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     Volume 6 Issue 25 | June 29, 2007 |

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Voice-Controlled Helicopters
We now have voice-controlled helicopters, using a Direct Voice Input system by QinetiQ that lets pilots fly their Gazelle helicopters by simply yelling at them. So far the makers claim 90% "effective speech control" of the helicopter's "non-safety critical avionic functions," but we're just wondering what avionic functions on a helicopter aren't safety-critical. And let's see - to shoot the guns, you yell "Bang! Bang!" right? The system is speaker-independent, so it doesn't need to be trained for each pilot's particular voice or way of speaking. Now this means that backseat drivers can actually have some real power. I just hope carmakers don't get any wise ideas from this gimmick.

The Automatic Paper Towel Dispenser
Is there a worse combination than being cripplingly lazy and a total germophobe? You live in fear of situations like when you drop your sandwich on the floor, don't want to eat it, but just can't handle the thought of going through the effort of making another one. My God, your life is a constant struggle. Well, this automatic paper towel dispenser should make your life at least a little easier. It'll hand you paper towels automatically without you touching it, which will appeal to your lazy self as well as the part of you that worries that germs are coating the dispenser. $66 might seem a lot for a simple device such as this, but it's cheaper than a psychiatrist.

World's Slimmest Cell
The Samsung U600 isn't the slimmest slider any more, because this Pantech IM-S230 just out-skinned it by a whole millimetre. Like a couple of supermodels battling to see who can be the first to be completely invisible when viewed from the side, this Pantech phone is just 9.9mm thick, besting the positively corpulent Samsung U600, which was just 10.9mm. Besides that unique thinness, the Pantech slider holds the same spec line of many other phones, with a 2.2-inch display, MP3 player and DMB TV tuner, as well as a 1.3-megapixel camera. Can phones get any thinner?

CTX Imaging Shows 3D Bones In Fast Motio
Dr. Elizabeth Brainerd and her colleagues in the vertebrate morphology group at Brown University have just developed CTX Imaging, a technique that combines computed-tomography, x-ray video and computing post-processing to let you see bones in rapid motion. First, they do a complete tomography scan on the subject, which gets stored in the computer to get combined with "high-speed fluoroscopy" footage of the animal in motion. That generates a highly detailed 3D computer animated model that can be seen from any angle. So detailed that it can capture 1,000 frames per second with a precision of a tenth of a millimetre. According to Dr. Brainerd, this allows you "to study many aspects of skeletal kinematics, such as long axis rotation of bones, putative bending of fine bones in small animals, and the relative 3D motions of the articular surfaces of joints" for the first time ever.

Steam-Powered Car Goes 200 MPH
This crazy Batman-esque steam-powered car is an entry to the British Steam Car Challenge, which intends to both break the land speed record for steam records and give a lot of people steam burns in the process. This entry has four boilers and can go up to 200 MPH in the Utah Salt flats. That's fast.

Compiled by IMRAN H. KHAN

Source: Gizmodo Online and WIRED

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