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11th May, 2016

DARPA is building acoustic GPS for submarines and UUVs


It will utilize undersea sounds instead of satellite feeds.

For all the benefits that the Global Positioning System provides to landlubbers and surface ships, GPS signals can’t penetrate seawater and therefore can’t be used by oceangoing vehicles like submarines or UUVs. That’s why DARPA is creating an acoustic navigation system, dubbed POSYDON (Positioning System for Deep Ocean Navigation), and has awarded the Draper group with its development contract.

The space-based GPS system relies on a constellation of satellites that remain in a fixed position relative to the surface of the Earth. The GPS receiver in your phone or car’s navigation [...]

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9th May, 2016

Personal electric plane won’t need an airport

By Steve Dent

Backed by the ESA, the “Lilium” will take off vertically and fly at 250 mph.

Now that hoverboards are an honest-to-god thing, we have to say we’re pretty disappointed with how flying cars have worked out. Another company has jumped into the fray with a vertical take-off plane called the Lilium that can soar at 400 km/h (250 mph). We’d normally say they’re dreaming with the specs: A 10,000 foot ceiling, 500 km (310 mile) range and helicopter-like takeoffs, all on battery power. However, it’s hosted by a European Space Agency (ESA) incubator and the team from the Technical University of Munich plans manned tests next [...]

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28th April, 2016

Apple open-sources CareKit to help us better understand our health

By Chris Velazco

You can play with Apple’s new health software, as well as the first apps.

Forget the iPhone SE and the smaller iPad Pro: Apple’s biggest surprise at its most recent keynote might have been CareKit, a software framework meant to help iOS users more easily monitor and manage their illnesses. Some of you might have felt your eyes glaze over at the sight of “software framework,” so let’s put it this way: Apple wants to make it easy to assess your own health data and share that data with the people who can help you get even better. And starting today, CareKit is available on GitHub for developers to start playing with.

In case [...]

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27th April, 2016

Formula E is getting electric trucks from the creator of Roborace

By Mat Smith

The company behind Roborace (and YotaPhone) is making electric trucks for Formula E.

Electric truck firm Charge will supply Formula E with several electric trucks, it revealed at last weekend’s race in Paris. The trucks will help shuttle equipment around the track. Interestingly, the CEO of Charge is also the CEO of Roborace, a forthcoming driverless racing series. (Curiously enough, Denis Sverdlov is also the CEO behind YotaPhone — but back to the trucks.) According to The Verge report, investment firm Kinetik has pumped $500 million dollars into Charge — a firm also run by Sverdlov. While the trucks use some fuel to extend how far they can run [...]

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