While a droid like 1987's "RoboCop" won't be hitting the streets soon, robotic policing is beginning to take shape. A Chinese robot can recognize the facial features of wanted criminals and track them, while a robot in Dubai carries out menial policing tasks, and the Democratic Republic of Congo has robots directing traffic.
The health care field is already benefiting from 3D printing even though progress on printing of functional human organs is slow in coming. Five of the top advances with the technology include biomaterials and customized medical implants.
"The Joker" free-fly roller coaster debuts today at a theme park in Illinois. Its unique design spins the seats 360 degrees as they cover the track, which includes two drops of more than 90 degrees.
The erosion threatening Australia's Great Ocean Road is being addressed with a project to move more than 20,900 cubic yards of sand. The move comes after measurements last year revealed that erosion had accelerated from a few centimeters a year to a full meter.
The Los Angeles-Class fast attack submarine USS Alexandria completed a six-month, 45,000 nautical mile deployment in the Western Pacific and is back at the Naval Base Point Loma in California. The deployment included four national security missions and five multinational exercises.
A student-driven research project at the Netherlands' Delft Technical University has led to plans by Damen Shipyards Group to develop the first class-approved 3D-printed ship propeller. The so-called WAAMpeller project involves a consortium that includes RAMLAB, Promarin, Autodesk and Bureau Veritas.
Development at the cost of nature is the identified culprit in many areas prone to disastrous flooding. But nature offers promising solutions, such as the reintroduction of grasslands to soak up water before it becomes a problem.
Vast quantities of wood deposited decades ago when Duluth, Minn., was a global lumber capital have taken a major toll on fish at Grassy Point in the city's harbor and in the St. Louis River estuary. But the St. Louis River Restoration Initiative is looking to change that with a $14.7 million project scheduled for next year to remove much of the wood waste, as well as sediment from nearby Kingsbury Creek.
The crew of the Coast Guard's most advanced icebreaker is testing systems and running through drills in Puget Sound on the West Coast in preparation for its annual summer research mission in the Arctic. When it deploys, the Cutter Healy will be carrying dozens of scientists in addition to its crew of 87 on the Arctic mission.
A lawsuit over $9 million in repairs to the Port of San Francisco shipyard may ultimately threaten the survival of the West Coast's largest shipyard and the city's last repair facility. The city is seeking a new bidder for the Pier 70 shipyard, one of the few remaining traces of San Francisco's once-vibrant maritime economy.
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