Tech Universe: Wednesday 1 June

By Miraz Jordan

FLYING TRUCK: It's quite something to see a specially modified "Pro 2" truck plunge down an almost vertical ramp and then fly 101 metres through the air. At the 100th Indy 500 that's what Top Gear star Tanner Faust achieved though. Hear him explain how it felt and how he had to use brakes and throttle as flight controls to achieve the world record. Tanner talks to Mashable. Video here, and a bonus clip of that scary mountain bike triple backflip here.

LUNAR POWER: Shimizu Corporation in Japan have a different idea for using solar energy: collect it on the Moon and beam it to Earth via microwaves and laser. The concept places a belt of solar cells up to 400Km wide around the lunar equator, with cables to transfer power from the side that never faces Earth. Collectors at strategic places near Earth's equator would receive the power and distribute it. It's a bold concept, but I imagine astronomers and military will have quite a lot to say about it. More here.

SILICONE SURGERY: There's a new wound dressing devised by researchers at Stanford University, USA, that should prevent scarring. It eliminates the skin tension that causes scarring by providing uniform compression across the wound.

The dressing's made of a thin elastic silicone plastic, stuck to the skin with adhesive. As it contracts it provides compression. Initial clinical trials are promising, but more trials are planned. Details on
Stanford's site.

HIGH FLIER: Kiwi invented Martin Jetpack flew to 1,500 metres in a test flight with a crash test dummy recently, though its creator thought it should be able to reach 2,400 metres. This was its highest flight yet. The Carbon fibre composite jetpack weighs about 113 Kg empty and has a range of 50 Km. It's off to a flying start now. Check out Martin's site.

- Miraz Jordan knowit.co.nz

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