Sensors are playing an increasingly important role in the American military's race to hold onto its technological edge. The U.S. Army's Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station (CROWS) II program, awarded late last year, offers improved thermal sights that are smaller and take less energy to use. The supplier, Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace AS, is using thermal imaging modules from BAE Systems. BAE's TIM1500 are said to be the longest-range uncooled imager, offering a smaller size than cryogenically cooled imagers that require much more power. CROWS II is being added to U.S. Army vehicles such as the M1114 up-armored High Mobility Multi-Wheeled Vehicle and Mine Resistant Ambush Protected trucks.
The amount of plastic clogging the ocean continues to grow. Some startling, not-so-good news has come out recently about the roles plastic is playing in the ocean, as well as more heartening news about efforts to collect and reuse it.
Some of our culture's most enduring robots appeared in the 80s. The Aliens series produced another evil android, and we saw light robot fare in the form of Short Circuit. Two of the great robots of all time also showed up: The Terminator and RoboCop.
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