Nixie: A Wearable Camera Drone in Development

Nixie The Wearable Camera That Flys On Demand

nixie-wearable-drone

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….

http://flynixie.com/

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Texas A&M Developing a Killer Vehicle Barrier

Holy Crap Watch This Barrier Absolutely Destroy A Truck

Holy Crap Watch This Barrier Absolutely Destroy A Truck1234

If you were driving that truck, you’d be dead. Very, very dead.

Texas A&M’s Transportation Institute has a contract with the US State Department to develop barriers that could stop a truck laden with explosives traveling at 50 MPH, according to theTexas Tribune. And really, that it is all it is expected to do, as the Tribune notes rather ominously:

The ability of a driver to survive such a crash is not a primary concern.

Just judging from the video alone, the test looked like a rousing success, especially when you’re worried about protecting embassies from a possible terrorist threat. It’s not a far-fetched threat, either, as truck bombs seriously damaged two US embassies, and killed over 200 people in acoordinated 1998 attack.

But damn is that barrier strong.

Samsung SGR-A1 Robot Sentry Is One Cold Machine

samsung sgr a1A Samsung Group subsidiary has worked on a robot sentry that they call the SGR-A1, and this particular robot will carry a fair amount of weapons that ought to make you think twice about crossing the borders of South Korea illegally – as it has been tested out at the demilitarized zone along the border over with its neighbor, North Korea. The SGR-A1 will be able to detect intruders with the help of machine vision (read: cameras), alongside a combination of heat and motion sensors.

The whole idea of the Samsung SGR-A1 is to let this military robot sentry do the work of its human counterparts over at the demilitarized zone at the South and North Korea border, so that there will be a minimal loss of life on the South Korean side just in case things turn sour between the two neighbors.

First announced in 2006 (where obvious improvements have been made since, and I am not surprised if much of it remained as classified information), this $200,000, all weather, 5.56 mm robotic machine gun also sports an optional grenade launcher. It will make use of its IR and visible light cameras to track multiple targets and remains under the control of a human operator from a remote location. Basically, it claims to be able to “identify and shoot a target automatically from over two miles (3.2 km) away.” Scary! When used on the DMZ, this robot will not distinguish between friend or foe – anyone who crosses the line is deemed as an enemy.

Filed in Military >Robots. Read more about Samsung.

Remote-control cannon installed atop wall near Bethlehem

Wall north of Bethlehem, from this site

detail of photograph of wall north of Bethlehem

Update: Since we posted the story below, it appears that our suggestion that the gun fires live ammunition was in error. Ryan Rodrick Beiler has posted pictures on twitter pointing to the idea that the gun is a water cannon, designed to spray skunk water for riot control. Beiler tweets a picture showing the device was there during last week’s Palestine marathon.

Tom Suarez also says that it is a water cannon. “I live right there,  and our understanding has been that it is a water cannon (this coming from a Palestinian here who does some journalism). I see it swivel around, but have never seen it ‘work’”.

Beiler also tweets his photo of a gun atop the Erez crossing at Gaza that he says is the real thing: a remote-controlled machine gun that fires ammunition at people.

Original post: 

The above device, fixed lately to the top of the separation wall north of Bethlehem, is a remote-controlled machine gun, according to Palestinian sources. Ma’an News published a report on the device three days ago, saying it’s “unprecedented” and is causing anxiety among Bethlehemites. A Facebook page called “Bethlahem Today” has the same report.

Here’s a crude automatic translation of the Arabic report:

Israeli occupying forces erected Sunday, machine guns equipped with cameras on top of the security wall surrounding the Bilal bin Rabah mosque, North of Bethlehem.

Israeli forces provided each machine gun cameras from large high-capacity and possibility of photography relatively long distances and to Bethlehem in the direction of the education of the old junction.

This allows the cameras to Israeli soldiers monitor the city of Bethlehem and targeting citizens far below that reveal themselves and sees them one using special monitors in the occupied area of the mosque and surrounded by walls from all directions.

Jareer Kassis, an Arabic speaker in the States, says:

The reports are consistent with this article in Wired, 2007, on Israel developing remote controlled machine guns.

For years and years, the Israeli military has been trying to figure out a way to keep Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip from crossing over into Israel proper. The latest tactic: create a set of “automated kill zones” by networking together remote-controlled machine guns, ground sensors, and drones along the 60-kilometer border.

Thanks to Alex Kane and Icarus Verum.

Mondoweiss

A Drone That Can Intercept your Cell Signal from the Air

Scary New Drone Can Hack Your Phone From the Air

Imagine you’re walking around, enjoying the early spring sunshine, and looking for a Wi-Fi network. You hear a whirring sound above you, look up, and there’s a drone, just chilling. Did that drone just take your picture? Nah. It just stole all the precious passwords from your smartphone.

This is a real—however somewhat distant—possibility. We know that it’s technically possible thanks to some London-based SensePost security researchers who built new software called Snoopy that turns drones into data thieves. Essentially, Snoopy works on drones that seek out the signal that your smartphone broadcasts when it’s looking for a Wi-Fi network to join. The drone intercepts the signal and tricks the phone into thinking it’s a trusted network, then Snoopy gains access to all kinds of data on the phone.

It’s not just passwords. The researchers say that Snoopy can retrieve credit card numbers, location data, and usernames, too. They’ve successfully stolen Amazon, PayPal, and Yahoo credentials from random Londoners. The technology is not dissimilar to some of the gadgets in the NSA’s spy gear catalog that enable them to break into Wi-Fi networks from a distance. Whereas the NSA can do it from eight miles away, however, Snoopy evidently needs to be as close as two feet.

So the data-stealing drone is real, but it’s not like they’re flying all over cities around the world right now. SensePost did the drone project in the name of better security and are presenting their findings at the Black Hat Asia conference next week in Singapore. In the meantime, maybe it’s best to just turn off that automatic Wi-Fi network-finding feature. It’s clearly vulnerable. Furthermore, it drains your battery like whoa. [CNN Money via ThinkProgress]

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These High-Flying Drones Almost Hit Satellite Status

Low earth orbit is becoming increasingly crowded with satellite traffic and, as Gravity showed us, increasingly treacherous. So rather than try to squeeze yet another spacecraft into the mix, a French consortium has begun development on a super-high altitude, autonomous dirigible that will skim along the edge of the stratosphere.

The Stratobus, which is still in its early concept stages, is being developed by a team from Thales Alenia, Airbus, Zodiac Marine, and CEA-Liten, is designed to perform a variety of roles—from border monitoring and surveillance to communication and navigation signal relaying—at the stratospheric height of 13 miles.

The prototype, which the team expects to be operational within five years, will be 300 feet long and 75 feet wide with a carbon fiber envelope supported by a semi-rigid frame. A pair of thrust vectoring electric fans won’t so much provide propulsion as counter the stratosphere’s strong winds, keeping the dirigible locked in a fixed position over the Earth. Its rotating solar panel array should generate enough power to hoist payloads of up to 450 pounds.

And since the StratoBus will operate autonomously, it will be able to stay aloft for up to a year at a time. Its overall service life expectancy, however, is a startlingly brief five years, barely half of the 10-15 year endurance of the average geostationary communications satellite currently in orbit. There’s no word yet on how much each will cost to construct, but they should prove significantly less expensive to operate given the astronomical cost of ruggedizing, testing, and launching traditional geostationary satellites—even with their abbreviated life spans. [Thales viaWired]

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The ReconCraft Riverine Shallow Draft Vessel (RSDV) is a boat for super-shallow water

 

Say you’re a member of a search and rescue team. You get an alert that a kid is missing somewhere out there in your waterways, but the record-setting drought this year has left your rivers and streams impossibly shallow. Whatever. As long as you have four inches of water, you’re golden.

The ReconCraft Riverine Shallow Draft Vessel (RSDV), uses a uniquely designed hull-shape that essentially helps funnel water into its water-jet intake. This means the boat has an extremely minimal draw because it’s sucking all the water it needs for propulsion right off the surface. Just four inches (or 10 centimeters, for those of you playing the metric game) is all it needs. Not only that, it tops out at a very speedy 45 knots, which translates to 51.8 miles per hour. Dayum.

These Insane Boats Can Go 50MPH in Just Four Inches of Water

Outfitted with ReconCraft’s new weed/debris grate, the RSDV can reportedly blast through most of the common stuff you’d find floating around after a flood or storm and not get clogged up. But it gets better. Is a big floating log blocking the way? Whatever, we’ll just ride over that. How about a fully exposed shoal or gravel sandbar? Yeah, we’ll jump that like some boat version of the General Lee, no prob.

The hull is made of reinforced aluminum and is painted with proprietary “Hardkor” coating that supposedly increases hull strength while reducing friction on contact points. There’s also, “trade secret adherence techniques for ultra high molecular weight (UHMW) polyethylene to allow boats to slide across obstructions and barriers with little resistance,” which sounds mysterious but cool and also possibly made up.

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