Bat-detecting drones could help us find out what the animals get up to when flying. Ultrasonic detectors on drones in the air and on the water are listening in on bat calls, in the hope of discovering more about the mammals' lives beyond the reach of ground-based monitoring devices. Drone-builder Tom Moore and bat enthusiast Tom August have developed three different drones to listen for bat calls while patrolling a pre-planned route. Since launching the scheme, known as Project Erebus, in 2014, they have experimented with two flying drones and one motorised boat, all equipped with ultrasonic detectors. The pair's latest tests have demonstrated the detection capabilities of the two airborne drone models: a quadcopter and a fixed-wing drone.
Drones vary in size, performance, and durability, but one spec that is woefully standard is short battery life. Sure, some military and research UAVs can stay in the air long enough to travel thousands of miles, but they are much too large, stiff, and expensive for most recreational or commercial purposes. Most popular quadcopters can only fly for about 20 minutes before they need to be recharged. Now, scientists at Imperial College London have demonstrated a potential solution, with a system that enables a drone to wirelessly charge by hovering over a transmitter. Although this is an exciting breakthrough that could eliminate many headaches and expand the possibilities for drones, the basic technology is more than a century old.
"To control the height and the yaw of the drone, you can use your body," said Macchini, while wearing the jacket and glove in a drone testing lab. "But for high level controls -- like controlling the speed and taking off and landing -- we designed and prototyped a data glove ... to increase the speeds and decrease the speeds, take off and land, and just take some interesting positions that you might find on the fields."
Astronauts rely on highly-engineered and sophisticated pieces of equipment to survive in space, and none are more essential than the parts which form their suit. Now, the European Space Agency (ESA) has revealed a concept glove that makes the protective equipment smarter and more interactive for the wearer. It will feature a range-finding laser, a display screen to show the suit's status and gesture control technology allowing people to control machines, such as the martian drone or lunar rover, with a flick of the wrist. The European Space Agency (ESA) has revealed a concept glove that makes the protective equipment smarter and more interactive for the wearer. It will feature a range-finding laser, a display screen to show the suit's status and gesture control technology allowing people to control machines, such as the martian drone or lunar rover, with a flick of the wrist The glove created by the European Space Agency has been made as part of a project from French company Comex and designer Agatha Medioni.
Thousands of tech companies descended on Las Vegas for CES 2017 this week to show off what they think you'll buy in the coming year. Although we saw more of what dominated the tech scene last year -- smart home products, wearables and enough Amazon Echo partnerships to make your head spin -- some new products shined brightly above the rest. From an underwater drone to the car of the future, here's a look at what impressed us most. Toyota unveiled a concept car to highlight its vision for what cars may look like in 2030. With see-through glass doors, wheels built directly into the body and a bright white interior and exterior, the future is looking pretty sleek.