Today's Engineering Newswire looks at swarming navy threats with autonomous ships, securing our homes with coins, and bending light to blind you with science or designing a killer cloak with off-the-shelf materials.
Autonomous Swarmboats: The Office of Naval Research has announced a technological breakthrough that will allow any unmanned surface vehicle to not only protect Navy ships, but also autonomously “swarm” hostile vessels.
According to demonstrations, as many as 13 Navy boats have been operated using either autonomous or remote control. First they escorted a high-value Navy ship, and then, when a simulated enemy vessel was detected, the boats sped into action, swarming around the threat.
CoinGuard Ready to Make Change: CoinGuard is the latest gadget looking to tap into the surging popularity of crowdsourcing website Kickstarter and the infallible buzzword the Internet of Things.
Designed by Pilot Labs, a company known for security systems, CoinGuard is a small wireless device that is extremely sensitive to movement and vibration. About the size of a poker chip, you can place the sensor on anything, like your fire safe, file cabinet, or a bedside drawer. If and when the sensor is moved, it pings an app on your phone to let you know that someone is rifling through your stuff.
Blinded Me with Science: While on vacation with his son, John Howell, a physics professor at the University of Rochester, decided to create a cloaking device with off-the-shelf materials.
The professor, along with a graduate student, managed to develop the first known device to do three-dimensional, continuously multidirectional cloaking. Not only that, but it uses a combination of four standard lenses. That’s it.
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