Connect with us

Tech

Dubai police training on flying motorbikes

Police in Dubai have begun training on hoverbikes in the hope that they can help first responder units reach areas that would otherwise be difficult to reach.

The futuristic vehicles are intended to be in action by 2020 and are the latest extravagant expense by a force which already boasts a Ferrari and a Lamborghini among its patrol car fleet.

The "electric vertical take-off and landing (EVTOL) bikes" were delivered by a Russian-owned California-based company called Hoversurf, which signed a deal with the force in 2017.

Pic: Hoversurf
Image: Purchasers need to show that they are capable of driving the bikes. Pic: Hoversurf

CNN reports that Brigadier Khalid Nasser Alrazooqi, who heads the Dubai police artificial intelligence department, described the EVTOL vehicle as a first responder unit used to access hard to reach areas.

The hoverbike has been designed to meet Federal Aviation Administration guidelines in the US, meaning it does not require a pilot's license to fly, but the $150,000 (£114,000) cost per vehicle is likely to stifle widespread adoption.

Pic: Hoversurf
Image: Purchasers need to show that they are capable of driving the bikes. Pic: Hoversurf

In addition to meeting the cost, the company has said it will require purchasers to show that they are capable of driving the bikes.

Hoversurf is also developing a number of other EVTOL vehicles, including a "drone taxi", which it claims can fly a maximum distance of 300km (186 miles) at 250kmph (155mph) for just over an hour.

#MakeDebatesHappen

#MakeDebatesHappen

More than 50,000 people have signed our petition calling for televised leaders' debates before elections – have you?

Earlier this year, Rolls Royce presented its own EVTOL system at the Farnborough International Airshow and said it was searching for partners who could help make the idea a reality.

The British car firm uses gas turbine technology to propel the vehicle with minimal noise and without the need for recharging – a crucially limiting feature for most electric vehicles.

Speaking to CNN, the editor-in-chief of Aerospace magazine, Tim Robinson, described the hoverbike as "pretty limited" in terms of what it could offer police work, but added it "looks bags of fun".

More from United Arab Emirates

  • Rio Ferdinand and Kate Wright engaged after Abu Dhabi rooftop proposal

  • Matthew Hedges: 'Innocent' UK student accused of spying in UAE being 'unjustly held', wife says

  • Matthew Hedges: PhD student held in Dubai on spying charge 'suffering significant health issues'

  • British student Matthew Hedges charged with spying in United Arab Emirates

  • UAE has 'embarrassing revelations' on detained Brit, minister claims

  • Wife of detained Briton Matthew Hedges: 'He'd be a terrible spy'

Away from its lavish procurement processes, police in Dubai have previously sparked outrage with several controversial arrests – including of an alleged rape victim for having extramarital sex after she reported the crime.

The woman was released after her family launched an online appeal.

Continue Reading

Tech

Dark mode is easier on your eyes—and battery

Technology

Why user experience designers are going gray.

Dark mode is an increasingly popular accessibility option, from Twitter to Reddit to MacOS. But achieving the perfect grayscale site isn’t easy.

Continue Reading

Tech

The curious case of the electric carving knife

The Black + Decker ComfortGrip 9-inch electric knife.

Black + Decker

Electric knives are cheesy antiques, right? You have to plug them in, they’re noisy, and seem ridiculous when compared to a traditional knife, especially if you own a quality tool that you keep sharp. They have an old-school vibe, but not good old-school. More like: an unnecessary gadget that Mad Men-type ad execs would hawk.

But a good electric knife can do one thing really well: it will cut roast meat cleanly, leaving a tidy little strip of skin on top of each slice. In other words—they are silly, but if you’re ever going to use one, it’s Thanksgiving and other occasions like it. The moments when you want things to be pretty.

Last year, staffers at Cook’s Illustrated magazine—the magazine of the well-respected America’s Test Kitchen—tried out four electric knives. The results surprised the publication’s editor-in-chief.

“I was super skeptical when they started that testing,” says Dan Souza, editor of Cook’s Illustrated. “It’s just kind of this relic from the 50s and 60s.” One problem is the noise; they can be “as loud as a lawnmower.”

“I would say that they’re not taken especially seriously,” he adds.

But one model stood out for them: the Black + Decker ComfortGrip 9-inch electric knife, which is $20. An electric knife has two side-by-side blades that move back and forth quickly, meaning that you don’t need to saw manually—you just push down. It looks like a power tool you’d find in a wood shop, not a kitchen cabinet.

“You can get a very clean cut that way,” he says. “That winning one did do a really nice job of keeping a perfect little strip of crispy skin on every single slice.”

To get the most out of an electric knife, first separate the chunks of breast meat from the cooked bird—a task for which Souza recommends just using a regular chef's knife. Then, place meat on a cutting board, skin up, and use the electric knife to cut it across the grain.

electric knife

The knife breaks down into multiple pieces.

Black + Decker

“And that’s really where I think the electric knife excels, with no tearing of the skin, and really, really clean slices,” Souza says. The tool would also come in handy with a cooked piece of roast beef, or pork roast.

A good one can help people out who don’t frequently cook, or carve, a turkey. “It does solve a potentially pretty big problem for home cooks,” Souza says. “And there’s the added pressure of you’re wanting it to be this gorgeous thing on Thanksgiving.”

David Bruno, a chef and associate professor at the Culinary Institute of America, agrees that an electric knife can come in handy when slicing a bird. “For someone who may have a drawer full of knives, what I generally find—unless they’re really a knife aficionado—most of those knives are really dull,” he says. A dull knife will rip the skin, but in this context, the electric knife could produce nice, tidy slices.

“In general, we don’t use a lot of them,” he adds. But they do have a niche. “People that are making food to display for competing, that really need an accurate slice, have been known to use these knives before.” Some competitive barbecue cookers use them to cut their meats—but it’s a controversial topic that has spawned countless arguments.

Of course, you don’t need one. “I still really believe that if you have a super sharp knife, and you take really great care of it, you can absolutely carve a turkey with great success,” Souza says.

Not sold on the idea of an electric knife? That’s fine. The test kitchen at Saveur—one of Popular Science’s sister publications—rounded up some blades to consider for your kitchen. You don’t even need to plug them in. One of the knives on their list is a carver that’s only $7. Want more choices? At the higher end is this $340 tool from Town Cutler, and in the middle is a $140 option. Bon appetit.

Continue Reading

Tech

NASA reveals Mars 2020 rover landing site

After a five-year search NASA has chosen the Jezero Crater as the landing site for its Mars 2020 rover mission.

The crater was selected from more than 60 candidate locations which were studied, analysed and debated by the mission team and planetary science community.

The US space agency's mission to place a next-generation rover on the Martian surface is scheduled to launch in July 2020.

It will examine the planet for signs covering whether it was ever habitable and analyse the surface and beneath for ancient microbial life.

NASA has announced the rover will land in the Jezero crater. Pic: NASA
Image: NASA has announced the rover will land in the Jezero Crater. Pic: NASA

"The landing site in Jezero Crater offers geologically rich terrain, with landforms reaching as far back as 3.6 billion years old, that could potentially answer important questions in planetary evolution and astrobiology," said NASA's Thomas Zurbuchen.

"Getting samples from this unique area will revolutionise how we think about Mars and its ability to harbour life," added Mr Zurbuchen, associate administrator for the agency's science mission directorate.

Force leaders to debate on TV

70,000 have signed our petition – have you?

The Jezero Crater is located on the western edge of a giant impact basin just north of the Martian equator.

Known as Isidis Planitia, the impact basin presents some of the oldest and most scientifically interesting landscapes Mars has to offer, according to NASA.

The planet Mars taken by the NASA Hubble Space Telescope when the planet was 50 million miles from Earth
Image: NASA has selected one of the oldest impact basins on Mars to land the rover

"Mission scientists believe the 28-mile-wide (45km) crater was once home to an ancient river delta and is a prime location to have preserved ancient organic molecules and evidence of microbial life.

"The Mars community has long coveted the scientific value of sites such as Jezero Crater, and a previous mission contemplated going there, but the challenges with safely landing were considered prohibitive," said Ken Farley.

More from NASA

  • 'We are NASA… and we're just getting started'

  • NASA video teases return to Moon and flight to Mars

  • NASA probe gets closer to the sun than any spacecraft in history

  • Jupiter moon mission may be hampered by giant ice shards, scientists warn

  • Hubble trouble: NASA seeks fix at the double

  • Scientists puzzled by star dying with a whimper instead of a bang

"But what was once out of reach is now conceivable, thanks to the 2020 engineering team and advances in Mars entry, descent and landing technologies," added Mr Farley, a project scientist for Mars 2020 at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Force leaders to debate on TV

Force leaders to debate on TV

More than 70,000 people have signed our petition – have you?

Jezero Crater's selection is still "dependent upon extensive analyses and verification testing" according to NASA, and a final report will be given to NASA HQ towards the end of 2019.

Continue Reading

Tech

Last week in tech: Underground tunnels, sad Facebook execs, and Black Friday prep

Technology

Black Friday is almost here. Read this in your tent while you wait for the doorbusters.

Catch up on your tech news while you're waiting for cheap Tupperware.

Continue Reading

Tech

Russian agencies fight over private US satellites

Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) and its cash-strapped space agency Roscosmos are in conflict over a $1bn contract to launch private satellites on behalf of a US company.

Continue Reading

Trending