Be prepared to bug out over this insect-inspired winged drone

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A French inventor took to Kickstarter last week to raise funds for an insect-inspired winged drone called MetaFly. It generated quite a bit of buzz. At the time this article was published, more than 1,850 people had pledged more than $187,500 to bring the drone to market.

Unlike traditional commercial drones, which use propellers to generate lift, winged drones use, you guessed it, wings to take flight. Much like the bees it’s modeled after, MetaFly flaps its wings vigorously, creating a differential between draft and lift — an efficient flight mechanic used by flying animals. Thanks in part to this efficiency, the drone is lightweight and maneuverable, if at times a bit erratic in flight.

“[MetaFly’s] purpose is to allow you to discover and experience this unique way of flying,” Edwin Van Ruymbeke, MetaFly’s inventor, told Digital Trends. “This is exciting at a whole different level compared with usual drones or flying models.”

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The newest industrial revolution: How a tech unicorn’s 3-d metal printers could remake manufacturing

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Ric Fulop, the 43-year-old cofounder and chief executive of Desktop Metal, is eager to show off the skunkworks for the company’s giant 3-D metal printers, which can produce stainless steel, aluminum and other metal alloy parts at assembly-line speeds and in large quantities. It’s the first time he’s taken an outsider to the facility in Nashua, New Hampshire, just across the state line from Desktop Metal’s headquarters in Burlington, Massachusetts. The four machines—which are 16 feet long, 6 feet tall and weigh about as much as an SUV—are in various states of production. They’ll be able to 3-D print 100 times faster than existing high-end 3-D printing systems used for aerospace, and at one-twentieth the cost, without the tooling required for traditional manufacturing processes. “It’s the first metal printing press,” says Fulop, an exuberant, heavyset man with a slight accent from his native Venezuela.

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HP’s new 3-D printers build items not of plastic but of steel

 

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HP is hoping its new Metal Jet 3-D printers will provide inroads into manufacturing sectors such as automobiles and medical devices.HP

WHEN YOU THINK about 3-D printing, chances are you think of little plastic doodads created by desktop devices like those made by MakerBot. Computing and printer giant HP wants you to think about metal.

Today the company announced the Metal Jet printer, an industrial-scale 3-D printer that builds items not of plastic but of steel.

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The top 10 breakthrough technologies and the key players leading the charge, according to MIT Technology Review

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Every fall, MIT Technology Review’s editors get together to begin the months-long process of reviewing their coverage. The goal? To create a list of the top ten technological advances from the last year that will have the greatest longterm global impact on consumers.

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