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Flying into the future - Gizmag's week in emerging technology

Highlights of the week over at Gizmag

| Science, Space & Robotics News | Posted: May 21, 2010 10:41 am

Our wrap-up of emerging technology news this week starts with some significant developments from the world of aviation. An MIT led research team has presented a radical aircraft concept called the D "double bubble" which promises a 70 percent improvement in fuel economy, reduced noise, lower nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions and the ability to use shorter runways. The design is part of a NASA project which looks forward to what we can expect to see in the skies around the year 2035.


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On the other end of the scale, Japanese researchers have successfully built and flown a flapping-wing-powered swallowtail butterfly which could have big implications in the field of aerodynamics and lead to a new breed of micro-surveillance aircraft.


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But a robotic butterfly looks positively huge next to this development from U.S. scientists - a robot that's just 4 nanometers wide. Descendants of the molecular nanobot, or "spider," could someday be used to treat diseases such as cancer or diabetes.


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The next generation of personal water craft (PWC) is already upon us in the form of the Green Samba. It has the same straight line 65 mph performance of the fastest 260 bhp sit-down PWCs, combined with handling and agility far beyond those of a stand-up PWC. The biggest benefit though, is that the Green Samba uses twin direct drive electric propulsion pods, so it doesn't directly deliver any hydrocarbons, CO2 or NO2 into delicate marine environments.


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Looking to save some space in the boardroom? Pauley Interactive's Bi Computing concept could be the solution. The back-to-back screen could also provide the perfect platform for gamers, Internet surfers, or TV watchers looking to double up on their entertainment.


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Another promising screen technology also got a boost this week with DuPont announcing the development of a manufacturing process that can be used to print large, high-performance OLED TVs cost effectively.


Going up? You can invite all your friends along if you happen to be in the Umeda Hankyu Building new office area in Osaka, Japan where Mitsubishi Electric have installed five massive elevators measuring 11.2 x 9.2 feet in area by 8.5 feet high (3.4m wide, 2.8m long and 2.6m high). This allows for a whopping 80 person capacity.


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Other notable news in emerging tech this week includes an astounding fuel economy record of more than 4,00 km/l, worrying news for high-tech car computer systems and a demonstration of one of the most expressive, evocative and enticing new musical instruments we've seen - Roger Linn's LinnStrument.


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Stay tuned for more highlights from Gizmag next week!


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