NEC, for example, has applied its technological prowess to "the world's first automated border control system that uses facial recognition technology capable of identifying people inside their automobiles," according to Pink Tentacle, and it's already being used at checkpoints between Hong Kong and Shenzhen. The biometrics system was developed to break immigration logjams in China and elsewhere, checking chip-embedded national ID … Read more
They're no Lee Majors, but thanks to groundbreaking work in prosthetics, some people with missing limbs are becoming (at least partially) bionic. Earlier today, sister site CNET News.com took a look at two devices that are helping get amputees back on their feet and into the kitchen, office, and even the shooting range.
Yesterday, Scottish company Touch Bionics announced its i-Limb Hand, which ushers in the next generation of prosthetic hands. The i-Limb Hand uses individual motors in each finger, so people wearing it can move fingers independently of each other. It's also got pressure sensitivity, so … Read more
Once again, the top dog among robotic subs is a Gator.
There aren't many details to offer just yet on how Sunday's finals went. So far, it's just the Gators and the Proteus team from Cornell University that have posted brief notes on who won. Cornell reports that it finished fourth overall, behind Florida, the University of Rhode Island's (Ram-boat 8) and Montreal's Ecole de Technologie Superieure (… Read more
Many of us at Crave aren't exactly the outdoorsy types, but we do our best to help exercise-enabled individuals in the interest of trying to be a full-service gadget blog. Recently, for example, we featured a tent that can keep your electronic equipment powered even while deep in the woods. And today we offer one for the seagoing geeks among us: the "DataMask HUD."
This underwater headgear, which is supposedly used by military special forces personnel, is equipped with a miniature LCD inside the mask, which provides such detailed diving info as "current depth, elapsed dive … Read more
When I served in the U.S. Army back in the waning days of the Cold War, about the only battery-operated equipment I needed to worry about taking into the field was the standard-issue L-shaped flashlight, the one with the red lens we needed to swap in to reduce the risk of (a) night blindness and (b) giving away our position to the bad guys.
Where many of the devices from Taser International are a little like dueling pistols from the 18th century--basically, you get one shot to hit a target standing in front of you--the new Shockwave from Taser is more like a Claymore mine.
Unveiled Monday at the annual Taser Tactical Conference in Chicago, the Shockwave is described as an "area denial system," spraying its six projectiles all at once over a 22-degree arc. In addition, users can stack the Shockwave units vertically or side by side ("like Legos," the company says) to cover a larger area or "… Read more
This could be almost as much fun as a blowgun and curare-laden darts. Except, of course, that the kinder, gentler weaponry from Taser International is intended to have nonlethal results.
Up to now, Taser stun guns have been short-range gadgets that deliver their jolt of electricity through wires linking the gun and the projectile. (Think Ben Stiller and Dustin Hoffman getting zapped in Meet the Fockers.) On Monday, the company plans to introduce its first-ever wireless device in Chicago at the Taser Tactical Conference for members of law enforcement and military organizations,
The White House is getting ready to trade in its aging "Marine One" helicopter for a new model, though don't go looking for President Bush to take it for a spin.
The first test aircraft built for the VH-71 Presidential Helicopters Program made its maiden flight Tuesday--in British airspace--in a flight that lasted about 40 minutes, at speeds up to 135 knots.
Why the overseas locale? The helicopter isn't quite a cutting-edge design, despite the billing by its manufacturers as "the world's most technologically advanced helicopter." Instead, it's based on AgustaWestland's … Read more
The military-industrial complex is moving double-time to get tough new vehicles to troops in Iraq.
The MRAP (Mine Resistant Armored Protection) vehicles are on a mission to provide a better shield against roadside bombs. They achieve that protection in part through a V-shaped undercarriage that rides high off the ground. In terms of overall strength, they fall somewhere between up-armored Humvees (which were never intended to provide much in the way of armor) and the thicker-skinned M2 Bradley fighting vehicle.
While they can't defend against all types of explosives, they have proven effective against shaped charges designed to pierce … Read more
Unmanned aerial vehicles, "drones" or "UAVs" for short, are getting to be pretty impressive affairs. Target-tracking software allows one drone to fly by its own wits, even above 15,000 feet. Overseen by humans, these planes can chase down a moving vehicle, send reports to a human operator by cell phone, collect photo images and video, and even relay information via VoIP.
Even with the new autonomous capabilities in the ScanEagle, surveillance efforts will often dictate that a human maintain a greater degree of oversight. One major objective of these flyers is to reduce the risk … Read more