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UAV Concept: Mother Hen and Friendly Chicks

This concept aircraft features a flying carrier with ejectable UAVs to conduct missions in remote areas

1 min read
UAV Concept: Mother Hen and Friendly Chicks

One of the more interesting concepts we saw at the AUVSI show this year (and possibly just ran across while we were sorting through our piles of conference swag) was this UAV, from Canadian company Eqquera. Called the SQ-EQQ, it consists of a "mother hen" autonomous delta-wing jet-thing that can deploy "friendly chick" sub-UAVs to conduct missions all by themselves.

The "mother hen and friendly chicks" thing is a less deadly version of "mother hen with deadly chicks," which refers to a 1930s era Soviet program featuring bombers launching little parasite aircraft to drop more bombs on stuff. Here's a slightly better illustration of how the SG-EQQ is supposed to work:

The version of the UAV illustrated above is carrying just one friendly chick that looks exactly like a UFO, but other configurations can carry up to three friendly chicks that look slightly less exactly like UFOs. The chicks can undock and dock autonomously, giving the system a significant increase in range and versatility over other UAVs, since you get all of the capability of a small rotor-based UAV without sacrificing the range and efficiency of a large jet-based UAV.

Eqquera is designed for autonomous operation in remote areas, specifically arctic ecosystem monitoring and fighting wildfires with "water missiles:"

At AUVSI, Eqquera had a small-scale non-functioning prototype of the carrier aircraft, and considering the complexity of what they're trying to do, our guess is that it's going to take them quite a while to get a full-size flying version of the complete system off the ground.

And I'm not sure what a water missile is, but I badly want to launch one at something dry.

Via [ Eqquera ]

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The Bionic-Hand Arms Race

The prosthetics industry is too focused on high-tech limbs that are complicated, costly, and often impractical

12 min read
A photograph of a young woman with brown eyes and neck length hair dyed rose gold sits at a white table. In one hand she holds a carbon fiber robotic arm and hand. Her other arm ends near her elbow. Her short sleeve shirt has a pattern on it of illustrated hands.

The author, Britt Young, holding her Ottobock bebionic bionic arm.

Gabriela Hasbun. Makeup: Maria Nguyen for MAC cosmetics; Hair: Joan Laqui for Living Proof

In Jules Verne’s 1865 novel From the Earth to the Moon, members of the fictitious Baltimore Gun Club, all disabled Civil War veterans, restlessly search for a new enemy to conquer. They had spent the war innovating new, deadlier weaponry. By the war’s end, with “not quite one arm between four persons, and exactly two legs between six,” these self-taught amputee-weaponsmiths decide to repurpose their skills toward a new projectile: a rocket ship.

The story of the Baltimore Gun Club propelling themselves to the moon is about the extraordinary masculine power of the veteran, who doesn’t simply “overcome” his disability; he derives power and ambition from it. Their “crutches, wooden legs, artificial arms, steel hooks, caoutchouc [rubber] jaws, silver craniums [and] platinum noses” don’t play leading roles in their personalities—they are merely tools on their bodies. These piecemeal men are unlikely crusaders of invention with an even more unlikely mission. And yet who better to design the next great leap in technology than men remade by technology themselves?

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