Event Calendar
March 2019

In 2015, a video showing a semi-automatic handgun being fired from a custom-built drone went viral, raising concerns for authorities, including the FAA. The development of such a DIY device was only a matter of time, as was the commercialization of the technology. Now Florida-based startup Duke Robotics has unveiled the TIKAD, a custom-built multirotor that can carry and fire various military weapons, including semi-automatic rifles and grenade launchers.

Duke Robotics is co-founded by Raziel Atuar, a former Special Mission Unit commander in the Israel Defense Force who was inspired to develop this drone system after experiencing the difficulty of battling terrorist agents that operate within civilian populations. As we have seen in recent years, shooting missiles into populated areas frequently results in horrific collateral damage.

"The primary solution you are left with is sending in ground troops – but this shifts the risk to your troops, which often leads to injuries and casualties," says Atuar. "But, we thought, 'what if there was a better way'."

TIKAD has been in development for several years and an early prototype, based on a consumer drone, was successfully deployed by the Israeli military to take out a target in 2015. Since then, the device has been refined and a proprietary stabilization system has been developed to absorb any recoil from the firing of a weapon.

In an interview with Defense One, Atuar states the current device can carry and fire a variety of different weapons up to a weight of 22 lb (10 kg), and the accompanying promotional video shows how the drone is remotely operated. A human still needs to be on the other end to control the drone and weapon – at least for now.

The idea of reducing both civilian and military casualties through the deployment of weaponized drones is, on one hand, an appealing prospect, but it's also undeniable that the idea of a fleet of drones with machine guns flying through the air is absolutely horrifying.

The company is still seeking investors to expand its operations, but reports claim the Israeli military has already put in an order for an undisclosed number of the drones, and the company is pitching the system to the US military as well.

Take a look at the TIKAD in (mostly computer-generated) action in the video below.

What's got a 1,500 horsepower Hellcat motor, twin high speed tank tracks, a racing harness and 16 inches of suspension travel? The utterly bonkers Ripsaw EV3-F1, a luxury sports tank that wheelies, drifts and flies through the air like a 7,700 pound two-stroke dirt bike. You'd have to see it to believe it.

The folks at Howe & Howe are in love with tank tracks. They'll stick 'em on anything, from a wheelchair to a giant fighting robot to their breakfast tray (maybe). But their favorite thing to do is make vastly overpowered "extreme luxury tanks."

Starting at half a million US dollars and heading upward from there, Howe & Howe's Ripsaw series tanks were never for the shy. But the new performance king of the crop takes things to new heights of silliness.

The Ripsaw EV3-F1 is a single seater twin-track leisure tank with a 727 cubic inch Hellcat Hemi engine stuck in. It makes up to 1,500 horsepower, and it tears up terrain at a truly frightening pace.

Its air suspended cockpit (which opens up like a jet fighter's, of course), holds a lone driver in with a 5-point racing harness. And you'll need it; the Ripsaw might feature 16 inches of suspension travel to soak up some rough terrain, but this thing weighs 7,750 lb (3,315 kg) and accelerates, wheelies and jumps like a freakin' two stroke dirt bike.

You think we're kidding, but it's one thing to hear the numbers, and another thing altogether to see this thing in action. It hardly looks real how fast and loose this vehicle is. The EV3-F1 looks like some kind of movie special effect in real life. It's that ludicrous. We've never seen anything like it. It genuinely frightens us. And if we're truly honest, we're not sure if we'd have the stones to send it full throttle. Would you?

Enjoy the video below, we sure did.

Source: Howe & Howe

Imagine fireworks that you can control through the air. That's the basic idea of Intel's Shooting Star drones, which are starting to change the game when it comes to spectacular light shows. For their latest outing, the diminutive aircraft were shown forming airborne snowboarders and iconic rings for the Opening Ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Intel's Shooting Star drones first arrived on the scene in early 2016, and since then they've gone from strength to strength. After initially claiming a Guinness World Record for the most drones in flight simultaneously with a fleet of 100, Intel soon followed that with a 500-strong effort and took its high-flying robots to Disney World for some Christmas-themed spectacles.

It has now eclipsed these efforts by unleashing a total of 1,218 Shooting Star drones in South Korea. Programmed to form snowboarders, Olympic rings and a bird flapping its wings, Intel had planned to launch the drones during the Opening Ceremony as part of a live event, but due to an "impromptu logistical change," it was left to simply air a pre-recorded version instead.

There is a little public relations trickery at play here, with Intel not making it all that clear that the flight shown during the televised opening ceremony actually took place in December. And broadcasters like NBC are playing along and Intel itself is celebrating the feat on Twitter.

"Could a world record be set even before the Olympic Games begin?" it asked on Twitter on February 8, knowing full well that the record was already in the bag.

Timing aside, the flight really is quite incredible, and is the most impressive example yet of how the Shooting Star drones can provide event organizers with new means of creating awe-inspiring sky shows. Equipped with LEDs, they weigh only 700 g (24.7 oz) apiece, and as we can see in the following video, can be programmed to follow intricate flight paths to form tight-knit and incredible shifting patterns in the sky.

Source: Intel

The name "Corbellati" definitely doesn't seduce the eardrum like a "Ferrari" or "Bugatti." Before teasing the could-be world's fastest car, it was better known as the surname of a family of jewelry makers and artists. This family's latest creation is much more a living creature than its past work, though – a retro-styled supercar with a grumbling 9.0-liter V8 beating heart. Corbellati will reveal the "Missile" at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show and perhaps go on to challenge the Koenigsegg Agera RS for the world speed record.

We're not quite sure what to make of Corbellati – it's an odd one. Usually when a complete unknown surfaces to reveal an inconceivable hypercar drenched in superlatives, it introduces itself by focusing on its team's automotive and design expertise.

Corbellati, on the other hand, says, "We are the Corbellati family, for 70 years creators of jewels, artists, art enthusiasts. Today, the last generation, passionate to the sports cars, has embarked on a new venture full of challenges to continue in the name of family tradition. Our goal is to create a car with unique performance and unique design, just like a jewel."

OK then.

However questionable its background, Corbellati intends to host its world premiere in March at the Geneva show, where the Missile will find itself but one among a fleet of the world's most powerful, beautiful supercars, some with more legitimate and believable claims of being the world's fastest.

But Corbellati has no intention of bringing a knife to a gunfight. According to the details the company has released so far, the Missile is powered by an 1,800-hp 9.0-liter V8 biturbo driving the rear wheels through a 6-speed transmission and limited slip differential. The engine also develops 1,733 lb-ft.

The 184-in (4,670-mm) Missile stands 46 in (1,170 mm) to the roof and 4.7 in (12 cm) over the ground below. A carbon fiber chassis and bodywork help to keep weight down, while exaggerated curves reminiscent of the race cars of the 1960s are structured to help the car slip its way to a (crazy-optimistic) estimated top speed above 310 mph (500 km/h). A self-leveling double quadrilateral air suspension fine-tunes and cushions the ride, and carbon-ceramic discs inside monoblock six-piston calipers bring that ride to a reliable stop.

An 1,800-hp car built by jewelers being the first to break the 300-mph and 500-km/h barriers definitely sounds like a complete fantasy, and on most days, we would probably dismiss it all together. But today, Corbellati held our attention, mostly out of curiosity of what this unknown entity will be showing in just a few weeks' time in Geneva. We're definitely looking forward to getting a closer look.

After hosting the Missile's world premiere in Geneva, Corbellati will also bring it to Top Marques Monaco in April. Whether or not the car will ever make good on its "world's fastest" bill remains to be seen. It faces some stiff competition from much more established players, though, with ink barely dry on Koenigsegg's production car speed record, and folks at Bugatti and Hennessey undoubtedly itching to run their own attempt.

We'll bring more details of the Corbellati Missile after its official debut.

Source: Corbellati

[GWG] BrushWolf Sexy in a 1950's - 1960's manner, I like.

A team of Japanese roboticists has built a new "human mimetic humanoid" that anatomically resembles the musculoskeletal intricacy of a human boy. Called Kengoro, the robot demonstrated its human-like abilities by completing a series of exercises including push-ups and sit-ups.

The JSK lab at the University of Tokyo has been developing these humanoid robots for several years now. The Kengoro is the most advanced iteration of a series that began in 2001 with a bot named Kenta.

The goal of the research is to develop a robot that can act as a completely accurate human analogue, allowing for a variety of applications from better crash test dummies to improved muscle analytics for athletes and sports training. Not to mention the science fiction potential in producing perfectly identical humanoid robots.

The most advanced robot produced to date by the team, Kengoro is more structurally complex than any of its earlier relatives, but perhaps the most interesting development is its artificial perspiration system. Ostensibly the system mimics the way a human being sweats, but the process also serves a pragmatic function, designed to prevent overheating by running water through its skeletal frame and allowing steam to vent out of small vents.

Kengoro was immediately put to work demonstrating a series of human-like movements that resembled a tough exercise workout, and while the robot doesn't have the supernatural dynamism of other androids (such as the latest backflipping bot from Boston Dynamics), it does have a human-like quality that is undeniably unsettling.

The new research was published in the journal Science Robotics.

Source: Science Robotics

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