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Lockheed Unveils Armed Black Hawk Helicopter

Locked and loaded helicopters; massaging robots replace sports therapists; and 3D printing Lego-like lab instruments.

Massaging Robot May Replace Sports Therapists

Beware sports therapists, as you are not exempt from the robot revolution.

Trials are underway for a prototype robot named Emma, which is short for Expert Manipulative Massage Automation, and she's already treated 50 patients in trials, even some professional athletes. So far, she's treated conditions ranging from tennis elbows, stiff neck and shoulders, to lower back pain.

Emma is the brainchild of Albert Zhang, a graduate of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, who spun out the startup AiTreat to develop and eventually bring Emma to market.

Emma is a robotic arm that comes with a 3D stereoscopic camera and a custom made 3D-printed massage tip. It uses sensors and diagnostic functions to measure the response of a patient and the stiffness of a particular muscle or tendon. The detailed diagnostics are analyzed and uploaded to the cloud so the patient's recovery can be closely monitored over time.

The idea was to create a high quality and repeatable treatment routine that would improve sports recovery, reducing reliance on trained therapists.

After the clinical trials are completed, a second-generation robot will be developed that is more compact and mobile.

3D Printing Lego-Like Lab Instruments

A team of University of California, Riverside researchers has created a system of blocks that essentially work like Legos, only they build customized chemical and biological research instruments instead of colorful proton packs.

According to the university, the blocks are called Multifluidic Evolutionary Components (MECs) because they are both flexibile and adaptable. Each block performs a basic task found in a lab instrument, like pumping fluids, making measurements or interfacing with a user.

Since the blocks are designed to work together, users can build anything from bioreactors for making alternative fuels or acid-base titration tools for high school chemistry classes.

The blocks are especially well-suited for cash-strapped settings, where a library of blocks could be used to create a variety of different research and diagnostic tools.

Locked & Loaded Black Hawk Helicopters

This year, at the Farnborough International Airshow, Lockheed Martin unveiled a European-built Sikorsky Black Hawk helicopter that showcased the types of weapons that can now be integrated onto the multi-role aircraft.

The armed external wings on the aircraft now feature four weapons stations for fire suppression and elimination of armored targets, with launchers for a mix of HELLFIRE and DAGR air-to-ground missiles, a 19-shot Hydra-70 rocket pod, and an FN HERSTAL Belgium manufactured rocket machine gun pod.

Weapons inside the aircraft that would be used by the crew include an FN HERSTAL 50-caliber machine gun mounted to the cabin floor, and window-mounted 7.62-mm mini-guns. The mini-guns can also swing into a fixed forward firing position to be for operated by the pilot.

Depending on the chosen weapons configuration, the cabin can seat troops for armed assault and close air support of ground troop missions. Alternatively, the cabin can store additional ammunition for the guns and rocket pods, and an internal 200 gallon auxiliary fuel tank system for extended range and endurance required for armed escort missions.

The display represents the types of weapons Lockheed Martin can now integrate onto the medium-lift military utility platform that’s renowned for its multi-role capabilities.

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