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Swiss researchers developing muscular swimming blimp


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It's not everyday we see innovations in blimp technology, but a team of researchers at the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research are keeping the helium-filled dream alive, developing a blimp that effectively swims through the air like a fish. According to New Scientist, that's done with the aid of some artificial "muscles" that expand and contract when given a jolt of electricity, allowing the vehicle to wiggle its way through the air, cutting down on the noise in the process. While it can currently only stay aloft for 20 minutes at a time, the team thinks the technology could eventually see a wide range of uses, including sending airships far up into the stratosphere, possibly as platforms for wireless communication. From the looks of it, however, it seems like we could be seeing the blimp in toy form well before that happens -- at least we hope so.

In this article: airship, blimp
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