Scout Quadcopter Set For First Fully-Autonomous Drone Flight

The USA’s Federal Aviation Administration has approved Marlborough, MA-based American Robotics’ fully-autonomous drone for flight this week, a first-ever for the aviation industry. When the drone (the brand’s Scout Quadcopter) takes off, it will reach a maximum altitude of 400 feet (out of the line of sight) and fly exclusively over rural areas. A remotely located pilot will stand by as back-up and will be …

Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Award-winning iPhone photos, an uncuttable material, the future of video calls and more from around the web

An Uncuttable Material Inspired by Abalone Shells A new material called Proteus made from “ceramic spheres embedded in a cellular structure made of metallic foam” that’s believed to be uncuttable could revolutionize security. Inspired by abalone shells—which are composed of an essentially weak material that’s arranged in a manner that makes the shells super-strong—Proteus may be used in various ways, from bank vault doors to …

Japan’s New Earthquake-Proof Bullet Train

Commissioned by the Central Japan Railway Company to offer support during the now-postponed 2020 Olympics, the new N700S (Supreme) bullet train runs the roughly 250-mile stretch between Tokyo and Osaka. Though it can reach 224mph, it’s being capped at 177 for safety reasons—and it incorporates better brakes and running controls for slowing and stopping. Its makers also claim that the train is earthquake-proof thanks to …