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NASA is Investing in Eco-friendly Supersonic Airplane Travel

June 8, 2015 Unless you have access to a F-22 fighter jet, you probably haven’t been able to fly faster than the speed of sound since the last Concorde flight in 2003. NASA wants to change this. The agency said that it is spending over $6 million to fund research into cheaper and...

This Robot Bat Drone Is the Stuff of Nightmares

June 3, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow It’s the drone the world deserves, but not the one it needs right now. Scientists at the University of Illinois are working on a fully autonomous bat-like drone to supervise construction sites. According to the university’s website, the drones would be used to make sure the project is proceeding as...

IBM Has Been Awarded an Average of 21 Patents Per Day So Far in 2015

June 3, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Although the media (Quartz included) tend to focus on what wacky inventions companies like Google and Apple are patenting, IBM is still far and away the leader in patents in the US. The US Patent and Trademark Office releases its new patent awards on Tuesdays. After yesterday’s awards, IBM has...

Amazon Tests Out Robots That Might One Day Replace Warehouse Workers

June 1, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow We humans often get injured or sick, and can’t usually work round the clock. We also sometimes have families and enjoy healthcare. Robots, on the other hand, have none of these problems. Which is why Amazon hosted a competition over the weekend to find out if a robot could take...

Google Wants to Make Creepy Bunny Robots to Talk to Your Kids

May 23, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Amazon has its black cylinder for you to talk to, and then there’s Jibo, billed as “The World’s First Social Robot for the Home.” Soon Google may have its own voice-assisted robot: a teddy bear. In a patent application published May 21, Google outlined a plan to develop “an anthropomorphic...

Truly Autonomous Drones Are Coming, and They May Soon Deliver Packages to Your Door

May 15, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow There are drones that can follow their owners around, or hover on paths plotted out by a human, but for the most part, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) still tend to require someone, somewhere to fly them. And those human operators are prone to errors. One company is looking to make...

GE Has 3D-Printed a Working Jet Engine

May 14, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow While the consumer 3D printing industry is going through a bit of an existential crisis, industrial 3D printing is going strong. Last week, Stratasys announced it had 3D-printed over 1,000 parts for Airbus’ A350 XWB planes that shipped in 2014. Now, scientists at GE Aviation’s Additive Development Center have made...

Amazon Drone Delivery Will Track Customers Down No Matter Where They Are

May 11, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night will stay Amazon’s drones from the swift completion of their appointed rounds. In a patent application from last month, uncovered by the BBC yesterday, the retail giant outlined a plan for its proposed delivery drones to get packages to you...

This Is What the Next Generation of Google Glass Could Look Like

May 5, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Google’s next Glass wearable may well be a little easier on the eyes, though there’s no guarantee that it will look any better. In a patent awarded to Google today, the company outlined a curved display system for a head-mounted wearable computer. The patent suggests that a user could control...

GoPro Is Getting Into Virtual Reality

April 29, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow GoPro announced today that it has agreed to buy Kolor, a French software startup that specializes in creating 360° interactive videos. Soon, videos of snowboarding tricks, aerial drone footage, and perhaps even team sports, could become immersive, explorable worlds. Kolor’s software lets users stitch together photos or videos to create...