We need a drone register to ensure privacy and safety – air traffic expert

There is a fine line between the benefits of using drones and possible misuse.

Requiring drones to identify and authorise themselves before they can fly, which could be achieved by fitting them with SIM cards, could help to protect people’s privacy by providing an effective way to register both users and machines, according to air traffic management expert Robin Garrity. He has been working on the U-space plan, which … Read more

Plasma is the ‘hidden champion’ of industrial innovation – Prof. Christian Oehr

Plasma is the most common form of matter in the universe.

Plasma technologies are everywhere — and could soon be rendering hospital wastewater harmless, scrubbing toxins out of gas in factory smokestacks and stopping dangerous ice formation on aeroplanes and electrical infrastructure, according to Professor Christian Oehr, head of the interfacial engineering and materials science department at Fraunhofer IGB in Stuttgart, Germany. Can you help us … Read more

Electronic wool to take wearable tech from the catwalk to your wardrobe

Sandwiching doped zine sulphide between graphene in textiles can create glowing clothes.

Engineers are threading circuitry into clothes to create comfortable devices that could make electronic fashion the future of the textiles industry. Smart textiles, where electronics are incorporated into fabrics, have been around for some time, from sensor-laden shirts that keep you cool, to dresses packed with LEDs. Despite these innovations, even the most determined shopper … Read more

Shared data and shrinking aircraft seats to cut travel times in Europe

Seperating the traveller and luggage early on can significantly reduce waiting times during travel.

Aircraft seats that temporarily shrink and a joined-up transport system that allows people to easily plan a door-to-door journey could help shift people’s first choice of travel away from cars and towards public transport by reducing the time and effort involved. That’s the hope of scientists who are working to increase the level of multimodality … Read more

Large surface area lends superpowers to ultra-porous materials

Metal-organic frameworks as seen under an electron microscope are made up of crystals that together shape multi-dimensional structures with vast surface areas. Image credit - CSIRO/ Dr Paolo Falcaro, Dr Dario Buso, licensed under CC BY 3.0 (color changed)

Some materials are special not for what they contain, but for what they don’t contain. Such is the case with metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) – ultra-porous structures that are being developed for a variety of future applications from fire-proofing to drug-delivery. MOFs are, in fact, the most porous materials known to humankind. One metal-organic framework, so-called NU-110, has … Read more

We want to end the de-industrialisation of Europe – Prof. Jürgen Rüttgers

Prof. Rüttgers says that one of the great challenges in the 21st century is the transition from the industrial society to the knowledge society. Image credit - Pexels, licensed under CC0

Artificial intelligence (AI) and cyber security should be priorities in future EU industrial research policy in order to reinvigorate industry and recover jobs that have been lost abroad, according to Professor Jürgen Rüttgers, a former research minister in Germany. He leads the High Level Group on Industrial Technologies, which on 24 April releases a report called Re-Finding Industry – … Read more