US military’s ‘Jetson’ laser can ID your unique heartbeat from hundreds of feet away

Heartbeat rhythms are as unique as fingerprints, and lasers can identify their signature beats.
(Image: © Shutterstock)

The U.S. military could soon spot you in a crowd — not by your face or your gait, but by your unique heartbeat rhythm. The Pentagon recently developed and tested a laser that can scan and distinguish the pitter-patter of your heart from up to 650 feet (200 meters) away.

Dubbed “Jetson,” the name recalls the popular sci-fi cartoon family the Jetsons, who inhabited a world full of futuristic gadgets. But unlike the handy household devices from the show, the new laser system was built for combatting terrorism, and was created by the Pentagon at the request of the U.S. Special Forces, MIT Technology Review (MTR) reported.

And unlike some types of identification techni...

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The rise and rise of the robotic sensor

By 2020, there will be 50 billion sensors observing activity on earth and driving the Industrial Internet. A sensor can be a microphone, a gyroscope, a camera, an electrical transducer, a little bit of fiche-like film, even a knitted fabric (yes, really!). And on top of the fact that they’re generating unbelievable reams of data, sensors are simply improving our lives. Here are seven cool sensor set-ups collecting real-time data to lend a powerful helping hand to the environment, winemakers, the sick, populations in peril—and even your tennis game.


1…Unmanned, up there and upping the agriculture ante

Large-area, high-altitude, multi-spectral image of fields, captured from a UAV.image

Large-area, high-altitude, multi-spectral image of fields, captured from a UAV...

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New Aerial Testbed for Sensors & Communications Devices

Researchers at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) are developing an airborne testing capability for sensors, communications devices, and other airborne payloads. This aerial test bed, called the GTRI Airborne Unmanned Sensor System (GAUSS), is based on an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) made by Griffon Aerospace and modified by GTRI. The project includes development, installation, and testing of a sensor suite.

This suite consists of a camera package, a signals intelligence package for detecting and locating ground-based emitters, and a multi-channel ground-mapping radar. The radar is being designed using phased-array antenna technology that enables electronic scanning...

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Cyborg The future of the human species

What happens when you insert a microchip into your own body?

Adam Shaw meets Professor Warwick, the first person in the world to have successfully controlled a robot with his own thoughts.

He explains “Project Cyborg”, the outcomes of the initial experiment, and what he hopes it will achieve in the future.

Henry Sapiecha

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By integrating video technology and familiar control devices, a research team from Georgia Tech and the Georgia Tech Research Institute is developing a technique to simplify remote control of robotic devices. The researchers’ aim is to enhance a human operator’s ability to perform precise tasks using a multi-jointed robotic device such as an articulated mechanical arm. Known as Uncalibrated Visual Servoing for Intuitive Human Guidance of Robots, the new method uses a special implementation of an existing vision-guided control method called visual servoing (VS)...

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