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This drone is made from chocolate

June 18, 2014 3:31 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Yes, someone actually built a chocolate quadcopter. And no, the DoD hasn’t investigated potential military applications (that I know of). A flying treat like this probably wouldn’t survive harsh environments (greater than 20°C) or soldiers’ stomachs, but it could redefine the “candygram”....

Can this car go 1000 mph?

June 16, 2014 3:53 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

The Bloodhound SSC is a supersonic car built with the express goal of exceeding (or reaching) 1000mph. This is completely nuts.The Bloodhound is technically a car because it has four wheels and is under the full-control of a driver. It’s 44 feet long, just over 9 foot tall, and when it’s fully fueled it weighs in at a whopping 17,165 lbs.

These E Ink shelf labels could save retail

June 16, 2014 1:18 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

E-commerce has many intrinsic advantages over brick-and-mortar, but the fundamental difference is similar to print vs. online journalism — the ability to make dynamic changes. One can, and one can't. Which makes electronic shelf labels — incorporating E Ink and similar technology — a paradigm shift for retail....

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This is what it looks like when you play soccer in space

June 13, 2014 9:55 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

In recognition of the World Cup, the astronauts on the International Space Station got their own game of soccer going. Obviously, the rules and logistics are a little bit different when neither the ball nor the players are subject to the whims of gravity. The video stars U.S. astronauts Reid Wiseman and Steve Swanson and fellow German astronaut Alexander Gerst.

Down with pink: The rise of female STEM toys

June 12, 2014 3:09 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

You may have noticed my habit of blogging occasionally about how gendered toys have the ability to affect children. Whether the topic is limiting the skills sets girls develop while playing or failing to introduce STEM as a career option because those are “boy’s” toys, it’s always been an interesting discussion, to say the least.

The state & future of the global electronics market

June 10, 2014 1:09 pm | by David Mantey, Editor-in-Chief | Articles | Comments

At EDS 2014, Dale Ford, vice president of IHS Technology, offered some eye-opening predictions, particularly for the consumer electronics market, in his presentation, “The Big Picture, Ideas, and Opportunities.” “We’re going through dramatic change, and that change is accelerating from being an intelligent device to being a networked device – and it’s generating a lot of data,” says Ford....

Haptic device simulates the feel of breasts

June 10, 2014 8:57 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Check those smirks. This doesn’t concern a certain less-than-reputable industry (banking $100 billion+ annually) or Japan’s general proclivity for weirdness. Actually, the ability to simulate the tactile sensation of soft breast tissue could have important medical applications....

This is what the terminator line looks like from the ISS

June 9, 2014 10:27 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

NASA has been very into social media lately, and I could not be more excited. It’s a great way to inspire younger generations and remind everyone why the space program—despite its not insignificant costs—is so important. NASA has been capitalizing on the “space is cool again” trend...

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This technology can hack your car from 1500 miles away

June 4, 2014 5:15 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Automotive security is odd in that it’s basically nonexistent. We drive around every day in giant, metal contraptions completely controlled by a central computer (more or less) and that computer is essentially open to whoever is bored (or mad) enough to hack it.

CubeSats keep space research motoring

May 30, 2014 9:33 am | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Articles | Comments

Space research isn’t just for the big space agencies anymore. In fact, anyone wishing to make observations from space should not only think small but also inside-the-box. Or more accurately, inside the cube. That’s because in recent years academia has been creating and deploying very small satellites called CubeSats....

Can this wind turbine reduce your energy bill by half?

May 30, 2014 8:43 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Two of the issues that come up frequently when discussing wind energy options are the noise and the actual output of the turbine. The noise issue is more of a problem for big turbines, that may look majestic from far away, when you live nearby they can make a bit of noise.

Detroit is a 'hole'

May 29, 2014 9:07 am | by David Mantey, Editor-in-Chief | Blogs | Comments

So continues the era of the outspoken president. On a recent trip to Phoenix, AZ, I had the pleasure of listening to Ed Smith, president of Avnet Electronics Marketing Americas (AEMA), give a presentation on the state of the company and more importantly, the state of the industry....

Watch kids react to old computers

May 28, 2014 1:26 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

On the order of cheesy, manipulative internet memes, watching children befuddled by legacy technology ranks just above cat videos and duckfaces. And here’s another one. And let’s face it: Kids these days are spoiled. Kids are lucky to live in such an advanced technological age....

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This technology is the future of virtual reality

May 27, 2014 1:52 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

It really only takes a few minutes of conversation with me to realize that I am a huge nerd. I’m the woman that goes out with friends and says things like, “did you read about that researcher that 3D-printed a human skull?” or “Did you see the tweet that Russian diplomat sent about the ISS?” My friends and family, good people that they are, are generally pretty happy to indulge me.

Would you use a drone to walk your dog?

May 23, 2014 4:37 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Just when you think you’ve seen everything, right? We’ve seen drones be used for a number of interesting applications including, but not limited to, delivering packages, deterring poachers in vast animal reserves, and even for target practice. However, this is the first usage of a drone as a way to walk pets.

DoD plans for the zombie apocalypse (seriously)

May 23, 2014 11:44 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

You probably suspected that the Department of Defense has a plan for every possible contingency, so a land war with China? Totally covered. A nuclear war with a renewed Soviet Union? Covered. But a zombie apocalypse? Not the first (or 10th) contingency that springs to mind....

Smart sensors prepare NFC for patient monitoring applications

May 22, 2014 10:30 am | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Articles | Comments

There’s no question that cell phones have made our lives more convenient. Whether our phones are used for making calls, uploading photos and streaming music, we rely on our smart phones for dynamic data transfer. In the last few years, Near Field Communications (NFC) technology has become available in an increasing number of smart phones....

Kim Jong-un rides unicorns, defeats United States military

May 19, 2014 3:25 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Political statements take many forms. Sometimes, they’re a modest sit-in, a protest, or an op-ed agitating for change. And sometimes, they’re a farcical video game starring North Korea’s “glorious leader,” Kim Jong-un, singlehandedly taking down the United States with the help of unicorns and Dennis Rodman. Seriously....

Politician proposes hoverboard lanes in city budget

May 16, 2014 11:29 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Though it seems like transportation talk of future is looking only towards improved public transportation and driverless cars, Washington D.C. councilwoman Mary Cheh things we should be investing in a different type of transport option: hoverboards.

Russian diplomat's tweet dooms the International Space Station

May 16, 2014 7:09 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

 Lest you think Twitter breakups are just for the younger generation, Russian deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin let fly with a tweet that confused a lot of people on Tuesday. After a press conference with the media, Rogozin tweeted, “@fka_roscosmos doesn’t plan

Solar-powered UAS provides “silent operation”

May 13, 2014 3:51 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Imagine a flying Prius with all the blather of a mime and you’ve got the Silent Falcon sUAS. This solar-powered small unmanned aerial system (sUAS) was one of the cooler wares on display at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) 2014 in sunny Orlando, Florida....

Former Air Force Major General headlines ECN IMPACT Awards

May 6, 2014 8:58 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

The ECN IMPACT Awards celebrate innovation across the design engineering landscape, and the awards ceremony’s keynote speaker could teach us all a lesson or two on leadership. Formerly a Major General in the United States Air Force, Steve Sargeant parlayed his impressive military career into a top leadership role with a prestigious test and measurement company....

Watch five monster machines battle it out for Jenga champion

May 2, 2014 6:59 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

I love Cats. I just find them to be awesome in their majestic beauty. I am, of course, talking about Caterpillar machines. (I’ve been strictly a “dog” girl from day one.) My obsession with these beauties requires a little background. My dad is a builder, so it was just part of growing up to have big toys everywhere....

Check out the newest NASA space suit design

May 1, 2014 8:28 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Here at ECN, we’ve been waiting with bated breath to hear which space suit design the public chose for the future trips to Mars. About a month ago, NASA announced they would hold a content to select what the suits would look like.  Let’s take a moment to review the suit, itself. It’s called the Z-2 and is the successor to the Z-1 suit....

Russian official: The US should use trampolines to get to space

April 30, 2014 9:45 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Back when Russia first began “acquiring” Ukraine, NASA immediately cut all ties with the Slavic republic, except for efforts related to the International Space Station (the US relies on Russian spacecraft to get to the ISS). And now, after a fresh round of US sanctions, a Russian defense official has a helpful suggestion — the US should use trampolines to get into space....

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