Redfox Tech talk 04th December

Tech talk with Pete on Zinc FM every Thursday at 7AM.

The FORTIS exoskeleton allows the wearer to lift weights up to 36 pounds effortlessly. 

New Exoskeleton can make workers up to 20 times more productive

US defence contractor Lockheed Martin has designed exoskeleton with military support staff in mind – but the applications can extend well outside the armed forces. Called the FORTIS, the exoskeleton can support tools up to about 16 kilos in weight, and it transfers that weight to the ground almost entirely circumventing the user’s body. Basically what this means is that wearers may be able to carry on with a job for 3 or 4 hours where it used to wear them out in under 30 minutes. One of the beauties of FORTIS is also that it “maintains operator flexibility,” meaning it can be worn while climbing stairs and ladders, squatting, or doing other movement while working. The exoskeleton itself weighs just under 14 kilos, and while its capabilities are scaled down from the powered HULC exoskeleton (which can support up to 90 kilos), its focus on flexibility and industry, rather than military, applications makes it ideal for bolstering productivity in the likes of the construction and mining industries.


GoPlug has redefined what a bag should be. Charge ALL of your devices, CAMERA BATTERIES, LAPTOPS, and more on the go.

Powered bags keep your gear charged while you travel

Backpackers, holidaymakers, and general travel junkies: rejoice! A company called GoPlug is releasing a line of powered bags for people to charge their phones, laptops, cameras, and more while they’re on the go. Featuring both AC and USB ports for charging, these bags are ideal for those of us who spend lots of time in airports where the complimentary charging stations are almost always full and regular outlets are few and far between. The GoPlug battery has enough charge to roughly double the life of most laptops, charge a smartphone up to 6 times, or a tablet up to 2 times. Currently it’s only approved for US and EU specifications and voltages, but nearly any laptop/camera/phone will be able to charge on them using a simple adapter (you can get these at many stores for about $10).





The Navdy head-up display syncs with smartphones and projects information onto any car’s windshield.

Get the fighter jet experience in your car with a heads-up display

When it comes to high-tech features, luxury car drivers get all the love. It’s true for massage seats, neck warmers, and self-parking systems. And it’s true for head-up displays, which project information onto a car’s windshield, so drivers can see how fast they’re going or what song is playing on the radio without taking their eyes off the road. The technology has been in fighter jets since the 1950s, and auto makers have been toying with it for nearly three decades. But the cost of the technology has confined it to the luxury market. No longer: San Francisco-based startup Navdy has created a head-up display that sits on your car’s dashboard and displays information from your smartphone on a 5.1-inch wide glass display (usually, the display is built into the dashboard, and projects images onto the windshield). Since it plugs into the OBD II port (standard in any car made after 1996), it can also show information like your current speed and fuel economy. It will ship in early 2015 and is available for preorder at $299 USD.



Crime fighting robots on patrol in Silicon valley

Anyone who follows the tech world probably believes the rise of the machines will begin in Silicon Valley. Home to some of the biggest tech giants in the world, it only makes sense that the area would be responsible for producing the first line of the robots that will eventually become our merciless overlords. Dubbed the ‘K5’, the robot looks like a cross between R2-D2 and a Dalek from Doctor Who. Thankfully these models are unarmed and ‘non-confrontational’, acting only as mobile recording devices. The robots are programmed with a set path and area to patrol, and they are also tuned to detect glass breaking, gunfire and other loud sounds which may indicate a crime being committed. The robots record what they see and send the video off to a monitoring centre where a human can view the footage. It does have security countermeasures if it is attacked, however. Primarily they let out a loud chirping noise, and the noise gets louder and louder if the threat persists – think car alarm, but much louder and more intense. No word on whether they have become self-aware as yet.