Google+

Weapon Wednesday – Raytheon Drone Killing Energy Weapon

 The vehicle-mounted laser combines a solid state laser with an advanced variant of the company’s Multi-Spectral...
The vehicle-mounted laser combines a solid state laser with an advanced variant of the company’s Multi-Spectral Targeting System,  installed on a small, all-terrain Polaris militarized vehicle(Credit: Raytheon)

An energy weapon system built by Raytheon has clocked up an impressive score by taking out 45 drones during a recent US Army exercise. Part of this year’s Maneuver Fires Integrated Experiment (MFIX) at the Army’s Fires Center of Excellence at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, the test involved a directed energy weapon that combines Raytheon’s high-power microwave beam and High Energy Laser (HEL) systems. read more

Harvard Breaking Down Bacterial Walls

In this artist's rendition of a bacterium, the blue dots represent the cell wall-building protein RodA...
In this artist’s rendition of a bacterium, the blue dots represent the cell wall-building protein RodA – and disrupting that protein’s function could be key to a new class of antibiotic(Credit: Harvard Medical School)

Bacteria can be hardy little creatures, thanks mostly to their strong cell walls that can protect them against drugs, viruses and other dangers. Finding ways to disarm these defenses is a key component of antibiotics, and now researchers at Harvard Medical School have identified a structural weakness that seems to be built into a range of bacterial species, potentially paving the way for a new class of widely-effective antibacterial drugs. read more

Robot Spider and Bat

 The Festo BionicWheelBot, in walking mode
The Festo BionicWheelBot, in walking mode(Credit: Festo)

Festo, the German electrical automation company that previously brought us a robotic dragonfly, kangaroo and penguin, is back with a couple of new creations – a spider that can roll like a wheel, and a bat that flies by autopilot.

Reminiscent of the Star Wars battle droids, the BionicWheelBot robotic spider was actually inspired by the flic-flac spider (cebrennus rechenbergi). In its native Sahara Desert habitat, that spider walks normally on uneven ground, but rolls/somersaults across smooth terrain – doing so is twice as fast as walking. read more

Weapon Wednesday – New Kratos Combat Drone

The Kratos XQ-222 Valkyrie will act as an armed-to-the-teeth buddy for manned combat aircraft initially, but...
The Kratos XQ-222 Valkyrie will act as an armed-to-the-teeth buddy for manned combat aircraft initially, but swarms of combat drones now seem likely in the not-too-distant future(Credit: Kratos Defense)

Defense company Kratos has announced that it will show two low-cost combat drones at the Paris Air Show next week, offering an insight as to what military conflicts might look like in the foreseeable future – a manned combat jet leading dozens of 1,000 km/h lethally-armed unmanned companions. read more

The Perfect Camping Spork

The Morsel Spork: 18 months of hardcore engineering and testing distilled into a single camping utensil
The Morsel Spork: 18 months of hardcore engineering and testing distilled into a single camping utensil(Credit: Morsel Spork)

If you’re going to spend a whole 18 months re-designing the camping spork, you might as well make the world’s most badass single outdoor eating/cooking contraption. And that, in the estimation of its creators, is what we’re looking at here with the Morsel Spork. read more

New Metal-Organic Glass

Researchers have created a new type of glass, dubbed ZIF-62, made from metal-organic compounds
Researchers have created a new type of glass, dubbed ZIF-62, made from metal-organic compounds(Credit: Wavebreakmedia/Depositphotos)

The glass we’re most familiar with is made from silicon dioxide, but materials like boron, polymers and metals have also been used. Now, an international team of scientists have developed a brand new class of glass, made from metal-organic compounds. These new materials form glass more readily than other types, and are much more pliable. read more

Weapon Wednesday – New Cruise Missile Coming

Lockheed Martin was awarded the contract to develop a replacement for the current AGM-86 air-launched cruise...
Lockheed Martin was awarded the contract to develop a replacement for the current AGM-86 air-launched cruise missile(Credit: US Air Force)

Lockheed Martin may have lost out on designing America’s next-generation ICBM, but the company has been selected to help replace the vintage AGM-86 Air Launched Cruise Missile. The US$900 million US Air Force Technical Maturation and Risk Reduction (TMRR) contract tasks the company with developing the technology needed to build the nuclear-capable Long Range Stand Off (LRSO) missile. read more

Ground Based Delivery Drones

Plans call for Eliport robots to travel on sidewalks, amongst pedestrians
Plans call for Eliport robots to travel on sidewalks, amongst pedestrians(Credit: Eliport)

When you think about all the logistical challenges involved, perhaps the use of aerial drones to deliver goods to peoples’ homes just isn’t feasible. That’s why several groups are now developing ground-based delivery drones. One of the latest, Barcelona-based Eliport, envisions a system in which people don’t even need to be involved. read more

New Full Face Snorkel Mask

To prevent the mask fogging up, the Seaview 180 SV2 has separate chambers for breathing and...
To prevent the mask fogging up, the Seaview 180 SV2 has separate chambers for breathing and the lens area(Credit: Wildhorn Outfitters)

If snorkeling is a window into a watery world, it’s not much good if that window is too small or fogs up all the time. read more

Maybach’s Projection Headlights

Mercedes-Maybach's Digital Light can paint all sorts of useful symbols on the road in bright, high-resolution...
Mercedes-Maybach’s Digital Light can paint all sorts of useful symbols on the road in bright, high-resolution light from the headlamps(Credit: Daimler)

New S-Class Maybachs will soon get an impressive intelligent headlight upgrade. Digital Light puts a million pixels of resolution into each headlight, and works with the car’s sensors and computers to display a bunch of driver-assist information right there on the road in front of you. read more