Gentlemen, start your Lego jet engine. Created by Rolls-Royce and unveiled at the Farnborough International Airshow in England yesterday, the engine uses 152,455 bricks and reaches an overall size of 4.9 feet long and 6.5 feet wide. All of those Legos together stack up to an astounding 676 pounds. … Read more
Driving around in a snowstorm or heavy rain often feels similar to the hyperspace travel effect seen in the various "Star Wars" movies, which can distract even the most seasoned driver (unless you can make the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs). A new smart headlight from Carnegie Mellon University could make distracting precipitation far less dangerous to drive through.… Read more
What could make an awesome $35 bare-bones Linux system even more awesome? Sending it on an excellent, solar-powered trans-Atlantic journey, of course!
The FishPi project is one man's dream to use the Raspberry Pi microsystem to pilot a tiny craft across the ocean.
The idea is not just to redefine the term "budget cruise," but to prove that the inexpensive system can successfully guide and control a trans-oceanic vessel. The visionary behind the project, Greg Holloway, is currently working on a proof-of-concept vehicle for the project -- dubbed Fish Pi. Here's how he describes the plan on the project site: … Read more
I can't wait for the era of self-driving cars. I can't believe it's 2012 and we still have to turn a steering wheel and push pedals to get around while we could be doing better things like sleeping, reading, or actually watching the scenery roll by instead of the road.
The Japanese government has started talks on the goal of getting self-driving cars on public roads by the early 2020s.
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism has said it's the first in the world to seriously consider robot cars for the masses, according to Nikkei Automotive News. … Read more
During his testimony Monday, a Google representative said if California legislators amend a proposed driverless car bill to effectively forbid their "driverlessness," the state will be telling autonomous car technology to get out of town.
Authored by Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima), the bill -- SB 1298 --aims to establish safety and performance standards for cars operated by computers and not people on California roads and highways. The California Assembly's Transportation Committee discussed the bill today, during which several members expressed concerns over liability issues and fear that the bill doesn't provide enough oversight to guarantee the … Read more
FREMONT, Calif.--Lined up before me were 10 examples of the Model S, newly off the production line, the result of years of investment and development. This silent herd awaited a group of journalists eager to finally get their hands on the wheel and foot on the accelerator. We were here to see if Tesla had fulfilled its promise of building an electric car that could compete with those from likes of Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz.
Certainly from the exterior, the car looked desirable. Although it's billed as a sedan, a hatch sat between the Model S' big rear … Read more
I don't appreciate turbulence in the air.
However, a rough landing once in a while can be quite entertaining. For example, there is always something special about landing in Gibraltar, as the pilots have to brake violently in order to avoid hitting, well, Gibraltar.
I'm not sure how it would feel, though, if the plane simply bent during landing. Which is what this Boeing 767-300 managed to do.
It shows an ANA 767 coming into land at Tokyo's … Read more
You may have seen those crazy cousins of the Jet Ski and jetpack that let you zip around your favorite water-sports venue while essentially attached to a wild fire hose.
We've written about the JetLev R200 -- a jetpack-like design -- as well as a later spin on the idea: the Flyboard, which with its foot- and hand-level water jets, might make for more of a skiing-like experience.
Well, now it looks like the concept has been applied to a form factor all of us can more or less relate to: the cycle. The Jetovator lets you ride the wild hose as if it were a bike or motorcycle. And for that reason, it looks a little less squirrelly than the other devices (though watching the embedded video does make us wonder about the fine print in our health insurance policies).… Read more
Convincing a nation so steeped in its car culture to think differently about the way we drive is a test of both patience and persistence. But the 2012 Vehicle Concept Showcase at Stanford University's Center for Automotive Research yesterday offered some interesting arguments about how our future personal transportation will better suit our needs.
One feature that may take some adjustment for many drivers is wheel configuration. Only two of the eight vehicle concepts rolled out at the showcase had the tried and true four-wheel configuration -- most were three-wheelers. As the makers of Switch Vehicles pointed out, dropping … Read more
Seeming eager to avoid potential malware attacks that could cripple its drone fleet, the U.S. Navy will begin installing Linux to control some of its autonomous flying vehicles.
The contract, which is worth $27,883,883, calls for a "Linux transition on the tactical control system software for vertical take-off (VTOL) unmanned air vehicle ground control stations."
According to The Register, the Navy has just one VTOL drone model, of which it hopes to eventually have 168, Northrop Grumman's MQ-8B Fire Scout, which "has the ability to autonomously take off and land on any aviation-capable … Read more