You’ve probably heard about the various versions of autonomous cars being tested, but you may not have known aircraft are also riding the autonomous wave. With so much of aviation already controlled by a computer, this move comes as less of a surprise than driverless cars.
The latest test involves a Jetstream aircraft known as “the Flying Testbed” fitted with onboard sensors and autonomous systems taking to the skies over the UK. ASTRAEA (Autonomous Systems Technology Related Airborne Evaluation and Assessment), the group behind the test, has received £62 million in funding from a combination of private investors and the UK government. Continue reading
Ever since I was a kid, there has been this unfulfilled promise surrounding virtual reality (VR). Every year some startup or another pushes out a VR system for use in any number of industries, only to have the general population respond with a marked lack of enthusiasm. Where augmented reality has had some success, VR has continued to disappoint.
Part of the problem has been getting business leaders and bean counters to invest in something that seems like a toy to most onlookers. For people that would like to use VR as a toy, the headsets have always been too expensive for mass commercial appeal. Oculus VR is attempting to finally bring VR to the masses with its Oculus Rift headset built for gaming with a cost under $500.
Maneuvering a remote controlled helicopter using a standard controller can be pretty challenging for a novice. I’m not sure how a new thought-control method developed at the University of Minnesota will compare. Researchers there have come up with a way to control a small quadicopter using electroencephalography (EEG) to record brain signals and transfer them to the copter. Continue reading
We’ve written a lot on this blog about Google Glass, about Microsoft Kinect, and about augmented reality in general. California’s Atheer Labs has combined these three concepts into a wearable 3D interface that responds to gestures and voice commands, and looks (to me, anyway) slightly less peculiar than Google’s head-mounted gadget. Continue reading
One drawback for electric vehicle technology is charge time. If your traditional gas engine runs low, you can refill in a few minutes. Pure EV vehicle batteries can take hours to recharge. Even Tesla Motors’ much lauded expansion of its Supercharger network still takes more than 20 minutes to fully charge the company’s Model S electric vehicle. Two designers have a concept that could solve the charging time problem. Continue reading