Lithium-ion batteries are the ones consumers are most familiar with, so it seems like the obvious choice to scale them up for grid-scale energy storage – as Tesla did with the world’s biggest battery in Australia. But since lithium is relatively hard to come by, it may not be the best choice. Researchers at MIT have outlined a new design they call a “sun in a box,” which stores energy as heat in molten silicon and harvests it by tapping into the bright light it emits.
Much mystery surrounds the physiological processes by which humans age, but scientists are learning more all the time. With this knowledge come new possibilities around how we can not only slow them down, but possibly even reverse them. A new breakthrough at the University of Colorado is the latest advance in the area, demonstrating how a chemically altered nutritional supplement may well reverse aging of the blood vessels, in turn giving cardiovascular health a vital boost.
Almost exactly six years ago, in the younger, more innocent days of 2012, we looked at an absolutely wild caravan concept from New Zealand architecture and engineering firm W2. The Swiss Army-like Romotow was a vision of a swing-out trailer with a combination of cabin space and sheltered deck, easily packed up and towed to camp but doubly spacious once there. At the time, even W2 wasn’t sure if it would move past the concept stage, and to be honest, we didn’t really expect to see it again. But fast-forward to late 2018 and W2 is deep in the works building the very first model, with sales to commence next year.
The Ferox Azaris is a work of art to look at, and should offer some awesome rough terrain capabilities – but at its heart, it’s a test bed and demonstrator for a new, 98 percent efficient in-wheel motor, with a highly responsive fluid drive system that Ferox hopes will enable some pretty crazy future vehicle architectures.
A century after it saw the first tanks roll across it, the British Army’s training grounds on Salisbury Plain is playing host to the largest military robotic exercise in British history. Over the next four weeks, the Autonomous Warrior exercise will test over 70 different types of unmanned prototype aerial and ground systems, ending in a battlegroup experiment under simulated combat conditions.
There’s a lot of high-tech gear you could haul into the outdoors these days, but there’s also plenty to be said for solutions that take a simpler approach. The Singapore-based designers behind the Ember Stove aren’t ones to complicate things, taking to Kickstarter with a compact two-piece cooking solution designed to fit in your pocket and fire up with just a handful of twigs.
As the shock-absorbing cartilage discs between our vertebrae degenerate due to aging, accidents or overuse, severe back pain can result. While some scientists have developed purely synthetic replacement discs, a recent test on goats indicates that bioengineered discs may be a better way to go.