Owl Wings Are Helping Silence Airplanes, Fans, and Wind Turbines

Owls are often considered nature’s stealth fighters, and it turns out their ability to silently is a result of a unique wing structure not found in any other bird. Now that researchers know the owl’s secret, they can make lots of stuff silent—everything from bedroom ceiling fans to massive wind turbines. » 6/22/15 10:20am 6/22/15 10:20am

Physicists Make Real-Life Tractor Beam From Plain Ol' Water

You don't need to be a beach bum to understand waves: they move objects along with them, pushing boats and swimmers to the shore. There's even a name for it, the Stokes drift model. But for the first time, physicists have figured out how to do the opposite, using waves to bring a floating object backward to the source » 4/09/14 11:00am 4/09/14 11:00am

12 Wind-Slipping Designs from the Father of Streamlining

Boat-planes, trains, flying cars, or school desks—you name it and Norman Bel Geddes could make it sleeker. He helped bring the Streamline style—one that balances aesthetics with aerodynamics—to the mainstream. Were Steve Jobs alive in the 1930's, he would have been all over this. Our friends at Oobject have 12 of his… » 2/10/12 9:40pm 2/10/12 9:40pm

Research UAV is Preview of Hovering Spy Drones of Tomorrow

Meet STARMAC, the Stanford Testbed of Autonomous Rotorcraft for Multi-Agent Control. Possibly the cleverest remote control mini-helicopter you've ever seen, packed with GPS, sensors and computer power. It's a research quad-rotor that the Stanford team is using to develop algorithms for future aircraft like it. » 7/03/08 10:40am 7/03/08 10:40am

180mph Car Treadmill Great for Designers, Dangerous for Pilots

Check this full size Nascar sitting on top of a steel belt sliding at 180mph. While wind tunnels have been used to design cars for years, the results can be affected by the fact that the ground is still. This machine solves that problem, in truly dramatic and dangerous fashion. Just like NASCAR itself. The image after… » 7/26/07 6:32am 7/26/07 6:32am