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Showing posts from February 9, 2014

Renault's Kwid Offroader concept packs a Flying Drone

It was inevitable, really, that car and flying drone would meet. And at this week’s Auto Expo India , they did. Renault’s Kwid concept off-roader broke cover in Delhi , and amid the usual show-car flourishes, including an amusing 1+2+2 seating arrangement, it showed off something entirely new: a built-in quadcopter drone. Called the Flying Companion, the drone operates either autonomously, following a pre-programmed flight sequence, or in manual mode, controlled via a tablet computer inside the car. According to Renault’s press materials, “The Flying Companion can be used for a variety of purposes, including scouting traffic, taking landscape pictures and detecting obstacles on the road ahead.” Renault states that the diminutive Kwid could be production-ready within two years – which, from the company that built such oddities as the Avantime and Twizy, are words to take seriously. (Photo: Renault)Via: BBC

Guy builds a *real* space cannon to (cheaply) send satellites into orbit … from his backyard

Sending objects into space doesn’t always have to be an expensive and complex task conducted exclusively by filthy rich entrepreneurs or governments. Sometimes all you need is a determined Canadian engineer, a backyard, and a Kickstarter campaign –  at least that’s what Richard Graf is hoping. Graf built a huge, powerful “gun” in his backyard that’s capable of shooting small payloads in a suborbital trajectory . Now he’s trying to use crowdfunding to make the project a reality, which is a smart move considering the Internet generally enjoys funding ridiculously cool projects like this. The gun, dubbed the Starfire Space Cannon , has a 45-foot barrel that will shoot small objects off the planet via a dart-shaped bullet. The ultimate goal is for the cannon to cheaply send small objects like tiny ‘cubesat’ satellites into orbit . While far less expensive than hitching a ride on SpaceX ’s Grasshopper, the Starfire Space Cannon project will still cost some money.