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The Lead

X-47B completes world’s first autonomous aerial refueling

April 27, 2015 11:52 am | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor, @JasonECNMag | Blogs | Comments

You might remember the X-47B unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) demonstrator as the first drone to execute a carrier landing. And now this semi-autonomous jet-powered craft has hit another milestone – the first Autonomous Aerial Refueling (AAR) operation.

How this student went from watching the fish tank to diving with whale sharks

April 23, 2015 2:56 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Editor, @kcpanetta | Blogs | Comments

Growing up, my family had a huge fish tank in our office that I would sit in front of for hours...

Hubble celebrates 25 years with this incredible photo

April 23, 2015 12:24 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Editor, @kcpanetta | Blogs | Comments

First of all, let's wish a happy 25th birthday to the NASA Hubble Space Telescope, which will...

Self-driving vehicles could cost an extra $10,000

April 23, 2015 8:01 am | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor, @JasonECNMag | Blogs | Comments

Will self-driving vehicles lead to increased automotive safety? Probably. Will they have run up...

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This is Canada's new smart gun

April 22, 2015 7:04 am | by Kasey Panetta, Editor, @kcpanetta | Blogs | Comments

Our Canadian brethren take a lot of flack for their peacekeeping and polite stereotypes, but that doesn't mean they're not developing the weapons of the future.

How the Blue Angels are changing the future of aviation

April 20, 2015 12:47 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Editor, @kcpanetta | Blogs | Comments

The Blue Angels are generally regarded as some of the most talented and esteemed pilots in the world.

Turning packing peanuts into energy efficient batteries

April 20, 2015 8:50 am | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor, @JasonECNMag | Blogs | Comments

Researchers at Purdue University have discovered a way to transform those scrunchy little pieces of styrofoam into an energy efficient battery. Turns out that the very qualities that make them a stout companion for your fragile parcels – their lightweight, porous nature ...

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Why studying STEM can change your life

April 17, 2015 9:20 am | by Kasey Panetta, Editor, @kcpanetta | Blogs | Comments

Meet Paul Jerome Barina, a student at Ohio University working on a Masters of Science in Industrial & Systems Engineering.

DoD official: The F-35 won’t outperform the A-10

April 16, 2015 10:58 am | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor, @JasonECNMag | Blogs | Comments

The F-35’s critics have denounced the Joint Strike Fighter for years, but this is one of the first concessions from a high-level government official that this flying Swiss Army Knife won’t live up to its lofty billing. The F-35’s battlefield capabilities won’t surpass the A-10....

Training Tomahawk missiles to hit moving targets

April 15, 2015 12:18 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor, @JasonECNMag | Blogs | Comments

While the Navy ponders whether to replace the Tomahawk missile or just update it, Raytheon is preparing a multi-mode seeker test that could allow the Tomahawk Block IV to hit moving targets. The captive flight test would utilize a modified Tomahawk Block IV missile nose cone....

China goes on the attack with the “Great Cannon”

April 14, 2015 9:18 am | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor, @JasonECNMag | Blogs | Comments

Not content with merely blocking their own citizens’ unfettered internet access, China has gone to the source, targeting the websites and servers which attempt to circumvent the infamous “Great Firewall of China.” Researchers have dubbed this new attack infrastructure the “Great Cannon”....

Giant spider robots could change space forever

April 13, 2015 12:18 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Editor, @kcpanetta | Blogs | Comments

Giant spiders in space may sound like the beginning of an epic sci-fi horror book, but the real purpose of these nightmare-come-to-life is a little less sinister.

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Why learning to tinker is the key to engineering success

April 13, 2015 9:08 am | by Kasey Panetta, Editor, @kcpanetta | Blogs | Comments

Meet Jasen Massey. He has a B.S in Physics from Illinois State University and is working on an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His main area of focus is fluids/heat transfer and robotics.

Why I’ll never get in a self-driving car

April 13, 2015 8:27 am | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor, @JasonECNMag | Blogs | Comments

Those prone to car sickness usually prefer to drive. That’s because getting behind the wheel lessens the symptoms you feel as a passenger. But what happens when everyone’s a passenger? What happens to the occupants of self-driving cars?

This is why arming domestic drones is a very bad idea

April 9, 2015 12:56 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor, @JasonECNMag | Blogs | Comments

UAVs represent a potential goldmine, with commercial and scientific functions and a treasure trove of DIY applications on the docket. But for every hobbyist tinkering in their lab, there’s a police force planning surveillance activities and untold privacy concerns....

Japan’s first indigenous stealth fighter could take flight this summer

April 8, 2015 1:44 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor, @JasonECNMag | Blogs | Comments

The U.S. has been overly protective of the F-22 Raptor — and rightfully so. The air-superiority weapon is our ace in the hole against 5th-gen fighters like China’s Chengdu J-20 & Shenyang J-31 and Russia’s PAK-FA, and to that end, we’ve banned the F-22 from export....

Should we train vets for renewable energy jobs?

April 7, 2015 12:55 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor, @JasonECNMag | Blogs | Comments

Barack Obama has made renewable energy a keystone of his presidency, and part of his efforts include training an estimated 75,000 workers for the renewable energy industry by 2020. Last week, Obama announced a "Solar Ready Vets" program....

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And the winner of the Raspberry Pi 2 is...

April 7, 2015 10:42 am | by Kasey Panetta, Editor, @kcpanetta | Blogs | Comments

The characteristic that I love the most about the Raspberry Pi 2 was actually the one that made this competition so difficult to judge. The fact that people of ages and experience can use the board for so many different applications and  purposes is inspiring, but also a little daunting for judging.

Watch this chainsaw-powered machine gun destroy its target

April 6, 2015 11:38 am | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor, @JasonECNMag | Blogs | Comments

Joerg Sprave is the mad genius of do-it-yourself slingshots. The German businessman spends his free time designing absurd, slightly impractical weapons like the machete slingshot and the granddaddy of all absurdities, a chainsaw launcher. His latest ...

Amazon's newest service will change your life (Maybe.)

April 6, 2015 8:14 am | by Kasey Panetta, Editor, @kcpanetta | Blogs | Comments

Restocking your pantry might soon be as easy as pressing a button. Seriously, push the button and presto, chango, your favorite toilet paper arrives in the mail. Amazon's newest release is the Amazon Dash button.

Showcasing an electric motorcycle at the world's most dangerous race

April 2, 2015 12:06 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Editor, @kcpanetta | Blogs | Comments

Meet Polina Brodsky,Technical Coordinator, Buckeye Current Racing: Electric motorcycle at Ohio State. She was part of the team that has showcased electric motorcycles at the Isle of Man racing competition....

Keeping engineers better informed: Setting ECN apart from the competition

April 2, 2015 10:59 am | by David Mantey, Editorial Director, Design Group, @djamesmanny | Blogs | Comments

I wanted to reach out and share some of the new things that we’re doing in Advantage Business Media’s Design Engineering Group to make sure that you are the industry’s most informed design engineers at every stage of the development process....

This inappropriate card game will fund STEM scholarships for women (and why that's amazing)

April 2, 2015 7:53 am | by Kasey Panetta, Editor, @kcpanetta | Blogs | Comments

It seems like everyone is trying to figure out how to get kids in STEM and how to keep them there. There is a particular interest in increasing the number of women in STEM professions...

Marine Corps’ robotic war balls could aid amphibious landings

April 1, 2015 12:19 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor, @JasonECNMag | Blogs | Comments

Since 1775, the United States Marines Corps has been the foremost authority on amphibious warfare, and they’ve perfected the art of establishing beachheads on hostile shores. An amphibious drone from Guardbot Inc. could aid these complex military maneuvers....

This drone can do your taxes for you

April 1, 2015 10:31 am | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor, @JasonECNMag | Blogs | Comments

Tax preparation might seem like an odd task for a 5,000 lb soulless automaton, but then, the Taxbot is a joint venture of the IRS....

Facebook's Internet drones won’t have us all singing Kumbaya

March 31, 2015 8:30 am | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor, @JasonECNMag | Blogs | Comments

Facebook recently trialed the solar-powered drones which aim to fulfill the social network giant’s ambitious goal of connecting the entire world to the internet. The Internet.org initiative is an impressive engineering feat, relying on solar-powered UAVs to “beam” the Internet down to billions of people.

This is what a Moon settlement could look like

March 30, 2015 3:23 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Editor, @kcpanetta | Blogs | Comments

Picture this. It's several (decades/centuries) in the future. All food is organically harvested in BioDomes, no one has driven a car in 20 years and Robot Madonna is still cranking out the tunes.

Engineering Live: What happened to our fascination with space?

March 28, 2015 8:00 am | by Kasey Panetta, Editor, @kcpanetta | Videos | Comments

The 1960s was arguably the most fascinating time in the world of space. Sputnik had been launched just a few years prior and the entire decade ended with the first moon landing. So what happened?

North Korean black-market consumer darling becomes legal

March 27, 2015 11:18 am | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor, @JasonECNMag | Blogs | Comments

In a nation where you can go to jail for not crying hard enough at your leader’s death, this is a small victory. The ‘notel’ — a North Korean word combining 'notebook' and 'television' — is a relatively modest, Chinese-made portable media player ...

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