Design

A Better Way to Blow Out the Bad Guys’ Tires

We’ve all seen footage of police departments deploying “spike strips” to take out the tires of fleeing criminals. However, traditional strips have a few drawbacks: An officer has to manually throw them in front of the car, which not only puts the officer in danger, it also allows the driver to potentially avoid the strips. And any pursuing police vehicle also has to drive around the strips, or else someone has to quickly (and manually) retract them.

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Sky Whale Aircraft Design Offers Luxury, Efficiency

Is this the future of air travel? Barcelona-based designer Oscar Viñals’ concept aircraft, the Sky Whale, was unveiled earlier this month. The massive plane has been compared to a flying luxury liner, but is packed with green technology. Continue reading

Engineering Students Provide Helping (Robotic) Hand

Bioengineering students from the Rice University George R. Brown School of Engineering Design developed a robotic arm to help a fellow teenager overcome his physical limitations.

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DARPA Seeks Self-Destructing Electronics

While everyone else is looking for batteries that last longer, DARPA hopes to roll out battery technology that can self destruct on command. Earlier this month, the agency awarded a $4.7 million contract to SRI International to develop a transient power supply that can be triggered to vanish.

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Sustainable Replacement for Those Packing Peanuts

Some of you may need to pack up a few unwanted or wrong-sized Christmas gifts and ship them back to wherever they came from. Or maybe you’re mailing out some gifts now because you didn’t quite make it to the post office before the holidays hit. If there’s anything fragile in that box, and you’re like me, you are probably cramming it full of packing peanuts, newspapers, paper bags, and anything else on hand to cushion the contents.

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