Wearable gadgets are making clothes smarter all the time, but one of the most basic functions you’d want in a garment – the ability to warm you up or cool you down as needed – is still frustratingly elusive. Now, researchers at the University of Maryland (UMD) have developed a new material that senses how warm a person’s body is and automatically adjusts how much heat it traps or releases.
As last month’s grounding of flights at Heathrow Airport showed us, drones can cause a lot of problems – and they can even pose a security risk – when they’re flown in the wrong places. Engineers with the US Army are developing a countermeasure, in the form of a drone-netting grenade.
Mazda originally debuted the MX-5 Miata at the 1989 Chicago Auto Show, so it’s only fitting that the Japanese automaker has chosen to celebrate the 30th anniversary of that car by making the world premiere of the MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary in Chicago. Only 3,000 examples will be built, but if you’re in the US, you’re already too late to claim one.
Corrosion in metals can lead to the structural fatigue or failure of bridges, pipelines, and plane fuselages. Anti-corrosion coatings help prevent this, but they become ineffective when pierced, cracked, or scratched away. Researchers at Northwestern University have now developed a self-healing coating that can patch up its imperfections in a matter of seconds.
A new technique has been used to turn ordinary metals into “metallic wood” with a greatly improved strength-to-weight ratio. By manipulating materials at the atomic scale, scientists from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, and the University of Cambridge claim to have created a sheet of nickel that is as strong as titanium, but up to five times lighter.
Beginning with the principles of the Stirling engine, SoundEnergy’s THEAC thermal acoustic engine takes heat – either industrial waste heat or solar heat – and turns it into powerful cooling without requiring any other power source. This completely renewable technology could prove highly disruptive.