New military goggles combine nightvision and thermal imaging

New military goggles combine nightvision and thermal imaging.

Special Forces operators with night vison googless

Nightvision and thermal imaging play similar — but very distinct — roles on the modern battlefield. Soldiers utilize night vision to illuminate their darkened surroundings while thermal imaging is employed to illuminate darkened targets. But until now, soldiers have had to carry separate imaging systems for each, which negatively impacts how quickly they can switch optics and acquire their targets. BAE Systems, however, announced Monday a new kind of optic that packs the functionality of both into a single unit.

“On today’s battlefield, this slower [two optic] approach, which is often further hampered by heavy smoke or bad weather, compromises soldiers’ safety and can reduce mission effectiveness,” a BAE release reads. “By integrating night vision and thermal targeting capabilities into one sight displayed on the soldiers’ goggles, BAE Systems’ new solution allows troops to more easily acquire targets and engage faster.”

While the optic itself is mounted on the soldier’s rifle, what it sees is actually beamed via a Bluetooth connection to a head-mounted display. This allows the warfighter to quickly toggle between the two modes at the push of a button. The US Army’s Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate has awarded BAE a five-year $434 million contract to continue the optic’s development. There is no word yet on how much the finished products would cost or how soon they’ll actually actually make it to combat zones.

[Image credit: Getty (lead), BAE Systems (inline)]


Flying robots to start serving in restaurants by end-2015

TODAY reports: Infinium-Serve, the autonomous flying robotic waiters, will be first launched at one of Timbre Group’s five outlets in Singapore.

SINGAPORE: Restaurant-goers in Singapore can expect to be served by autonomous flying robots – the world’s first commercial attempt – by the end of next year.

Infinium-Serve, the autonomous flying robotic waiters, will be first launched at one of Timbre Group’s five outlets in Singapore. Infinium Robotics CEO Woon Junyang estimated the project to cost a “low seven-figure sum” for the five outlets, subject to final negotiations and certain variables of the actual deployment of the robots.

Infinium Robotics signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Timbre Group on Oct 31. Both companies are seeking productivity-related government grants to help offset deployment costs.

Mr Woon said he is confident that such robotic solutions will help alleviate the Singapore’s labour crunch. Introducing this technology into restaurants would take away mundane tasks of serving food and drinks, and allow human waiters to focus on higher-value tasks such as getting feedback from customers, he said.

“This will result in an enhanced dining experience which will eventually lead to increased sales and revenue for the restaurants,” he added.

A prototype of Infinium-Serve was showcased to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the inaugural launch of the National Productivity Month in early October.

Research into Turning Off Pain Receptors Progressing

‘Off switch’ for pain discovered: Activating the adenosine A3 receptor subtype is key to powerful pain relief

November 26, 2014
Saint Louis University Medical Center
A way to block a pain pathway in animal models of chronic neuropathic pain has been discovered by researchers, suggesting a promising new approach to pain relief.
Pain is an enormous problem. As an unmet medical need, pain causes suffering and comes with a multi-billion dollar societal cost. Current treatments are problematic because they cause intolerable side effects, diminish quality of life and do not sufficiently quell pain.
Credit: © Feng Yu / Fotolia
In research published in the medical journal Brain, Saint Louis University researcher Daniela Salvemini, Ph.D. and colleagues within SLU, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other academic institutions have discovered a way to block a pain pathway in animal models of chronic neuropathic pain including pain caused by chemotherapeutic agents and bone cancer pain suggesting a promising new approach to pain relief.

The scientific efforts led by Salvemini, who is professor of pharmacological and physiological sciences at SLU, demonstrated that turning on a receptor in the brain and spinal cord counteracts chronic nerve pain in male and female rodents. Activating the A3 receptor — either by its native chemical stimulator, the small molecule adenosine, or by powerful synthetic small molecule drugs invented at the NIH — prevents or reverses pain that develops slowly from nerve damage without causing analgesic tolerance or intrinsic reward (unlike opioids).

An Unmet Medical Need

Pain is an enormous problem. As an unmet medical need, pain causes suffering and comes with a multi-billion dollar societal cost. Current treatments are problematic because they cause intolerable side effects, diminish quality of life and do not sufficiently quell pain.

The most successful pharmacological approaches for the treatment of chronic pain rely on certain “pathways”: circuits involving opioid, adrenergic, and calcium channels.

For the past decade, scientists have tried to take advantage of these known pathways — the series of interactions between molecular-level components that lead to pain. While adenosine had shown potential for pain-killing in humans, researchers had not yet successfully leveraged this particular pain pathway because the targeted receptors engaged many side effects.

A Key to Pain Relief

In this research, Salvemini and colleagues have demonstrated that activation of the A3 adenosine receptor subtype is key in mediating the pain relieving effects of adenosine.

“It has long been appreciated that harnessing the potent pain-killing effects of adenosine could provide a breakthrough step towards an effective treatment for chronic pain,” Salvemini said. “Our findings suggest that this goal may be achieved by focusing future work on the A3AR pathway, in particular, as its activation provides robust pain reduction across several types of pain.”

Researchers are excited to note that A3AR agonists are already in advanced clinical trials as anti-inflammatory and anticancer agents and show good safety profiles. “These studies suggest that A3AR activation by highly selective small molecular weight A3AR agonists such as MRS5698 activates a pain-reducing pathway supporting the idea that we could develop A3AR agonists as possible new therapeutics to treat chronic pain,” Salvemini said.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Saint Louis University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. J. W. Little, A. Ford, A. M. Symons-Liguori, Z. Chen, K. Janes, T. Doyle, J. Xie, L. Luongo, D. K. Tosh, S. Maione, K. Bannister, A. H. Dickenson, T. W. Vanderah, F. Porreca, K. A. Jacobson, D. Salvemini. Endogenous adenosine A3 receptor activation selectively alleviates persistent pain states. Brain, 2014; DOI:10.1093/brain/awu330

Cite This Page:

Saint Louis University Medical Center. “‘Off switch’ for pain discovered: Activating the adenosine A3 receptor subtype is key to powerful pain relief.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 November 2014. <>.

Army Developing Micro Rotor Drone

This Is The Army’s New Pocket Drone

This Is The Army's New Pocket Drone

The Cargo Pocket Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance program, known also as CP-ISR, is a new nano-drone concept dreamed up by the folks at the Army’s Natick Soldier Research Center. Where as most unmanned aircraft look to provide info as to what is going on over the next hill, or far over horizon, CP-ISR is all about looking around the next doorway or hedge.

You can read all about what the future of micro combat drones will look like by clicking here.

This Is The Army's New Pocket Drone

The whole idea is to bring the unmanned surveillance concept down to the individual squad, and eventually the individual soldier level, and to do so in an affordable and expendible package. The Black Hornet is still in development, and a hardened, more powerful military grade data-link is on the way, along with low light video capabilities and improved controlability for operating in indoor, and other dense environments.

Eventually, these little humming bird sized craft will be able to follow special forces teams into high-threat indoor environments, or scout behind barriers and into dark windows for sniper teams. Who knows, eventually they may even become deadly weapons themselves.

Other similar systems are being developed by different military R&D houses and defense contractors, but the Black Hornet seems to be one of the most developed and well regarded at this time. Regardless of if it makes it into widespread production and deployment, it is safe to say that the age of micro drone technology has arrived, and life will never be the same again because of it.

Image source: US Army

Tyler Rogoway is a defense journalist and photographer who maintains the website Foxtrot Alpha for You can reach Tyler with story ideas or direct comments regarding this or any other defense topic via the email address

Taurus Curve: Futuristic Concealed Carry

Say hello to the Taurus Curve

taurus curve

The Taurus Curve is a completely new type of concealed-carry handgun. Designed from the ground up for deep concealment and discreet carry, the Curve is contoured to fit the human body.

It’s an unusual handgun. Small and lightweight at just a hair over 10 ounces, this new .380 ACP subcompact stands alone with its unique bowed frame that lays flat across the hip. Taurus is calling it “the gun you wear” and it fits.

To help tame the recoil of the featherweight chassis Taurus decided to build the Curve on a locked-breach action. This will make the Curve less snappy compared to similar-sized blowback pistols.

Since the recoil is controlled by the locked barrel, the recoil spring weight can be reduced as well. Combined with the fish scale slide serrations Taurus wants to make this a gun that’s easy to rack as well as to shoot.

This is a gun that’s meant to be worn every day no matter how you’re dressed. It doesn’t need a holster with its integral clip and completely dehorned, snag-free surface. Even the barrel is swept back to match the curves of the muzzle.

Should the gun print in tight-fitting clothes no one will make it for a handgun. Hanging down beneath the muzzle is a combination weaponlight and laser sight. This gives the Curve a broad profile that looks more like a wallet than a gun.

With the laser sight and LED light the Curve is designed to be an intuitive shooter. The gun doesn’t have traditional sights although the bore runs parallel to the top of the slide for help aiming the pistol should the light and laser fail.


That’s unlikely as the laser and light module are manufactured for Taurus by LaserLyte, a leader in laser sights and weapon lights.

The frame of the Curve is completely smooth with a flush activation switch for the light and laser on the right side. The mag release is also flush and built into the six-round magazine.

Somewhat similar to European-style mag releases the magazine is released by grabbing it with the left hand to pull it out. A magazine safety serves as the gun’s only manual safety and the Curve uses a double-action-only trigger to help prevent negligent or accidental discharge.

Of course with a design like this it’s naturally for right-handed shooters and poses problems for lefties.

The controls, besides the trigger, are completely backwards and the curve of the gun makes it go from a comfortable design to a literal pain in the butt but there’s hope.

The Curve has a serialized sub-frame and looks like a modular design similar to the Beretta Nano andSIG P320. If that is indeed the case then it will be possible to pop the internals of the gun and drop them into a left-handed frame.

Since the sub-frame is, for legal purposes, the handgun, grip frames can be sold separately, even online, without having to go through a dealer. A left-handed conversion kit or dedicated lefty model may be in the works.

For now we expect this to be a solid seller for righties, though. With an ultra budget-friendly $392 MSRP the Curve is priced lower than a lot of micro .380s and that doesn’t even consider the light and laser sight module.

The gun comes with a spare magazine and a trigger guard clip. This provides an extra layer of protection when wearing the Curve by eliminating the possibility of something pushing through your clothes and pulling the trigger. The clip is tied to a belt or belt loop and will automatically get yanked off the gun if it ever needs to be drawn.

The Curve is the first of its kind in more than one way. Taurus is going to move a lot of these if just to satisfy people’s curiosity. The Curve isn’t a novelty and Taurus has put a lot of thought into the design, and it shows.

If you’re one of the curious when it comes to the new Curve check out The Gun You Wear.

posted from

Hearing Aid Tuned to Translate Wifi Signals

A Man Going Deaf Can “Hear” Wi-Fi SignalsA Man Going Deaf Can "Hear" Wi-Fi Signals

Losing your hearing can be a frighteningly isolating experience. But instead of trying to replace the audible landscape he began losing at age 20, science writer Frank Swain decided to find a way to listen in on something humans can’t hear: the hum of Wi-Fi all around us.

In this essay for New Scientist, Swain talks about how he worked with sound designer Daniel Jones to build a tool that makes Wi-Fi audible. The project, named Phantom Terrains, works by translating the language of a wireless network into sounds. Each Wi-Fi element—router names,data rates, encryption modes—are assigned their own sonic tones, which are then streamed to Swain’s phone where he can pick them up through his hearing aids:

The strength of the signal, direction, name and security level on these are translated into an audio stream made up of a foreground and background layer: distant signals click and pop like hits on a Geiger counter, while the strongest bleat their network ID in a looped melody.

So what does the internet sound like? Here’s a walk that Swain took with the various Wi-Fi networks mapped along the way. Stronger network signals are shown as wider shapes, the different colors denote the router’s broadcast channel, and the pattern references the security level:

A Man Going Deaf Can "Hear" Wi-Fi SignalsEXPAND

Now here’s what the same walk sounds like:

While the cosmic blips and static pops are certainly beautiful (and somewhat creepy at the same time), there are some larger implications for why this kind of work could be important. Swain equates it to a kind of auditory “prosthetic” which can actually enhance the range of normal hearing, transforming him into a kind of superhuman who can actually “hear” the landscape in a way that most people will never experience. We don’t normally think of VR as including sound, but this is augmented reality for the ear. [New Scientist]

Top image: Artistic depiction of what Wi-Fi signals would look like if we could see them, byNickolay Lamm

Nixie: A Wearable Camera Drone in Development

Nixie The Wearable Camera That Flys On Demand


This just may take the cake in the selfie department. Nixie is a tiny drone that you wear on your wrist. When released, the drone flies around you shooting video, eventually returning back. Winner of Intel’s Make It Wearable contest, the Nixie wearable flying camera may just be a prototype at the moment, but with a powerful team and money behind them, you can expect to see it come to market soon.

Nixie is the first wearable and flyable camera that you carry on your wrist like a watch. A swiveling camera sits at the middle of four flexible bands, each with an extendable propeller. To launch the wearable drone, simply unfold the bands from beneath your wrist and Nixie is ready for takeoff.

Once aloft, the drone is designed to detect your presence and fly around you, pointing the camera at you in order to film your adventures. Nixie was built on Intel’s Edison wearables development system that gives it enough computing power to do things such as track you and avoid obstacles.

Check out the cool footage below that was captured on the Nixie prototype. Now let’s see how quickly these get banned in National Parks….

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