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This personal drone shocks intruders with 80,000 volts

March 12, 2014 8:56 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Who needs a gun when you have CUPID? And by Cupid, I don’t mean that fat cherub that comes out around February 14th to shoot people with arrows — though the shooting part isn’t that far off. This CUPID, which stands for Chaotic Unmanned Personal Intercept Drone, is actually a personal security safety UAV.

This is what happens when you put a go-pro on a pelican’s beak

March 4, 2014 7:53 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

There have been some insane advances in the technology behind video cameras in the past few years. Video cameras have caught onto the miniaturization trend, but as the size shrinks, the capabilities grow. This means lighter cameras that are able to shoot and store videos with high-quality images.

7 things I’ll need for my house in 2025

March 3, 2014 7:47 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

I can’t wait to live in GE’s home of the future. (Last week, I talked about the car I must have, so it seems fitting that my next topic be about my dream house. As with the car, this is assuming an unlimited budget and available technology.) Last week, I headed to Allentown, PA to the Da Vinci Science Center in order to see an exhibit called Home 2025.

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Why the self-driving car will be the greatest technology of all time (seriously)

February 24, 2014 10:00 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

I am in desperate need of a self-driving car. We’re talking desperate. I would pay a considerable amount of money — in this circumstance not only does the self-driving car exist, it is widely available and I have hit the lottery — for a self-driving car.

Is your employer tracking your every move?

February 11, 2014 4:20 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Your employer probably isn’t tracking your every move just yet, but with new technology from Hitachi, it might not be that far down the road. Obviously there are ways for employers to track your productivity now whether it’s cameras or looking at your internet logs, but it’s really time consuming and not very informative for most employees.

Watch this fish drive his own tank around

February 10, 2014 11:34 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Do you ever feel like your fish is jealous of the cat and dog who can walk freely about the house just because they have the ability to “breathe oxygen”? Have you caught your fish eyeing the parrot and his high flying, free-wheeling ways? Is he jealous of the hamster in the ball who gets to roll around the house?

Engineering is for boys. Pink is for girls.

February 7, 2014 8:02 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

We’ve talked about GoldieBlox a few times on the site before both about what a cool toy it is and then again when the company released a video of all the cool things you could do with the kit. I recently stumbled across a Tedx done by the CEO and Creator of GoldieBlox, Debbie Sterling. Sterling, who has engineering degree from Stanford...

This is what it’s like to fly a fighter jet

February 4, 2014 3:27 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Flying in a fighter jet isn’t an experience most of us will ever have. Personally, I’ve never had the urge, but for some, not being able to soar like Maverick is heartbreaking. Luckily for any wannabe pilots, Metropolis Entertainment — who make footage for simulators for places like this one which will show at London’s Science Museum — are more than willing to share the wealth.

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Watch Steve Jobs introduce the very first Mac

January 24, 2014 2:08 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

I would like to personally wish a happy 30th birthday to the greatest computer of all time: the Mac. It was 30 years ago today (January 24th) that Steve Jobs revealed the first model. Though the design has changed a bit and the unit has slimmed down about 300 pounds, it’s important to remember the day the world changed.

Why I’m A-OK with Disney tracking me "NSA-style"

January 8, 2014 3:39 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

I recently spent a few days down in Disney World in Orlando—you might have noticed my two week writing hiatus—and like everyone else I was pretty curious about Disney's most recent billion dollar investment: Magic Bands. The wristbands, which utilize RFID and Bluetooth technology, were recently rolled out on a larger scale as part of the MyMagic+ program

Top 10 must-see posts of 2013

December 30, 2013 11:44 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Here’s the top 10 most popular, compelling, controversial, and highly-trafficked stories from 2013. These were the posts that led the most discussions, excited the most readers (for better or worse), and caught your collective eyeballs. So check out some old favorites, or catch up on a post you may have missed — and find out what all the fuss was about!

Need something? Print it: 3D printing in engineering

December 23, 2013 10:46 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Articles | Comments

It sometimes seems as if it’s impossible to even go one day without reading or hearing about a story involving 3D printing. It’s the byproduct of a technology that has current applications in most industries and potential applications in almost all of them. Some of the more controversial application areas, like 3D printed firearms, receive a lot of coverage....

Is this the end of Moore’s law?

December 10, 2013 2:56 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Moore’s law is unsustainable. This statement is the elephant in the room of a lot of electronics discussions as we rapidly approach a few different landmarks in semiconductors.  Researchers are concerned that the unsustainability of Moore’s law might mean the end, or at least the abrupt slowing down, of electronic development at the height of the digital era.

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Why is this government agency still using floppy disks?

December 9, 2013 5:11 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Every so often we drag out a past relic of technology to gawk, reminisce and remember before shoving it back into the proverbial vault for a few more decades. We’ve featured introductions to new technology and how-tos on using a computer. 

3D-printed heart uses urine to power robot (seriously)

December 5, 2013 10:24 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

In the buzzword story of the year, researchers at the University of the West of England created a 3D-printed heart robot heart that runs on urine. That’s right, a printed organ that pumps pee through a robot. This hot topic cornucopia was actually the result of a theory that urine was capable of making electricity.

Why replacing waiters with tablets is a good idea

December 4, 2013 2:51 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

This, friends, is a dining option for people who hate other people. Earlier this week, Applebee’s announced that they will replace waiters (to a degree) with tablets at the table. These tablets will be used to take orders and pay the bill, plus they’ll feature games that diners can play while they wait. The tablets, which are Intel-backed startup E la Carte Presto tablets, will total over 100,000 pieces of hardware.

Here’s what the ECN Editors are thankful for this year

November 26, 2013 3:18 pm | by the Editors | Blogs | Comments

Say what you will about Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanzaa. For our money, the “most wonderful time of the year” is Thanksgiving, when the fall foliage sets the scene for family, football, turkey, more football, and dessert (in that order). And though “Black Friday” has crept into Thursday, there’s much to be thankful for this year. Here’s what the ECN staff had to say....

Turning the world’s biggest landfill into a NYC solar power plant

November 26, 2013 3:00 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

In a recent Engineering Update, we took a look at Japan’s largest solar power plant, which boasts the capability of powering 22,000 homes with its 313 acre facility. Now, we’re checking out New York’s newest solar project. This solar facility will be located at Freshkills Park on Staten Island and was, at one point, considered to be the largest landfill in the world.

Watch our new missile defense system destroy a fighter jet

November 22, 2013 3:08 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

While it may seem like most countries around the world are focused on the Patriot Missile Interceptors, the United States is already looking to its next missile defense system. In fact, the military has moved on from looking at systems to testing them.

Where are all the girl engineers?

November 20, 2013 11:04 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

I recently went to a “Pumpkin Sling” (aka Punkin’ Chunkin’) where participants designed trebuchets to see who could get theirs to throw a pumpkin the farthest. A lot of the teams were made up of kids, who all did an incredible job building the machines. I was particularly inspired by a young man from a Cub Scout troop who very clearly outlined how the machine worked and how they had built it.

This rock-climbing robot will haunt your dreams

November 8, 2013 9:27 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

 Every so often, you see a robot on the internet that is so macabre-looking it belongs in a horror film. There is a quality about these robots that’s not quite robot, but not quite human. Generally, in the technology community, nine out of ten of these robots come out of the Department of Defense sponsored Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (a.k.a DARPA). (If you need proof, check out DARPA’s PETMAN)

Why you shouldn’t implant computer chips in your arm

November 1, 2013 3:31 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

In general, medical implants and their components are strictly regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and for good reason. You can’t just stick anything under your skin without extreme consequences including things like major infections, pretty gnarly scaring, and potentially deadly health complications.

F-35 successfully targets aerial drone (is still a moneypit)

November 1, 2013 11:28 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

The F-35 Lightning II program, which surpassed 10,000 flight hours in September, has another reason to celebrate today. On October 31, the F-35A, a 5th generation fighter, successfully launched an AIM-120 radar-seeking missile from the internal weapons bay. 

Growing sensors: Agriculture meets technology

October 28, 2013 11:50 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Articles | Comments

Agriculture is arguably one of the most important industries in the world. After all, with an estimated population of over 7 billion people, there are a lot of mouths to feed. Unfortunately, agriculture is also one of the most unpredictable industries. Crops are subject to the whims of nature with droughts, fire, rain, sun, and hail.

Iran’s newest “drone” held together with duct tape

October 24, 2013 4:20 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

A recently released video of Iran’s new “suicide remotely piloted vehicle” called the Ra’ad 85—aka Thunder 85—reveals it might be less impressive than originally announced. A few weeks ago, Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan, Commander of the Iranian Army Ground Force, announced the Ra’ad 85 would be a game-changer for Iran’s military.

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