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Military-designed “Bat Hook” lets you charge your devices using power lines

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on June 30th, 2010

If you’ve ever wondered how Batman gets his gadgets charged, this is probably the answer. The military has developed the Remote Auxiliary Power System or RAPS. RAPS can be deployed like a grappling hook with overhead power lines. Then a tiny blade will penetrate the power line and make contact with the live wire inside.

The area around the blade will make contact with a second exposed wire that all powerlines have, transmitting electricity to an AC to DC converter safely at the end of the cable.

HP Flexible Wrist Display

Posted in HP by Conner Flynn on April 15th, 2010

Soldiers of the future will have all kinds of cool gear that will not only keep them safe, but also make everyday life easier. HP is one of the companies working on this cool gear. They have some interesting display technologies for one. They are working on a prototype solar-powered lightweight computer display that is flexible enough for a soldier’s wrist.

The display is just 200 microns thick, and is capable of displaying data like maps or directions and will be powered by solar cells. Prototypes go to the military next year. Once they get them, they can be tweaked and get all of the bugs worked out.

Segway robots now training Australian snipers

Posted in Robots by Conner Flynn on April 8th, 2010

Snipers are used to using cardboard cutouts of bad guys to practice their deadly arts, but they have long needed better practice targets that move. As usual, robots are the answer. The Australian Defense Force and Marathon Robotics took a bunch of two-wheeled RMP 200 Segway robots, and placed hoodies on them just for kicks.

The robots are programmed to wander around randomly on the course just like people walking about and minding their own business. When the sniper picks off his target, the remaining robots all scatter automatically. Again just like people who are terrified and screaming.

iKey’s AK-39 wearable keyboard

Posted in Keyboards by Conner Flynn on July 14th, 2009

iKey's AK-39 wearable keyboardiKey is known for their rugged keyboards, but they’ve outdone themselves with the new AK-39 wearable keyboard. It’s made primarily for military use and conforms to full MIL-461 standards. With this keyboard on your wrist you’ll be good to go in environments with harsh electromagnetic interference and it’s also designed to be used with a glove in either left or right-hand configurations.

The keyboard is a basic 39-key layout, with an integrated pointing device that uses Force Sensing Resistor (or FSR) technology, with adjustable green backlighting that is compatible with night vision. We have no info on pricing, but you probably can’t afford it anyway.

Wrist-worn flexible OLED prototype

Posted in OLED by Conner Flynn on January 6th, 2009

Wrist-worn flexible OLED prototypeFlexible OLED displays are becoming more commonplace everyday. They just need to make it into some of the devices we can buy. However long it may take, when that day arrives, Universal Display Corporation thinks something like the gadget above will be a part of it.

It’s a wearable, flexible, 4-inch prototype screen that CES attendees will be able to drool over, maybe even wipe clean and try on. Just don’t expect to wear it comfortably. It won’t be in stores anytime soon either. This one was developed with military applications in mind, but bendy consumer devices are on the way at some point. Give it a few years and we will start seeing them in passports, clothing, packaging etc.

LightSpeed Binoculars transmit secure video and audio through Infrared

Posted in Outdoors by Conner Flynn on December 16th, 2008

LightSpeed Binoculars transmit secure video and audio through InfraredThese LightSpeed binoculars were designed mainly for military use and they’re capable of transmitting “untappable” voice and video signals to another set of binoculars using infrared. The LightSpeed system exploits free-space optics, which is the ability to pass data between two points using an optical beam. The method usually involves lasers, but this system uses eye-safe infrared LEDs, similar to those found in TV remotes.

According to Leo Volfson, president of Torrey Pines Logic, which created LightSpeed: “The binocular has an attachment that fits over the ocular side,” Volfson says. “It produces a beam that comes out of the right eye of the binocular. On the left side is a receiver. If you look at me and I look at you, we’ll be able to talk or send information.”

iPhone soon to control unmanned military aircraft

Posted in iPhone by Conner Flynn on June 20th, 2008

iPhone soon to control unmanned military aircraftiPhones will now control aircrafts from the ground, thanks to some geeky iPhone app developers. Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley have apparently broken Apple’s terms and conditions when they used the iPhone to guide unmanned aircraft. The Apple Software Developer Kit agreement states that the applications are not to be designed or marketed for automatic or autonomous control of aircraft.

Too late now. And why would they care anyway, they’re having way too much fun. The team uses Mobile Safari to input coordinates and then selects tasks for the unmanned flight that are relayed to the aircraft through a web server. Check out the video below.

When BigDog comes a knockin’, run like a little girl

Posted in Robots by Nino Marchetti on March 17th, 2008


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Envision this: it is twilight as you wander through the woods. It is all quiet…until you hear the distant thump of four legs in the distance. You look up, only to see a four legged robot coming towards you. You flee into the underbrush, peeing in your pants in fear as you go.

Nightmare? Nope…it is reality and it’s coming soon. BigDog, which we’ve covered in the past, is being developed by Boston Dynamics as a quadruped robot which can climb hard terrain and carry big loads. Development is funded by the DARPA Defense Sciences Office, so you can imagine the possible military uses of this. You could probably also use it to scare away any muggers who might be following you at night.