster is a prototype by an Italian company, SEM, that’s looking to do some business in the USA. With its massive grunt and interesting double drive system, it would be an absolute brute on the trails.

Named the “Moto-Bike” – and it might as well be a small dirtbike – this thing uses a strong aluminum e-mtb frame with an integrated 4-kW motor and a big ol’ 52-V, 17.5-Ah battery capable of storing around 910 watt-hours of energy. read more

MIT’s New Battery Technology

A breakthrough in battery architecture could lead to lithium batteries with far greater energy densities than those used today
A breakthrough in battery architecture could lead to lithium batteries with far greater energy densities than those used today
stillfx/Depositphotos

One of the many ways scientists hope to improve the performance of today’s lithium batteries is by swapping out some of the liquid components for solid ones. Known as solid-state batteries, these experimental devices could greatly extend the life of electric vehicles and mobile devices by significantly upping the energy density packed inside. Scientists at MIT are now reporting an exciting advance toward this future, demonstrating a new type of solid-state battery architecture that overcomes some limitations of current designs. read more

Audible Buzzing Guide Firefighters

The helmet is fitted with haptic actuators that allow firefighters to navigate a smoke-filled room by following directional buzzes
The helmet is fitted with haptic actuators that allow firefighters to navigate a smoke-filled room by following directional buzzes
Carnegie Mellon University

We’ve seen a few devices designed to give firefighters an idea of the interior layout of a burning building, including the SmokeBot. But once they’re inside, smoke may prevent first responders from being able to see where they’re going. The Haptic Helmet from Carnegie Mellon University’s Engineering department could help. read more

Resurrecting an 80’s Hydrofoil Boat

When a team of Yamaha engineers found this 1988 hydrofoil prototype in the back of a warehouse, they couldn't resist restoring it and taking it for a spin
When a team of Yamaha engineers found this 1988 hydrofoil prototype in the back of a warehouse, they couldn’t resist restoring it and taking it for a spin
Yamaha

Hydrofoiling boats are by no means new. The first hydrofoil-related patent dates all the way back to 1898, and there are numerous photos of hydrofoiling boats zipping along from the early 1900s. But their eye-popping ability to rise up out of the water and glide along with minimal drag never fails to catch the eye and spark the imagination, and it’s hard to watch one in action without wondering what it feels like to drive.

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Weapon Wednesday – Origami-Inspired Ballistic Shield

The Swift Shield can stop a bullet from a .44 Magnum handgun
The Swift Shield can stop a bullet from a .44 Magnum handgun
ATCS

Although the bulletproof shields used by police officers are definitely life-savers, the things are also quite heavy and bulky. The origami-inspired Swift Shield offers an alternative, as it folds down into a lightweight package when not in use.

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Grow Your Own Building Materials

The bricks are made from sand, hydrogel ... and Synechococcus cyanobacteria
The bricks are made from sand, hydrogel … and Synechococcus cyanobacteria
CU Boulder College of Engineering and Applied Science

We’ve already heard about experimental self-healing concrete, that can repair cracks within itself. Now, scientists have gone a step further, utilizing bacteria to create building materials that can be grown on-site – and that regenerate when broken. read more

World’s Fastest Spinning Object

Using a high-powered laser, researchers at Purdue University have made a microscopic "dumbbell" the fastest spinning object ever created
Using a high-powered laser, researchers at Purdue University have made a microscopic “dumbbell” the fastest spinning object ever created
Purdue University/Vincent Walter

Back in July 2018, researchers at Purdue University created the world’s fastest-spinning object, which whipped around at 60 billion rpm – and now that seems like the teacup ride at Disneyland. The same team has now broken its own record using the same technique, creating a new nano-scale rotor that spins five times faster. read more

Weapon Wednesday – That’s a Big Laser!

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U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Dawson Roth
  • USS Little Rock will receive a laser weapon during an upcoming deployment.
  • The new laser is five times more powerful than the first laser, deployed five years ago.
  • The laser is probably strong enough to seriously damage small vehicles but is dependent on atmospheric conditions. read more

Mini Particle Accelerator

Magnified 25,000 times, this image shows the structure of the channel in Stanford's new particle accelerator-on-a-chip
Magnified 25,000 times, this image shows the structure of the channel in Stanford’s new particle accelerator-on-a-chip
Neil Sapra

Particle accelerators could be incredibly useful for medicine – if they weren’t so huge. The SLAC accelerator, for example, is almost 2 mi (3.2 km) long, while CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) runs for a stunning 16.7 mi (27 km). Now, scientists at Stanford have managed to shrink the tech down to fit on a computer chip, which could lead to more precise cancer radiation therapies. read more

Weapon Wednesday: Effective Underwater Bullets

The narrow corridor of air the CAV-X bullets create for themselves through supercavitation is the secret to how they go through water so easily
The narrow corridor of air the CAV-X bullets create for themselves through supercavitation is the secret to how they go through water so easily
DSG

Regular bullets decelerate so quickly in water that they only make it a few feet, which is why diving into a conveniently located pool or waterway when under fire from assassins can be such a good idea.
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