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First Artificial Eye

The complex nanostructures give the eye an iridescent sheen
The complex nanostructures give the eye an iridescent sheen(Credit: Alan She/Harvard SEAS)

Harvard has reported a breakthrough flat artificial eye just 30 microns in depth which can exceed the capabilities of the human eye. The technology, which builds on so-called metalens technology by adding electrically-controlled flexible muscles, could make a real impact in all manner of optical fields, including those in cameras, telescopes, microscopes, glasses and even virtual reality. read more

Battery Charges in Under 30 Seconds

KAIST researchers have developed a new hybrid aqueous energy storage device, which boasts high energy and...
KAIST researchers have developed a new hybrid aqueous energy storage device, which boasts high energy and power densities and can be recharged in as little as 20 seconds(Credit: KAIST)

We’re so used to having our everyday devices powered by lithium-ion batteries that sometimes it’s hard to imagine using anything else. But there are plenty of teams working on alternatives like lithium-airsodium-ionlithium-metal and aluminum-ion designs that may help solve some of the drawbacks of lithium-ion batteries. The latest, an aqueous hybrid capacitor, is stable, safe and boasts high energy and power densities, recharging in as little as 20 seconds. read more

Foldable House Installs in a Day

Italian architect Renato Vidal has created a prefabricated foldable house that takes less than a day...
Italian architect Renato Vidal has created a prefabricated foldable house that takes less than a day to install (Credit: M.A.Di)

Italian architect Renato Vidal has created a prefabricated foldable house that takes less than a day to install once on site. The M.A.Di home is an economic flat-packed housing solution that is not only sustainable, but designed to last and withstand earthquakes. Manufactured by wood specialist Area Legno in Italy, the M.A.Di home is built using CLT (cross laminated timber) to create a modular and multi-functional anti-seismic family home.

The M.A.Di home comes in several sizes, including a 27-sq m (290-sq ft) tiny house; 46-sq m (495-sq ft) or 56-sq m (603-sq ft) double home and a 70-sq m (753-sq ft) or 84-sq m (904-sq ft) triple family house. Each home stretches over two levels and comes equipped with a kitchen, dining area and bathroom located on the ground floor, while the bedroom/s are located on the upper floor. The building’s A frame structure and unique folding ability allows the home to be prefabricated off site, flat-packed and transported via truck or container to its designated build site. read more

Self-Regulating Heated Jacket

Early pledges of US$195 are still available for the Mercury jacket on Kickstarter
Early pledges of US$195 are still available for the Mercury jacket on Kickstarter

We’ve seen a number of smart home thermostats over the past few years that learn just how toasty you like your living room, but these won’t do much good when you venture out the front door. Boston apparel company Ministry of Supply wants to bring this kind of personalized climate control to people on the move, launching a heated jacket that tunes its temp in line with user preferences, and has a few other handy tricks up its sleeves as well. read more

Weapon Wednesday – Navy Gets DARPA Autonomous Sub Hunter

Following the successful completion of its Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) program, DARPA...
Following the successful completion of its Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) program, DARPA has officially transferred the technology demonstration vessel, christened Sea Hunter, to the Office of Naval Research (ONR)(Credit:DARPA)

Following a series of successful sea trials, DARPA has handed its experimental autonomous warship over to the US Navy. The Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) “Sea Hunter” technology demonstrator was formally transferred to the Office of Naval Research (ONR) for further development of what could potentially be the first of a new class of ocean-going ships called Medium Displacement Unmanned Surface Vehicles (MDUSVs). read more

Electric Supercar – 0 to 60 in less than Two Seconds

Aspark Owl: this Japanese supercapacitor car project has just recorded an absurd 1.89 second sprint time...
Aspark Owl: this Japanese supercapacitor car project has just recorded an absurd 1.89 second sprint time from 0-100kmh (0-62 mph)(Credit: Aspark)

How much does a couple of hundredths of a second cost? Somewhere in excess of US$4 million, it would seem, as this Japanese supercapacitor supercar fractionally out-accelerates an upcoming Tesla Roadster worth less than 1/20th the price.

As EV genius Luke Workman once told us, electric vehicles have virtually limitless performance potential. “Your tire to street interface is your performance limiter,” he said, and that’s the first thing that came to mind when we saw the Aspark Owl blast onto the scene. read more

New Samsung Galaxy S9 Launch

Samsung fans will finally be able to get their first look at the new Galaxy S9 and S9+.

The Korean smartphone giant, Sony and Nokia will be among the tech giants revealing new smartphones when Mobile World Congress (MWC)  kicks off in Barcelona.

The annual trade show is one of the biggest mobile industry events of the year and this year is expected to see Korean giant Samsung unveil its latest flagship devices, the Galaxy S9 and S9+. read more

Waveless Surfing

The Radinn G2X lets you surf without waves
The Radinn G2X lets you surf without waves(Credit: Radinn)

Shooting across the surface of the water atop a board no longer requires nature to provide propulsion in the form of waves. Swedish manufacturer Radinn has launched a faster, cheaper and longer lasting version of its electric jetboard, a watersports machine that effectively lets you surf without waves at up to 36 mph (58 km/h). read more

A Wooden Skyscraper?

The current estimated construction cost of the W350 is an eye-watering 600 billion Yen (around US$5.6...
The current estimated construction cost of the W350 is an eye-watering 600 billion Yen (around US$5.6 billion)(Credit: Sumitomo Forestry)

New “world’s tallest” timber towers sprout up quite regularly nowadays, but Japanese lumber and housing firm Sumitomo Forestry could smash all current records if its ambitious plan to build a supertall timber skyscraper in Tokyo is realized. Rising to an impressive 350 m (1,148 ft)-tall, the tower would be a real feat of wooden construction.

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Weapon Wednesday: New Air Force B-21

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The U.S. Air Force is preparing to start mothballing the B-2 Spirit and B-1B Lancer fleets in preparation for the next-generation stealth bomber, the B-21 Raider, according to Aviation Week. The nuclear-capable B-2 stealth bomber and conventional B-1B supersonic bomber fleets will ultimately be retired to free up funds to support the B-21 program, which is expected to field the first aircraft in the mid-2020s. read more