technology: July 2010 Archives

275x250.jpgThe typical mobile phone can harbour up to 18 times more bacteria than the average toilet handle, it has been found.

Hygiene experts working for consumer guide Which? tested a selection of 30 mobile phones to see how dirty they were.

They found seven were covered in high levels of environmental bacteria which could act as a breeding ground for other bugs.

One of the seven was even (rather worryingly) harbouring faecal coliforms and could have given any user a serious stomach upset.

The findings suggest 15 million mobiles in the UK today could be potential health hazards… something to think about next time someone hands you their phone to look at a photo.

275x250.jpgA firm has revealed a set of robotic legs which they claim will soon allow previously wheelchair-bound people to walk again.

Rex Bionics claim their 'Robotic Exoskeleton' can be used by paralysed people and allows then to walk and even traverse steep slopes and stairs.

The brains behind the giant gizmo are a pair of Scottish guys who are now living in New Zealand and have spent £5m developing it since 2006.

Richard Little and Robert Irving say the REX device will go on sale later this year for £100,000 each and that users can master control within a couple of hours.

While we think allowing previously wheelchair using people to walk is a great thing, let's just hope this doesn't speed up the impending robot uprising and cataclysmic destruction of mankind.

275x250.jpg A £143 million prototype of an unmanned combat aircraft which could be capable of attacking targets in another continent has been revealed by the Ministry of Defence.

The futuristic-looking Taranis craft - named after the Celtic god of thunder - is the creation of BAE Systems who say it's the future of unmanned flight.

They claim the device - which began development in December 2006 - will provide the UK MoD with "critical knowledge" about the capabilities of Unmanned Combat Air Systems.

Stealthy, fast and able to carry a number of weapons, Taranis could even be controlled by trained troops operating at a safe distance… let's just hope they don't get the report mixed up with their PS3.

275x250.jpg A solar-powered plane has completed a record breaking 26h flight using batteries to fly at night.

Solar Impulse HB-SIA set off yesterday from the Payerne airbase in Switzerland before  ascending to an altitude of 8,500 metres.

During the day 12,000 solar cells along the massive 7-foot (63-meter) wingspan harnessed solar energy which was used to fly the plane while also recharging batteries.

This allowed pilot Andre Borschberg to stay in the air when it got dark -- however it also meant there wasn't enough spare power to keep his iPhone charged.

275x250.jpg A solar powered plane - which makers hope will soon be able to fly around the world - has begun a 24-hour test flight.

The Solar Impulse HB-SIA is being tested by pilot Andre Borschberg to see if it can fly at night using energy stored from solar cells in its wings.

It took off from the Payerne airbase in Switzerland at 6.51am and will ascend to an altitude of 8,500 metres, while charging its batteries in preparation for the night flight.

Andre will then slowly descend through the night, aiming for a dawn landing… but he won't  have travelled too far, the plane currently has a top speed of just 28mph.

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