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Hotspot Episode 56: Remote-Controlled, Fire-Breathing Dragon

Mon, 03/31/2014 - 10:19am
Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development

This week on WDD's HotSpot:

  • A new Kickstarter campaign is introducing a Wi-Fi connected sensor that goes under door mats and detects the weight of people or pets and triggers certain actions. The Smart Mat uses a small plastic film, which is force sensitive, coupled with a Wi-Fi enabled Electric Imp micro controller that connects to the Internet of Things.
  • Mark Zuckerberg has recently announced a team at Facebook that has been working on new technologies to improve and extend Internet access. The Connectivity Lab team has been working on developing new platforms for connectivity on the ground, in the air, and in orbit. The team’s approach is based on the principle that different sized communities need different solutions and they are already working on new delivery platforms—including planes and satellites—to provide connectivity for communities with different population densities.
  • Ducati has announced the Multistrada D-Air model, featuring a fully integrated, intelligent system of sensors wirelessly connected to Ducati Apparel airbag jackets by Dainese. Marking a ‘world's first' in the motorcycle industry and combining the innovative designs from two famous Italian brands, the new Ducati model takes a significant step forward in two-wheel safety. Combining the expertise of both Ducati and Dainese, the intelligent passive safety system uses sensors built into the Multistrada's existing electronics to constantly understand the vehicle's dynamic situation, and deploying only when subjected to a genuine accident scenario. The Multistrada D-Air system completes the data analysis and airbag deployment inside both the rider and passenger jackets in just 45 milliseconds, considerably reducing the risk of injury upon impact.
  • Hammacher Schlemmer is offering a remote controlled jet-powered dragon that soars through the air at up to 70 mph and belches propane-powered flame when on the ground. The dragon’s LED eyes can be commanded to glow red while it emits a fiery 3' blast of flame from a cleverly concealed (and flight-disabled) propane tank and igniter built into its toothy maw. A miniature turbine engine built into the chest provides thrust that exits the rear at 500 mph, and uses 1/2 gallon of jet aircraft fuel or kerosene for 10 minute flights. With a head that swivels in the direction of turns, the dragon can climb and dive via wing ailerons and elevators built into its V-tail rudder, controlled with the 2.4GHz radio remote.

Do you have story ideas? Comment below or email wdd_web@advantagemedia.com we'll cover them in an upcoming episode.

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