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Archive for the 'Transportation' Category

Novel silicon nanostructure extends battery life

Posted by Jim Lewis on May 15th, 2012

Templates made from polymer nanofibers enable the formation of long-lived silicon nanostructures that store ten times as much charge as do graphite battery terminals.

Single molecule nanocar with functional wheels driven by electron tunneling

Posted by Jim Lewis on November 14th, 2011

Electron tunneling drives a conformational change in each wheel of a four-wheel drive, single molecule nanocar, driving it across a copper surface.

Video of very impressive DARPA-funded quadruped robot

Posted by Jim Lewis on October 7th, 2011

In light of our continuing interest in the ways in which nanotechnology will interact with robotics and other emerging technologies, here is an update from IEEE Spectrum on the Boston Dynamics robot project. The earlier version called BigDog was cited here a few years ago, and was impressive enough. The update is a substantially improved [...]

Nanotechnology makes possible boat 40% stronger and 75% lighter than metal boats

Posted by Jim Lewis on April 5th, 2011

Zyvex Technologies announced that its 54-foot boat named Piranha completed a rough-weather sea test near Puget Sound in the Pacific Ocean, demonstrating record fuel efficiency.

4th International Conference on carbon nanotechnology and space elevator systems

Posted by Jim Lewis on December 4th, 2010

The 4th International Conference on carbon nanotechnology and space elevator systems, Dec. 4-5, 2010, is available for remote participation or listening-in.

Steam balloons

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on January 30th, 2010

The brothers Montgolfier invented the hot air balloon upon the observation that smoke rises, and thus they figured that if they could catch it in a bag, the bag would be pulled upward. Hot air ballooning is quite popular today; people think of balloons as being quaint and pretty and natural, or at least more [...]

Towers and orbits

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on January 8th, 2010

Just for fun, imagine you could build a tower up to geosynchronous orbital height. If you stepped off the top floor, you’d just hang there, in orbit. If the tower you build is shorter, you’d fall, since (a) you aren’t going quite as fast, and (b) orbital speed is faster as you get lower. However, [...]

Auto-ATC for flying cars edges closer

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on January 5th, 2010

Roboplane tech can deal with air-traffic control directly • The Register. Flying cars – or personal aircraft anyway – have moved a step nearer, as ongoing trials using robot aeroplanes and next-gen air traffic equipment in America are said to offer the option of “reduced crews” on commercial cargo flights. US aerospace firm GE Aviation [...]

Flying Cars: how close are we?

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on August 24th, 2009

Previous in series: VTOL So, how close are we to flying cars? For specificity, let’s pick a technological bar to hurdle that answers most of the objections to the concept we’ve seen as comments on the previous posts: It should be relatively high-powered compared to current light craft. It should be STOVL for safety and [...]

VTOL

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on August 21st, 2009

Previous in series: Why would I not want a flying car? How close to a true VTOL does a flying car have to be to retain the advantages we would like?  If you have to keep it at an airport, you have to drive there and back in a separate vehicle, obviating many of the [...]

Why would I not want a flying car?

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on August 20th, 2009

Previous in series: Why would I want a flying car? There have been many reasons urged against the concept of flying cars; let’s take stock of them here: They are impractical (and thus time spent on the concept is wasted) They would be noisy or unsightly They would be dangerous, to the occupants or to [...]

Why would I want a flying car?

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on August 19th, 2009

Previous in series: Where is my flying car? Let’s consider:  I live in Laporte, PA, and have an office in the Foresight suite in Menlo Park, CA. That’s a distance of about 2800 miles, and I could drive it in about 40 hours, a full working week.  That’s a substantial commute. Of course, I don’t [...]