Drones, or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), to use the more technically favoured term, first hit the headlines as a military application, but commercial and consumer categories of ‘small drones’ have now come to prominence. Models targeted at consumers are now frequently seen on store shelves, and a significant ‘enthusiast’ following is now driving drone “first-person view” or FPV racing into sports media coverage. The website arstechnica.com reports that drone races are coming to ESPN thanks to “unprecedented” popularity, and the 2016 US National Drone Racing Championships will be the first event streamed live.
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Graphene, isolated in 2004 by Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov at the University of Manchester, England, consists of a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb lattice. It possesses some remarkable properties: it is the thinnest and strongest material yet made or discovered, and it is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity.
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Everyone is agreed that China’s rapid economic development has now slowed, but by how much? According to the World Bank, growth in China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) stood at 14.2% in 2007, but that has now fallen to 7.4% in 2014.
Robotics is instantly one of those “gee whiz” fields of technology that prod the imagination into the realms of fiction. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or ‘drones’ and driverless ‘autonomous’ cars are two recent headline-grabbing developments that seem to push at the limits of the robotically possible.