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Deep in the heart of London, buried beneath 70 feet of soil and concrete, lies a hidden underground railway. For almost 80 years, the UK's "Mail Rail" transported letters and parcels between the capital's main post offices and a few overground train stations, where they could then be delivered acr...

June 1st 2015 at 9:30am 0 Comments
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Wouldn't it be great if we can use phones to 3D scan every day objects for printing? A research team from Caltech has designed a cheap and tiny camera chip that could make that happen. Even better, the team claims it can take 3D scans so precise, it could lead to "replica[s] accurate to within mic...

April 5th 2015 at 12:54am 0 Comments
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Apparently following the adage about keeping your friends close and (potential) enemies closer, the Automotive News World Congress in Detroit hosted Elon Musk last night and followed up today with Chris Urmson of Google. He's the director of its self-driving car project, and while there are no big...

January 14th 2015 at 4:25pm 0 Comments
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To listen to the Googles and the Elon Musks of the world is to believe that one day soon, we'll be tooting down in the highway in cars that control themselves. Those cars will need eyes, though, and that's where a company called Velodyne Acoustics comes in -- it whipped up the Puck, a scaled down...

September 26th 2014 at 1:36pm 0 Comments
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Ford is convinced that autonomous cars are the future, and it's putting its money where its mouth is by unveiling a Fusion Hybrid variant built solely for researching driverless-car technology. The experimental machine boosts existing driver-assistance tech with four LIDAR sensors that create a 3D...

December 12th 2013 at 5:37pm 0 Comments
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NASA's Robonaut is only just getting its legs, but it already has some fresh (and arguably superior) competition. The agency's Johnson Space Center has given IEEE Spectrum a sneak peek at Valkyrie, a DARPA Robotics Challenge entry built to take on dangerous tasks that would normally require a hum...

December 10th 2013 at 11:27pm 0 Comments
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What do the Lumia 920, Surface Pro, Velodyne LIDAR, NovAtel GPS and Jetta TDI wagon all have in common? They're all essential parts of the next generation Nokia Here collection vehicle. When Here was announced last fall, we checked out v1.0 of the car which featured an elaborate but clunky set of...

August 22nd 2013 at 9:13am 0 Comments
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Fact: turbulence is no fun at all. Aside from the brief moments of bone-deep terror it can cause passengers, clear air turbulence (CAT) can also prove costly for airlines in terms of damages. To help pilots deal with difficult-to-spot areas where CAT is likely to occur, the German Aerospace Center...

August 6th 2013 at 10:05pm 0 Comments
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LIDAR scanning has recently become cost-effective enough for archaeologists to use on large historical sites, and they're taking full advantage. A helicopter jaunt last year has revealed a massive urban site below the jungles near Angkor Wat in Cambodia that likely housed thousands of people. New...

June 20th 2013 at 7:35am 0 Comments
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After our interview with Peter Skillman last week we were given a brief tour of the Nokia Here collection vehicle, a bright blue Volkswagen Jetta Wagon specially outfitted with a smorgasbord of sensors. The main attraction is a retractable roof-mounted mast that collapses behind an aerodynamic fai...

November 19th 2012 at 8:09am 0 Comments