Technological innovation

  • Boeing's takes X-45C out of storage, renames it Phantom Ray

    The proposed 2010 U.S. defense budget is historic at least in one respect: for the first time, the U.S. Air Force will be buying more unmanned flying systems than manned ones; Boeing takes its X-45C unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) out of storage and renames it Phantom Ray; it will be completed and readied for flight by the end of 2010, and will be suitable for missions including ISR, SEAD, electronic attack, hunter/killer, and autonomous aerial refueling

  • Biometric scanners probes your brain to ID you

    EU-funded research project tests biometric technologies which will scan people’s brain waves and heart rate to identify them

  • London to deploy satellite-based speed-control system

    London buses, cabs, and government cars will be equipped with a satellite-based speed-control system: A centralized computer database will contain the speed limits on each of the city’s streets; a satellite will note the location of the GPS-equipped vehicles, and if the vehicle is going over the speed limit, the computer will seize control of the vehicle’s throttle, letting off the gas until it eases back down to the speed limit

  • U.S. military wants jumping robot

    DARPA funds a program to develop a hopping robot; the robot will be able to jump stairs and go over obstacles; it will be used for urban reconnaissance and intelligence gathering — although DARPA admits it could also be fitted with a raft of weapons; one of the requirement for the hopping robot: “’stick’ accurate landings”

  • Start-up offers technology to stop spread of communicable diseases

    Israeli start-up CartaSense has a monitoring technology — a tag that integrates a sensor, battery, micro controller, non-volatile memory, and a radio frequency circuit that transmits to a control unit — that allows farmers to know each animal’s vital statistics

  • Mechanical stress leads to self-sensing in solid polymers

    Fighting Illini researchers develop force-sensitive polymers; when pushed or pulled with a certain force, specific chemical reactions are triggered in the mechanophores; such polymers may be used in aircraft components or bridges to report damage and warn of potential component failure, slow the spread of damage to extend a material’s lifetime, or even repair damage in early stages to avoid catastrophic failure

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  • Artificial flower kills mosquitoes dead with poisonous nectar

    Georgia Southern University researcher develops artificial flower which lure disease-carrying mosquitoes with its bright colors and sweet smell — and then kills them with its poisonous nectar; Professor Thomas Kollars: “One man can’t defeat mosquitoes. They have killed more people than all wars combined. But I can start being part of the team that defeats them”

  • Eating your flu vaccine

    Researchers put flu vaccines into the genetic makeup of corn, allowing pigs — and humans — to get a flu vaccination simply by eating corn or corn products

  • The near future will see self-cleaning materials, water-striding robots

    Researchers at the University of Nebraska and Japan explain a property called super hydrophobia, in the process giving engineers and materials scientists important clues as to how to develop the long-sought super hydrophobic materials

  • Dutch police uses unmanned mini-helicopter to sniff out cannabis

    Police in the noerthwest region of the Netherlands asked their engineers to design an unmanned helicopter to hover over the region and sniff out traces of weed smell in the air samples it collects; new methods does not require a warrant to enter buildings

  • PrimerDesign to develop DNA tests for Mexican strain of swine flu

    U.K. company races against the clock to produce the world’s first DNA test for the Mexican strain of swine flu

  • Blast-proof CCTV tested by DHS's S&T

    CCTVs help the police identify terrorists who perpetrate an attack; trouble is, the blast set by the terrorists may destroy the camera and its video; there are two solutions: the more expensive one is a real-time streaming-video CCTV which sends images back to HQ until the moment the camera is destroyed; the cheaper alternative is an indestructible video CCTV

  • Bacteria prevents concrete from cracking

    Concrete is one of the most commonly used building materials. It is cheap, strong, and easy to work with; there is a catch, though: it cracks easily; Dutch researchers find that mineral grains formed in the cracks of concrete that had been seeded with bacteria would go a long way toward sealing those cracks and making them waterproof

  • Making quantum cryptography's promise a reality

    New research details how quantum communication can be made possible without having to use cryogenic cooling or complicated optical setups, making it much more likely to become commercially viable soon

  • U.K. government in £100 million scheme to promote new ideas, products

    U.K. government launches a new 100 million scheme — the Small Business Research Initiative — to encourage public-sector organizations to invite British companies to submit ideas and develop technologies, which the public-sector organization could then buy to help improve public services