Jetpack Designed at ASU Assists in Running/Sprinting

Jetpack enables soldiers to sprint at Olympic speeds (VIDEO)

Researchers at Arizona State University with the help of DARPA are working on a new take on the science fiction-inspired jetpack. Unlike jetpacks of yesterday, this literally puts the wind at your back, enabling soldiers to run faster than ever before, sprinting at Olympic speeds.

“If you think of a Navy SEAL or an Army soldier that has to get in somewhere quick and do whatever they’ve gotta do, but maybe get out of there just as quickly, so these devices can really help soldiers to not only accomplish their goals and succeed in their missions, but potentially save human lives as well,” said ASU student Jason Kerestes.

Do you think steps like these will materialize in “future soldier” projects? And how much do you want a jetpack right this freakin’ minute, right?

The jetpack part of the larger ASU Research Matters project.

[Business Insider via Predator Intelligence/Facebook]

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.

Transpotation Hub Living Center Shaped Like a Jack

AMLGM envisions urban alloy tower over transportation hub in new york
all images courtesy of AMLGM

 chad kellogg and matt bowles of AMLGM have envisioned ‘urban alloy’ as a redefinition of the typical residential tower typology. the project proposes habitable spaces in leftover sites surrounding transportation intersections, such as elevated train lines and freeways. wanting to optimize a heterogeneous and highly linked set of living environments, the concept uses specified materials and makes the most of being positioned above these set systems. the design offers an alternative to current urban renewal based modes of densification through an exploration of symbiotic re-purposing of air rights above transportation existing corridors in new york.


exterior aerial

taking advantage of the benefits for having housing located close to transportation hubs, the chosen test case is the intersection of the lirr and the 7 train. a wide range of living conditions are offered within the one development. the programmatic options are set within a blend of floor plate geometries, transitioning from cylindrical to triangular from the base to the top of each tower. a composite or alloy of multiple flexible systems optimizes the skin so that each point has unique exposure, and is deployed on a grid that follows the direction of the surface.


interior view of the atrium

at each grid intersection, the surface has been analyzed for optimal shading and daylight transmitting requirements. an authored algorithm is applied to generate vertical and horizontal fin profiles that blend with the profiles at adjacent nodes, resulting in an optimized system of decorative metal fins that are unique to each specific solar orientation.


typical apartment interior


satellite aerial


site map


program diagram


floor plan concept


sectional perspective


structural diagrams


skin diagram


systems axon

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

Designboom

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]

gizmodo

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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