Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Pop Sci (science and technology)




WEB ADDRESS: http://www.popsci.com/

BLOG DESCRIPTION: Popular Science has been a leading source of science and technology news since its inception way back in 1872. PopSci.com first came online in 1999. With up-to-the-minute tech news, insightful commentary on the new innovations, and even scientific takes on the hottest Hollywood stories, we're your first stop for what's new and what's next.

MY REVIEW: I enjoy the magazine Popular Science, and I enjoy this blog, for all that its similar to other "general" science blogs...I just like the content of this one more.

A few sample paragraphs
Drones can do just about everything autonomously these days, but most systems still require human assistance to land, refuel and take off again. Now, an aerospace startup, Aerovel, hopes to change that with its hover-capable Flexrotor drone that will come with its own automated docking station. No human ground support needed, The Register reports.

The notion comes from Tad McGeer, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who created the small ScanEagle drone for fishermen and U.S. Navy SEALS. ScanEagle relied upon a pneumatic catapult launcher and "SkyHook" recovery pole, but the Flexrotor would do away with either requirement.

Instead, McGeer envisions his new drone using VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) abilities. Tiny wingtip thrusters would do the same job as a helicopter's tail rotor and counteract the torque of the drone's main propeller in hover-mode.

That would permit the Flexrotor to land in its auto-base, refuel and launch back into the air with no human intervention. One human handler could then oversee an entire swarm of drones, which translates into big economic savings from the reduced manpower.

-The Future of...the Hot Dog?
-VTOL Drone Would Land, Refuel and Take Off By Itself
-In Blitz to Kill One Kind of Infectious Bacteria, Other Untreatable Strains Emerge
-The Map-Equipped Treadmill That Can Recreate Any Hike on Earth
-This Week in the Future, February 22-26, 2010
-MIT Stumbles on a Way to Print Flexible Coatings Made of Micromachines

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