Engineering Newswire: Autonomous Sikorsky Helicopter Completes 30-Mile Flight

This Engineering Newswire looks at shooting burn victims with a stem cell gun, flying in an autonomous helicopter and sailing across the Atlantic in an autonomous, solar-powered boat.

Solar-Powered, Autonomous Boat Crossing Atlantic

While many of you may be monitoring the progress of the solar-powered plane, Solar Impulse 2, that is currently flying around the world, you may not be aware that a similar feat is taking place out at sea.

Solar Voyager, an autonomous, solar-powered boat, is currently journeying across the Atlantic Ocean. The kayak-shaped vessel is completely unmanned, and can reach a top speed of 3 mph, while running off a 280-watt array of solar panels, stored in batteries for travel at night.

Gun Shoots Burn Victims with Stem Cells

Anyone who has been severely burned knows that grafting procedures can take hours, and the recovery process is often a long and painful journey. To shorten the recovery time, researchers have developed a new medical device.

Known as the SkinGun, the device sprays stem cells on the site of a burn, shortening both the treatment and recovery of wounds. In fact, new tests show that it delivers a healing spray with 200 times more coverage than traditional methods.

Commercial Helicopter Flies Autonomously

A Sikorsky S-76 commercial helicopter has recently taken off and flown autonomously in Connecticut, covering a distance of about 30 miles.

The flight of the Sikorsky Autonomy Research Aircraft (SARA) marked the completion of Phase 1 of an $8 million award from DARPA’s ALIAS program, which is trying to create and deploy more automation into existing military and commercial aircraft.

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