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Robot fliers racing to catch the Zephyr

The Pentagon's hope of having a squadron of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) capable of staying in the air and performing surveillance for years rather than hours recently took a small step forward...

August 25, 2008 — Larry Greenemeier

Intel gets into the wireless electricity game

Are we closing in on laptops that can recharge without those annoying power cords?

Yesterday Intel, the world's largest chip manufacturer, demonstrated a form of wireless energy transfer by lighting a 60-watt bulb from a power source three feet away, in an effect they referred to as WREL (wireless resonant energy link)

If the trick sounds familiar, that's because researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) reported the same thing last year under the moniker WiTricity...

August 22, 2008 — JR Minkel

Researchers use viruses to make microbatteries for mini devices

As devices shrink to microscopic proportions they need similarly-sized batteries to make them run. Although no such batteries exist today, a team of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers this week reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) a breakthrough in their work to create a microbattery that's small enough (yet powerful enough) to run a range of miniature devices, including labs-on-a-chip and implantable medical sensors...

August 20, 2008 — Larry Greenemeier

NASA releases Orion crash photos

Budding astronauts, avert your eyes. NASA has posted photos of a failed test landing (read: crash) of a mock-up of the Orion crew exploration vehicle, part of the Constellation program to replace the shuttle in 2015...

August 20, 2008 — JR Minkel

How NASA plans to quell Ares 1 rocket vibrations

The last thing you want on a flight to the moon is a headache.

That's why NASA engineers have been working to figure out how to reduce vibrations predicted to occur in the Ares 1 rocket, a multi-stage launch vehicle that plays an early role in the space agency's Constellation program to return to the moon by 2020...

August 19, 2008 — JR Minkel

Peak water crisis dominates World Water Week

The world is getting thirstier, and drier. More than 2,500 experts from around the world will discuss the issues facing one of the world's most precious natural resources at World Water Week this week in Stockholm, from the millions of gallons of water hidden inside biofuels to the ongoing scandal of poor sanitation...

August 18, 2008 — David Biello

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