In the 1990s, the CIA’s Office of Advanced Technologies and Programs built Charlie, a remote-controlled robotic fish to surreptitiously collect water samples. According to the CIA Museum, the 61cm long robofish “contains a pressure hull, ballast system, and communications system in the body and a propulsion system in the tail. — Read the rest
DJI has revealed its latest drone, with the DJI FPV promising a first-person viewpoint for pilots and a new, single-handed motion controller for easier flying. Described by the company as a hybrid drone, it claims to combine the speed and agility of a racer while still delivering the cinematic camerawork of a traditional model. The FPV can fly at up … Continue reading
Volkswagen is teasing a new all-electric convertible, apparently considering a more playful use of its EV drivetrain as the ID.4 crossover arrives in the US. The potential VW ID.3 convertible would be an open-top version of the ID.3 hatchback which went on sale in Europe last year, the first production example of the automaker’s MEB electric vehicle architecture. MEB has … Continue reading
“Ironic” probably isn’t the right word to describe the lack of public information about Sergey Brin’s airship company. Who better to know the worth of staying private than one of the co-creators of a search engine that changed the world, after all. But to those who know where to look—like eagle-eyed journalist Mark Hughes—some details about LTA’s plans have made it out into the open. Hughes spotted a rather revealing job opening at the company for someone to manage a hydrogen fuel cell program.
The really interesting part of the job posting shows up in the list of primary responsibilities:
Engineering hydrogen fuel cell propulsion system through configuration of 1.5MW airship propulsion system including H2 storage, fuel cells, H2O capture, batteries, stern drive, and smaller electric motors and gear trains and retrofit of 750KW fuel cell system on existing airship
Yes, you did read that correctly, LTA is indeed working on configuring a 1.5 MW fuel cell system. For context, the hydrogen fuel cell that powers the Toyota Mirai was just bumped from 113 kW to 128 kW in November, making it ten times less powerful than the system sought by LTA. Even the 500 kW class-8 tractor-trailers that Toyota is testing as drayage trucks at the Ports of LA and Long Beach only use a pair of Mirai fuel cell systems to generate power, and the most powerful hydrogen fuel cell that has taken to the air so far is a 250 kW fuel cell in the ZeroAvia ZA-600, a 20-seat plane with a range of 500 miles (800 km).
The above extraterrestrial skull was spotted in the high-resolution 360-degree panorama image captured this week by NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover. Cosmic Log presents a fun gallery of anomalies and curiosities folks have found in Perseverance’s postcards from the Red Planet. — Read the rest
The capacitive technology that allows us to physically interact with touchscreens isn’t just limited to our fingers or a fancy stylus. Hopefully, someone somewhere is polishing up a Nobel Prize because a researcher discovered that pastries work with touchscreens too, and with some clever baking techniques, an iPad is…
Luca Yupanqui is about to release an album she’ll certainly have no memory of recording. Her parents, musicians Elizabeth Hart and Iván Diaz Mathé, used biosonic MIDI to turn her in-utero movements into audio. Sacred Bones Records, which also has Dav…
It didn’t feel like it, what with a major pandemic and massive financial crisis, but 2020 was actually an incredible year for gadgets. For companies like Apple and Microsoft, this could have been a landmark year were it not for everything else going on. While the competition for our attention this year was steep,…