The Nighthawk Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) is a rugged, fully automated unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) made of carbon fiber composite. It uses GPS and autopilot technologies for navigating unfriendly territories to conduct intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions. Its range is over 10 km (6 miles) and flight time is more than 60 minutes. The Nighthawk weighs 1.6 lb (725 gm), has a wingspan of 26 inches (66 cm), and a cruise speed of 18 to 30-plus knots. The MAV is equipped with 8-channel command and control, 4-channel video, and operates on batteries. It has forward and side-looking electro-optical cameras and a side or forward-looking thermal imager. A PC-based user interface provides real-time visual feedback and point-and-click waypoint navigation. The system can also be operated in semi-manual and manual flight modes. MAVs are stored fully assembled and ready to launch in a tube measuring 6 inches (15.2 cm) in diameter and attached to an assault pack. The assault pack's outer pockets hold a rugged laptop computer, the ground control station, and an antenna assembly. The pack's total weight is about 15 lb (6 kg). (Source: Applied Research Associates)
Ann, you might want to include underwater robots in you future blogs, they are used extensively for mine countermeasures, waterborn IED defeat, search and rescue, ship hull maintenance and many other critical tasks. Some good examples might be the SeaBotix LBV: http://www.seabotix.com/products/vlbv950.htm or the LBC, which can both swim and attach to and crawl on subsea structures: http://seabotix.com/products/lbc.htm Both have numerous commercial uses in addition to maritime security.
Thanks, Think Deep, we've already done two slideshows on nautical robots, some of which are military, and many of which are AUVs, UUVs and/or ROVs: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=246206 http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=262528 SeaBotix is a new one to me, though--thanks for the link.
The 2014 Ig Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Dr. Kiyoshi Mabuchi and his team members for their work measuring the slipperiness of banana peels. Turns out they're slipperier with the yellow side up.
Many scientists have been working battery-free ways to power wearable electronics that can replace bulky battery packs, particularly through the use of energy-harvesting materials. Now a team of researchers in China have upped the game by developing a lightweight and flexible solar cell that can be woven into two-way energy-harvesting fabric.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.